About Grateful We’re Not Dead
Grateful We’re Not Dead normally does not charge directly for their performances. The band was formed in 2003 to raise funds for charities and other good causes. We do appreciate if private clients could arrange to make a donation to a charity of their choice prior to or following our show and notify us of which charity and how much. It helps us keep track of the amount we’ve been involved in raising. We are currently over $300,000.
If the client is a registered charity, then the performance is done on a volunteer basis.
In the event the client is not in a position to donate directly to a charity then a cheque or money order made out to one of the band members (Don White, Bruce Penniston, Gord Breedyk, or Al Owler) will suffice. We add the money to other amounts we’ve collected directly and when the total is sufficient we send it to a local charity.
Grateful We’re Not Dead is four musicians from the Ottawa area: Gord Breedyk, Al Owler, Bruce Penniston and Don White. The band enjoys performing senior-related comedy as well as classic country, rock and blues. They perform frequently at charity events, fund raisers, peace concerts, street parties, private parties, etc.
The band was formed after the original three members (Don, Bruce, and Gord) met at monthly Music Nights which Gord Breedyk and Evelyn Voigt had started hosting in 1988. Bruce had been in attendance at these events for many years and Don attended his first one in May of 1998. It wasn’t long before Gord, Bruce and Don realized that they all had an inherent love of country music and they’d continue to play into the wee hours of the morning after Music Night had ended.
The Band Gets A Name
Gord and Don first ventured out as a duet to entertain at a Nepean Optimists Club BBQ. For the next major undertaking in July 2003, the trio entertained at Gord’s sister’s wedding anniversary along with Bruce’s wife, Marg. Shortly thereafter, it was decided that we needed a name if we were going to continue to entertain together. After much head-scratching Don’s son, Jeff, said “Look at the age of you guys. You should just call yourselves Grateful We’re Not Dead“. So that was who we became.
A Style Is Born
Eventually, we decided to dress in black for most of the events. The reason for black was not because we are Johnny Cash fans but because black helps hide the belly fat. Somewhere along the line, Evelyn picked up silver and black ties for us based on art work by Jerry Garcia. And then she located a Gund Jerry Garcia doll. The Jerry Doll became our mascot and still travels to some events with us. Eventually, we added Maple Tartan ties to add a distinctive Canadian flavour to our wardrobe.
GWND Gets A New Member
In 2005, Al was introduced to Music Night by Bruce and soon Al was sitting in with Grateful We’re Not Dead whenever he got the chance. Eventually we decided we needed a bass player and Al came to the rescue. He sat down for a few weeks with Bruce and learned to play bass. Even though Al is considerably younger than the original three members he is now considered to be a full-fledged member of the band and is allowed to wear the distinctive black Grateful We’re Not Dead wardrobe.
And The Band Plays On
The group still provides the music, along with many other fine musicians, at the monthly Music Night. We donate our time and talents to as many events as possible. Grateful We’re Not Dead plays for charities, fundraisers, peace concerts, etc. for free. As Don says, “We Pay To Play”. We also play for private parties with the proviso that the hosts make a significant donation to a charity of their choice. As of 2019, Gord estimates that Grateful We’re Not Dead has helped raise, either directly or in conjunction with other agencies, over $300,000 for a variety of charities, organizations, NGOs, etc.
If you have an event and require live entertainment, please feel free to contact us at the email address listed below.
It’s rumoured that the Grateful We’re Not Dead will play for food and water (but remember, water is just a metaphor.)
GWND On The ‘Net
Grateful We’re Not Dead, being up-to-date techie cowboys like to keep visible on the ‘Net.
There’s our old, original blog that gets the occasional update
and a Facebook Fan Page
We also have a Grateful We’re Not Dead Youtube Channel.