Benefit Induces Toe Tapping Good Time

Over 130 pairs of feet were infused with country rhythm last Thursday, enjoying an evening of love, laughter and legendary music during “Honky Tonk Blue…The Night Patsy Met Hank.” Thanks to high attendance and even higher spirits, Townshippers’ Association’s first fundraiser of the year was a success!

Held at the Centre d’Art de Richmond on January 31, the magical musical was the highlight of a benefit evening in support of Make Way For YOUth-Estrie. Under the wing of Townshippers’, this Place aux jeunes en région initiative aims to counter youth exodus and encourage qualified young professionals to migrate to areas outside of Quebec’s large city centres.

Before the show, the arts centre was a buzz with voices of happy patrons mingling in the Le Réfectoire bar and hallway during the wine and cheese. Those of us from Townshippers’ had a great time getting reacquainted with old friends and meeting new ones in such a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Once seated for the performance, the audience was held captive by Ralph Steiner’s crooning and gritty portrayal of Hank Williams and the powerful vocals, and sassy tongue, of Laura Teasdale as Patsy Cline. Adding melodic depth to the country-western musical was a team of talented Townships musicians, Sylvain Pouliot (pedal steel guitar), Stéphanie Labbé (fiddle) and Sébastien Saliceti (bass).

If you missed the show, “Honky Tonk Blue” will be making its way back to the Townships this spring. Keep in touch with Townshippers’ for details.

We thank all of those who joined us as well as the following business and individuals whose support make the event  possible; the English Language Arts Network’s ACCORD Project, Centre d’Art de Richmond, Municipalité du Canton de Melbourne, Deputy for Richmond Karine Vallières and Toyota Richmond. Thanks also go to Richmond Hardware, all those who shared the event through their networks and, of course, the performers, musicians and technical crew.

Funds generated by the evening help MWFY to continue offering a variety of activities such as Discovery Days exploratory weekends, personalized and individual support services and access to websites and bulletins with local job offers.

Next “Inspiring” Discovery Days

Do you know someone who is thinking about moving to the Townships? Are they between the ages of 18 and 35 with a post secondary education? Let them know they can discover the region for free during the next Discovery Day Weekend, from February 22 to 24.

Described by January’s registrants as an “Excellent”, “Amazing,” and “Inspiring,” experience, Discovery Days weekends give participant a chance to  play, discover and explore the region where work and life balance without any cost.

Jenny Ménard, Make Way for YOUth – Desjardins Migration Agent, is planning a great exploratory weekend for February to the Val-Saint-François, consisting of Richmond and 18 other communities, and the MRC les Sources, home to Asbestos and Danville.

Along with having their accommodations covered, participants will have the opportunity to visit local attractions, such as Danville’s Mante du Carré public market, and network with neighbouring businesses. An evening filled with traditional dance is also in the works, in collaboration with Jenny’s counterpart in the Val-Saint-François, Chantale Jacques.

If you know someone who would love to be part of this weekend, don’t wait to long to tell them. A few other surprises are also in store but places are limited and advanced registration is required. Register by contacting Jenny at [email protected] or 819-566-5717 (toll-free: 1-866-566-5717).

For more information on Townshippers’ Association and our activities, keep reading this weekly Keeping in Touch column in The Record and visit us on Twitter @Townshippers, Facebook and our website Connect with Townshippers’ offices in Sherbrooke at 100 – 257 Queen St. 819-566-5717, toll free: 1-866-566-5717 or Lac-Brome at 3-584 Knowlton Rd, 450-242-4421, toll free: 1-877-242-4421.

Photo Credit:  Townshippers’ Association

Photo Caption: Following their fantastic performance, Honky Tonk Blue stars Ralph Steiner and Laura Teasdale (centre) posed with Jenny Ménard, Make Way for YOUth – Desjardins Migration Agent, (left) and Townshippers’ Community & Culture Coordinator Kate Holbrook. Thanks to the performers, sponsors and patrons, Townshippers’ first fundraiser of the year was a wonderful success.