Musicians plan tribute concert for Kaitie Shannon Sunday

The county’s musical community will gather at Picton United Church Sunday to celebrate one of its own through an afternoon of uplifting song.

Local singer-songwriter Kaitie Shannon passed away last Thursday at Ottawa General Hospital after a lengthy battle with cancer. Suzanne Pasternak, a friend who is producing Sunday’s tribute said that even in sickness, the 23-year-old woman was still creating.

“She was composing and recording music right up to the end. She would compose on her laptop in her hospital bed. Now that is a true heart of an artist!” Pasternak said.

She noted the daughter of Jeanette Arsenault and Dr. Michael Shannon was a part of the fabric of the local musical community since she was a small child and, like her mother who has performed internationally, she as very gifted as a singer, pianist, and a composer.

Pasternak and Arsenault had planned to host this celebration, but Kaitie had one request.

“Please, no long, sad, drawn out songs,” Pasternak recalled.

An impressive number of musicians have stepped forward to be included. Like Kaitie Shannon, they’re all songwriters, and they also have had the distinction of working with her at some time. Performers will include Emily Fennell, Mark Despault, Tom Leighton, Instant Rivalry, Lenni Stewart, Fraser Hardman, Kim Inch, Amy Rutherford, Pasternak, and more.

“This will be a powerful tribute to our dear friend and colleague. Although her years were way too short, the impact she made in this world will live on.”

Admission to the 2 p.m. concert will be by memorial donation. The money will aid patients with cancer, their families, and the staff helping them at Ottawa General Hospital. Cheques can be made out to Jeanette Arsenault in trust.