This is a NOT FOR PROFIT event. Proceeds after expenses go to ECOJUSTICE (formerly Sierra Legal Defence Fund), Canada's largest and foremost non-profit environmental law organization. This group has an influential voice in the courts enabling citizens to expose lawbreakers and to hold governments accountable while setting powerful precedents for clean water, natural spaces, healthy communities, and for global warming solutions.
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In October 2007 we moved to Crystal Beach from Toronto. It's a magical environment with big old majestic trees and a rural feel. Breathing is somehow easier down here on the south coast of Canada. The Niagara region is a fertile environment that constantly reminds us of how precious and fragile our world is.
In September 2008, we decided to have a housewarming because we wanted to share our love of this very special and unique community with family, friends, and fans. Live music was an obvious focus and soon the event evolved into a full-fledged 'concert' with five professional, eclectic, acoustic acts. We live a mere 20 minutes from the Peace Bridge which spans the Niagara River from Fort Erie, ON to Buffalo, NY. It was a link to our passion for World Peace and so we named the event The Picketts' Housewarming / House Concert For Peace.
To help raise environmental awareness, we requested a modest suggested donation which, after expenses, was contributed to ECOJUSTICE. We drew 115 attendees that year. It was a gathering of individuals, mostly strangers to each other but who had three things in common:
* they knew us
* they shared our passion for World Peace
* they shared our concern for the Environment
As folks arrived, they took in the lush setting, exhaled the tension in their bodies, and positioned their chairs in front of the outdoor stage. It wasn't long before they were captivated by the music and the atmosphere and the people with whom they were sharing the experience. There was plenty of BBQ. Salads and desserts were generously contributed by many of our guests.
The following day we donated most of the surplus food to the Community Outreach Programme Erie (COPE) / Fort Erie Food Bank. We are also proud to report that 90% of the waste was recycled and/or composted which reduced the garbage outlay to two small bags.
The event exceeded our expectations and we were encouraged to do it again. In 2009 our audience grew to 135 and hit 150 in 2010. People came from Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Florida, Tennessee, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. We were humbled by the popularity of our event and deeply grateful that so many shared our global and community concerns.
With its growing popularity came the decision to keep attendance at a reasonable number in order to maintain an intimate feel so key to the nature of our event and a major appeal for those who have been returning year after year to offer their support. No commercial venture this. Definitely grass roots.
A huge thank you to EVERYONE who has joined us in the past as well as those of you who are planning/thinking about coming this year and next year and the year after that. Your support means the world to us!
Michael & Louise