Steve's Blog
Upcoming Shows, Gift Ideas, Movies, Radio Waves, shows around town, and an appeal from St. James
Friday November 30, 2018

Keep in Touch

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1. Contra Dance with The Sybaritic Stringband, Saturday December 1st, 7:30pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)

It's not often we get to relish the sprung dance floor - and the newly openable windows - at lovely St. James Hall, so why not come on down to enjoy the Christmas Dance put on by The Sybs and their guest caller this Saturday evening? Admission is $15 at the door, $10 if you bring home-made goodies to share.

2. Cancellation of our December 7th concert at The Rogue

We had hoped to present a concert with David Sinclair (left) and Keith Bennett on Friday December 7th, to celebrate the release of their fine CD, Two. Sadly, David's health has taken a major turn for the worse and he will not be able to perform that night. Indeed, his days with us are numbered. He is a brilliant guitarist and producer, who has enriched the local roots music scene for over four decades. Such a sad time for Canadian music.


3. Two great shows coming up at The Rogue!

We present the return of Portland Old Time / Old Country duo Caleb Klauder and Reeb Willms on Thursday December 13th at St. James. They are half of the wonderful Foghorn Stringband and have released two CDs as a duo as well.Tickets are available at Highlife Records and Tapestry Music and also online.

Our annual celebration of the season - Van Django's Cool Yule - takes place the following evening (Friday 14th) when the amazing gypsy jazz quartet are joined by chanteuse L.J. Mounteney (who starred in the recent White Album Revisited show) and harmonica wizard Keith Bennett. Tickets are going fast, so I'd recommend that purchase yours asap at Highlife or Tapestry or online.


4. Gift Ideas For Rogues

I have some 2019 Rogue Folk Calendars available at our shows and also at our Granville Island office (1504 Duranleau Street, above Theatre Sports near the entrance to the "island". Call us on 604-732-1305 first, to ensure there is someone here before you venture down!) The calendars include over 40 colour photos of performers at Rogue gigs in 2018 - taken by yours truly. The price is $20.

You might also like to purchase a Rogue Gift Certificate in any amount, or a Rogue Membership ($30 individual, or $50 family) and / or Parcel O'Rogues ($179) or tickets to our 2019 concerts (including Loudon Wainwright III or Old Man Luedecke in January, The Revelers or Ashley MacIsaac & Quinn Bachand, or Danny Michel in February, or Coig or Frank Solivan / Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley in March, for example. Check out the full concert calendar). These are all on sale on our website, and at all Rogue concerts, and also on demand at our Granville Island office.


5. Michael Averill Songwriting Workshops

Greetings Rogue Members!
Want to participate in the writing of a song and perform it at an upcoming Rogue event?  We have an exciting opportunity for you. Local Vancouver songwriter and wandering minstrel, Michael Averill, is running a citywide group songwriting project called “Community of Songs,” and he is inviting Rogue members to participate.

What is it and when?
Community of Songs
 is one part group songwriting workshop, led by Michael, and one part community sharing through a public performance. Michael will be holding these workshops with 8 different multi-generational groups around Metro Vancouver over the next few months. One of these groups will be you, our Rogue Members!

Interested members will write a song together with Michael through the workshop with the theme of “Community,” and then perform it at St. James Hall on April 5th, 2019 with all the other participating groups.

There are a limited number of spots available, and will be taken on a first come first served basis. To find out more information or sign up, email Michael directly at


6. Musical Movies you might enjoy
We recently saw Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody at Fifth Avenue Cinema on Burrard Street. They are both highly-recommended! Green Book will / should win some Oscars: it's an incredible - true - story of a black pianist touring the South in the early 1960s with a rough-hewn driver / strongman played by Viggo Mortensen. The story is stunning, and the music is fabulous!

The Ballad Of Shirley Collins, Monday December 3rd, 6:30pm at Van City Theatre, 1181 Seymour Street
Sussex folk singer Shirley Collins has been making music since the late 1950s. She once toured the South with the late Long John Baldry and folk song collector Alan Lomax - what an unlikely tour party that was!! She was married to Ashley Hutchings - founder of Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, and Albion Band - but their subsequent breakup traumatized her to such an extent that she lost her singing voice. Not unlike a certain Mr. Dylan, she has managed to find a way to resume her singing career - albeit with a markedly different sound - and released a fine album last year called Lodestar. The movie will only be shown in Vancouver on this date, and will be preceded by a solo concert by Vancouver singer Petunia. Tickets are $15 from (scroll down to Music Monday: The Ballad of Shirley Collins + live music by Petunia)


7. Sultans Of String Christmas Caravan, Wednesday December 5th, 7pm, Centennial Theatre (2300 Lonsdale, North Vancouver)

Celebrate the season with an adventurous musical trip around the world! 3x JUNO nominees & 3x Canadian Folk Music Award winners Sultans of String deliver an exuberant performance featuring original world-music inspired classics and seasonal favourites to warm your heart on a cold winter’s night. With special guests the North Shore Celtic Ensemble and Canada’s ace chanteuse Rebecca Campbell (Jane Siberry, Lynn Miles, Parachute Club).

From fiery fiddle tunes to a Caribbean sleigh ride, this surprising and delightful holiday fiesta heats up when Sultans of String bring their signature sound to well known gems such as Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, Jesous Ahatonhia (with gorgeous newly-translated Indigenous lyrics), a Turkish twist on Greensleeves, Silent Night, as well as a Gypsy-jazz inspired Django Christmas, and a Rumba-Flamenca fuelled Jingle Bells. Tickets and info click here

“An amazing worldbeat Christmas where even the tried and true is taken to such new and amazing lengths. Very hot stuff clearly made to chase the cold winter away.” 
Midwest Record, USA 


8. Gord Grdina NYC Quartet, Saturday December 8th, 8 pm, BlueShore Stage at CapU 

Vancouver local legend Gord Grdina teams up with world-renowned New York City based performers Oscar Noriega (alto sax/clarinet), Russ Lossing (piano) and Satoshi Takeishi (drums). The quartet's 2017 album, Inroads, is an adventurous, avant-garde experience, mixing improvisational jazz with a heavier, darker electric sound. Grdina's carefully formed quartet combines the traditions of jazz improvisation, complex and memorable compositions and a dynamic freedom to their music that ebbs and flows with each tune. ‚ÄčTickets and info click here 


9. Radio Waves

On this week's edition of The Saturday Edge On Folk I'll be spinning some new tunes by the likes of Scottish bands Old Blind Dogs, and Talisk and previewing music from some of the concerts and films listed above. I'll also pay homage to recently-departed folk music luminaries Roy Bailey and De Dannan's bouzouki master Alec Finn. Plus lots of surprises and more musical merriment than you could shake a stick at - if that's your idea of a good time! The show runs from 8am to noon every Saturday on CiTR fm 101.9 in Vancouver and across the web on Podcasts of past shows can be found there too - dating back to 2006!

Radio Rogue is always available on our website. I'll be adding some unique selections from my extensive Christmas Mix to the playlist in a week or so.


10. St. James Community Square 2018 Appeal

St James Community Square continues to provide space that is affordable for cultural, recreational, educational, and social services in this vibrant Kitsilano community and to Vancouver City at large. With much appreciated funding from the City of Vancouver and the Government of CanadaThe Rick Hansen Foundation, private donations, as well as successful fundraising events, we have raised sufficient amounts to be able to improve our magnificent Hall with a new sprung floor, new stage, new windows that open, pew cushions, and improved lighting. Other rooms in the building have been spruced up and our lower level now has attractive new flooring. 

Next on the agenda is the Washrooms Project. Our existing washrooms are old and grungy, and too few in number for the 500,000 visits to the Square that occur annually. The City of Vancouver is contributing most of the funding needed to upgrade the old washrooms and add more, on both the upper and lower levels. However, the City has a maximum that they can pay and St James must contribute a sizable portion. We are short as much as $20,000.

For this reason, we are sending out a year-end appeal for financial help, the time when donors appreciate the beneficial tax implications of charitable giving. Our Board of Directors has started the ball rolling, with several donations of $1000; they are challenging others to do the same. Please consider following their lead, and making a donation to St James, the heart of your community! Donations of any size matter and are gratefully welcomed!

A donation made before December 31 will ensure that you receive a 2018 tax receipt. Your
contribution will be matched through government granting, thereby doubling your impact. Should you wish to donate $10,000 or more in memory of a loved one, a recognition
plaque will be posted in the lobby of our performance Hall.

Please donate at our website at  at the 'Chimp' link, or call 604-739-9373, or use direct mail to St. James Community Square, 3214 W. 10th Ave. Vancouver, B.C. V6K 2L2. Donations of $20 or more are tax receipted.

Wishing you the Best of your Holiday Season.
Elaine Murray, Chair, St. James Community Square Society