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Samedi, 20 avril 2024

Dawson: New Year’s Eve Virtual Pub

By Chad Polito
Special Collaboration

At the age of 13, Verdun native Gary White picked up his older brother’s guitar one day and never put it down. With no formal training, Gary taught himself how to play tunes by ear. Once he mastered the guitar, he moved on to other instruments. “I began playing drums in bands in the mid-1980s and have been a working musician ever since” remarks Gary.

For more than 30 years, Gary held a career in non-profit organizations while following his passion for music. In 2014, at the age of 50, Gary left the YMCA of Westmount to pursue music full-time. Since then, Gary has been performing at pubs, fundraisers, and special events across the island of Montreal.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, lockdowns and public health restrictions made it extremely difficult for some to maintain their livelihood. This was certainly the case for Gary and as a musician he had to re-imagine performances considering new realities.

“During the very first and longest lockdown a musical colleague of mine suggested the Virtual Pub livestream idea. We did one and decided that we would split the money in our virtual tip jars with a charity. Because of further restrictions being introduced I could no longer have other musicians in my studio, so I kept doing them on my own and over the course of the pandemic, I’ve done 15 Virtual Pubs raising over $21,500 for various local grassroots community organizations”, explains White.

BGC Dawson benefited from two of Gary’s Virtual Pubs which raised over $2700 to support food security programs. With bars closed once again, Gary is back to holding virtual pubs with the next one scheduled for December 31st, this time to benefit BGC Dawson’s music program. “I grew up in Verdun and have great memories of heading over to Dawson Boys and Girls Club after school to play bumper pool, ping pong, going to Friday night dances and movie nights. We’re hoping you will use the money raised from this event specifically for your music lesson program for kids” says Gary.

Everyone is invited to join the Facebook Virtual Pub on New Year’s Eve at 7pm for some great tunes and in support of the music program at BGC Dawson (.

One of the positive things that came out of the pandemic for White was free time to write and record his own songs. In November 2021, he released his first album Alone, Together.This CD can be purchased directly from his website www.garywhite.ca.

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