History of the Fonthill Bandshell

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2007 #1

2007 #2

2007 Sunday

2008 #1

2008 #2

2009 #1

2009 #2












Band listings

July 6 - Jack DeKeyzer
July 13 - British Invasion Band
July 20 - Mostly Gormans
July 27 - Solstice
Aug 3 - Ned Green band
Aust 10 - Unibrows
Aug 17 - The Stickmen
August 24 - A Cappella Niagara
August 31 - Harrison Kennedy
Sept 7 - Kindred
Sept 14 - Touch of Class (E. L. Crossley)

June 14 - Fathead
June 21 - Jeffrey & The Juniors
June 28 - Jimmy Marando Swing Band
July 5 - Revival
July 12 - Don Couchie and the Spirit of Bluegrass
July 19 - Undun - Guess Who Tribute
July 26 - Chuck Jackson
August 2 - Mostly Gormans
August 9 - Two Of A Kind
August 16 - Heather Dale
August 23 - British Invasion Band
August 30 - The Ants
September 8 - Sister Lune

2007 Sundays
July 8 - Northern Lights Steel Orchestra
July 15 - Touch Of Class (E. L. Crossley)
July 22 - The Madmen (Notre Dame)
July 29 - The Permtones
August 5 - Swing Kids Orchestra
August 12 - A Cappella Niagara
August 19 - Solstice
August 26 - Aidan Miller

June 19 - Jeffrey & The Juniors
June 26 - Mantini Sisters
July 3 - Ned Green
July 10 - The Dixie Demons
July 17 - Sun Records Show
July 24 - Walter Ostanek
July 31 - Northern Lights Steel Orchestra
August 14 - Chuck Jackson & The All Stars
August 21 - Angela Siracusa
August 28 - Steve Burnside & The Original Marquis
September 4 - British Invasion Band

June 18 - The Meteors
June 25 - Toasted Western Swing Band
July 2 - More Bad News and The Horns From Hell
July 9 - Toronto All-Star Big Band
July 16 - Songs My Sister Played
July 23 - Coole Park
July 30 - Chris Anton Band
August 6 - Loco Zydeco
August 13 - Mark Lalama
August 20 - Penny Skolski
August 27 - Johnny Max Band
September 3 - The Gelitones
September 10 - Memphis Cats

June 17 - Sandy Vine and the Midnights
June 24 - Steve Strongman
July 1 - Lincoln and Welland Ambassadors
July 8 - Retrocity
July 15 - The Rockin’ 50s Show
July 22 - Lindsey Mills
July 29 - Johnny Cash & Friends
Aug 5 - Ray Michaels Retro Rockers
Aug 12 - Niagara Rhythm Section
Aug 19 - Dave Murphy Band
Aug 26 - Christopher Plock
September 2 - Marty Allen
September 9 - Mod Beats

June 23 - British Invasion Band
June 30 - Jimmy Marando Swing Band
July 7 - Heart To Heart
July 14 - Bernie Jessom
July 21 - Material Men  
July 28 - Portrait
August 4 - Beach Party Boys
August 11 - Rockit 88 Band
August 18 - Blind Fate
August 25 - Elton Lammie
September 1 - Johnny & The Cruizers
September 8 - Andre & The J Tones

June 21 - Freddy Vette and the Flames
June 28 - Hotel California
July 5 - Toronto All-Star Big Band
July 12 - The Cheezies
July 19 - Gino Monopoli
July 26 - No Sugar Tonight
August 2 - Sugar Heat
August 9 - Mark Thomas & Dave LaFame
August 16 - Marshall Dane
August 23 - David Rotundo
August 30 - Le Vent Du Nord
September 6 - Sister Act

June 20 - Jonesy
June 27 - Jon Knight and Soulstack
July 4 - Don MacArthur Big Band
July 11 - James Doolin and the Mob
July 18 - Jim Witter
July 25 - The Satellites
August 1 - Piece Of My Heart
August 8 - Crush
August 15 - The Jersey Kid
August 22 - Liberty Silver
August 29 - Western Swing Authority
September 5 - Renegade

June 19 - Kimberley Wetmore and Company
June 26 - That 60s Show
July 3 - LMT Connection with The Chops Horns
July 10 - Ed Sullivan’s Caravan Of Stars
July 17 - Night Fever
July 24 - LP3
July 31 - Michael Kaeshammer
August 7 - Saturday Night At The Grand Ole Opry
August 14 - The Sensational Hot Rods
August 21 - Beatlemania Revisited
August 28 - De Temps Antan
September 4 - Miss Robin Bank$

June 18 - Mostly Gormans
June 25 - Hotel California
July 2 - The Black Umfolosi 5
July 9 - Liberty Silver
July 16 - The Beach Party Boys
July 23 - Elton Lammie
July 30 - Mark Thomas & Dave LaFame
August 6 - No Sugar Tonight
August 13 - Jarvis Church
August 20 - Chuck Jackson
August 27 - Gino Monopoli
September 3 - The Mantini Sisters & The Toronto All Star Big Band

June 16 - R.O.C.K. In The U.S.A.
June 23 - The Sands Trio
June 30 - Oh Canada! We Sing For Thee
July 7 - Les Tireux d'Roches
July 14 - Jully Black
July 21 - Coig
July 28 - Legends Of The 50s
August 4 - Wichita Linemen
August 11 - Alex Cuba
August 18 - The Howling Horns
August 25 - Irene Torres & The Sugar Devils
September 1 - Fleetwood Mac Mania
September 8 - Pauly & The Goodfellas

June 22 - Glory Days
June 29 - O Canada Rock'n'Roll Show
July 6 - The Mandevilles
July 13 - The Caverners
July 20 - Sophistcated Swing
July 27 - Shakura S'Aida
August 3 - The Last Waltz
August 10 - Abbamania
August 17 - The Shuffle Demons
August 24 - The Sounds Of Motown
August 31 - The Story Of Rock'n'Roll
September 7 - Blame It On Their Roots
June 21 - The Fab Four Fathers Of Rock'n'Roll
June 28 - The Jimmy Stahl Big Band
July 5 - The Blushing Brides
July 12 - The Jade Monkeys
July 19 - The Intentions
July 26 - The McFlys
August 2 - Rhinestone Cowgirl
August 9 - Brass Transit
August 16 - The Return Of Buddy Holly
August 23 - The Official Blues Brothers Revue
August 30 - Brad Battle
September 6 - Oakland Stroke
June 20 - Surfin' Safari
June 27 - Monkey Junk
July 4 - Disco Fever
July 11 - Matchedash Parish
July 18 - Motown Gold
July 25 - Hey Stella
August 1 - Soular
August 8 - Freedom Train
August 15 - The McCartney Years
August 22 - The Dreamboats
August 29 - Eclectic Vinyl Orchestra
September 5 - Epic Journey
August 6 - Cottage Brew
August 12 - New Kid In Town
August 19 - Soul Jam
August 26 - The Wanted
September 2 - The Johnny Max Band
September 9 - This Time Around
June 16 - The Dreamboats
June 23 - The Good Lovelies
June 30 - The Jersey Seasons
July 7 - Tapestry - The Carole King Songbook
July 14 - SImply The Best
July 21 - Dee Dee *& The Dirty Martinis
July 28 - The Hogtown Allstars
August 4 - Elton Rohn
August 11 - Marshall Dane
August 18 - Always Abba
August 26 - Creedance Clearwater Survival
September 1 - Leisa Way & British Invasion

June 22 - British Mania
June 29 - Suzie Vinnick
July 8 - Listen To The Music
July 13 - Bruno Nesci - Elvis Lives
July 20 - The Latin Swing Orchestra
July 27 - Vinyl Flux
August 3 - Tanika Charles
August 10 - Elton Lammie - Billy Joel
August 17 - Jamie Warren
August 24 - Everyday People
August 31 - Martin Kerr
September 7 - Motown Magic

The History Of The Bandshell

Fonthill Bandshell Concerts 10th Anniversary!!!!

As part of the celebrations of 10 years of live concerts at the Fonthill Bandshell, we thought we would like to share with you the history of how the Bandshell and the summer concert series came into being.

To start, we must take you back to 2006, Fonthill’s 150th anniversary.  There were many people who volunteered to help the Town celebrate this memorable event, and several residents had been discussing the idea of building a permanent commemoration of the 150th anniversary. Vilma Crick and Gayle Baltjes-Chataway brought forward the idea of resurrecting a bandshell, reminiscent of the Town’s earlier days - a place for people to meet, for families to enjoy an evening or Sunday afternoon concert - forward to the first meeting of the 50 or so volunteers working on the celebration. Never in their wildest dreams could they have hoped for the support so many people gave to this project! And so began the plans for the new bandshell! 

Here, to the best of our memories, we will try to accurately recap the Bandshell’s history for you.


Construction of the Bandshell

Firstly it would never have happened without the Bandshell building committee of volunteers who met weekly for almost six months – Todd Barber, Paul Ryan, Jeff Obdeyn, Larry Clark, Mark Shoalts, Bryan Baltjes, Eric DeKorte and Gayle Baltjes-Chataway. A hearty ‘thank you’ is owed for all their time and dedication in bringing this to fruition, sharing their expertise to make sure this was a project of which they and all Pelham residents would be proud.

Secondly, we need to recognize the local businesses who donated so much in labour and materials to allow us to truly build a long-lasting, attractive building – MaBo Westside Construction gave more than 100 hours of labour; LaFarge Canada donated the stone and concrete; Zwierschke Brothers did the excavating at no charge; Mark Shoalts of Shoalts Brothers Construction donated his engineering skills, orchestrated the steel work and pre-cut the roofing trusses; Bryan Baltjes and Martin Zwier of BZ electric did all the electrical work gratis and provided all materials at cost; Todd Barber and his team at Forestgreen Creations  spent hours on the design and drafting; Bill Hall donated the supply and installation of the soffits and fascia; Larry Clark of Clark Construction gave countless hours of his construction expertise and oversaw many of the tradespeople to ensure the project went smoothly; DeKorte’s Landscaping donated their skills to complete the walkway and landscaping; Roy Kirkup donated the surveying; Jim Edwards donated his concrete finishing; Kirkpatrick Monuments donated our centre plaque; Lucchetta Homes donated our finial; Fonthill Building Supplies provided huge discounts on supplies; Fonthill Lumber and DeSmit Lumber supplied all the lumber; Crowland Sash donated the milling of the lumber; Herb Lodde & Sons Roofing generously supplied and installed the roofing; Fonthill Paint & Paper donated the paint and scaffolding; Keith Robertson of Robertson Entreprises gave us a wonderful discount; Mark Rosinski of Metal Supply and Transport donated the steel; Nauta Home Design did the preliminary drawings; Regional Doors and Hardware gave us a generous discount on the pillars; Leo Laflame donated his haulage services; Cecchini Masonry provided a generous discount on their services; Young Sod donated the grass; Willowbrook Nursery donated shrubs and plants; and Free Gas did the trenching – an arduous task at no charge.
Then we had our incredible team of volunteers on build day – John & Kevin Mans of Keystone Construction; Jeff Obdeyn and Jason Longhurst of MaBo Westside Construction; Larry Clark of Clark Construction; Paul Ryan; Mike Veldman of Kocanee Contracting and Gerry Berkhout. And when we were running out of steam and needed an extra hand to push the job, a few more good men came to help: special thanks to Mike Huizinga and Brian Zommer for putting on the finishing touches. And of course, several local restaurants joined in and kept the workers going with treats and meals sent from Keith’s Restaurant, Tim Horton’s, Mossimo’s and Subway.

But none of the construction could have happened without the fundraising team who made the Bandshell dream possible – Catherine King, Jim Jeffs, Lance Wiebe, Gerry Berkhout, Tony Mule, Vilma Crick and Gayle Baltjes-Chataway committed to raising the money to support the Bandshell and the Town’s anniversary party. They
sold engraved paving stones which you now see surrounding the bandshell as a way to raise much needed dollars and to offer residents (and former residents) a way to permanently be a part of this commemorative event. There were businesses who sold the bricks – Yazz Cleaners, Keith’s Restaurant, Star Tile Centre, The Voice of Pelham and the Town of Pelham. There were schools and churches involved, in particular Rev. David Browning, who we jokingly believed sold one to the Almighty Father himself!  The number one brick salesperson, Mr. Paul Ryan, personally delivered more than 150 of the sales!

We had the support of our local papers and editors of the time- Derek of The Pelham News and Sarah of The Voice of Pelham – who spread the word week after week. The design team at the Voice also provided the poster work and creative marketing of the project.

And lastly, we pay tribute to the people and businesses of Pelham who supported this project by purchasing one of the ‘bricks’ to be engraved with their family, business or loved one’s name(s) – bricks that are now installed in the walkway surrounding the Bandshell.  The support was overwhelming. People bought two and three bricks in honour of their loved ones and friends.  Our ‘walk of fame’ is truly a wonderful representation of the fine people in this town.  Special mentions to the Rotary Club of Fonthill who not only bought a large stone but also represented every member with a small brick, and for the over-the-top kind generosity of the Simpsons, the Laings, Pedlar’s Funeral Home, Keith’s Restaurant, Star Tile Centre, Yazz Cleaners, Young Sod Farms, the Lions and Lionesses, the Royal Bank, and Tim Horton’s.  We suggest, if you have never done it, that you take a moment to walk around the Bandshell as a small gesture of respect to this town’s generous residents.

So by early June 2006, our new Bandshell - truly a community effort – was built!


Summer Concert Series

Needless to say, after all the work by so many, there was great reason to celebrate when live music was first performed at the Fonthill Bandshell on Saturday, June 10th, 2006 as part of Fonthill’s 150th anniversary celebrations.

We now needed to plan for the ongoing use of the Bandshell. As the work toward the 150th anniversary celebrations wound down, a new volunteer group – spear headed by the 150th anniversary volunteers Diane Kelly, Bob Gibson, and Gayle Baltjes-Chataway began planning the first season of summer concerts

At the same time Jim Casson, a talented local professional drummer, learned of the construction of the Bandshell, and also had an idea to bring weekly live music to the new bandshell, similar to events he had performed at across the continent. He approached Town Council, offering his experience, and volunteered to help the new group establish the concert series. His many contacts in the music industry helped the team immensely in their search for top quality entertainment to bring to the Bandshell.

And so began the planning of our first season of concerts. Where to begin? Fridays? Saturdays? Why not Thursdays? We already had a successful Farmers Market on Thursdays and the downtown businesses had expressed interest in finding ways to bring more people downtown other than Friday or Saturday evenings for dinner.  We therefore respectfully asked the Farmers Market and the Pelham Business Association if they would be open to having another event on Thursday evenings. With a nod to proceed from both groups, we began.

The mandate provided from the 150th anniversary celebrations, was to proceed with a family-friendly concert series, one where people of all ages would feel welcome in our small town community setting. From the outset, we looked for a variety of music and quality musicians to provide an entertaining evening for our audience. We reached out to the community – senior homes, community living homes and programs, schools, and churches - to spread the word that people of all ages, incomes, abilities were welcome in Fonthill on Thursdays for a free (donations appreciated) family-friendly summer concert series.

That first year we were thrilled when 250 people showed up for our first effort. By the end of the summer, we had 500 regular attendees and people asking for more. With the addition of more volunteers that winter – Eleanor Arbour, Peter Dochstader, Fred Disher and Tom Crick – we soon began planning for our 2007 season – a huge undertaking of Thursday evening AND Sunday evening concerts.

We had been given a small fund remaining from monies raised by the 150th anniversary fundraising committee to establish the concert series, but soon realized we needed professional sound assistance which far exceeded our seed money. We approached the Rotary Club of Fonthill, and with their efforts, were able to secure funding through a Trillium Grant to purchase sufficient sound equipment to provide professional back up to the musicians. With the professionalism of former sound engineer Tom Crick, and sound technician Ron Gill we added quality to the Fonthill Bandshell concert series for 2007. Needless to say, it was a great 2007 season but the volunteers, most of whom also worked full time, voted to return to Thursday evenings only for 2008 onward.

We began asking for sponsorships for the weekly concerts which helped offset some of our costs (usually 20-25% of the total evening’s costs are borne by the sponsor’s generosity), and with increased attendance each year, more money began accumulating in the donation buckets helping us expand the line up of entertainment. We were and are a frugal bunch of volunteers, always concerned about budgets and the ‘what ifs’ of a few rainy nights that could virtually eliminate our audience for an evening, significantly diminishing our donations along the way. We have always tried to carefully manage your donations and provide the maximum we could with the funds we raised with an objective to provide a wide range of music, something for everyone’s tastes, but paying particular attention to the Town’s youth as a place where they could be exposed to a variety of musical genres.

The Bandshell Committee has never profited from the generosity of our sponsors and donors, always rolling any small profit ($47.00 to one amazing year of $3,117.00) into the next year and likewise absorbing any losses (twice in the past nine years). 

For several seasons, we continued our 12 or 13 shows each summer, meeting biweekly from January to the start of each concert series, pouring over potential options of talent to bring to the Bandshell.

It is a challenging task to find professional family-friendly musicians to entertain you. We take it very seriously and spend a lot of time researching, negotiating pricing, and balancing each summer’s mix of musical genres.

In 2011, sadly our Concert chairperson lost her husband, Chuck Baltjes-Chataway. Knowing the Bandshell Board’s ongoing concerns for not having a reserve fund to finance the concert series in case of a series of rain-outs or other such calamities, Mrs. Gayle Baltjes-Chataway established donations in Chuck’s memory to provide some security to the board’s endeavours.  We thankfully have yet to utilize the $25,000 donation, but knowing that the funds are there gives us immense peace of mind.

We have been blessed to have many quality volunteers and board members through our first nine years. We appreciate all of their efforts, dedication, and we love their enthusiasm. One of our most rewarding comments came from one of our students on a night she listened to ‘le Vent du Nord’ an internationally recognized Quebecois group that played in 2012. Her words “Wow! That was unbelievable! I had no idea what to expect, and would never have seen them otherwise – thank you for bringing them. I would never have been exposed to so much variety in music had I not been brought here all these years”. For us, that summarizes why we do this. For the joy of music. Nothing more than to share it with you.

Our board of directors today consists of Bryan Baltjes, Gayle Baltjes-Chataway, Ray Barlow, Jill Cappa, Jim Casson, Annie Holtby, Gail Levay, Carolyn Mullin, David Swan and Sandra Warden. Our summer volunteers include Marlene, Wayne, Bryce, Gabrielle, and Abby.

We have grown to now operate an annual $40,000 Fonthill Bandshell concert series, thanks to you and our generous sponsors. All of our time is donated, some 1,200 hours each year. We sincerely appreciate the community support we receive: Sobeys for supplying water for the musicians each week; Mossimo’s for feeding the musicians every week; the plaza tenants, local businesses and churches for supplying the parking for all you wonderful people; The Voice of Pelham, Pelham News and mypelham.com for all the media coverage; Briggsy’s Sportswear for keeping the volunteers in great clothing; and the Town of Pelham for providing in-kind contributions including the supply and maintenance of the public washrooms, the park maintenance, waiving of the Bandshell rental fees, payment of Socan fees, and security. The vast majority of our budget goes to pay the musicians, and sound production of the shows. We, on the advice and recommendation of a local attorney and insurance professionals, incorporated and added Board of Director insurance coverage three years ago when “Summerfest” began. With the addition of the alcohol sales and the variety of events that weekend, it became necessary to protect our board members and volunteers in case of an incident beyond their control. Other expenses include the weekly hand-outs, website, thank you cards and the bandshell buttons.

We thank Rob and Rebecka Robbins and their staff at Live on Request for our quality professional sound and lighting production. 

New this year please welcome the Pelham Library’s children’s area. Please visit Jennifer and her library associates in the kids play area just northeast of the bandshell itself.

And check out the surrounding area’s many dining options before, during or after our concerts: the Farmers market vendors for dinner and dessert; Fonthill Legion offers their fabulous chicken wings on Thursday nights and the shuttle to and from the bandshell will pick you up & drop you back off there; the Town of Pelham’s Suppermarket vendors featuring several of our local restaurants and some of the best food trucks in the region. Within easy walking distance try Keith’s Restaurant for traditional Canadian cuisine and the best pies, Mokus for a unique Hawaiian experience, San Marco’s for Italian and My Place Bar & Grill. 

We have faced some hurdles in the last nine years. Last year (and this year) the plaza owners understandably enforced patron only parking in the main plaza parking lot but kindly offered the rear parking area to a charitable organization as a fund-raiser. The Kinettes will continue to charge $5 for the premium parking behind the Beer Store this year. Please support them. They too are volunteers trying to do some public good.

This year the Town of Pelham wished to expand their beer and wine sales / consumption to the entire park area including the Fonthill Bandshell area. Unfortunately, we were informed of this long after our season’s line up and sponsors were in place. Our board members and many sponsors did not feel this expansion was conducive to the family environment of the concerts. As citizens and taxpayers, we appreciate the Town trying to cover costs with the addition of the suppermarket and alcohol sales, but cannot understand the need to license the entire park which would then necessitate fencing all around and limited access points. With this in mind, we remind you that the Bandshell area is not licensed and kindly ask you to respect this as an alcohol free zone. Smoking is also now banned in all public parks in the Niagara Region.

So here we are – 2015 – celebrating your 10th anniversary of the Fonthill Bandshell Summer Concerts! We are thrilled to bring back 10 of the top acts of our first nine years plus two amazing additions – Black Umfolosi 5 from Zimbabwe who are going to blow you away AND Jarvis Church, the amazing Los Angeles based smooth soul singer.

Thank you! Yes YOU ! We thank you for supporting your Bandshell concert series. We hear so much feedback from the performers complimenting you on being such a great audience. Yes musicians love to perform and they like best to perform to a friendly attentive group who are engaged in the performance.  
We thank you for coming week after week, for the hugs, smiles, and the amazing, ongoing, dedicated support you provide us.

We are here because we love what we are doing, but we are also here for our 10th season because of YOU.

Happy 10th Anniversary!  You made it happen!



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