David Mercer

Lounge Lizards give seniors a shot at the open mic


Lounge Lizards has grown to include about 30 regular performers and dozens of audience members

Drelene Gibb knows just how important it is to push past comfort zones, especially for aging seniors.

Gibb, 65, is an empty nester and widow, but that hasn’t stopped her love of the ukulele or her passion for performance. The Oak Bay resident hopes to inspire others to activate their abilities, so she created Lounge Lizards, an afternoon open-mic group at the Monterey Recreation Centre tailored for talented adults.

“This has really become a venue for people to dust off their gifts and talents that they haven’t been using for perhaps years,” says Gibb, who started the weekly event last March. “I realized there were a lot of individuals out there who did not have a place to express and develop themselves creatively, and you need that to stay energized.”

Since the kick-off, Lounge Lizards has grown to include about 30 regular performers and dozens of audience members who make a trip to the centre to see the day’s performances. Shows have included piano and accordion solos, guitar and harmonica gigs, duos, trios, vocalists, even harpsichordists.

While better-known locals like David Mercer have found a warm home among the performers, Gibb is quick to point out the venue is not about making anyone famous, or overshadowing the competition – it’s about finding support. And participants do; every performer earns a Lounge Lizards button on their third show.

Gibb herself will keep up her own performing with her ukulele group which, she says, like the open mic, is a casual way to have some fun.

“When you can express yourself – that’s what keeps you alive and vibrant,” she says. “And having the support to encourage our talents.”

Everyone is welcome to attend free  local entertainment at Lounge Lizards, the stand up mic show for Seniors at Oak Bay’s Monterey Centre Lounge and snack bar.

Shows go every Sunday afternoon from 1:30 to 3:45 p.m. Performers can arrive at 12:45 to practice and set up. The centre provides an amp, three microphones, CD player and grand piano.

All are welcome to perform and attend for free. Performers sign up at the registration desk and those who are not members of the Monterey Centre can perform three times for free.

Just Posted

Victoria People’s Party candidate says campaign signs stolen around city

PPC candidate Alyson Culbert says she finds theft ‘disturbing’

Sidney could take additional action around speculation tax

Council to consider steps later this fall after staff review of provincial statistics

VIDEO: Greater Victoria, here’s the news you missed this weekend

Andrew Berry trial nears end, Victoria joins tree-planting pledge and more

Three second-half goals lead Cavalry over Victoria’s Pacific FC

Cavalry FC downed Pacific FC 4-1 on Sunday in Canadian Premiere League action

Island music trivia tournament a hit on World Alzheimer’s Day

More than $13,000 raised by people naming that tune

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Most Read