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After receiving fines from hosting concert, Guelph musician still looking to give to community

'I'm not going to have the music playing very loud, it’s not like there’s going to be a big band playing there,' says Monty Greig of his event planned for Halloween night
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Monty Greig, right, performs at his June concert on Leacock Avenue. Ariel Deutschmann/GuelphToday file photo

It's not a concert, but an upcoming event will be making some noise on Leacock Avenue.

On the Friday and Saturday evening before Halloween, families can come check out ‘Nightmare on Leacock’ a haunted trail which is accepting non-perishable food items as the admission fee. The event will run from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

"People can't go through unless they bring a non-perishable food item for the Guelph food bank," said event organizer, Monty Greig, adding the Guelph Lions Club will also be handing out hot chocolate to the first participants.

Greig said he spent 10 years setting up a haunted house and collecting food donations when he lived in Acton.

He recalls one year receiving around 290 pounds in non-perishable food items, a personal record. With his current home on Leacock Avenue, Greig said it has the perfect yard to host it. 

“I have a great neighbourhood with lots of kids and I thought, ‘You know, they got cheated last year,’ he said, talking about how subdued Halloween was during the pandemic, “Maybe we can do something cool this year."

“It’s not going to be crazy scary, but it’s going to be more for younger kids than older kids.”

This event comes after Greig was charged over $1,500 in fines for organizing and performing a neighbourhood concert with his band, Monty and the Crew, back in July. 

After filing paperwork to fight the charges, Greig explains he received a call from the City of Guelph which notified him that the case wouldn’t be heard for another year due to a backlog. 

“I probably won't get any disclosure paper, or heard anything about it, until next June," said Greig, “I just got to sit and wait, and then the fighting starts."

“I have all my paperwork in place, and all the copies of the emails, and the back and forth that happened. I'm good in terms of having all of my information together."

He also never learned who made the complaint, and doesn’t intend on finding out.

“I didn’t want to out anybody, I would rather not know who called on me.”

Despite this, Greig mentions he has started talking to some close neighbours about the event, including his next door neighbour who has a young son.

“She's so excited about this. She even said I could use some of her power,” said Greig, “and I said, ‘Awesome! Great! I’m going to need it!’”

Besides recruiting help to set up decorations, markers will also be placed outside of the trail to help maintain physical distance while people wait in line and posts to keep people in line. Unlike the last event, Greig will be keeping the volume down. 

“I'm not going to have the music playing very loud," he said, "It’s not like there’s going to be a big band playing there."

“I thought last time this wasn’t going to be an issue, but I really think it’s not going to be an issue.”

While it’s been almost eight years since his last haunted house, Greig is feeling optimistic the Guelph community can raise the same amount of food donations as that one year in Acton.

“It’s a much larger town and a much larger fan base for this type of thing, so I think we can draw them in, probably more on the Saturday than on the Friday.”