Home Arts Striving artists get the chance to take the stage

Striving artists get the chance to take the stage

by Archives January 30, 2002

For all those aspiring poets, artists and musicians who are dying to be in the limelight, get a taste of an audience and hear the sound of applause, an answer to making your dream a reality has been found.
The open-mic nights that were formerly held at Yesterday’s, on Bishop street near De Maisonneuve Boulevard, continue to be held, every Wednesday evening, at the same location which has changed owners and is now called Kafen.
These opportunities for participants have been going on for a year and a half and are organized by Larissa Andrusyshyn.
Although Andrusyshyn reads her poetry from time to time, she is reluctant to impose her own material on the audience, opting for the role of organizer and supporter more often.
Andrusyshyn had attended some artistic events put on by Jake Brown, who had an open-mic portion to his shows. Andrusyshyn was able to read some of her poetry and was so inspired by the experience that she decided to develop an event dedicated to the open-mic concept.
The open-mic night is of course open to anyone, and as Andrusyshyn informed me, over its life span she has seen many forms of art being performed, such as poems, music, theatre, political comedy, and more mainstream stand-up comedy.
The performers are mainly local amateur artists, and the audiences tend to be receptive, respectful, and encouraging.
On the night I attended, the performers were poets reading their works and musicians, mostly troubadour types, performing acoustic folk ballads. The material expressed by the artists was of a sincere and thoughtful nature, touching on a diverse array of subjects from the tensions of relationships to expressions of angst over the injustices of the world.
Kafen owner Georges Najjar has done an excellent job renovating the place, putting fresh coats of paint on the walls and filling the lounge with cozy bistro-style tables and chairs.
Illuminated with candles and funky red lamps, and flanked by a beautiful stone wall, Kafen effuses a warm and relaxing ambiance perfect for the sharing of music and poetry.
The upstairs portion contains an eatery, which offers an interesting selection of paninis, salads, and coffee.
Najjar would like to further support the artistic community by offering his walls to artists who would like to display their works. So if you have the urge to express yourself artistically, or would like to check out the “arts scene”, I recommend you make your way to Kafen on a Wednesday evening.

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