Winnipeg bands set to play final shows at Good Will Social club

Winnipeg musicians from Motown family band Retro Rhythm Review reflect on their memories at The Good Will. Joanne Roberts has the story.

The Good Will Social club is closing its doors next month, and many Winnipeg bands are playing their final shows at the popular music venue — including Retro Rhythm Review — featuring ten of Winnipeg’s premier musicians.

“What better way to send off The Good Will than to do one more annual show,” explained Jacqueline Harding.

“My best memory at The Good Will I think is our very first show at The Good Will. It came after a long hiatus when the band had sort of retired for a bit because many had moved away. I had moved away. So that first show back at The Good Will was a time that really brought us back together after a number of years apart. It was really special.”

Retro Rhythm Review (Submitted by Daniel Jordan)

Harding is playing her final shows at The Good Will Friday and Saturday night with the Motown family band. She says audiences are in for a unique performance.

“I hope that they take away a sense of fun, of joy, of celebration. It’s really just a night to let loose, have fun and celebrate all those good tunes that you’ve kind of grown up loving.”

Artists Daniel Jordan, Ariel Posen, Heith Forsyth, Rayannah Kroeker, Michael Jordan, Alex Campbell, Dylan Pilchers, Jeffrey Acosta, and Nial Bakkestadt-Legere round out the ten-piece band.

“My favourite part about this band and I remember at The Good Will in particular is how we reach across generations. It’s the university kids dancing with literally their parents. There’s like grey hairs in the audience. I think that’s the best part, you look over that sweaty club,” said Daniel.

“You can’t see out onto Portage anymore because it’s all condensed on the window and you see just people who are genuinely dancing. It’s like joyful. That’s what I’ll remember thinking of The Good Will, being lucky enough to be in front of that mob of joy across generations.”

Jacqueline Harding (left) and Daniel Jordan (right) say they’re excited for their final weekend at The Good Will, where their band will be playing Motown hits. (Photo Credit: Joanne Roberts, CityNews)

Daniel, who is the group’s bandleader, says he’s thrilled the band was able to reunite again for their last show at The Good Will, echoing their first.

“The hardest part about this band is getting everybody in the same room. Everybody, we got kind of learned together and then everybody found their own way in the world and went all over the place. It just so happened that most of us were in town,” Daniel said.

“Ariel Posen for example was able to find a break in his very busy touring schedule and flew in for rehearsal and for the gigs this weekend. Which is really special. To get so many of the original cast back together as kind of a fond farewell feels very bittersweet.”

Retro Rhythm Review (Submitted by Daniel Jordan)

Daniel says not only will the social club be missed for its support of music, it will also leave a hole in the community for its philanthropic efforts.

“The Good Will not only filled a huge role in the arts community, it’s the only kind of mid-sized venue that our city has where a travelling band can come in – or a local band – and pack it and kind of make it your own thing. But they were also big givers back to the community in general outside of that. I’ve watched them give jobs to folks in the area who needed it,” he said.

“I’ve watched them engage with an area that faces a lot of struggles and I think it’s going to be a huge loss for them not to be there. I hope that we, as a province, take away the importance of supporting venues like that because it actually fills holes in the community that go wider than the arts. I think it’s going to be a very big loss. So a huge thank you to The Good Will. We’ll miss them tremendously, so will the city.”

Even though its their final weekend at The Good Will, the band said it’s also part of what will make their farewell one to remember.

WATCH: Retro Rhythm Review bandleader Daniel Jordan gives CityNews a sneak-peek into their rehearsal.

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