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100 Local Shows In A Year

  • By Jenna Bjornson


100 Local Shows In A Year

Having a hard time thinking of a New Years resolution? London’s own Donna Currie made it her goal to see 100 local shows in London in 2017, and succeeded! London Music Office reached out to Donna to hear her story. Donna's words are below the video. 

"The story of my new found interest in local London music actually began on the eve of my 49th birthday, End of June 2014.  I decided I was going to set out on forty nine adventures for the year I was 49, prior to turning 50.  There have been far too many people in my life that did not get to enjoy the luxury of turning fifty, or spent the years whining that they could hardly believe they were that old. The forty nine adventures project was life changing and mind altering to say the least."

"I had rules, the adventure had to be something new and different to me, there had to be a food or treat of some sort to make it worthwhile, and it had to be fairly cheap or free. It also had to be a photo opportunity as I document my everyday with a photo a day project. The adventures led me near and far, a lot of the smaller local festivals had local musicians playing at them.  I was at the wildflowers tea and honey farm for a summer solstice party, Where I learned of Mountain of Wolves, and the marrieds.  Another great event was the mantis festival, where I met Colleen and Steve Murphy of Westminster Park.  I posted a few random photos from this event and a mutual friend shared a photo I had taken of Westminster park with them.  We met up at several more events, and I started to follow there events after my year of 49 adventures had finished. One thing led to another and my love and intrigue with local music began in full force!"

"Skipping ahead to the beginning of 2017, I set goals instead of resolutions for the new year in late December. For this year I decided I would attend on show a month at the Aeolian Hall.  It was three blocks from my house, ticket prices were extremely reasonable and I would find a lot of new local talent! I also decided I would buy one new local musicians CD a month.  At the end of 2017, I have attend 100 local music events, and have well over a dozen new locally produced CDs.  The photo opportunities have been exceptional! The connections with the stories, the songs the local people have written, and the musicians themselves that I have gotten to know all in my goal of meeting the one show a month at the Aeolian Hall, a most magical and intimate venue for amazing musicians! I documented each event, more out of curiosity and of course to capture it all in photos. At least thirty-four of the events supporting local musicians have been at the Aeolian Hall."

"I have won tickets from the Aeolian, From CHRW radio western, and a lot of the events were free, or donate what you can like the St. Regis, Call the Office, Home County folk festival was a huge event for finding local amazing talent.  I also became a member of the Home County Folk Festival, something I never would have realized was possible in years past.  I had an absolutely fabulous day out in St. Mary’s at the River Rock Festival and enjoyed a concert in March, called the Ides of March to showcase the musicians that would be at the summer outdoor festival on the Camp farm.  I attended the Jack Richardson Awards week, several free shows, two at the Aeolian on the same day! Another amazing time was had a two CD release parties.  One was Broomsticks and Hammers and the other was Westminster park. Both so very amazing and fun!"

"So many extraordinary people, such awesome stories, and all right here at home in London, Ontario! One adventure and goal leads to another, now I have a huge list of annual events, and have met the most amazing of people and checked out all kinds of new to me venues and sounds.  Oh and the stories, that the creative song writers have put together totally connect with me.  I have always said I do not have musical talent but I am truly appreciative of the skill, talent and desire to get up on stage and share your style, it takes a certain soul and great courage."

"My list of goals for 2018 is currently being mulled over, but you can bet for sure I will continue to seek out local music and enjoy the most amazing venues and festivals we have here in our lovely city of London, Ontario.  Anyone who says there is nothing to do in town has really not tried all that hard to find something. There is something new and amazing around each corner! You do have to go looking for it, but wow what awesomeness you find when you are intrigued enough to look!"

- Donna Currie 



    The London Music Office embarked on its initial journey to understand…

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