By all accounts the whatsgoinonathon was a resounding success. A steady stream of people piled into Chandler’s Lounge on Friday night and were treated to more than eight hours of music by an impressive lineup of talent including Matthew Earhart and Krystal, Chad Tetford, Joe Costello, James F.W., Kelley Edwards, Amy Sampson, Shelley Smith, Carlo Spinazzola, Mike LeLievre and Dave Mahalik, Jason MacDonald, Harry Doyle, Ken Chisholm, Fusion 5, Wally MacAulay, Dougbill Platypus, The Squatters, …and then they fall and Mark Bragg. Publisher / Managing Editor / founder Dave Mahalik is more than happy with the results of the evening.
“Although it was about raking in some money to pay some older bills, it wasn’t about the money, if ya know what I mean,” says Mahalik, explaining that he was as interested in raising awareness as money. “We didn’t have a ten or fifteen dollar ticket price (even though it was an 8 hour show), so it wasn’t like we were going to make enough money to pay off all the old bills, but we did raise over $1500 through donations and even split proceeds and at the door, so that’s pretty cool. I’m happy so many people showed up and had such nice things to say about WGO and contributed their time, talent and energy to making the whatsgoinonathon the successful evening it turned out to be. It wouldn’t have happened without Darryl MacKinnon, Darren Power, Mike LeLievre and Devon Strang who helped organize and design the show and kept things running smoothly; Rene Fougere and Scott Gillard who took turns working the door and selling even split tickets; all the bands and performers, Marvin MacDonald at the soundboard and Menno and the ever friendly and helpful staff at Chandler’s. So thanks to everyone for all the kind words of support and encouragement. Now let’s get a radio station on the go to play the music What’s Goin On writes about.”
Although the WGO crew had hoped to have t-shirts available for sale at the show, circumstances delayed production and now the t-shirts will be on sale at MaryJanes on Charlotte Street in Sydney. Mahalik expects they’ll be ready by week’s end. There will also be a basket of local merchandise at MaryJanes which will be raffled off. A full list of what’s in the basket will be published this week, but so far it contains over $150 worth of merchandise and gift certificates.
What’s Goin On Magazine first appeared in June 1995 and since then has published 32 monthly issues and five years of weekly entertainment guides. At the end of May, What’s Goin On took a couple of weeks off from publishing to reorganize and get set-up for the busy Summer season. Advertising sales have picked up since the break, says Mahalik, but by no means is the publication out of jeopardy.
“We put on the whatsgoinonathon to raise some money for past bills, like printing and rent that have piled up and to pay the people who worked so hard for so long on making the magazine, hoping that someday there would be enough money to get paid, but soldiering on regardless of whether they got paid or not. That kind of dedication is hard to find and it should be rewarded. As for the future, we’ve got the first couple of weeks booked up and a start on the rest of the summer, but there’s still a ways to go.”
Mahalik adds that advertising in What’s Goin On is inexpensive and affordable and that What’s Goin On is the first place people look to see what’s happening around town on a weekly basis. Ever the pitchman (it almost seems he can’t help himself) he adds, “Why wouldn’t you advertise your music event, theatre event, art exhibit, photo exhibit, auditions, book launches, specialty radio programs and all things arts-oriented in the source for arts and entertainment information in post-industrial Cape Breton? And not just in Cape Breton, people travel all the time to Halifax for concerts and events that don’t come to Cape Breton. If we can make this thing support itself, there is a positive economic impact generated by the arts. People are getting paid to write and take photos and design ads and pages and layouts. The mines are closed, the fisheries have been failing, the steel plant is sold. But the arts are flourishing and could play an important role in economic development. People have to be educated about this potential.”