West End Cultural Centre :: 30th Anniversary

By Max Hamilton

Before it had opened its doors for the first time, the West End Cultural Centre was already different than most venues. For one, the intention of the Centre’s founders was never to make a buck off the place, and to this day it remains a not-for-profit, charitable organization. It began as just an idea, one that, as work began on the run-down church at the corner of Ellice and Sherbrook, drew interested and generous citizens out to volunteer their time and expend their energy on refurbishing the building.  Some stayed on for months after the first show was held, which was headlined by the folk group Spirit of the West. That was thirty years ago as of October twenty-first, an anniversary which the West End celebrated with a tribute show to that band. Continue reading “West End Cultural Centre :: 30th Anniversary”

Royal Wood :: Q+A

by Darcy Penner

This coming Monday, October 15, Toronto’s Royal Wood will be kicking off a cross-Canada tour in Winnipeg, at the West End Cultural Centre, to support his latest MapleMusic release, We Were Born to Glory.  Stylus had the opportunity to meet up with Wood at the Winnipeg Folk Festival, and had a brief conversation about the album, growing older, and Wood’s successful career.  The following is an edited transcript of the interview.

Tickets are $20 through Ticketmaster or the Winnipeg Folk Fest Music Store. Elisapie is opening.  Doors at 7:15 pm, show at 8:00 pm.

Continue reading “Royal Wood :: Q+A”

Trampled by Turtles :: Slow and steady wins the race

By Scott Wolfe

These bluegrass boys just released their new album Stars and Satellites in April and have a hectic touring schedule planned for the summer. Stylus talked with Eric Berry (mandolin) over the phone to catch up with the band, chat about the new album and (personally) get super stoked for their show at the West End Cultural Center August 30th! Continue reading “Trampled by Turtles :: Slow and steady wins the race”

15 Minutes with Chad VanGaalen

By Victoria King

While Chad VanGaalen may refer to himself as a “joke” of a singer-songwriter, tour relatively little, and gain the reputation of being a “notorious homebody,” he’s still working with one of the biggest and best record labels in the world. After the success of his 2004 release Infiniheart on Flemish Eye Records, Sub Pop jumped on board the crazy psycho-eclectic and talented musical train of VanGaalen and they’ve been going steady ever since.

Austra + Young Galaxy + Tasseomancy // 11-24-11 // LIVE @ WECC

Austra @ WECC
Photo by Andrew Mazurak at the WECC in Winnipeg.

By Andrew Mazurak

Toronto’s Austra came to town in late November expecting colder weather than that which welcomed them. Despite our less than wintery wonderland of a city being unseasonably warm, the WECC warmed up damn quick as the sold out crowd danced their asses off for opener Young Galaxy who just came through town a few months earlier with Junior Boys:

Continue reading “Austra + Young Galaxy + Tasseomancy // 11-24-11 // LIVE @ WECC”

Frank Turner + the Andrew Jackson Jihad + Into It, Over It // WECC, 10.21.11

by Sheldon Birnie

Once in a while, a rock n roll show is just perfect. It takes you for a ride, lifting you out of the struggles and strife inherent to living as a human being on Earth. It reaffirms your belief in the power of rock, reaffirms why you’ve spent hundreds of thousands of hours listening to records over and over again, shilling out thousands of dollars over the years to buy those records or attend rock shows, buy t-shirts and beer koozies and other useless shit from your favourite bands. Leaves you feeling pumped up and ready to take on the world when the lights lift and the band goes home. Makes you feel alive. Continue reading “Frank Turner + the Andrew Jackson Jihad + Into It, Over It // WECC, 10.21.11”

Nights of Noise: A Weekend Preview

Tonight, if you’re feeling adventurous/nostalgiac, the West End Cultural Centre is presenting the 100 Mile Musical Diet, including Magnum K.I. covering the Weakerthans’ Reconstruction Site in entirety and Paper Moon playing Red Fisher’s War Wagon in full. Homage or blasphemy? You decide. Starts at 8, and the West End don’t wait.

Also, at the Garrick tonight, powerpop powerhouses the New Pornographers are playing with the Mountain Goats. Seriously? Seriously.

This Friday, if you prefer to have your concept of music constantly rearranged, if you choose to get out of your dank humid basement (which we know is plastered with posters of esoteric bands and filled with shelves of complete Brian Eno discographies), you’ll find a couple of rad shows.

First up, a band that we covered in the newest Stylus, the experimental trio Radian from Vienna. send + receive and CKUW are bringing them to the WECC, where they’ll rumble off stuff from their latest record Chimeric, which, as Stylus writer Curran Faris put it, “deals with the fundamentals of rock music: energy, dynamics, and sheer volume.” They’re playing with the awe-inspiring Tim Hecker and Didi Bruckmayr. The show starts at 8, and FYI, the WECC won’t wait up for you, so don’t be late.

If, however, you are of the night owl variety, you could see new local noise outfit White Dog play with Blind Squab,and touring Spirit Abuse. Chris Jacques of White Dog sent us an email about it (including a video of one of Spirit Abuse’s solo escapades), so we’re assuming that he’s pretty excited, and if he’s excited, then it’s something to get excited about. That’s happening at the Plug-In I.C.A. at 10 p.m. for $5.

And lastly, two gentle Toronto bands of the indie pop variety will be slaying the Rudolf Rocker this Sunday. The Phonemes and Metal Kites are going to be supported by Ingrid Gatin, and it’s going to be a big good old fuzzy pop time.

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.”

Fellows, Samson & co. make new music at the West End


Visit the West End Cultural Centre on Friday, January 22nd for a collaboration between a rocker (John K. Samson) a folker (Christine Fellows), a composer (Robert Honstein), a violinist (Cristina Zacharias), a percussionist (Ed Reifel) and a mastermind (Leanne Zacharias).

L. Zacharias, a cellist, curator and music prof (you might recall she appeared on C. Fellows’ brilliant latest album, Nevertheless), has spearheaded this event, called Arc: Six Musicians Map the Current, which is described as:

a musical conversation between these diverse musicians from different genres and backgrounds—a baroque violinist, a symphony percussionist, a contemporary composer, a cross-disciplinary classical cellist, and two popular songwriters—performing onstage as one ensemble.

The evening promises new repertoire from Honstein and new arrangements of songs by Samson and Fellows.

WHERE: West End Cultural Centre
WHEN: Friday, Jan. 22, doors 7:15, show 8
TICKETS: $15 ahead at Ticketmaster and the WECC