Thursday, 3 November 2011

Something special for our fifth birthday

In February of 2007, we celebrated music, we celebrated me being cancer free, and we celebrated Cathy's birthday, by inviting Suzie Vinnick and Tony D to come and play at our house.

I couldn't have guessed where all of that would lead us over the ensuing five years. And I couldn't have guessed the joy that BobCat House Concerts would bring to us. 

In February of 2012, we celebrate five years of giving musicians a respectful, comfortable, joyful place to play, and giving friends, colleagues, acquaintances and neighbours the experience of seeing and hearing tremendous talent up close. We -- you, mostly, with us creating the place -- have raised money for Babes For Breasts. We've donated more than 1000 pounds of food to the Food Bank. And we've all had a great time. 

Traditionally, February's the month when Cat gets to pick the artist. And her taste has been impeccable. Suzie and Tony. Penny Lang. Peter Elkas. The Good Lovelies (remember Cat's version of "My Inflatable Guy" with the Lovelies backing her up?). Missy Burgess and Keith Glass.  

And so for five years, she chose someone who we both love dearly, as a human being and as a performer. Amy Campbell is a Newfoundlander by birth (which already is a good sign), who has been performing for more than a decade and recording since 2003. 

In 2008, we were proud to host her at BobCat to release her CD "O Heart, O Highway", which went on to critical acclaim and well-deserved popularity. And she's coming back to BobCat on February 11 to premiere her new CD "Letters Home." 

Opening for Amy will be John Bowman. We are proud to be mentioned on the liner notes for John's first CD. When he moved to Ottawa and was brought to BobCat by his brother Rob, he rediscovered his own passion for making music (and became a big Amy fan too), which has led him to his own first CD, "Beach on the Ocean." John will be performing with Amanda Rheaume at Spirit of Rasputin's later in the spring, and we look forward to a preview here. 

Taylor Mitchell
And one final thing. We're talking about this show so early because we want it to be something special. In 2009, a young singer-songwriter named Taylor Mitchell was killed in an animal attack in Cape Breton. She was on her first tour. Taylor had benefited from the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals Youth Mentoring Program. And so after her death, her family created the OCFF Taylor Mitchell Bursary, which allows a young performer who might not be able to afford the costs of attending. 

To celebrate the power of music and of community, we're pledging to match your donations to the Taylor Mitchell Bursary up to $500, meaning we could raise $1000 to help young musicians chase their dreams. Use the ChipIn widget at the top of the right-hand column (right above our logo), why don't you? 

So come. There will be wonderful music to be sure. There will be surprises, and laughter, and possibly a tear or two. It will be everything you expect of a BobCat show, and maybe a bit more. 

WHO: Amy Campbell
WHEN: February 11, 2012; 7:00 mingling, 8:00 music 
WHERE: BobCat Birthday Club, 214 Northwestern Avenue
WHAT: $20 suggested donation, all proceeds to artist. A food item to share, and booze if you're partial; a non-perishable food good for the Ottawa Food Bank. 

Here's some memories of BobCats past: 

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