Presented by Interac, the Metro Retro Drive-In is celebrating its second year with free evenings of family favourite movies and live music from diverse local artists. Popping up at Metro supermarket parking lots, Metro Retro’s nostalgic movie and music nights are making 20 stops across Ontario.
From May through September 2022, Ontarians have the chance to take in a throwback film, experience a MusicLife pre-show performance, and shop to support local businesses at the InLifeTM Marketplace — all while supporting local food charities. Interac and Metro are also matching community charitable donations up to $150,000.
“It’s great to have the community together in one place, enjoying the simple things in life,” says a recent Metro Retro attendee. “Such a good and wholesome way to spend a night.”
As part of an ongoing investment in Canadian communities and helping small business owners on their paths to recovery — Interac is proud to sponsor Metro Retro and support local artists and merchants who are pursuing their dreams.
To get an insider peek at this year’s event, we spoke with Metro Retro attendees, as well as participants from the MusicLife pre-show performance and InLifeTM Marketplace. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at a night at the movies with Interac and Metro.
Warming things up at the MusicLife pre-show
New this year, movie-goers are being treated to a MusicLife Pre-Show — featuring a diverse group of talented up-and-coming artists. These young performers all hail from the GTA, including funky R&B singer thehonestguy, poet-singer Levyi-Alexander J. Love, and soul artist Zenesoul.
We recently caught up with ZENESOUL (pronounced ‘Zen-Soul’), an R&B /Soul artist from Brampton, Canada. Born in Nigeria, Zensoul aka Angie Akhinagba, incorporates authentic R&B, Neo-Soul and Afro-Beats vibes into her songs, creating a lush and soulful sound that’s all her own.
For Zenesoul, music is all about sharing experiences and empowering people to feel they are not alone. She loves that Metro Retro is bringing people together again after so long, by connecting the two art forms of cinema and music. “Being able to get back into performing in the community is just amazing. It’s one thing to create music, it’s another to share it in an environment filled with love.”
She explains, “Interac is giving me this opportunity to do what I’m passionate about and connect with audiences across Ontario. As a MusicLife featured artist, I’m so excited to perform at places I never imagined and engage with new audiences.”
For Zensoul, the MusicLife pre-show is about “celebrating diversity in Canada and giving audiences the opportunity to hear our voices.”
Supporting local business at the InLifeTM Marketplace
Movie-goers also have the chance to support a variety of unique and locally sourced vendors at this year’s InLifeTM Marketplace. Shining a spotlight on small Ontario businesses, the InLife TM Marketplace features local vendors in partnership with Metro’s Locally Sourced vendor program.
Clearly, getting behind local business has never been more crucial. As one Metro Retro attendee put it, “Supporting local [businesses] means we are supporting our own and feels good. I supported local [businesses] to keep them alive during the pandemic. Now, it’s more important than ever to help them recover and thrive.”
Participating as a merchant for his second year, Andrew Kinnear is the small business owner of the family-run Yellofruit — a delicious organic, plant-based ice cream made from bananas. As he joins the 2022 GTA tour, Kinnear describes the magic of Metro Retro:
For Yellofruit, the InLife TM Marketplace comes at the right time. “The real challenge since the pandemic has been meeting new customers and introducing them to our ice cream. At the Marketplace, I can sample Yellofruit, meet my customers face-to-face, and share my passion about the product.”
Vendors at the InLife Marketplace can also leverage Interac Debit contactless payments as a form of payment with attendees. According to Kinnear this makes life easier for both himself and his customers. “Interac provides a real level of convenience. It just makes things very smooth for my customers and my business, versus the complexity of having to touch cash and make change.”
He explains, “Interac is in everyone’s pocket. Customers mostly tap their phones using it with Apple Pay and other mobile payment.”
A Metro Retro movie-goer agrees, “I never carry cash. I like being able to tap and be on my way. It helps me get more done.”
Indeed, these days, it is all about getting more done with less. Being a small business owner isn’t easy. But Kinnear is driven by his passion for building his dream and taking control of his future. “Becoming an entrepreneur and taking my destiny into my own hands has been incredibly exciting and fulfilling. I love building my business together with my family.”
Making the most out of life and summer
Metro Retro Drive-In event is bringing everyone together for a night out at the movies. But it’s more than a free evening of entertainment under the stars.
According to Daria Hill, Associate Vice President, Corporate Communications & Sponsorships at Interac:
“Metro Retro truly is a celebration of togetherness and Interac’s commitment to community. We are deeply invested in Canada’s local communities, supporting the passion and success of our diverse artists and small businesses. We’re proud to be partnering with Metro Grocery to bring this program to life for Canadians. ”
It’s not too late to join the fun! Metro Retro tours through September 2022 with stops in Etobicoke, Pickering, Whitby, Mississauga, Hamilton, London, Barrie, Newmarket, Peterborough, and Ottawa. Free tickets are released weekly on a first-come, first-serve basis.
For an unforgettable night and show your support for your local community: