They’ve certainly come a long way.
Seven years ago, a small group of music lovers had a dream that it could bring musicians, both professional artists and amateur hopefuls, to perform in an intimate local setting, the stage at the Operating Engineers. The volunteers began this project with very little money and virtually no outside funding. What the members of the board of the St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage (as they decided to call themselves) did have, however, was a passion for music and the drive to do something about that passion.
The St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage is a remarkable phenomenon. From its somewhat rocky beginnings, often learning as it went, the board has contrived, in just a few years, to bring some extraordinary professional artists into this community (and to launch some talented amateurs into new careers).
Serena Ryder has performed here. So has Lynn Miles and Graham Greer, Don Ross and Manitoba Hal. There have been many others: some of them have shared their knowledge and talent at special workshops for people in the community. To a person, these musicians have repeatedly praised the performance venue in Morrisburg, the dedication and professionalism of the board, and the warmth of the welcome they have received from audiences here.
The St. Lawrence Stage operates on a proverbial shoe string.
While the Stage has received some provincial and federal grant money, and the Township of South Dundas has helped out, audiences are still developing and funds are tight. The SLAS remains dedicated to presenting musicians and shows that are the equal (except for much lower ticket prices) of anything in the city.
If you’ve never attended a concert at the SLAS, go to one. Any one. You’ll be impressed, entertained, thrilled, by what you can see and hear right in our own community. This is an organization worthy of support and an asset to South Dundas.
The St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage and its volunteer board have indeed come a long way. That journey needs to continue.