Another delightfully damp and darling kick at the can

After spending hours looking between the sky, the clock, and the radar, GPP 2015 became GPP 2015: West coast edition. We channeled our inner Vancouverites and along with all your smiling faces, had another delightful event. GPP_photo01

After 2014 and now 2015, we’ve become pretty much professional rain event holders and you have all become rain event superstars. We’re continuously blown away by our attendance numbers and this year is no exception. Rain aside, we saw a huge crowd come out this year and we want to thank you from the bottom of our porch loving hearts.

There are a few other people we need to thank as well, starting off with our sponsors. A big thank you to the City of Waterloo and the Uptown West Neighbourhood Association. Thank you for helping us stay insured, being so supportive of our crazy idea, and of course for helping with the Grand Porch Potties. An equally large thank you to our food sponsor, GoGo Mart! Thank you for making sure our fantastic musicians are fuelled up and ready to sing the afternoon away. And of course, a giant thank you to our musician sponsors, Insight Eye Care, Durrell Communications, Tamarack Institute for Community Engagement, and Words Worth Books. Your dedication to ensuring that fair work begets fair pay (or in our case, a small honorarium) is the first step in keeping communities accountable to artists.

GPP_photo04Then, there’s our environmental partner, the Grand River Conservation Foundation! Thank you for coming out and celebrating Canadian Rivers’ Day with us, sharing your insight into the ever changing world of environmental protection, and helping our attendees learn more about the grand river watershed.

To our musicians – you are what makes this entire event possible. People come to see you, to hear you, to share in your artistry and we are forever grateful that you’ve chosen to spend your time with us. Thank you for sharing your gifts and stories with us. Your talent never ceases to amaze us.

To our porch hosts and to those who so quickly volunteered to be “shelter porches” for the day should we run into a thunderstorm, thank you for opening your homes up to the neighbourhood. Thank you for promoting a culture that embraces front yards instead of backs. Thank you for giving us a hand and letting us share the afternoon with you.

GPP_photo03Finally, a big thank you needs to go out to our planning committee. Thank you for volunteering your time, pulling long hours, running around like crazy, giving up your evenings, and helping put together another amazing year of community, art, and environment. You all rock!

Not done with the porch party fun? Let’s see those photos! You can catch some pictures of GPP2015 on our Facebook and Twitter, and we’ll be adding more images throughout the next few weeks as we compile everything. Check back in July for details about GPP2016!

We can’t say it enough – thank you, thank you, thank you!

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It’s today, it’s today: a weather update. 

We said “rain or shine”. But what about thunderstorms?

It’s a mixed weather outlook for GPP#5. As of this morning, we still plan to go ahead with the event, starting at 1:50pm. 

If a storm does come through, we will halt the event. Crowds will be able to seek shelter at Waterloo Town Square, and at a number of “shelter porches” in the neighbourhood. (GPP volunteers will have a list of those shelter points, so just look for someone in a stylish orange pinny.)

If a series of massive storms has us in the crosshairs, and Environment Canada issues extreme weather alerts, we will have to cancel the event. We will issue cancellation notices on Twitter, Facebook, and on the blog, so watch those channels. (We’re really hoping that won’t happen, though!)

For now, cross your fingers, bring your umbrella, and come join us for what is promising to be an interesting afternoon!

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That’s a Canadian summer for ya – some notes, tips, and must haves

Hey GPP fans! With only one day until the big event, we’re gearing up and making sure to pack our rain boots, umbrellas, and rain coats because rain or shine, the GPP lives on! It seems that after an abnormally dry May, we’re having a particularly damp June.

Rest assured, though: we’ll still have a blast!

As always, here’s your run down on what to bring, and what not to bring, on GPP Sunday.

To bring!

1. If it’s raining: Umbrellas, rain boots, and raincoats. Don’t get caught off-guard should it rain (but hope desperately it doesn’t). If it’s sunny: Hats, sunscreen, and a water bottle (which you can refill at the UWNA Freezie tent).

2. Cash monies (if you’re interested) for: a BRFCxGPP t-shirt, CDs and other porch party musician swag. Please keep in mind, the t-shirts are limited run and we only have so many of each size.

3. The 2015 Performance Map. Print one off, or save it as a pdf on your phone for easy access. There will be a few street signs in case you’re looking for one band in particular. Or if you’re an adventurer, just wander till your ears find something great.

4. A fold-up chair or blanket. Those front lawns aren’t decorative! You’re welcome to use them!!

5. A pup or a little one, if you have one! You’re also welcome to bring treats with you to enjoy while you’re listening to the beauty tunes we’re hosting. (We ask that any garbage brought into the neighbourhoods is taken out with you when you go.)

To leave at home!

1. Lawn mowers, BBQs, boom boxes, and fireworks. We ask that GPP-ers keep in mind that the event is not licensed and alcohol is not permitted. The police won’t be too keen on that.

And a few more thoughts…

1. The streets are not closed
Uptown Waterloo West isn’t known as being an overly busy neighbourhood and street entrances will be well marked by our fantastic poster crew, but keep in mind that cars could be driving through. Be sure to give them lots of space while you’re listening to all of our fantastic musicians and keep an eye on any little ones that may be roaming.

2. The event belongs to the community
That means that it’s for everyone, of all ages, all abilities, from anywhere in the region! Grab a wagon, grab a bike, throw on some shoes and come on out and have fun!

3. We’re kicking off bagpipe style at 1:50 p.m.
Switching it up is what we love to do and this year, we’re kicking off with Piper in the Burg at 1:50 p.m.

4. Keep an eye out for our Sustainability Fund watering cans. Love what you see and hear? Help us keep doing it!

and most importantly…

5. HAVE A GOOD TIME!!! If you need anything what so ever, drop by the GPP Merch Tent or ask a volunteer in an orange GPP pinny for a hand.

 

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So you’ve got some kiddos eh?

The best thing about the Grand Porch Party is that it’s completely accessible – that means it’s open to everyone regardless of location, ability, and age!

We’ve got some great things planned for your little ones including our Children’s Music Garden at 59 Euclid! The awesome folks at Long & McQuade have generously offered to help provide some instruments so that your little musician can get their groove on too. There will be lots to keep them busy and a Grand Porch Potty close by just in case.

A few notes about the little ones and the children’s music garden:

– While we will have volunteers present to help your kiddos get their groove on, the music garden is not a drop off and pick up point. Parents are asked to stay with their children at all times.

– Please remind your children about street safety and watching for cars in the neighbourhood. While the traffic is typically light, the roads are open. It’s important children are reminded not to stand in the road and to always watch for oncoming traffic while exploring.

– If for whatever reason, you become separated from your kiddos, go to the GPP Merch Tent and let one of our volunteers know – they’ll be easy to spot in a bright orange pinny. The GPP Merch tent is the rendezvous point for any lost parents. Please remind your children of this as well.

– Keep an eye out over the next few days for a list of things to bring and a list of things to leave at home. We want everyone to have a great day!

Only a few more sleeps!! Have questions or unsure of details for the day? Get in touch with us via Twitter or Facebook!

Silvia Dee + The Boyfriend win over the littlest blues fans. (Photo: Tenille Bonoguore)

Silvia Dee + The Boyfriend win over the littlest blues fans at GPP2012. (Photo: Tenille Bonoguore)

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With five days to go, here are some updates!

Update time, it’s update time!

1. The 2015 performance map underwent a few edits. The new map can be found on the 2015 performance map page.

2. T-shirts! If you haven’t already checked out our sweet t-shirt designed by Jon “Bearface” Johnson, you should probably do that. If you want to pick up one of them bad boys, they’re available from 2pm at the GPP Merch Tent (108 Alexandra Ave) for $20. Cash only!

3. We’ll be holding a contest to win passes to a Grand River Conservation Authority park of your choice thanks to our awesome environmental partner, the Grand River Conservation Foundation. On Sunday, tweet us your favourite GPP performance, or who you’re looking forward to seeing most, with a photo of you in full GPP fashion. Be sure to @ mention us via @GrandPorchParty and use the hashtags #GPP2015 and #GRCFenviro and we’ll let you know if you’ve won! Tickets will be available for pick up at the merch tent.

4. GPP founder Tenille Bonoguore will be chatting with Coral Andrews on Coral FM tomorrow about our upcoming event and our very special 5th birthday. Listen in this Wednesday from 4-7 p.m. on SoundFM 100.3.

5. Stay tuned! The last few updates are rolling out this week. That includes our last few musician profiles, things you can do with your little ones, what to bring, and what to leave at home!

And because everyone loves the 80’s… get your countdown on.

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BRFCxGPP

Attention GPP fans! This year, for our fifth birthday, we’ve teamed up with graphic designer and screen printer extraordinaire Jon Johnson to bring you a super limited and fantastic BRFCxGPP t-shirt.

brfc shop shirt logo - June 1-01

The t-shirts, which will be sold at the GPP tent are in limited supply so get there early! You don’t want to miss being able to pick up one of these beauties.

We asked Jon to help us out not only because of his amazing design and screen printing abilities but, also because of his mindfulness and appreciation of community. Here’s what he said about the t-shirt design, which uses actual porch party houses from the Uptown West neighbourhood:

“When I think of the GPP, as much as I think of the music, I think of the people; from the musicians, to the organizers, to the host homeowners. So I really wanted to try to feature the people, and the neighbourhood itself in the design. The easiest way to represent that, for me, was by illustrating actual host houses, and using them to create a little neighbourhood on the shirt. The houses surround the guitar, like the people surround the music and musicians, and like the neighbourhood supports the event.”

Grand-Porch-design-final-to-post

 

So get excited GPPers. Bring some cash money with you, bring your listening ears, cross your fingers it’s sunny and keep the countdown rolling; only 11 days to go!

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Music and water and freezies – oh my!

Once again, it’s time to give a big thank you to the Uptown West Neighbourhood Association for giving us a hand at our upcoming Grand Porch Party.

Microsoft Word - UptownWest.docxThe Neighbourhood Association will be hosting our Children’s Music Garden at 59 Euclid Ave. and will be giving out freezies and water at 107 Alexandra Ave.

For those of you unfamiliar with the UWNA, they are a community organization working to build community in the Uptown West area. That includes hanging out with us, and the rest of you fancy cats on the 14th!

Now, with less than two weeks to go, you’ve got some work to do. Here’s the sitch:

1. Hope for good weather.

2. Keep checking back for more music updates, blog posts, and print out or download a copy of the 2015 performance map to your phone.

3. Get excited.

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