Local talent eases you into 2020

Homemade love songs and synth-rock on the menu at one of Ottawa's venerable watering holes.

Head to Irene's Pub for music of all kinds this weekend

A who's-who of local musicians: Mike Essoudry, Don Cummings, Fred Guignon and Megan Jerome. (submitted by Megan Jerome)

As the holidays wrap up, local artists are here to ease you into 2020.

Homemade love songs

Local singer songwriter Megan Jerome recalls a childhood of sing-a-longs around the piano.

Her father, James Jerome, was a parliamentarian and the speaker of the House of Commons in the 1970s, had another side after work.

"What he did every night was come home and put a scotch and a cigar by the side of the piano and play for hours and hours and hours," said Jerome, " And my mother would sing and my brothers would play guitar."

Today Jerome composes and teaches music in Ottawa and fronts the Megan Jerome Together Ensemble, performing her own "homemade love songs" along with accomplished local musicians: guitarist Fred Guignon, organist Don Cummings and her husband Mike Essoudry on drums.

 "My songs are all basically love songs," said Jerome. "The real theme that runs through it all is what makes me alight with joy."

  • Where: Irene's Pub, 885 Bank St.
  • When: Sunday 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Cost: Tickets at the door are $10, children 12 and under are free.

Dark and Light

"It's like a game of Tetris," says lead singer Derek Atkinson of the puzzle-solving skills necessary to crowd all the moving parts of Loon Choir onto tiny local stages.

The eight- piece indie rock orchestra of guitars, strings, keyboard and synthesizers deliver spirited anthems on the themes of social justice and alienation. Loon Choir's sound layers dark and light elements —danceable club tunes and vocal harmonies mixed with shadowy synthesizers designed to draw audiences close.

"There's nothing better as a performer to look out and feel sort of locked in with an audience whether it's that attentive gaze or just in moving our bodies together," said Atkinson.  "It's a magical, magical thing."

  • Where: Irene's Pub, 855 Bank St.
  • When: Saturday at 9:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $10. 

Reset for 2020

Grab your mat, water bottle and pen and paper.  Yogi Alex Ure is your guide through New Year's Evolution, a two-hour workshop of yoga, meditation and journaling where you'll exhale the stresses of 2019 and breathe in a bright new year of possibilities. It's open to all levels of yogis.

  • Where: Yogatown, 300 Preston St.
  • When: Sunday, 2 p.m.
  • Cost: $40. For more information go here.

About the Author

Sandra Abma


Sandra Abma is a veteran CBC arts journalist. If you have an event or idea you want to share, please do at