To the music community, New Vision United Church on Main Street is more than just a church. Since the Welcome to Hamilton Concert to benefit Syrian refugees almost four years ago, the congregation has been exploring the future of its home, and its role in the community.

The Welcome to Hamilton Concert marked the beginning of new opportunities for the Church, as its been used for numerous concerts and events since that night. Based on this success, New Vision has been working with a team of consultants, architects and volunteers to realize the City of Hamilton’s Economic Development goal of establishing a 1,000=seat venue in the downtown core, while also staying true to their own mission and principles.

Before the pandemic, the venue had developed plans to revitalize the building to increase its accessibility and ensure its compliance with building codes and industry needs. A volunteer committee was set to launch a two million dollar campaign and the property received municipal approval of its heritage status. Although New Vision was forced to close their doors, they were determined to continue the momentum. For now, their lower hall is converted into the new home of CAREMongering, a group of volunteers feeding families during COVID-19. The lobby has been converted into a resting centre for vulnerable populations and is staffed by community volunteers.

However, New Vision’s Music Hall on the second floor has been silent- until now. Through sponsors, New Vision is launching the Do Well by Hamilton Concert Series, which a release states will “link its music sector connections with local need.” While admission is free, audience members are encouraged to pay a cover charge through gofundme, with proceeds from contributions directed to local charities selected in consultation with the presenting artists and sponsors.

New Vision is set to launch the series tonight at 8pm in conjunction with Hamilton Arts Week. The first concert, featuring DJ Shub, the grandfather of PowWow Step and a member of A Tribe Called Red will be streamed on the Music Hall’s Facebook Page.Proceeds from the concert will support Over the Bridge, which provides mental health support and recovery support to music industry professionals.

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