Burnaby Neighbourhood House open mic nights mark one year of building community

A year ago, local musician Robert Stewart partnered with Burnaby Neighbourhood House to start up a monthly open mic night series at the organization’s community hall.

One year later, the open mic nights are going strong – and the group is hosting a celebratory event on Thursday, April 4 to mark its one-year anniversary. The community event has been growing in popularity each month since it kicked off on April 5, 2018.

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 “Over the past year, the Burnaby Neighbourhood House community open mic has had singers from the local community come and perform on stage a selection of music types: everything from barbershop quartets to pop to country to folk music,” says a press release about the event. “We have also had poetry reads. Everyone gets time on stage, and it’s a real family event.”

The open mic is open to all performers, aged 14 and older, who want to share their talents – singers, instrumentalists, comedians, poets, spoken word artists and more. Since it’s for an all-ages audience, performers are asked to keep their material appropriate for families.

If anyone wants to join in the fun but not perform, that’s OK too – audience members are welcome to drop in, by donation (suggested donation $4) and just enjoy the talents on display.

Each night includes time for seven drop-in performers, plus one featured artist. For the April 4 edition, the featured musician will be the Burnaby-born and –raised musician Matthew Stewart – a multi-instrumentalist who sings and plays alto saxophone, trumpet, drums and guitar but now focuses his efforts on piano and, in particular, creating jazz-influenced original pieces.

Anyone who wants to take their turn at the mic should arrive at 6:15 to register; the first seven to sign up are guaranteed a performance spot. The open mic runs from 7 to 8:30 p.m., and Matthew Stewart will perform from 8:30 to 9 p.m.

Burnaby Neighbourhood House Community Hall is at 5024 Rumble St. All proceeds from the nights go towards renovation and upkeep of the hall.

For information, call 604-431-0400 or see www.burnabynh.ca.

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