Call it the 2020 COVID-19 Lawn Tour.
Since her first neighbourhood performance, May 2 on Dryfe Street in Oak Bay, local songstress Stephanie Greaves has visited nearly a dozen neighbourhoods to perform during their 7 p.m. cheer.
At first, it was a small crowd on Dryfe, just off Dalhousie near Estevan Village. Then came a few requests and some bigger crowds, and now the requests are pouring in by the dozen, said Greaves, who was last year’s Tea Party emcee.
“We asked if [Greaves would] be kind enough to consider singing for the neighbours but we weren’t sure how it’d work,” said Glenn Mignault, who orchestrated the initial show on Dryfe. “It was a Saturday night and it was a small crowd and they loved it.”
Have you seen/heard Stephanie Greaves’ in your neighbourhood? The popular vocalist has performed at a dozen different 7pm neighbourhood cheers around the region since May 2 including this one on Roslyn in Oak Bay. pic.twitter.com/hZXhqGSi9P— Oak Bay News (@OakBayNews) May 15, 2020
Greaves returned to Dryfe the following week and so did an Oak Bay Fire crew.
“Neighbours had spread that word, and we had a pretty big turnout for that one,” Mignault said. “I think the lawn tour is the way of the future. Each street has a unique way of doing it.”
Then came an invite by Oak Bay Coun. Cairine Green for Roslyn Road.
Greaves played in Green’s front yard and the crowd featured some familiar faces with Mayor Kevin Murdoch and MLA Andrew Weaver.
“We put out flyers on Roslyn and some of Windsor and my gosh, I think we had over 100 people,” Green said. “It was amazing, it brought a lot of joy to our street at a time when people are feeling disconnected from each other. Roslyn was rocking.”
Greaves has now played in Oak Bay, Fairfield (her own block), Royal Oak, Brentwood Bay, Langford, Sidney and Oaklands.
Coming up in Oak Bay she has dates with blocks on Rosario, Hampshire, Beach, Windsor and the Esplanade, with plenty of other dates around Greater Victoria.
“That’s one of the coolest give-backs, for me, is someone to discover the live music,” Greaves said. “At first crowds are small and then people hear the speaker and the crowd grows.”
Throughout it all, everyone has been generous about their social distancing, staying in their ‘personal pods’ of two metres, Greaves said.
“I have a microphone, so I’m able to say, ‘hey, whoa, back off, except I haven’t once done that,” she said. “One night I started a Disney song and kids started running up but it was their parents who pulled them back.
“This is all for the health care workers, and for those staying home and socially distancing.”