PEI

Restored manse in Marshfield to host weekly music performances

A nearly 200-year-old manse in Marshfield, P.E.I., has been lovingly restored by two musicians, who plan to welcome people into the home for weekly performances.

Musicians Tim Archer and Ricky Lee have restored the nearly 200-year-old building

Music at the Manse performances are intended to be small an intimate. (Submitted by Tim Archer)

A nearly 200-year-old manse in Marshfield, P.E.I., has been lovingly restored by two musicians who plan to welcome people into the home for weekly performances.

"We've always wanted to open our home, to make it feel like home to anyone who enters. I think it's a great tribute for a building that was really set to be demolished within the next few months," said Tim Archer, who restored the manse with his partner, musician Ricky Lee. 

The Music at the Manse performances will feature a range of music, including gospel and rock and roll.  

Manse had been deteriorating

Archer says the manse was originally built in 1830. While in many ways he says it has stood the test of time, he says there has also been deterioration over the years. 

"It was sad to walk into a place with 12-foot ceilings, three fireplaces, hardwood floors all throughout, fabrics imported from Italy on the walls; to see everything in shreds and the house caving in the middle."

The performance room in the manse has space for 24 people, for an intimate show. (Submitted by Tim Archer)

Archer and Lee have been hard at work breathing new life into the space — including painting tin ceilings and sewing drapes themselves. 

They have set up a room as a performance space, which can hold up to 24 people. They plan to start hosting Friday night performances in January. 

Small, intimate performances

Leading up to the new year, they held a few "test ceilidhs" in early December. 

Tim Archer, left, and Ricky Lee plan to host weekly performances at their restored manse in Marshfield. (Angela Walker/CBC)

They've had a lot of positive feedback, and heard from a lot of people who are interested in attending. They are considering also using the adjoining dining room, which is connected by a large archway. But, they say, they want to keep the experience intimate. 

"It's an up close personal experience," Lee said. 

"You don't just go and sit in a chair and watch someone on a stage perform. The rooms are small enough and intimate enough to where Tim and I can interact with the audience on a one-to-one basis," said Lee. 

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With files from Mainstreet P.E.I.

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