Trio of storytellers head Upstairs

Live music series a success for Oak Bay Recreation venue

Terry Brennan

Sellout crowds indicate success for the Friday night musical experiment at Oak Bay Rec.

They started transforming the Sports View Lounge into Friday evening Upstairs Lounge venues last year and with just four shows left, promoter Marie Bachand is already booking for next September.

“The first fall we started with a swing jazz theme but there was a need to branch out,” said Janet Barclay, manager of recreation programs.

The audience expanded as Bachand, promoter and producer of the live music series, varied the musical stylings.

“We have a core group, but we also have different people coming out,” Barclay said.

People are taking advantage of the all-ages venue that offers an opportunity for a full family night out, she added. Many enjoy a themed dinner to make a full night of it.

“The shows have been well attended. We’ve had a good response from not just the Oak Bay community but a lot of folks that have come out to the shows,” said Bachand. “Once you get past the rec centre … you open the doors to the lounge and it’s a nightclub. It’s another completely different vibe.”

This Friday’s concert features a new venture, a trio of Victoria’s most outstanding singer-songwriters – Kristia Di Gregorio, Terry Brennan and Dan Weisenberger – offering varied backgrounds, song-writing and musical stylings in an intimate setting.

“They’ll all be on stage together sharing,” Bachand said. “There are enough artists out there that are really good, we just don’t see them holding an entire show on their own. We’re going to try it out and they’re [each] very different.”

Tango is on tap April 24, Grammy Award nominee Pablo Diemecke and his DieMahler Ensemble along with soprano Haley Tarnow. It will also feature a quick tango demo and lesson.

“There’s a dance floor at the venue so it’s to take advantage of that, we expect that to be a pretty posh evening,” Bachand said.

On May 8 Cassie & Maggie MacDonald, who hail from Nova Scotia, will perform.

Bijoux du Bayou will close the season with a Cajun Zydeco dance party May 22.

“Then we’ll start up again in September. … We’ve got some pretty amazing people who will be performing,” Bachand said.

Back by popular demand, Groove Kitchen will make its third appearance on Sept. 18.

Dave Gunning from Nova Scotia is already booked for Sept. 25. “He’s a heavy hitter on the East Coast and a fantastic singer, songwriter and entertainer.”

That show follows the East Meets West format of a sold-out show with Mae Moore in Victoria last year, this year featuring Colleen Eccleston.

The April 10 triple-bill starts at 7 p.m. Tickets for all shows are $12 in advance at Ivy’s Bookshop and Oak Bay Recreation or at beaconridge productions.com online. Tickets are $15 at the door.

 

cvanreeuwyk@oak baynews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Saanich Police looking for information relating to suspicious death

The body of a man was found on Crease Avenue just after 9 a.m. on Saturday

250th Free Little Library installed in Victoria

Greater Victoria now has the highest density of mapped little libraries in the country

Feast of Fields set to take place at Snowdon House farm in North Saanich

Event on Aug. 25 will feature Q at the Empress, Church & State, Phillips Brewing and more

Playground honour RCMP constable and mother killed by drunk driver in Langford to open on time

‘There will be a few tears’: Sarah Beckett Memorial Playground opens on Aug. 24

Central Saanich church to bless pets

Blessing might offer redemption

70 years of lifting: Canadian man, 85, could cinch weightlifting championship

The senior gym junkie is on track to win the World Masters Weightlifting championship

U16 B.C. fastpitch team named national champs

Girls went undefeated at national tournament in Calgary

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

Most Read