BY GIANNI UBRIACO
It's always nice to take a walk along the boardwalk by Ramsey Lake and listen to all the beautiful sounds of birds chirping and kids playing, but Saturday evening there were echoes of gospel music .
The Gospel Fest began its fifth season with the first in a
series of three programs at the green gazebo at Bell Park.
Local talent and artists from as far away as North Bay
performed gospel music, including contemporary, country, soul,
"Gospel music has travelled a long way; there's so many
varieties of contemporary music these days," says the event's
originator Amy St. John.
"It's not just the old hymns, which are just beautiful, but
there are all different kinds and flavours and we like to bring
that to the people. That way, they're aware that it's changed a
The series is sponsored by K 95.5 FM, Northern Ontario's
"There's something for everyone," says St. John. "It's a
beautiful setting and it's a nice family outing as well."
There will also be a second event held at the same location
That event will feature the All Nations Church Worship Team:
Ron Wittman, Dan Barei, Allan Erkila, Stephanie
Desjardins, B. Shannon Ross, and Erin Mahood.
The final event will be held Sept. 9 and will include the Glad Tidings Tabernacle Worship Team, Disciple d'Emmaus, Lisa Tyers and Amy St. John, Lorrie-Ann and Carl MacDonald, Dorothy O'Bonsawin, Michelle and Pat McGuire, and the Phil Auger Band.
In the case of rain, the events will take place at the All
"Bring your family, bring your kids, drag your neighbour,
bring your lawn chair and a blanket and come and enjoy,"
says St. John. "I'm sure there's something they'll find
and they'll enjoy."
The Gospel Fest is expanding outside of Sudbury. The musical
celebration will be going to North Bay on July 8 at the Kiwanis
Band Shell. That event will feature the C-Denny Band,
Dale and Tammy Carlson, Colette Cook, Jeff Wood, Liisa Tyers
and Amy St. John, the Phil Auger Band, and Karrie Emms.
If that event is rained out, it'll take place at the
First Baptist Church.
As each year goes by, St. John says she hopes to feature
new, up-and-coming local talent, as well as some big name
Either way, she said Gospel Fest is something that is
needed, wanted and well-received.
"I've seen God move a lot," she says. "If God wants
something done, everything falls into place. The doors will
open and He'll make everything available.
"It brings a lot of joy, healing, and peace," she continues. "It's a chance to thank the Lord and praise Him, and it transforms people's lives and helps them become better people.