The Sounds of Canada on the Sandy Beach
If you love Canadian music, then be in Grand Bend on Wednesday, August 15. That’s when Second Wind is bringing their show, Made in Canada, to the Rotary Stage on the beach at 7:00 p.m. Concert goers will remember Second Wind from the two previous summers. “Second Wind actually got me started on the Wednesday night concert series. I did a test run with them in August 2016, and the support was so overwhelming, I decided to do the Wednesday series in 2017. Now, with the hard work of the West Coast Lions Club, Wednesdays’ Familiar Favourites has grown even bigger in 2018,” says organizer Mary Alderson.
Back in the early 1970s, Jerry Beernink and Don Pearson formed a high school rock band, playing at dances and concerts at North Lambton Secondary School in Forest. After graduating high school, the guys went their separate ways.
Fast forward about 30 years, and the idea of a rock band sounded appealing again. Jerry and Don had played together on and off, then Dave Robinson joined them, and later Ken Williams came on board for a church talent night. “The four of us played together for a St. Christopher’s Church fundraiser at Taxandria in Arkona in the winter of 2000, which we consider our first gig,” says Jerry. The name Second Wind seemed fitting.
Dave, who was drumming, wanted to move to keyboards, so Dale Fisher came on board as drummer. Then Jack VanEngelen joined within the second year. Bert Roy started coming out to practices five years ago and now fills in with percussion and drums. All the band members live in Lambton Shores.
“We did the all-Canadian show to celebrate the Canada 150 initiative last year. We first performed Made in Canada at the Kineto Theatre in Forest as a fundraiser to help the Kineto and local charities,” says Jerry Beernink. Since then, they’ve added more Canadian songs to the set list, plus for the show on the beach, they are including a couple of non-Canadian songs, just because they like playing them.
“People seem to enjoy our music, as it brings back memories. We cover a real mix of artists from Ian Tyson to Rush, Michael Bublé to Bryan Adams. We tend to choose the songs rather than the particular artist,” Jerry adds.
The members of Second Wind are excited to make their third appearance on the Grand Bend Rotary Stage. According to Jerry, “The venue is fantastic; it is truly a world class stage, and if Mother Nature cooperates, we will have a fun filled night!”
The West Coast Lions Club is working to ensure greater use of the Rotary Stage. The Municipality of Lambton Shores, NextEra Energy, Grand Bend Community Foundation, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 498, and Tourism Sarnia-Lambton are financially supporting the Concert Series. In addition, several community-minded businesses are sponsors: Geo-Teck Heating & Cooling; Physiotherapy Alliance; Hair Bend’rs; akSence Café, Catering & Gift Boutique; T. Harry Hoffman & Sons Funeral Home; and Denny’s Drive-In.
On August 29, popular local band Mondays@Mikes will be on the Beach stage for the final concert in the Wednesdays Familiar Favourites series. “They are planning a big beach party to end the concert series season,” says Mary.
The West Coast Lions Club encourages everyone to come, and ask that you please pay what you can to help with the costs. The Lions will have their popcorn cart on hand, with the freshly popped treat on sale. “Bring your lawn chair and enjoy the beautiful Lake Huron sunset,” Alderson adds. On Wednesdays, Beach Parking is free after 7:00 p.m. and Main Street Parking is free after 5:00 p.m. In case of rain, the concert will be moved to Huron Shores United Church at 25 Main Street.
Photo: Right: Second Wind with Dave Robinson, Jack VanEngelen, Ken Williams, Dale Fisher, Jerry Beernink and Don Pearson on the Grand Bend beach Rotary Stage August 2017. Left: Second Wind presents their “Made in Canada” concert at Forest’s Kineto Theatre.