Heart and Soul hosting benefit dinner for Gambit Music Academy March 9

Special to WC Online

DUNROBIN – The Heart and Soul Café will host a benefit dinner featuring incredible food and music from the students of the Gambit Music Academy.

“The Heart and Soul Café in Dunrobin has generously offered to host a benefit dinner to help support Gambit Music in the post-pandemic struggles, and we are both excited and grateful to be a part of it,” Gambit Music Academy owner Jennifer Johnson released in a statement Feb. 14.

Johnson spoke to West Carleton Online in January about the challenge of the government’s Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loan coming due for thousands of businesses across the country.

A music teacher sits at a piano.
The CEBA loan was a lifeline for Gambit Music Academy owner-operator Jennifer Johnson, but it has now handcuffed the small business owner as repayment comes due. Photo by Jake Davies

“I don’t make $40,000 in a good year, and I haven’t had a good year since COVID,” Johnson said. “My days are fully loaded. This fall and last spring we had weeks where 30 per cent of kids don’t come due to being sick. The same with teachers. If they’re sick, that’s 10 or 12 classes in a day I don’t have that revenue come in. In my case, I am taking on 30 per cent more students than is my usual cap, and that has a huge impact on my ability to take care of the administrative duties I have with running this business as well. The domino effect is alarming.”

The benefit dinner will be taking place on Saturday, March 9 at the Heart and Soul Cafe {2741 Dunrobin Rd.). Dinner consists of all you can eat spaghetti and meatballs, garlic toast, Caesar salad and carrot cake.

“They have amazing food, and I am sure it will be a wonderful feast,” Johnson said.

There will be two times in which you can reserve tables: an early bird reservation from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at $16.95 per person (children under five for $5.95), and a later seating at 6:30 p.m. that will include live music by various performers (including some Gambit teachers) for $24.95 a plate.

“We will have guitars and a keyboard there as well, so we invite any students or musicians to come up and play a song or two if they’d like to – all are welcome, any level,” Johnson said.

There will also be an auction of items and certificates donated by local businesses and some used musical instruments that will be available to bid on at the event (brochure of items to come soon).

“This is going to be a really fun event and your support is much appreciated,” Johnson said.

To make a reservation, call the café at 613-832-9942, or to sign up to play some music, contact me by email at jennifer@gambit-academy.com.

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