Year-end concert makes a comeback at Beaconsfield’s St. Edmund elementary school

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WATCH: With an easing of pandemic restrictions, Ed Stock 2022 is back in business – Jun 8, 2022

About 1,000 people showed up to St. Edmund Elementary’s live outdoor concert known as EdStock, the school’s version of the Woodstock music festival.

It has been two years since the last year-end concert was performed at the school in Beaconsfield.

Pandemic restrictions meant that those end-of-year traditions had to be put on hiatus. But with an easing of restrictions, EdStock 2022 is back in business.

“We’ve sold more tickets than we ever had before because everyone just wants to be together again,” said Jennifer Hayden, St. Edmund’s music specialist.

Read more: Beaconsfield students learn about Indigenous history through the arts

Students were excited to be able to take their masks off and once again perform live for their community.

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“We’ve been recording it and it’s just not been the same, so I’m really excited to have it this year,” said Reece Kininmonth, a Grade 6 student.

EdStock started six years ago when Gord Downie, lead singer of the Tragically Hip was diagnosed with cancer.

“As a music teacher in Canada, I wanted to teach the kids about the Tragically Hip, so they could learn about such a cool Canadian band,” said Hayden. “And as we did that, we had some dads come in and play guitar and the kids sang ‘Ahead by a Century’ in the gym.”

Shauna Spear, a mother and event volunteer says from there, it blossomed into a Woodstock-style music festival outdoors. ” It’s been amazing. It’s been so much fun I can’t even put into words just how much of a great time this is.”

Read more: Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie remembered for ‘gold standard’ of Canadian music

Spear is part of a group of parents who formed a band which they called “The Parental Unit”. They chose this year’s theme: 100 per cent Canadian content and played music from Serena Rider, Metro and Simple Plan, among others, while the students sang.

“You realize when we were putting this thing together how many great Canadian artists there actually are and we couldn’t include everyone,” said Paul Kininmonth, who plays in the band and wrote the closing song, called Home.

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“I think this year, more than any, it’s more about getting us all together,” Kininmonth said.

EdStock is a fundraising event. The money collected is used to buy school items and improve the facilities.

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