• By: Anne Dion

Rocking for Rogers House

Do you like music? Of course you do. How about music for a great cause? From Friday June 3rd to Sunday June 5th, the charming La Piazza restaurant is putting on its 7th annual, 3-day rock concert as part of Manotick’s Dickinson Days Festival. The event comes about every year thanks to the restaurant’s owner, Frank D’Addario and his involvement with the Ottawa Senator’s Foundation. It’s called Rock for Rogers House, and as the name would suggest, it hopes to raise money for the paediatric residential hospice, Rogers House, which helps sick kids and their families. La Piazza Courtyard and Lounge is one of the many locations for the Dickinson Days festivities. Tickets are $10 a night per person, or $25 for 3 tickets.

We talked to Gary Corbett, A musician and organizer of Rock for Rogers House, about the 3-day concert. “It attracts people who wanna sit down and have a casual dinner and listen to some music, or people who wanna come out and dance the night away.” says Gary. Whether you’re visiting the Dickinson Days festivities and are looking for a nice ambiance, or know someone in a band and want to support them, the Rock for Rogers crowd is varied and welcoming.

"Straight Up" performs at last year's event. Photo curtesy of Deborah Lewis
“Straight Up” performs at last year’s event. Photo curtesy of Deborah Lewis

Dickinson Days is an annual festival celebrating Moss Kent Dickinson on the first weekend of June. Dickinson is the founder of Manotick, and former Mayor of Ottawa. The festival includes fireworks, vendors, entertainers, and a parade – fun for the whole family.

Rogers House was created by the Ottawa Senators Foundation in collaboration with the children’s hospital, CHEO. The eight-bed hospice provides a welcoming and home-like atmosphere for youth living with terminal illnesses.

Gary Corbett has been involved with Rock for Rogers for the past 5 years. Beginning in its early years, Gary helped Rock for Rogers House through the learning curve of finding bands and gaining popularity. Formerly the president of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC), Gary is now taking on the music business in his retirement – “ I started a band and I started meeting people who are organizing music in the Ottawa area. There are some big events – we’ve all heard of Bluesfest – but the little ones aren’t publicized as well as they should be.”

Along with his commitment to Rock for Rogers, Gary Corbett shows his passion for building an amateur music scene in communities such as Manotick, with the connections which Rock for Rogers draws within the community. A big part of the event, Gary tells us, is in reaching out to local schools and working with programs such as Blues in the Schools. Last year, some of the community’s musical youth took the La Piazza stage – with no such thing as too many opportunities for musical education, we hope the same will happen again this year. Blues in the Schools, in conjunction with Bluesfest, helps to foster just such a musical education among the youth of Ottawa. Events like Rock for Rogers House show the diverse and compassionate foundation on which community thrives in the nation’s Capital.

This summer also marks the 4th year La Piazza will be hosting its annual golf tournament which has so far raised $36,000, also for Rogers House. The tournament takes place on June 9 at the Manderley on the Green Golf Course in North Gower, and is still looking for players. For more information, or to enter the tournament, check out La Piazza’s website http://www.lapiazzacourtyard.com