Bill Bourne in Boissevain (Marilyn Derksen)
You clear out the living room and move the couch to the back wall, haul in all the extra chairs you can find, and send out invites to your friends...and your friends' friends. A real live musician arrives just in time for dinner, and tunes up her guitar while you answer the door.
House concerts offer an intimate performance experience in the comfort of a private home. It could take place in the living room or the basement rec room. The audience and performers get up close and personal for a one of a kind experience.
Home Routes is a Winnipeg based organization that took the idea of house concerts one step further. The staff of music lovers finds folks who want to host a concert, and organizes house concert circuits for singer/songwriters, folk, roots and blues musicians.
Home Routes started operating in 2007, with 47 homes in 3 provinces.
Check out these impressive stats for 2010.
Now, Home Routes is expanding the music choices being offered. They're looking for people to open their homes to lovers of classical music. You may be a potential host and just don't know it yet.
If you'd like to host a classical concert for Home Routes, call Selena at 1-866-925-6889 ex. 201 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Here are three different experiences from Home Routes' musicians and hosts to inspire you to create a concert hall in your living room.
Veterans of the Home Routes experirnce, Qiu Xia He and André Thibault of Silk Road Duo.
"We travelled to one house after another, meeting hundreds of people, heard their stories and felt their passion about life. They're all extremely busy and inspired individuals. They love living! They are fully involved with the world that they live in. This small town, quiet town image in our head about those people is just imagination. The truth is, they are people who live like any city people: they work, volunteer, give and love with their full capacity! They are wonderful people!
Barry and Susan, are Home Routes presenters in Watson Lake, Yukon.
"We're quite often stopped on the streets and in stores to be thanked by people for being the host/ coordinators of Home Routes in Watson Lake. Thanked for making it possible to have live performances of Canadian musicians in our little town. We've been surprised by the amount of gratitude expressed, and this has made us aware of how people have felt from not having arts and culture delivered in this community.
Canada is extremely rich in the number of musicians who write and sing about her people, history, culture and land. However, Canadians outside the larger cities have few avenues to experience these musicians. Home Routes is an important organization in filling this gap; in bringing music to Canadians who would otherwise not hear it."
Shari Ulrich had this to say after completing her first tour in 2010.
"I'm a social being and LOVE the interaction, the warmth of the hosts and audience, the character of the towns and experiencing the heart of what and who makes up Canada. Wow. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!! I would do this again in a heartbeat,"
Silk Road Duo photo by Ron Scott
Shari Ulrich photo by Werkz O Photgraphy