By Perry Lefko

Classic Bowl in Mississauga has turned into a venue for rocking and bowling.

Ed Sousa, who manages the venue, launched McBowl in 2016 in support of Ronald McDonald House Charities Toronto. Bowlers played in a tournament, followed by live musical performances featuring Honeymoon Suite and The Spoons, along with apparel sales and autograph sessions. The popularity of it spread to a national event in 2017 and is about to become a North American event next year.

Sousa also started to bring in individual musicians or groups from the ‘80s to Classic Bowl for additional events to raise money for Ronald McDonald House Charities Toronto. Some of the acts have included Mike Score from A Flock Of Seagulls, The Spoons and Honeymoon Suite.

Sousa subsequently started creating an intimate/interactive series at Classic Bowl in 2016, selling 100 seats at $20 a ticket, the entire proceeds going to the artists’ charity of choice. Classic Bowl pays for the artists’ fees.

“The intimate part is an acoustic set, the interactive part is we give people a sheet of paper to write questions on when they come in and the questions will be asked to the artists between songs,” Sousa said.

The sessions are usually the last Sunday of each month. The next one is November 26 featuring Honeymoon Suite’s Johnnie Dee and Derry Grehan. Broadcaster Barry Davis and some of the members of his Tom Petty cover band We Ain’t Petty will also be on the show. Davis emceed a McBowl charity event Sousa did recently at St. Mary Elementary School in Brampton.

There won’t be a sessions event in December, but the series will start up again January 28 with Brian Greenway of April Wine.

The 2018 McBowl is May 26 and will feature Honeymoon Suite as the headliner.