After a little summer holiday, Manitoba Music is ready for the return of its open mic night, co-presented with the Winnipeg Folk Festival. The free monthly evenings are set to take over popular West End haunt, The Handsome Daughter, on the third Tuesday of every month.
Kicking the season off on October 20, singer/songwriter Elessar Thiessen will be the first host hitting the open mic stage. An emerging name on the local music scene, Thiessen brings intensity, passion, warmth, and intimacy to his music. A full-time producer in studio by day, the Winnipeg-raised Thiessen is a musician by night, writing and singing for over a dozen years with a new full-length album, A Rainy Week in Paradise, out now.
Manitoba Music and the Winnipeg Folk Festival first teamed up in 2008 to co-present the open mic nights, which quickly earned a reputation as one of the best in Winnipeg for the listening room atmosphere and a rotation of acclaimed local hosts. Over 50 diverse Manitoba artists have taken the stage to host, and to encourage and inspire emerging acts, including Ruth Moody, Keri Latimer, JP Hoe, Chic Gamine's Andrina Turenne, Del Barber, The Crooked Brothers, Sweet Alibi, Red Moon Road, Leonard Sumner, Slow Leaves, Erin Propp, Cara Luft, and music legend Fred Penner.
"We're excited to continue partnering with our friends at the Winnipeg Folk Festival on open mic nights, and to find a new home at The Handsome Daughter. Open mics are where emerging performing songwriters go to cut their teeth. They're a great way for young performers to make a first step on stage or for established singer/songwriters to try out new material, and above all, a fantastic opportunity to build community," says Manitoba Music's executive director, Sean McManus.