Larry MacDougall has been staging rock concerts to help raise funds for those in need – but not in the type of venue you might expect.
McDougall plans more charity performances, not on big stage or hall, but inside his garage on Aspen Avenue in Qualicum Beach.
The former drummer of the country-rock group Alibi performs music from the 1970s and he’s getting quite the following from the neighbourhood.
MacDougall said a neighbour suggested he open his garage to give residents an opportunity to hear and watch him perform.
“I thought, ‘why not?’” said MacDougall. “I can maybe make some money and give it to families that are in need.”
MacDougall has his drum set laid out in his garage complete with PA systems, amplifiers and music from his laptop that he plays along with.
In his initial concert, he was able to raise $240. He decided to hold one again and it generated $522. His last performance on May 23 collected approximately $400. The money was donated to the Courtyard Cafe & Patio.
The owners of Courtyard Cafe & Patio, Peter and Meryl Tryon, have been feeding approximately four to five families every week.
“They would go buy food and then cook up meals,” said MacDougall. “They have people come to feed them or deliver the food to people in need. They’re angels.”
While giving to the community is making MacDougall feel good, he also uses the concerts as a way to practise as he’s unable to do it with his band.
“I go for about two-and-a-half hours,” said MacDougall. “Our neighbours just love it. I was a little concerned at first thinking will the neighbours call the cops and shut me down. But it was just fine. People have been stopping buy and donating.”
Neighbours who see him working his yard now stop by to ask when his next concert is going to be.
“I told them I have to give it a bit of a rest and when I hold it, it’s got to be a nice Saturday because I hold it in the afternoon at around 2 p.m.,” said MacDougall. “People came by and told me that they missed my concerts but still donated. There are kids who dropped in coins in my collection buckets. Probably their allowance. It has really been a positive thing. And everybody wins.”
MacDougall said he will hold another concert but has not set a date yet.