Musical evening to benefit Abbey Gardens

By Jenn Watt

Although Jason Fowler’s plans to teach at Haliburton School of Art + Design this summer were delayed when the school cancelled their summer programming the musician will still be coming to the Haliburton Highlands.

Fowler a guitarist is scheduled to perform on Saturday Aug. 22 along with tenor John McDermott and Mark Lalama on keyboard for Abbey Gardens’ dinner and concert fundraiser which organizer Janis Parker said was in the works long before the coronavirus pandemic sidelined many of 2020’s plans.

“Jason Fowler didn’t teach [this summer] but I kept working on it and waiting to see if we’d get to 100 [people allowed at an outdoor gathering] and that’s how it happened” Parker said.
Since the Haliburton Highlands is included in stage 3 of the province’s reopening plan gatherings of 100 outdoors are now permitted. Organizers are taking precautions to ensure everyone will be safe at the event.

“We changed the format so it won’t be a buffet dinner. It’ll be a served dinner and we’ll set up enough tables so there’s enough distancing” Parker said. Organizers will be arranging tables according to people’s social bubbles. Tickets are 60 per cent sold so far.

The event supports the work of Abbey Gardens.

“Money raised from fundraising events allows this community charity to … continue offering environmental programming for kids and adults helps build demonstration areas showcasing alternative energy biodiversity gardening and growing systems” said Barb Bolin one of the organizers. “Funds allow Abbey Gardens to leverage opportunities within our community. It is these partnerships that have resulted in the children’s Enchanted Forest The Abbey Retreat Centre the Garlic Festival Bee Week and more recently the Drive-in Theatre.”

Dinner is at 5:30 p.m. with the first set at 7 p.m. The final set begins at 8:15 and continues to 9 p.m. There will be a cash bar and auction. Tickets are $150 per person and are available by emailing .
Abbey Gardens is also raising funds through a golf tournament fundraiser on Monday Aug. 17. The event takes place at Blairhampton Golf Club and will have staggered starts. Registration and a box lunch at noon dinner and beer tasting at Abbey Gardens at 6 p.m. Register by contacting Janis Parker at or Heather Reid at .