In a tiny, unassuming bar in Kensington Market there is a fledgling all-woman open mic happening every Monday night. Since its first night, February 14th, the goal of this venture has been to create a welcoming, relaxed atmosphere for women to get out and play music. With so many places to play in Toronto, why host an event that showcases women performers only? Some of the participants have had experiences of being overlooked or sidelined at open mics and have found that jams aren’t always as inclusive as they could be.

In addition to musical offerings from our hosts (Shannon, Dominique & Margaret) Chloe dropped in for a couple of gorgeous a cappella gospel songs. Week 7 of Calliope’s Nest also featured Sunday Wilde – fresh from her CD release party at the Cameron the night before – who made a sorely out of tune piano sound great with several original songs and a couple of jazzy covers. To hear more from Sunday visit:

I should note: although the performers are all women, men are welcome at this event as listeners. In fact, there was a small but appreciative audience this week which included several men.

Calliope’s Nest is “a space for women of any ability to come out and share their musical dreams and talents”. If you are a woman and have been thinking of bringing your voice into the open but have felt intimidated by the world of open stages, here is a small, supportive venue where you will be welcome.

[Calliope’s Nest, Lola, 40 Kensington Ave, Toronto; every Monday 6-9 pm]