West Island Blues Festival raises funds for worthy causes

Generous attendees donated almost half at the gate

By Kevin Woodhouse

By the time the Rick Johnson Blues Band had taken to the stage at the West Island Blues Festival, any chance of rain had dissipated, allowing the more than 3,000 attendees to soak up the sun as well as the blues music that went well until after sundown.

The beneficiaries of the monies raised were The West Island Black Community Association and the West Island Palliative Care Residence with almost half of the donations coming from generous patrons who gave at the gate.

Dollard des Ormeaux councillor and blues festival co-founder Errol Johnson told The Suburban that, due to the rainy start to the weekend, “we were afraid Saturday was going to be a bust. We had people calling from Montreal and the East End where it rained most of the day asking if we were still on.”

But the weather cooperated and another successful festival took place, this time at the George Springate Complex which allowed for parking at the nearby high school.

Next year promises to be even bigger as the once smaller scale fundraiser has blossomed over the years into a major event, and even bringing on notable sponsor All State this year.

“They wanted a part as presence of West Island and chose our festival as starting point for sponsorship because they had seen our progressive growth over the past years,” said Johnson.

The festival brings together DDO and Pierrefonds-Roxboro and Johnson would like to see the event expand with even more neighbouring municipalities taking part, working together as a major fundraiser for West Island non-profit organizations.
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