One of the most successful fundraising events in eastern Ontario over the recent years, Shake the Foundation, celebrates it’s fourth anniversary tonight in Renfrew.

The annual event, which has featured artists like Brett Kissel and One More Girl as well as a who’s who of regional acts, was founded in 2012 by Craig Dunbar, a rural firefighter with Ottawa Fire Services.

We met with Craig last month to discuss the inspiration behind the event, which raises funds for the Renfrew Victoria Hospital Foundation.

“After being diagnosed with acute renal (kidney) failure in 2007, I was surprised to learn about how many people are affected by kidney disease, how badly it affects those being treated for it (not being treated is fatal), and how little is known about it. With that in mind, I began participating in Kidney Foundation of Canada fundraising events, and specifically their annual fundraising walk. The first year, my wife Heather and I participated in the walk, then started forming and building a team in following years.

In 2012, my uncle Randy Kehoe suggested that we put on a musical event at the Renfrew Armouries, in order to support our fundraising efforts for the walk. Having worked in live music venues for a number of years, and with Randy having played in a country band for years, it was only natural to us that the event would be a country music show/ dance. We enlisted our close friend Steve Panke, who has played in numerous bands for many years, and we secured a solid lineup of 6 quality local bands for the show. We were able to plan the 2012 show in just 3 months.

In 2013 that show grew to 10 bands over the course of 12 hours, including old style country in the afternoon, progressing to younger country in the evening and the momentum continued, and the show went from supporting the walking team’s fundraising, to being a stand-alone fundraising event.

For 2014, we decided that it was time to increase the profile of the show, and bring in a well-known headliner. We had discussed several different acts and were still in the decision making process, when my brother Lee showed me a new video for a tune called “Started With A Song” by a young man named Brett Kissel. After quickly checking YouTube and seeing his video for “Raise Your Glass”, then reading his bio on his website, I knew instantly that he was our guy. I called his agency, and as luck would have it, his agent was about to start booking eastern Canada dates around the time of our event. Brett personally gave us a discount so that we could stay within the show’s budget, and as a bonus, his show also included a performance by his friends, One More Girl. We had originally hoped to have local up and comer Jordan McIntosh play as well, but our entire budget was eaten up by that point, so we didn’t approach him, planning to invite him for 2015. As luck would have it, he was actually touring with Brett Kissel, and he got up to do a few songs for our sold out and very receptive audience. The show also featured several local performers, including Olivia Charette and OffRoad. We’re proud to say that Olivia has gotten some serious recognition and is on her way up, and OffRoad has just released a CD.

Shake The Foundation IV featuring Jordan McIntosh, Brea Lawrenson and more..

Shake The Foundation IV featuring Jordan McIntosh, Brea Lawrenson and more..

2015’s show is looking promising, with a lineup consisting of Douglas Connection opening the show with some old time country, Ron McMunn’s two very talented sons, Jeff and Jamie doing a mix of originals and classic covers, OffRoad performing a mix of new country and covers, followed by two fantastic talents that should need no introduction to Ottawa Valley country music fans, Brea Lawrenson and Jordan McIntosh. This year, we have also formed a partnership with Country 101.1, who will be conducting a talent search contest, where one lucky winner will be selected through listener voting to open the show. The show, still 100% volunteer run, now has a 3 pronged approach.

  • We are now raising funds exclusively for the Renfrew Victoria Hospital Foundation, to assist with the expansion of their dialysis/ kidney health and chemotherapy units. Having been a patient at the dialysis unit there for 2 years, I greatly appreciated the personal and quality care I received there, and want to give back. The unit is currently overcrowded, and in desperate need of expansion.
  • Understanding that not everyone has a large disposable income, we work to provide a great evening out at an affordable price, where people can combine charity and great entertainment,

On the entertainment side, we are committed to promoting quality talent, and helping them move forward in their musical journeys.”

Sound Check Entertainment is thrilled to support this event.  Although we are unable to attend, this year, we wish Craig and his team all the best for another successful edition of Shake the Foundation and look forward to being an even bigger part of the event in 2016.  Doors to tonight’s event open at 4pm, tickets are only $15 and at the time of publishing there are still tickets available.

Of course big congrats to our ticket winners Victoria Goddard (our Twitter winner), Rachelle Miller and Chantelle Wright (our two Facebook winners), have fun tonight!

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