Lloydminster resident Rhonda Burns is getting the chance to enjoy live music from the comfort of her own living room, and she’s inviting the rest of the community to join her.
“What we do is we have six concerts a year and I put them up in our house, we give them a place to sleep and we feed them and they perform a concert in our home,” she said.
The concerts are organized by Home Routes, a non-profit arts organization based out of Winnipeg. Its mission is to promote folk music and “expand the performance infrastructure for folk music,” making it available across Canada, even in smaller communities. This is done through establishing folk clubs, festivals and travelling performance circuits.
Two months ago Burns heard that Home Routes was looking for a Lloydminster host, so she contacted the organization to become a stop on the tour. She says there used to be a couple in the area who hosted the Home Routes concerts, but this will be the first time the shows will be held within the city.
“Both my husband and I love live music and we just thought, we like going to festivals, and we like the smaller kinds of festivals; they’re more personal that way,” she said.
“So with these small concerts you only have 30, maybe 40 people tops. So I just thought it’s a nicer way of getting to know the artist and getting to know some of the people in your community.”
Burns’ home is part of Chautauqua Trail Circuit, which covers Alberta and Saskatchewan from Edmonton to Prince Albert, going as far north as Fort McMurray and as far south as Outlook, Sask. The shows run from September to April.
Since starting in 2007, Homes Routes now includes 14 touring circuits in nearly every province and territory and the group says it has entertained more than 23,000 audience members this past performance season.
Burns’ first concert is on Sept. 20, when she welcomes Manitoban singers Keith Dyck and Dwayne Dueck into her home. She says she hopes to fill her living room with live music fans who find the concept of a house concert as interesting and exciting as she does.
“I’m crossing my fingers that we will actually get 30 people to come to our house for this concert,” she said.
“I’ve never been to a house concert either. (It’s an) absolutely new experience for me.”
Those interested in attending may call 780-872-1478 for more information and tickets.
Admission is $20 and a season pass costs $102.