If you read Quill and Quire, you’ve probably noticed the Venue Hop pieces. These stories feature a pub, coffee shop, or other place known for hosting readings. These articles are really useful for authors, I think, and a nice way to say thanks to great hosts. So I thought I’d do the same on my blog. This post is the first of many.
Sacred Arts in Camrose, Alberta, includes a coffee shop in the front and a yoga studio in the back. We performed in the coffee shop, a pleasant space with large windows onto 50th street and plenty of art hanging on the windows. It had enough room for us to set up our sound system (one speaker, a small mixing board, and mics), but was still intimate.
One day in May, a friend and I strolled into Dr. Coffee’s Cafe for a jolt of java. The coffee was lovely, and we really enjoyed the well-lit, comfy atmosphere. The coffee shop was quite new, and located in downtown Regina, and I thought to myself that this would be a perfect spot for the upcoming Secret Fire tour. And I was right.
Carmen and I kicked off the second leg of our tour at Crandleberrys, in North Battleford. Crandleberrys has been around since 2007, and under new ownership since this summer. It has a reputation for good coffee and good food, and from what I’ve seen, the new owners are maintaining that standard.
I lived in Edmonton for about a decade, and Audreys Books was hands-down my favourite place to buy books. For one thing, they have two levels full of books. Many, many, many books. And staff who knew all about those books. Plus it’s in a lovely brick building, right on Jasper Ave. I’d usually walk or take the LRT there, buy some books, and enjoy the downtown Edmonton scene.
The All Stars would play at all the little country halls and hockey rinks in the area — Pine Grove, Moosehead, sometimes venturing into Livelong or Turtleford or Walburg (hitting the big time, Dad joked). But their favourite was Dexter Hall, near Turtle Lake’s north shore. Though Dexter could hold only about seventy-five people, the acoustics were perfect and every note rang clear. The hall got so full, and people danced so much, that sometimes they cracked the doors open in the winter. And if you were outside, you’d see the escaped heat clouding the area around the front door.