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Children's programming gets boost from the blues

Besides presenting a world-class music event, the Thorold Blues Festival provides secondary benefits to the community.

The Canal Bank Shuffle volunteers dropped by the Basciano Centre this morning to officially donate proceeds from the October Blues Festival.

Executive Director of the Thorold Community Activities Group, Dan Pelletier, told the ThoroldNews, "The money will be used in support of TCAG family programming."

The annual blues festival has been donating a portion of the proceeds to local charities since its inception in 2002.

This year $5,000 went to TCAG programs. In all, the Canal Bank Shuffle Blues Festival has donated more than $200,000 in Niagara.

"Fundraising is more difficult today than it was in the beginning," said organizer Tim Sinnett.

In order to fund the festival, which typically welcomes about 30 bands to Thorold stages over the four-day event, the group is now holding several one-night events throughout the year to help offset costs associated with the festival. 

"In April we have three shows coming to Thorold," said Sinnett. "We're happy to welcome top acts here because of our relationship with artists and promoters across North America. We have Anthony Gomes on April 7, The Ghost Town Blues Band on April 18, and Vanessa Collier on April 28. Thorold is seeing the benefits of music tourism in Niagara."

In addition to those events, the Shuffle group is working with the City of Thorold toward presenting the third annual Blues on the Battlefield festival, which takes place Canada Day weekend.

"We are fortunate enough to have Thorold on the map as a music destination for blues fans and artists and that grew directly from the Shuffle," said Sinnett.

Information on all the events can be found here