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New documentary celebrates history of the music scene in K-W, prompts rock renaissance

‘Rock This Town’ will premiere at Princess Cinemas on March 24, 2022

Kitchener-Waterloo has a rich history of rock music, and local filmmakers want to inspire a rock and roll renaissance of live music in a post-pandemic world with their new documentary, “Rock This Town.”

The 60-minute film, produced locally by Betty Anne Keller, Paul Campsall and Tom Knowlton, celebrates the history of rock music in Kitchener-Waterloo. 

The rich history of the rock scene in KW is likely only familiar to those who lived through it in the ‘60s and ‘70s, when the likes off Led Zeppelin, Frank Zappa, Chuck Berry and Joe Cocker played intimate shows at local universities. 

Keller is hoping the film will change that. 

“In our post-pandemic world, our hope is that the film will animate a community discourse about the value of a vibrant live music scene – not only to engage and entertain audiences, but also to encourage musicians and other artists to stay in our Region.  We are all richer for their presence,” Keller said in a news release. 

The film will feature interviews with music industry professionals, including some familiar faces. 

Viewers might recognize musician Matt Weidinger, who performed at the Kitchener Blues Festival in his teens. 

“Kitchener is already a music city! Just being able to walk around the other musicians and see the different people playing and being part of it. It's been wonderful having the [Kitchener Blues Festival] in town.” 

Other interviewees include experienced music business pros, like Gil Zurbrigg (Sam the Record Man), promoters Joe Recchia and Gary Stewart, and Canadian Bandstand host Grant Hoffmann, among others.

The interviews cover stories of live music events in Waterloo Region from the 1960's onward, providing an “insider’s look into the gritty reality of building the local live music industry of past generations.”

The film is set to premiere at the Princess Twin at 7 p.m. on March 24. Tickets can be purchased through the Princess Cinema box office here

Rock This Town - Trailer from MetaMedia on Vimeo.

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