Elly on the Arts: Charity shows and cultural events

Is it spring yet?  Please let it be spring.

Even if the weather is not very cooperative, there are good times to be had at Johnny’s Social Club courtesy of the Local Roots organization. Doug McGregor and Ann Ross organize and host these opportunities for local area musicians to strut their stuff, often at their home. Every once in a while, they decide it’s time to give back, usually to an organization that does good works, by hosting a fundraising evening. April 6 will be such an event and the beneficiary this time is A Port in the Storm, a Winnipeg-based group that provides accommodation for people from rural and northern Manitoba who need to be in Winnipeg for extended stays for health reasons.

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The musicians performing on this occasion are pretty well-known now. They include Métis performer Ron Burwash, Scot-Canadian Colin Davis, Holly Freeborn and Lyle Wallaker, Murray McDonald, Denare Beach band Reimer Reason, old timey musician Harold Romo, artist Syd Tippett, and the ageless Mary-Lou Spooner. The concert is at Johnny’s Social Club at 177 Green Street and the ticket cost is only $10. Doors will open at 7 p.m. and music begins at 7:30.

On April 11 and 12, the Wood ‘n’ Wire series presents “Glowing Hearts: Songs from the True North Strong and Free” at Johnny’s Social Club. With Craig Bancroft, Erick Bergman, Trevor Gordon, Kim Jones, Brent and Susan Lethbridge, Mark Matejka, CC Trubiak and Danny Wasylyk lined up to perform, you know it’s going to be amazing. Tickets have been on sale for a while, so there may not be many left, but go down to the Orange Toad to get yours. They are $25 each. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30.

The Flin Flon Youth Arts Council (YAC) will present an amazing show on Monday, April 15 at Johnny’s Social Club. Twin Flames, a husband- and-wife duo from the Ottawa area, will be in Flin Flon during the day and through the evening to work with youth and then perform their show for a general audience. The YAC “discovered” Twin Flames at the Manitoba Arts Network Showcase Conference in October and have worked very hard to secure a date in our town for them to perform.

Twin Flames is two unique award-winning singer-songwriters, Jaaji, an Inuk/Mohawk from Nunavut and Chelsey June, an Algonquin/Cree/Métis from Ottawa. The duo takes the audience on an unique musical journey across Canada and the Arctic. They lean on their ancestors and depict life on the land as they sing songs in English, Inuktitut and French.

In the time they have been together they have garnered a very long list of nominations and awards from the Canadian Folk Music Awards organization, the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network and the Native American Music Awards. They were artists in residence at the Folk Alliance International conference in Montreal this February. While there, they partnered with UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) to write a song to celebrate the International Year of Indigenous Languages. The song they wrote is called “Human” and, with luck, they will play it here.

Tickets are available at the Orange Toad for $10 for youth and $25 for adults. Showtime is 7 p.m.

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