Steve's Blog
Weekly Update and Notice of A.G.M.
Thursday May 8, 2014

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This weekend The Rogue celebrates its 27th Anniversary with two concerts! We will have Birthday Cake on Friday, so come down to St. James Hall to hear some fabulous music and join in the festivities! Sunday's David Lindley concert is Sold Out already, so the "official" anniversary show will be on Friday. Details below. 

1. Notice Of Annual General Meeting, Friday May 23rd, St. James Community Square (3214 West 10th Avenue) 6pm
The Rogue is a registered non-profit Society and is required to hold an Annual General Meeting and to elect several Board members. We have 10 Board members, serving two-year terms. These terms are "staggered" so that half the Board is elected each year. At the present time we are presenting a slate of 5 candidates who are standing for re-election: Phil Gray, Bill Hooker, Doug O'Neill, David Toole and Jim Pozer. If there are any members who wish to stand for election instead, please notify Board Chair Dan Bowditch on as soon as possible. The meeting will take place in the Small Community Room at the rear of the building on the lower level. Entrance will be via the rear door off the parking lot in the lane on the south side of the Hall. All members are invited to attend, and there will be a short "window" of opportunity to renew your membership before the AGM, if necessary. Please be prompt. We must finish the meeting in time to open the doors upstairs at 7pm prior to the Don Alder concert, which starts at 8pm.

2. Tower Of Song & Big Machine, Friday May 9th, 8pm, at St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)
The Rogue's 27th Anniversary Show features a unique tribute to Leonard Cohen and a couple of fine stringbands from Victoria! 

"I said to Hank Williams, how lonely does it get? / Hank Williams hasn't answered yet / But I hear him coughing all night long / A hundred floors above me, In the Tower of Song"

When Leonard Cohen sings these words, the Tower of Song is a metaphor for the inspiration that flows between songwriters, each toiling away on their own, but connected by their shared craft. Moved by this concept, celebrated BC singer-songwriters Oliver Swain and Glenna Garramone collaborated to produce a project that is both a dialogue through song and a tribute to the legendary songwriter. Re-imagining both rare and classic works of Cohen, the duo have crafted a sound that resonates with both longtime Cohen fans and a younger audience.

Tower of Song began as a one-off tribute night for a packed house at Vancouver's Media Club, and has since grown into an actively touring folk duo. Produced by Garramone, she invited fellow Victoria musician Oliver Swain, and the show gave the two musicians the chance to grow their musical chemistry. Together as Tower of Song they have arranged some of Cohen's timeless songs beautifully, for two voices, banjo, string bass, piano and guitar. Encouraged by the response, they continued to present the show regionally, and after several sold-out shows on Vancouver Island and a successful tour of BC and Alberta, Tower of Song put "more power in the tower," recording their debut album In City and In Forest, with Juno award winning producer Joby Baker, and officially releasing it on April 22, 2014.

"The tunes are hauntingly lovely. Wonderful takes with close harmonies and violent re-rhythmings. Musically sound. Faithful by being strongly, creatively Cohen, and yet wholly their own." -- James N. Porter, Professor Emeritus (Arts), York University

Oliver Swain
Juno & WCMA nominated Americana Folk Noir musician Oliver Swain spent a dozen years in some of North America's most loved roots bands (Outlaw Social, The Duhks, The Bills, Red Stick Ramblers) before going solo and releasing In a Big Machine in 2011 to rave reviews, #1 spots on the charts, sold out shows and festival appearances across western Canada. A naturalist musician who was drawn to Louisiana and Appalachia several times to discover the roots of American music for himself, Oliver resides in Victoria where frequent journeys into the rugged BC wilderness fuel his songwriting, singing and playing styles. Performing on Banjo and String Bass, led by tremendous vocal abilities, Oliver's live show has attracted a lot of attention over the years including that of Tamara Kater, Executive Director of Folk Music Canada: "Since I first discovered him in 2008, Oliver Swain has been one of my very favourite artists... an evening spent with Oliver Swain will leave you breathless and joyful." Visit for more info.

Glenna Garramone
Inspired by the geography and spirit of the places she has lived, from Nunavut to Hawaii, Glenna Garramone harmonizes the experimental with the classical, and the unexpected with the organic. She crafts "raw, emotional, and utterly captivating" songs (John Threlfall, Monday Magazine), using anything from piano to her tap shoes. Glenna's talent and creativity have won her invitations to a wide variety of venues; Victoria's Folk Fest, BC Festival of the Arts, and the Victoria Independent Music Awards. With a style somewhere between Keith Jarrett and Joni Mitchell, Glenna's songwriting earned her Grand prize in the 2010 Arts Wells Songwriting Contest. She also holds a BFA in Writing from the University of Victoria, with a major in Poetry. Recorded in a solar-powered yurt on Molokai'i, Hawaii, her latest album, Thank You Half Moon captures the intimacy and warmth of Garramone's live performances. When she's not travelling, Glenna resides in Victoria. Visit for more info.

They will be joined by several special guests including Corbin Keep (cello), and singers Reid Jamieson, and Hilary Grist. There will also be a performance by Ollie's other band, Big Machine. All this and birthday cake, too! It's going to be a memorable night of Roguery!!

Tickets are available from our website and also at Highlife Records and Rufus' Guitar Shop.

3. David Lindley, Sunday May 11th, 8pm, at St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)
The master of so many stringed instruments, David Lindley makes a rare solo appearance in Vancouver for this Sold Out show at The Rogue. I hope you've already booked / purchased your tickets, cos we don't have any left. Doors open at 7pm. N.B. David requests No Photographs and No Video or Audio Recordings of his shows. Please respect his wishes - for the common good and to ensure a happy show. Thanks a million!

4. Vancouver Folk Festival Tickets
Early Bird tickets for the festival, which runs July 18-20 at Jericho Beach Park, are available to Rogue members at the exclusive discount price of $130 for the weekend (regular price $143 to June 14th, and more after that.) Full details of the festival can be found here, and our ticket deal is explained here.

5. Radio Rogue and Steve's Photo Gallery
Radio Rogue broadcasts streamed audio live 24/7 from our office. The current playlist includes selections by many of the performers at this year's Vancouver Folk Music Festival, Rogue Folk performers past and future, new releases, old favourites from the annals of folk / roots music, and a whole lot more! You can tune in any time by clicking here.

I am very pleased to announce that my Photo Gallery is back online on our website. I will be updating it over the next few days. Please stop by here for a trip down memory lane ....

6. Hollywood Theatre remains threatened
You may have read that there is a new plan to save the Hollywood, and Point Grey Community Church - the church that leased the space for almost two years up to last November - has announced a potential purchase agreement with the owner. The Coalition to Save The Hollywood - of which I have been a member since we first set out to save the wonderful old art deco theatre from near-total demolition last winter - met with representatives of the church group last week and were dismayed to learn of their plans, which include extending the balcony halfway down the auditorium, removing the 35mm projection booth altogether, steepening the rake of the floor, and exercising complete and exclusive control over any community events that might take place in the theatre. They told us they have no interest at all in renting the space out, and that they will choose the movies and / or music themselves. This is not what we have in mind at all. We want to see a City-owned, community-run cultural hub showing classic movies in 35mm, new releases on digital media, some community theatre, maybe some sporting events and town meetings, and most definitely plenty of live music events - especially the sort of Rogue shows which don't fit into St. James Hall (we have three Sold Out shows in the next few weeks, for example!)

The Coalition advocates for:

>>> full heritage designation of the Hollywood Theatre exterior, interior and theatre use; and

>>> having a community-based, arms-length group responsible for overseeing programming of the theatre through a community-use agreement; and

>>> ensuring any bonus density or other incentives granted to the current owner result both in heritage protection and flexible community use in perpetuity.

The Church has not indicated that their proposal includes any of these basic requirements for community support.

The Coalition's plan is detailed in our document "Reinventing the Hollywood". This outlines the option to revitalize the Hollywood as a vibrant arts and cultural centre that the City could acquire at a reasonable cost. It would be operated as a self-supporting non-profit society in the model of Kitsilano 's St. James Community Square which has operated independently for 20 years as a community cultural venue.

St. James and dozens of arts organizations across the city have expressed support for the Coalition's vision to save the Hollywood. We do not wish to see it become a church hall for a small section of the community.

 For further information on this issue, and to see how you can help keep the Hollywood theatre alive, please see the coalition website 

7. The Edge On Folk, Saturday 8am to noon on CiTR fm 101.9 and
Finally, on this week's show I'll have new releases from Keb' Mo', North Atlantic Trio, John Mann, and more, as well as music by upcoming Rogue performers Brandy Zdan, Scott Nolan, Don Alder, and Tim Eriksen. i might throw in an old interview I recorded with David Lindley at The Town Pump in 1986! Plus festival previews and much more besides. I hope you can join me on CiTR fm 101.9, Telus TV Channel 7023, or listen to the live stream on

Have a great weekend! I hope to see you at the Birthday Bash on Friday!