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Pursuit of Happiness to perform in support of the SPCA

Local NewsPursuit of Happiness to perform in support of the SPCA

The Pursuit of Happiness, a JUNO Award nominated Canadian band, will be performing at the TownePlace Suites on Friday, November 24, 2023.

The fundraising event is being held in support of the Brant County SPCA for its new animal centre.

“I first came up with the idea because I know people who are involved in the fundraising for the SPCA Capital Campaign,” said Phil Gillies, organizer of the event. “It’s very exciting because Brantford-Brant really needs a much-improved facility. The existing SPCA shelter is totally inadequate and it’s not great for the animals.”

Gillies noted that the SPCA animal centre is set to be five-times the size of the existing shelter.

“I wanted to do something to really help that effort, and what I have experience in doing, is organizing concerts,” he said. “So I started by getting the SPCA on board and worked from there.”

Gillies, who is also involved with planning annual events like CrewFest, said that planning for concerts always begins with finding the artist or artists.

“You have to find an act that will work, and that people will want to see. Often you want to get the biggest band that you can, and you just have to hope it all works out and that’s what I did with the Pursuit of Happiness,” he said. “I mean you wouldn’t normally see a band who is as big as that for a fairly intimate show, but the agent was very supportive and pitched it to the band and they agreed that they wanted to support it.”

While Pursuit of Happiness is set to headline the evening, Felicia McMinn of Port Dover, will open the show.

“She is a terrific rock, folk, and blues singer who plays all over southwestern Ontario and has played in Branford a number of times at the Rope Factory,” said Gillies. “We’re just delighted to have her opening the show.”

Followed by McMinn, Gillies said that he and his partners will present a cheque to the SPCA.

He noted that this wouldn’t be possible without the support of those purchasing tickets, but especially because of the sponsors.

“We could not be doing this show without the generous support of the Ontario Construction Consortium (OCC). Ron Johnson, the Chair of the OCC, is from Brantford and has really stepped forward as the title sponsor with a very generous contribution to back us,” said Gillies. “We also have Phil Race, an area businessman, sponsoring us as well and we could not be doing the show without them.”

Gillies and his occasional business partner, MJ Perry, have also provided financial support.

“You can’t put a show together like this and have money left over to go to your charitable cause without the sponsors, you just can’t, because the numbers just don’t work with ticket revenue alone,” said Gillies. “I’m so lucky with the organizations and the people that have come forward for us.”

The organizer noted that while the event was originally planned to be held at the Rope Factory Event Hall, it quickly became clear they would need a bigger venue.

“We were originally having the event at the Rope Factory, but as sales continued, we suddenly had more than 200 people wanting to come,” he said. “We’re only two weeks away from the show, we now have 300 people coming and the sales are still coming in. I have to say, in the many, many years I’ve been involved in promoting concerts, this is the first time I’ve ever had to move a show to a bigger hall. It’s so wonderful and we’re just so excited for the event.”

Tickets are on sale and can be purchased online at www.tpohbrantford.ca

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