It’s easy to spot Ed Sousa when you step into Mississauga Ontario’s Classic Bowl venue. He’s the guy who continually dons a black trilby hat. As the driving force behind The 4th Annual McBowl – Charity Rock N Bowl Concert Event set to go this year on Saturday, May 25th. Sousa is aware of the value of instantly being recognized.
“Being in marketing, I wanted to wear something distinctive so that wherever I go I would be recognized,” allowed Sousa as he kicked in the ticket drive for this year’s Rock N Bowl event. “So I started to wear a distinctive hat and that’s an image that’s stuck. Now I can’t go anywhere without wearing that hat.”
McBowl is designated as a charity raiser for Ronald McDonald House, the event which was launched in 2016, features concert performances by top 80’s bands and has so far raised over $154,000 for the charity.
“My nephew contracted leukemia when he was 12 and he died when he was 17,” Sousa explained. “During that five-year spell when he was being treated at Toronto Sick Kids Hospital, my sister stayed at Ronald McDonald House so I made a promise that when I had the chance, I would do something for that charity.”
Sousa contacted Honeymoon Suite and the Spoons for the first one-night event, staged at the bowling facility in 2016, last year Honeymoon Suite joined forces with Montreal’s The Box and Vancouver’s Images In Vogue and on May 25th, the concert has been expanded to four bands with England’s A Flock Of Seagulls and Farrington+Mann, former members of UK band, When In Rome, joining Honeymoon Suite and The Box for the fund-raiser.
He makes no apology for featuring 80’s classic pop bands. “That music takes me back to a place in time,” reflects Sousa. I can tell you the exact time and date when I first heard “I Ran” by A Flock Of Seagulls. And that 80’s music demographic is ideal for our charity. These people have discretionary income, they’re involved in church groups or charities and they appreciate great 80’s music.”
And how did he identify Mississauga’s Classic Bowl as the venue for this event? “Well it’s a Spinal Tap thing but the venue promotes family entertainment and it’s a great marriage between our audience and a family-oriented charity,” notes Sousa who works as marketing director for the entertainment facility.
The Classic Bowl is also the location for The Rock N Bowl Intimate & Interactive series of acoustic performers by key members of Canadian and International bands who perform a set list of key songs while also answering questions from the audience which is limited to just 100 ticket holders. Bands involved in this program have included Honeymoon Suite, The Spoons, Harlequin, April Wine, Coney Hatch, The Box, Images In Vogue and A Flock Of Seagulls with Prism set to appear later this month.
“Each group gets to donate the door receipts to a charity of their own choice and it’s an opportunity to raise funds for lesser-known charities, “ explained Sousa. “One band, Rational Youth designated their charity as The Primrose Donkey Sanctuary. Who knew there were sanctuaries for donkeys?”
For further information on the above charity activities, please link to firstname.lastname@example.org
The 4th Annual McBowl Campaign in support of Ronald McDonald House runs all month of May.
The McBowl Concert will take place on Saturday – May 25th featuring Honeymoon Suite, A Flock Of Seagulls, The Box and Farrington + Mann (original members of When In Rome UK).
General admission tickets are $40 each.
Limited VIP Tickets are $70 each – includes reserved section seating, soundcheck, a customized lanyard and 3 ballots for a chance to win a Private Dinner with A Flock of Seagulls and special guests on Friday – May 24th at Trattoria Timone Ristorante in Oakville.
By Keith Sharp