This walkabout has turned, for reasons unknown to me, largely into a search for local, homegrown art endeavours. I haven’t had much success so far — it takes a while to get into the loop, so it doesn’t happen easily when you’re travelling — but i did manage to get to a couple:
- An open stage event at Finley’s Irish Pub. Billed to start at 9 p.m. (why i believed that is a wonder), i sat around in a virtually empty bar till 10, when people began trickling in with instruments. We eventually had the requisite first-timer who sang out of tune and forgot half his first song; the regular whose confidence overshadows his talent; and the woman-with-a-great-voice duo marred by bad sound and too many songs. I’m only being slightly glib here; they were all worthy efforts and i wouldn’t have done any better.
I considered signing up to recite my poem The Battle a Abby’s Butte, which would have gone over well because Abby now lives in Nelson. But i had no local supporters and i didn’t know the protocol, so that wasn’t to be.
I left about 11:30, overtired, as a 4-piece reggae band (lackluster but for the lead singer’s hat) started up.
- Abs and i were set to see a play, but she had a rerun of her summer cold so i went alone. Livingroom Theatre inhabits a converted garage off an alley, and seats maybe 30. The twin fish theatre show, well into a 3-week run, was sold out. Written by Bessie Wapp, one of the four performers, it was impressive, much better than i expected in a town like Nelson — rich, nicely crafted, well acted. Loco Phantasmo — go see if it comes near you.
- In my perambulations i happened upon Craft Connection, a most impressive co-op gallery owned and run by several Kootenay artists. Beautiful big space full of high quality work. I had a long chat with one of the staffers about the long, painful process of getting the facility up and running.
- I didn’t get to, but at least found out about, the Cottonwood Market Saturday drum circle, which has been running for over a decade. It takes place iin the Japanese garden adjoining Cottonwood Falls, during Saturday summer markets in the park. Sounded great, but the hostel was full up Friday and i had to leave town.