Sly Fox News

October 15, 2021

Phoenixville Concert for Canal Relief

Caring Community Stages Show For Flood Victims

Category 4 Hurricane Ida made landfall on August 29, 2021, in Louisiana, and transitioned into a post-tropical cyclone as it accelerated through the northeastern United States, breaking multiple rainfall records in various locations before moving out into the Atlantic five days later on, September 4. Some of those dubious records were in this region, where September 1 rainfalls produced widespread flooding. No local areas were more adversely affected than the neighboring communities of Port Providence and Mont Clare, in Montgomery County – directly across the Schuylkill River from the Borough of Phoenixville, PA.

The fast-moving flood event transformed lives and households within a matter of hours. Homes and cars were destroyed, residents were without power and essential supplies in the days that followed and now, more than a month later, many residents of Mont Clare and Port Providence are still digging out. Heroic efforts to raise funds and coordinate assistance were quickly established however, the damage caused by Hurricane Ida was so momentous that a group of Chester County businesses were inspired to organize a benefit concert to raise additional funds.

The Concert for Canal Relief is scheduled for the evening of Tuesday, October 26, and will feature performances by some of the region’s most beloved musical acts, including Cliff Hillis, The Holts, The Mighty Manatees and Ben Arnold.

“All of these artists have strong followings all along the Schuylkill River, and they all jumped at the opportunity to help,” said Corey Reid, Sales Manager for Sly Fox Brewing Company.

Sly Fox and its marketing partner Virtual Farm Creative (VFC) planned the one night event with Phoenixville’s iconic Colonial Theatre along with the Schuylkill Canal Association (SCA), an organization dedicated to preserving, maintaining, and restoring the Schuylkill Canal and its surrounding lands.

“If you mountain bike, trail run, bike ride, canoe or paddle, and you live or work in Phoenixville, then these two communities and the people who live there are important to you,” added VFC creative director Todd Palmer. “Many lost entire homes, most lost something, and all can use help.”

The Concert for Canal Relief was scheduled for a Tuesday night as organizers hoped that would help with attendance. Everyone wants to help but people have busy lives.

“It’ll be a chill event featuring four of the area’s finest and a lot of good vibes and goodwill,” adds Reid, a former resident of Mont Clare. “Besides Sly Fox, we have a lot of beer donations and other donated prizes for fundraising raffles.”

If the concert sells out, the event could raise in excess of $15,000, the proceeds of which will be coordinated by Upper Providence Township and Schuylkill Canal Association through their partnerships with local Ida-relief nonprofit associations.

“From concept to organization, this all happened quickly,” added SCA President Chris Zeliznak. “Volunteers hit the ground running and made this big event happen in less than two weeks. We’re excited for the night and even more excited to continue to help our neighbors get their lives back.”

Regional breweries that have donated beer for the event include Sly Fox, Root Down, Stable 12 and Rebel Hill, whose new outpost, Lock 29, was one of several commercial enterprises that sustained major flood damage just weeks after opening. Additionally, the local business community has stepped up to provide premium raffle prizes for the event, including high-ticket items from Schuylkill River Greenways and multiple donations from Keystone Land & Sea, the area’s preeminent outfitter, which include hiking footwear, backpacks, and outdoor gear. Additional prizes are being added to the list as the concert date approaches.

The pandemic has diminished live music opportunities, particularly the chance to catch several talented artists at once on a weeknight, but the Concert for Canal Relief’s lineup is bringing live and local back in a big way on October 26. The first row of the theater will be reserved for flood victims and the show will feature several guest speakers in between acts, including Phoenixville Mayor Peter Urscheler and Dan Daley, lock tender of the Schuylkill Canal’s historic Lock 60.

Venerable songwriter Ben Arnold will headline the show offering, “I have a long history with Phoenixville, playing Steel City as well as The Colonial and area festivals over the years. And, although I live in the Manayunk-Roxborough section of Philly, another very flood-prone area, I like to think of the people and town of Phoenixville as my good neighbors to the West and I’m glad to help them out in the best way I know how… music.”

The Colonial Theatre donated the room, audio and lighting, and workforce while the artists are all donating their performances – all of the sponsors and artists have given a lot to make this event a reality.

“My wife and I have been very happy to call Phoenixville home for the last 16 years or so, and it’s such a great community of people. We feel lucky to be here,” reflects popular recording artist, Cliff Hillis. “As soon as I heard about the event being put together at the Colonial to help the folks of Mont Clare, I was excited to be a part of it and hopefully do something to help out some neighbors in need.”

There are several different ticket levels available for the event in the historic theater ranging between $20 and $35. Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the event is required, as are masks.


To purchase tickets, please visit the Concert for Canal Relief ticket page here:

“When things like this happen to a close-knit community like ours, we really try to rally and support each other,” adds Christopher Holt whose talented family band will kick off the night of music. “If music is a way for us to be useful and provide relief, we feel it’s the least we can do as artists. We’re honored to be included.”

If you can’t attend the Concert for Canal Relief, but would like to make a donation, please donate directly to the Schuylkill Canal Association and write “Canal Relief” in the comments:

Additional information can be found HERE.