Elmira resident John Woods identified a need in the musical instrument industry, and then did all the necessary planning and organizing required to fill it. ‘Why is there a flea market for old furniture and household items, but not a place to find affordable musical instruments?’ he asked.
This weekend, Woods and a business partner will be hosting the first annual Ontario Guitar and Music Gear Show and Swap, a place for seasoned musicians and newcomers alike to display their used musical instruments for sale, or just come to look for a bargain.
“We decided to try the idea because we have an interest in ham radios and there is quite an active flea market circuit that surrounds that hobby, and we always thought that somebody should try the same thing with musical instruments,” explained Woods. “It’s an outlet for someone to come to find a musical instrument where otherwise they may not be able to have one.”
The highlight for some guitar enthusiasts will be a seminar put on by Teddy Leonard, a guitarist in the Canadian roots scene for more than 25 years. As a member of the seminal roots collective Fathead, he has recorded five albums and garnered two Juno nominations (taking home the prize in 1999 for “Best Blues Recording”). The next year he was honored as “Guitarist of the Year” at the Maple Blues Awards.
Having shared the stage with BB King, Robbie Robertson, Garth Hudson and Rick Danko of The Band, Leonard continues to be in demand as a performer. He’ll be taking some time out on Sunday to chat with guests at the swap.
“I am not exactly sure what his seminar will be about, but I imagine he will do a demonstration, give the audience some tips on playing in bands, and answer some questions,” said Woods. “It will be interesting.”
In addition, a stage will be set up with a variety of instruments available for a trial use.
“If you want to try out an amp or a guitar, there will be a place where you can do that,” said Woods. “Anyone is welcome to come, even if you’re not looking to buy but are just curious to see the instruments.”
The organizers have rented 35 tables for displaying the instruments and a few tables are still available to book for the day. The event will be held tomorrow (Sunday), 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Elmira Lions Hall. The entrance fee is $5. For more information, visit www.ontarioguitarshows.com.