Stompin' Tom Connors Memorial Concert To Benefit Soccer Not Hockey

By Karen Bliss 3/13/14 |

The late Stompin' Tom — photo credit: (c) 2008 Mike Dunlop / Courtesy of Stompin' Tom Ltd.
Stompin’ Tom and soccer? Did you hear that right? The late Canadian folk legend is famous for “The Hockey Song,” but the Second Annual Stompin' Tom Connors Memorial Concert at Toronto’s Horseshoe Tavern April 12 will benefit Street Soccer Canada and its homeless soccer program.

Slated to perform are Sarah Harmer, members of The Sheepdogs, Wayne Petti (Cuff the Duke), Tom Wilson, Tony Dekker (GLS), Jose Contreras (By Divine Right), Wax Mannequin, Olympic Symphonium and more. All will sing Stompin’ Tom songs, mostly backed by Bidiniband.

“Dave Bidini had done the first one last year after Tom had died,” co-organizer Yvonne Matsell tells Samaritanmag. “He wanted to make sure there was a memorial event to him and it was by all accounts a great success. This year he had locked in a second memorial show and that’s where I took over, helping securing guests and there’s been a great response. Everybody has been quite happy to do it based on the fact that it’s for charity.”

So why soccer, not hockey?

Dave Bidini (Rheostatics, Bidiniband), a friend of the Connors’ family and established author, wrote about accompanying Homeless Team Canada in 2008 to Melbourne, Australia, in his book Home and Away: One Writer’s Inspiring Experience at the Homeless World Cup.

Last year, Bidini introduced Matsell, a respected club booker in Toronto and co-founder and director of the music festival NXNE, to Street Soccer Canada. The charity organization hired her to produce several music events in 2014 to raise money to help send a team to the Homeless World Cup. The 2014 tournament takes place in Chile, Santiago, in October (dates TBC).

“The Homeless World Cup uses the power of football [soccer] to energise homeless people so they can change their own lives,” it says on its web site. “It supports grass-roots football programmes and social enterprise development via a network of 70 national partners and celebrates its work by organising an annual football tournament that unites teams of homeless people from countries all around the globe.” 

Tickets for the Second Annual Stompin' Tom Connors Memorial Concert — supported by Slaight Music — are $20 plus fees at Ticketfly. There will also be a silent auction.

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