The last time I was at the ANAF in Guelph it was for Jack Cooper’s Two Rivers Song Circle (which has now moved to Wednesday nights). The open mic has recently had a change of stewardship with Kent Smith stepping down and Trevor Hall taking over as host.
The night I visited there was an appetite for collaboration and there were both planned and impromptu shared performances – enabled, I’m sure by the welcoming and relaxed atmosphere. The room is unassuming but the sound surprisingly good. Variable turnout means you could be joining an intimate gathering or – on a busy night – you’d need to get there early if you want a spot to perform (7:30 sign up time).
One note about the location – it is easy to miss driving down Gordon Street. One entrance is around the back so turn off Gordon onto Fountain and again on Freshfield to find it.
A huge THANK YOU to Brad, Pete, Mo’, and Amy & Julie (of the Hazy Maidens) for letting me indulge my love of harmonizing. Sweet sounds!
[ANAF Open Mic, 32 Gordon Street, Guelph; Second Thursday of the month,8pm – 12am, no cover, licensed]
I paid a visit to this fledgling open mic at a new Guelph venue: Sapphire Café & Lounge.
Here is a description of owner Dino Busato’s vision for Sapphire: “Music has been Dino’s passion since he was a young kid. He dreamed of having his own club to host music in. Sapphire was born in June 2013 and the music just keeps getting better and better!” In addition to the live music presented other nights of the week Dino launched an open mic at the end of September 2014.
Hosted by Donny Sawchuk, the open mic runs 9 pm until closing on the second and fourth Saturday of each month. Songwriter Donny kicked off the evening with an original tune and added a few more between open mic participants. Sapphire is a relaxed, intimate venue where spontaneous musical collaboration is encouraged. The menu is unique and carefully prepared (avocado fries, homemade ice cream, individual thin crust pizza, fair trade organic coffee, intriguing cocktails).
[Sapphire Café & Lounge, 17 Macdonell Street, Guelph; 2nd & 4th Saturdays 9 pm – 1 am, no cover]