On Sunday January 28th, Summerfolk will present an open showcase from 1-4pm at Heartwood Concert Hall in Owen Sound. The showcase will run like a curated open mic to give performers the chance to play in front of Summerfolk’s artistic director, James Keelaghan. The 13 acts on the roster applied last fall and will each have 15 minutes on stage to wow the audience. The public is welcome and entry is free.
Summerfolk is dedicated to showcasing local artists and giving up-and-coming Canadian acts opportunities to perform. Finding lesser known and local acts can be a challenge for Keelaghan however, who lives outside of the area.
“It’s hard for me to get out and see live music sometimes for any number of reasons,” Keelaghan said. “Often when I’m in the Sound, I’ve got meetings at night, for example. I think that disadvantages the local community. I have been enjoying attending open mic nights at the Heartwood if I’m in town and I thought holding an open audition gives local performers a chance to get in my ears in a way that’s not a competition or a battle of the bands. I just want to hear what people are doing and see if they are going to be a fit for Summerfolk”.
Sunday’s open showcase is different than similar historic events. Unlike the annual Youth Discoveries Program or the Last Chance Saloon — which Summerfolk presented for a number of years ending in 2013 — there is no guarantee that an act from the showcase will be hired for the festival. Performers are guaranteed publicity, however, as the hosts of Summerfolk’s radio show Georgian Bay Roots will be recording the event for a future broadcast.
The performers in order of appearance will be:
1:00 PM Cheryl Anne
1:15PM John Brownlow
1:30PM Margaret Wysman
1:45PM Fork ‘n’ Harp
2:00PM Joel Morelli
2:15PM Deanne Hallman
2:30PM Paul McInnis
2:45PM Polky Village Band
3:00PM Onion Honey
3:15PM Samantha Lavignasse
3:30PM Rob Elder
3:45PM The Great Canadian Swampstompers
4:00PM Hot Dogs From Hell