IMG_7698This open mic is a story of resilience. Arlene Levin started an open mic at Reba’s on Dundas Street West about 6 years ago. When the place sold the musicians looked for a new home; they tried a few places that just didn’t work out. According to Boris, a regular participant, “several incarnations later” they ended up at the Magic Oven and have been here for just over a year. It seems to be a good fit with food and drink available downstairs (healthy pizza with veggie, vegan, chicken and meat options) while the event has a whole room upstairs just for music.

This event has a family feel to it, even more on this lovely May day since it was Arlene Levin’s birthday and her friends surprised her with birthday cake and pizza. There is a rotating roster of hosts – when I visited it was the very congenial and welcoming Philomene Hoffman at the helm.

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The sign up list was overflowing so I would recommend showing up early if you want a spot to play. And be prepared to share with folks outside the venue. Soundman Roy doubles as a StreetJelly broadcaster.

You can find pics from the open mic and announcements of upcoming events on the group’s FB page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/yorjunctionopenmic/

[Magic Oven 347 Keele Street, Toronto; Saturdays 2-6 pm; licensed, no cover]

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