Thanks for the memories!

Our hearts are full of holiday cheer and gratitude! As expected, our second weekend of festive shows gave us the warm and fuzzies. All the feels, folks.

The Once raised the roof – and our spirits – in Merrickville on Thursday and in Dacre on Friday night. What special shows – the massive pipe organ in the Merrickville United Church was lit up red and green and provided a stunning backdrop for the seamless melodies of The Once. They took us on a journey that expertly intertwined funny personal stories with song, both familiar carols and new songs that quickly became favourites.

The DACA Centre was equally enamored with The Once, letting the band know with raucous cheers and lots of audience participation throughout their performance. Rumor has it that the band even left with black hats that have, “Take ‘er to Dacre” printed on them. A little piece of rural Ontario is heading back to Newfoundland!

With that, The Ontario Festival of Small Halls draws to a close for the year. We are almost speechless at the number of memories made during the fall and the last few weeks. Our hats are off to the hundreds of volunteers who worked tirelessly to host big names in music in treasured rural halls, pouring their hearts into the Festival. That dedication to the halls and communities shone through in each location. The love of these cherished spaces combined with the awe-inspiring talent of the musicians to create special moments that won’t soon be forgotten.

Thank you for an amazing year of exceptional experiences. Thank you communities who welcomed the Festival with open arms. Thank you ticket holders for discovering Small Halls. Thank you artists who jumped whole-heartedly into performing in small venues. Thank you to everyone who clapped, who sang along, who danced, who tapped toes, who took a chance on a show and felt the Small Hall Love.

We’re already looking forward to next year!