Melodies on Mercredi – Tunes for the Taking, Pudding for Purchase

By Jenny Henkelman

carlyguitarThe West End Cultural Centre is putting all of its new space to good use. The new building has plenty of space for, say, visual art as well as the beautiful tunes we’re accustomed to hearing at Winnipeg’s best listening room. This spring, the Melodies on Mercredi series is bringing the two together and providing a showcase for emerging artists all at the same time. And also pudding cups.
Maybe you saw the first edition in February, with Kipp Kocay and a display of work by the photography collective f/action. April 7 will bring a new version with music by Del Barber and Carly Dow. For the visual component, art students at Daniel MacIntyre Collegiate are creating works inspired by the singer-songwriters’ music. “It is very exciting and honoring to be part of the Melodies on Mercredi series,” says Carly Dow. “The WECC is one of my favourite venues in the city. I love the idea of combining visual art with music, and I am glad to see so much support for upcoming artists!”

The fact that high school-age artists will be creating visual art to go with her folky songs is pretty appropriate for Dow, given that she herself picked up the guitar in grade ten. “I was extremely inspired after hearing a cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall’ at a Remembrance Day service.  A lot of my close friends were also very involved in music at the time, and they had a huge influence on my songwriting and performing.”

High school wasn’t the only place Dow found a supportive community for making music; like a growing roster of Winnipeg folkies (from Cara Luft to the Fo!ps), she participated in the Winnipeg Folk Festival’s Young Performers program. “I learned a lot and made many personal connections through those experiences,” she says. “Each of my mentors have been amazing (Luke Doucet, Carolyn Mark, Cara Luft, Amelia Curran), and I would definitely recommend the program to any young artists who are interested in getting exposure. Winnipeg has a fantastic folk music community, and I’ve seen a passion and love for music here like nowhere else.”