Voix de Ville Variety Show gathers local musical talents onstage
The Wiggle Room was jam-packed on Wednesday evening for its weekly Voix de Ville Variety Show. Montreal artist Heather Ragnars, who has already performed 12 times at the venue, took on the stage once again. “I like the people who work here, I like the performances, I like the audience… it’s one of my favourite venues in Montreal,” she said.
The Voix de Ville Variety Show is a competition that features various types of acts, from burlesque dancers to comedians to musicians. The performer who gets the most votes from the audience is given the opportunity to perform again the following week and win a $100 cash prize.
Despite her numerous performances, Ragnars has yet to win first place. “I haven’t won yet,” she said but added that, “Sometime this winter, I was second place seven times in a row.”Ragnars said she always loses the competition to one particular burlesque dancer. “She’s really amazing though and I worked with her since,” Ragnars said. While she said winning would be a nice achievement, it’s not that important to her. “I don’t show up here like, ‘I’m going to win this!’ It’s not like that,” she said. “I’m always happy to come back.”
Ragnars loves performing at the Wiggle Room because of its theatrical and extravagant atmosphere—a great fit for her as an artist. “I think it’s a good venue for me because I play piano so, performance-wise, I fit well into a jazzy environment,” she said, “But this is also vulgar material-friendly too. It’s a very open-minded kind of atmosphere, so I love performing here.” Ragnars’ usually performs at the venue as a piano soloist, as she loves the intimate performance setting. She performed three solos on the piano singing about themes of love, heartbreak and betrayal. Regnars explained that her on-stage persona channels a single, lonely and desperate person.
She is also working on an EP that should be released in a few months. “My influences [on the album] are mostly Amy Winehouse,” she said. “I like vintage sounds, Motown, rockabilly and I like electro, so it’s kind of just… indie pop.” However, she said that it’s not upbeat material.Her songs are based on difficult conversations that she usually does not have with the person that she is writing about
Ragnars said she plans on coming back to the Wiggle Room in the future, and encourages people to come by and check her out. The cover is $10, or $8 for students with a valid student ID.