Ron Kitchener and Paul Brandt - photo credit Open Road.
Ron Kitchener and Paul Brandt - photo credit Open Road.

Open Road Founder Rallies Artists And Staff For 15 Acts of Kindness In 15 Days For 15th Anniversary

Ron Kitchener began his RGK Entertainment Group a quarter century ago to help manage the careers of up-and-coming Canadian acts, primarily in the country genre. One of his first, a client to this day, is award-winning singer/songwriter Jason McCoy. The roster has also included Johnny Reid, Dean Brody, Madeline Merlo and Tim Hicks. A decade into RGK’s run, Kitchener diversified the company by adding a record label, which for a significant spell distributed Big Machine Label Group, and their artist, Taylor Swift, as well Reba McEntire and Brantley Gilbert.

The year 2018 marks the 15th anniversary of that venture, Open Road Recordings. To celebrate, Kitchener and his staff decided to do 15 acts of kindness In 15 days, leading up to the 2018 Canadian Country Music Association Awards (CCMAs) Sept. 9 in Hamilton, Ontario.

A total of $18,500 was donated to 15 different organizations or events across the country, but as Kitchener tells Samaritanmag, many of the activities and donations were made in the moment, supporting causes near and dear to the hearts of Open Road and RGK talent. There was no set amount for each donation, and sometimes time and talent were also donated as well as cash.

Charities included the Royal Victoria Hospital Foundation (Radio 4 Cardiology), a #MusicRescues event supporting Team Dog Rescue, Ladybird Animal Sanctuary and Danes in Distress.
Fifty care packages were donated to the Red Door Family Shelter in the GTA, money was donated to the Special Olympics Canada, Covenant Children’s Homes in India, the Canadian Mental Health Association, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Unison Benevolent Fund, the London Girls Rock Camp, local mental health organizations during Madeline Merlo tour stops, the Massey Hall Forever Campaign, the National Music Centre in Calgary, Paul Brandt’s #NotInMyCity anti-sex trafficking program.
As well, RGK and Open Road purchased a block of 26  tickets for family members and first responders affected by the Aug. 10 shootings in Fredericton that killed four people, including two police officers, to attend the upcoming Fredericton Strong Benefit Concert on Oct. 6.

 What was the impetus behind doing 15 acts of kindness in 15 weeks?

Continue reading the interview conducted by Jim Barber on the SamaritanMag website.

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