New Canaan Music Marks 10 Years Downtown

Ten years ago, New Canaan resident Phil Williams opened up a music shop with nothing but what he calls “hope and a dream.”

Today, New Canaan Music has expanded to two stores and, here in town, has become a hub for music lessons and instruments while Williams has become deeply involved with the community as a business owner. After seeing an opportunity in New Canaan at a time when it had no music store, Williams built a business plan to “give back to the community,” he said. 

New Canaan Music provides customers with music lessons and the option to rent or buy instruments, catering to a variety of music needs and experiences. They have had “known celebrity music people come in as customers as well as the aspiring beginner,” Williams said. 

Whether it’s doing “set up work for a band going on the road that’s been a national act since the 1970’s” or having “a child break a string on a ukulele,” New Canaan Music offers a place for every age of music lover. Starting in 2013 in a smaller shop on Elm Street, New Canaan Music soon outgrew its space and moved to a new location at 90 Main St. “From our first location we had three lesson studios that we had converted into four—here we have eight lesson studios where we do lessons six times a week from Monday through Saturday,” Williams said.

PHOTOS: Sidewalk Sale Draws Crowds to Downtown New Canaan

Scores of bargain-hunters headed to downtown New Canaan on Saturday for the annual Village Fair & Sidewalk Sale. Crowds of shoppers milled about on Elm, Main and Forest Streets on a warm but mercifully unsticky summer day, flipping through racks and rummaging through tables set out on sidewalks and streets by New Canaan and seasonal merchants. 

“We are thrilled,” said Laura Budd, executive director of the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the annual Sidewalk Sale. “We have a terrific mix of vendors and organizations here, and Mother Nature has cooperated 100% with some beautiful breezes. We’re really pleased. It’s just a classic New Canaan event.”

One local family, the Falsettas, counted themselves among those sharing information about nonprofit organizations—in their case, the  Gracie Fund for Pediatric Cancer, which will be the beneficiary of this year’s Oct.

Q&A: ‘Art in the Windows’ Kicks Off Friday

A partnership that brings together the New Canaan arts and business communities is set to kick off a popular annual exhibition this week. “Art in the Windows” is a storefront exhibition organized by the Carriage Barn Arts Center in partnership with the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce. They’re hosting an Art Stroll Kickoff event at Elm Street and South Avenue from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, June 2. 

We put some questions to Carriage Barn Executive Director Hilary Wittmann ahead of the launch. Here’s our exchange. New Canaanite: What is ‘Art in the Windows’ and what is its history in New Canaan?

‘We Are Thrilled’: Earth Garden Finds New Home on South Avenue

One of New Canaan’s best-loved local businesses has found a new home downtown. Located for the past decade in The Playhouse, Earth Garden opened Friday at 13 South Ave., formerly a tobacco and cigar shop. “We are thrilled we found a storefront and it’s actually working out really well,” owner Nancy Kline Gorkin said. “We were able to put a sign on the fence in front of the old shop, which the town agreed to let me do, directing people to the new location and of course we’ve let people know through social media,” she added. “We had a very good turnout for Valentine’s Day—I would say our foot traffic was as good if not better.