The Concert Funding for the SHINE! Music Bursary is raised primarily through our annual SHINE! concert event. Our next big SHINE! event will take place on Sunday 6 March, 2016 at Lula Lounge (1585 Dundas Street West, Toronto). (Doors open at 6PM, show begins at 7PM)

Many noteworthy performers have come together to support this great cause. Past SHINE! concerts have featured Lorraine Segato (Parachute Club), Andy Maize and Michael Johnston (Skydiggers), Ron Hawkins (Lowest of the Low), Andrew Cash, Oh Susanna, Jerome Godboo, Julian Fauth, Lori Yates, The Lonesome Ace String Band, Russell deCarle, Jerry Leger, Jon Brooks, Michelle Rumball, Corin Raymond, Treasa LeVasseur, David Baxter, Jonathan Lynn, Chris Staig, October Brown, Michael O’Grady, The Warped 45s, Mary Rankin, Shelly Coopersmith, and many more.

Our 2015 concert was no exception! An incredible line-up of musicians came together to deliver one of our most successful fundraising events yet! We were thrilled that Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar, Big Tobacco and the Pickers, New Country Rehab all graced our stage that night and made it an overwhelming success.

Altogether, it would be hard to assemble a more gracious and gifted group of musicians – a big thank you to all of them for being part of it! Samantha had just released her new “Send the Nightingale” album, and had recently played Massey Hall as part of the Toronto Blues Society’s Women’s Blues Review, and opened for the legendary Blind Boys of Alabama at Roy Thomson Hall. Needless to say, she and Delta Sugar rocked the stage at Lula’s! Next up were Big Tobacco and the Pickers, who kept the musical pace going, delivering their unique brand of country – an irresistible blend of pedal steel, Telecaster, keys and drums. Andrew Cash, of course, needs no introduction either – we were thrilled to have our local MP singing a few of his own Juno award-winning music in support of our cause. And to close the night out, John Showman and New Country Rehab did an outstanding (as usual!) set of their high-voltage, alt-country music.

As has become tradition, the 2014 bursary awards were presented by Marie MacCormack (founder of the Jim Fay Music Bursary) and by Michael Gray (on behalf of the friends & family of James Gray). Since the Gray family joined the cause last year, SHINE!’s ability to reach and support struggling young musicians has almost doubled! As a result of this combined effort, this year we were able to present four James Gray Memorial Bursary awards and four Jim Fay Memorial Bursary awards, for a total of eight awards. These awards went to some very talented and deserving young musicians: Jessica Reyes, Casey Cain, Jesse Reynolds, Kalil Shaw, Brittany Fontes, Gowlene Sevalvijayan, Jordan Paul, and Brittany Fahel. Congratulations to each of you!

As an added bonus, we were thrilled that three of our recipients were able to perform as part of SHINE! – Kalil rocked the house on saxophone with Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar, Brittany Fontes sang beautifully with Andrew Cash, and Casey wowed everyone with his tin whistle prowess, accompanied by NCR. Kalil, Brittany and Casey each brought the audience to their feet for well-earned standing ovations. Well done!

Many thank you’s are owed for the success of the concert, and for the success of the SHINE! Music Bursary this past year. To name but a few:

* We owe a debt of gratitude to the family and friends of James Gray for having become an integral part of this great cause.

* We also deeply appreciate the time and effort that each of our musical guests gave to the event. Samantha, Jamie, Andrew, John, and everyone – you and your bands really delivered, thank you so much for being a part of it!

* The Lula Lounge staff couldn’t have been friendlier, the sound & stage were great, and the food was delicious, as usual!

* We couldn’t have done it without the generous help of The Unicorn Project, which is an amazing new initiative in support of musicians and charities – check ‘em out!

* A big thank you to each and every one of our donors (see Sponsors tab), who brought many good things to our Raffle and Silent Auction offerings.

* To everyone who volunteered, both at the show and throughout the year on the Bursary – job well done!

* To everyone who came out to enjoy the show and to support this great cause, thank you for coming, and we look forward to seeing you all at next year’s event!

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