Report on benefit concert for Green candidate Stephen Kotze

Outstanding local musicians entertain at Perth benefit for Green Party candidate

Billed as a night of great music by local musicians, the Saturday night (Oct. 5th) benefit for Stephen Kotze and the Green Party surpassed all expectations.

But the real achievement of the evening wasn’t so much the money raised from ticket sales and donated silent auction items. Instead, it was the pervasive sense of a celebration of a community of shared values.

By the time man-of-the-hour Stephen arrived shortly after the 7 p.m. start time, the Perth Civitan was crowded with supporters and fans. The hall was set up coffee-house style, with tables and chairs, but those chairs were soon in short supply as 234 people arrived to support the benefit.

The audience came from towns, villages and side roads from all corners of the Lanark Frontenac Kingston riding. Not everyone knew each other (though lots did) and there were familiar faces and new friends to be made.

The publicised line up of excellent musicians included a fair number from (or near to) Stephen Kotze’s home village of Elphin – the family teams of Jenny Whitely and Joey Wright, and Terry Tufts, Kathryn Briggs and Beth Tufts.  Other performers were James Keelaghan, just back from a tour in Europe, Christine Graves and Doug Barr and Jonas Bonnetta.

Rob McLaren (banjo) and Rosalyn Dennett (fiddle) were not on the lineup but the couple, who recently moved to Smiths Falls, entertained with tradition old time music.

About halfway through the evening, Stephen gave a brief  (but rousing) campaign speech and followed up with the sentimental highlight of the evening – his surprise performance, playing mandolin, accompanied by his son Joe (guitar) and daughter Sadie (vocals). His neighbour Joey Wright played along on the first of three Kotze tunes.

Authorized by Official Agent of Stephen Kotze