We managed to visit two different porch performances locally and play on our own front lawn for a couple of hours. In between we watched numerous videos posted by musicians from all around the world.
We’ll see where we all are when the next one comes around – last Saturday of August 2021.
But it isn’t stopping there. People are continuing to play music outside from their porches and balconies, allowing listeners to maintain a safe distance from each other and the musicians. Troy Bridgeman of Guelph Today talked to several people involved in Play Music on the Porch Day and other porch concert series happening in Guelph.
Not only do we get to hear the live music we have been missing, the musicians can soak up the energy of a live audience. Then there is the added bonus of some safe, outdoor time with neighbours and friends.
The Elora Poetry Centre is a wonderful example of people opening their home to share poetry, music and food. Hosts Daniel Bratton and Carol Williams moved an 1832 log cabin (the Beaver House) to their property near the Elora Gorge Conservation area and eventually realized their vision of making it a venue to bring poets and poetry aficionados together.
On September 27th, while Elora was all abuzz with Culture Days activities and the Elora-Fergus Studio Tour, the Elora Poetry Centre offered an evening of poetry readings (Jerry Prager, Morvern McNie, Daniel Kolos), finishing with a performance by Muddy York (Anne Lederman & Ian Bell).
These performances were part of 100 Thousand Poets for Change, an initiative happening in over 650 locations around the world, “ a demonstration/celebration to promote peace and sustainability and to call for serious social, environmental and political change”. While we relaxed, enjoying the poetry and the beautiful surroundings, our host Daniel reminded us that, on this day, some readings would be taking place in cultures where it was challenging and even dangerous to hold such an event.
With this in mind I hope everyone gets out to enjoy the abundance of local cultural offerings this fall!
Ever since visiting last year’s Arkfest I have been wanting to come back to one of The Ark’s monthly coffee houses. I was lucky enough to catch the last feature performers of the season, Nabi Loney and Ian Reid. If it seems that the spacious straw bale house surrounded by woods and farm fields is made for music, that’s because it was. When the Loney family built this home, music was a part of the vision; this monthly musical happening is a way to build community as well as support musicians in their efforts. The coffee house showcases one or two artists and includes an open mic for anyone else who feels moved to share their music. One more campfire gathering and and then the music starts again in the fall for a fourth season.
Using mandolin, fiddle, guitar, percussion and her captivating voice, Annabelle Chvostek delivered a fabulous evening of music and stories. Listeners braved snow and ice to be a part of this exquisite experience. As a treat, instead of just describing the music I have a video clip of one of the songs she performed. Enjoy!
The Ark Coffee House has been hosting live music (feature acts + some open stage opportunities) in a beautiful rural setting for two years now. This summer the same group of music lovers hosted a two day music festival: the Ark Music Festival or “Arkfest”. A BYO-chair, beverages, food, & tent affair, the setting was idyllic, the people friendly and laid back. If the weather hadn’t coooperated (but it did – wonderfully) performances could have moved from the outdoor venue to a music room within the spacious straw bale house. In addition to a line-up of local (and not-so-local) talent there were open mic opportunities. Here are a few captured moments – hope to see a return of this event next summer. In the meantime, watch for a return of the monthly coffee house this fall.