CHEK Upside: Former professional musician rocking out for charity in his own garage

CHEK Upside: Former professional musician rocking out for charity in his own garage
WatchLarry MacDougall has kept his Qualicum Beach neighbourhood rocking with his Saturday drum concerts for charity.

It might sound like a rock concert every Saturday night in Qualicum Beach, but the music is coming from one garage. Larry MacDougall has been putting on a show each Saturday and says the idea came from his neighbours.

A neigbour said ‘you know is there any way you can just open up your garage door and we can have a look and see what you sound like?'” MacDougall said.

It doesn’t hurt that MacDougall is the former drummer of the country-rock group Alibi. With his touring days behind him, MacDougall settled on the island. Since the pandemic began, his garage has turned into a fully outfitted stage, complete with a P.A. system and fans to cool MacDougall off on a hot night.

When it was suggested to him that he could raise money for those in need through the jam sessions, MacDougall jumped on the opportunity.

So far he’s raised more $760 for the Courtyard Cafe & Patio. It’s owners, Peter and Meryl Tryon, have dedicated their time to feeding anywhere between four and six families in need a week. For Meryl, who’s the cook, the long hours are worth it.

“It’s so rewarding. But pumping it all out, I tell you that kitchen is just a piping!” Meryl said.

MacDougall’s contribution to their cause came as a welcome surprise. It was a moment that Peter won’t forget.

“They showed up on our doorstep with some money and said ‘this is for you guys to help you out with what you’re doing, and we’re going to be doing this uh on a regular basis,'” Peter said.

With COVID-19 cancelling MacDougall’s band Deep Orange’s performances, he says the garage concerts will keep on going and he hopes that the donations will keep rolling in.

“We’re so happy to be a part of this and put smiles on people’s faces! When people are dancing in the streets and I look up and I see them it’s like, and they’re just grooving along to the music, it’s just wonderful to see all this,” MacDougall said.

If you want to help out the Tryons, visit their Facebook page, Courtyard Cafe & Patio, and look for their contact info.

Cole SorensonCole Sorenson

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