April 2014 Feast of Fools

Facebook Event

March Madness was Mad!

We had a show last night and it was great! Thanks to everyone who made it out to the show and who promised to return in the following month. And you really need to come to April’s show because it will feature Ottawa’s Mad Teller: Ron Langton!

Because a few people asked about it, here are the details about the St. Patrick’s Day Concert I’m hosting this coming Sunday (March 16th, 2014):

Driving out the Snakes II: A St Patrick’s Day Celebration

Resto Griffintown
1378 rue Notre-Dame Ouest,
Montreal, Quebec H3C

Doors open at 3:00pm
Show begins at 4:00pm
$10 admission for adults
$5 admission for children
Facebook Event
Contact Aine Doan at ainedoan@gmail.com

For the second year in a row, we are inviting you all to join us in driving out the snakes. The event will be MC’d by acclaimed local seanchaí John David Hickey. With live music by two wonderful Celtic folk bands, The Mudlarks and The Bombadils, and a performance of Irish dance by Richard Chalut, this is a celebration that is not to be missed!

—- About the Mudlarks:

The Mudlarks are a brood of misfits spawned in the ooze of the River Thames. They concoct a delicious musical stew drawing ingredients from traditional British Isles sources and a corpus of original work.

Ben’s original compositions draw their inspiriation from local history, including: the adventures of Quebec-bound immigrants who braved the perilous sea-crossings, the bitter memories of survivors of World War II’s Dieppe, and a moving interpretation of the Stan Rogers classic Barrett’s Privateers.

—- About the Bombadils:

The Bombadils are a “charismatic and kind-hearted bunch of rascals.” Their music features a bluegrass and Celtic-inspired voice that combines soaring melodic lines, tight rhythmic energy, and a decidedly contemporary sound.

Since the release of their first album, “Fill Your Boots!,” this band of four musicians have wandered cross-continent, performing in canoes on the Tobique River, skiing in the mountains of Sierra Nevada, and riding the VIA rails. They look forward to performing these songs, as well as a number of Irish classics, for this year’s mighty St. Paddy’s day celebration in Montreal.


Love Gone Awry!

In light of the upcoming Valentine’s Day, tonight’s theme at the Story Slam is Love Gone Awry. Come share your tales of when Love goes wrong.

Slamtastique: Love Gone Awry
Cafe Shaika
5526 Rue Sherbrooke W/O
6:30pm – 9pm
Facebook Event

Do you have a story to tell? Sign up early and get perks! Read all about the rules here (English/French).

The January 2014 Story Slam had a small intimate group of storytellers, but the stories  were awesome! I have just finished putting the second podcast together for Slamtastique, so here it is and I hope you enjoy it!

I’m really enjoying SoundCloud. I just bought a 4-hour block. We’ll see how this goes for this year.

January 2014 Story Slam

Join us for our first Story Slam for the new year! I’m sure you’ve have plenty of interesting stories told and heard over the holidays, so here’s your chance to share them for prizes FANTASTIQUE!

Slamtastique Story Slam: January 2014January 13th, 6:30 pm
Cafe Shaika
5526 Sherbrooke West
Facebook event

If you want to tell a story, sign up early and get perks!

Slamtastique Podcast Ep.01

So we’re trying something new here at Slamtastique: instead of just posting single stories from the Story Slam, I’m putting it together in podcast format. This is episode one and it’s been a grand learning experience and lots of fun to put together. I have a few ideas on how to improve on this process, but this is definitely a place to start.

This podcast features three tellers from our December 2013 Story Slam where the theme was “Salad Days”. These tellers include:

The next Slamtastique event is on January 13th 2014! Join us for an epic night of storytelling!

Art is not Free

At the last Slam, one of the patrons was telling me a story about how she was describing this event to a friend and the friend said “Why does he charge money for this kind of show?”

I know that this is not an uncommon idea or question, so I’ve decided to list the costs involved in putting on a show like this, keeping in mind that I (as the host) am performing for free. If I were to be paid for this job, I could expect to receive about $150-250 for each show.

These costs do not include the venue, but that’s because I get to use the Café for free (the downside is that I cannot control room noise, so sometimes we must deal with loud conversations in the back and the whirring of the coffee machines).  If I had to pay for a venue, you could easily throw in a yearly cost of about $1300 to $1800, depending on the venue.

Yearly Costs associated with the Story Slam

1. Prizes: $80
2. Printing: $100
3. Website: $75
4. Invited tellers: $200-$300
5. Equipment $100-$250

So yearly, the Slamtastique events cost about anywhere from $250 to $750 to put on, depending on who I can bring in and the kind of equipment I can get. On average, with a $5 donation request at the break, each event takes in something like $50 to $100 (on really good days).

Slamtastique gets no funding, no financial support from anyone, so it’s the host taking all the financial risk. If I have a good year, I might take in about $800, but so far, it’s been more in the $300 to $500 range yearly, but that gets gobbled up by the costs.  So basically, I either break even or suffer a loss. There ain’t much profit to be had.

This also comes back to the idea that Art has a price because artists deserve to be paid for their work. While it’s great when the public can enjoy art from time-to-time free of charge, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the artists were not paid for their work. This is where government subsidies come in to ensure that the artists are reasonably paid while the public gets to benefit from their art for free.

And personally, I think a $5 donation is very reasonable for a 2 hour show. In other places I’ve been, it’s more like $10.

Slamtastique is now on SoundCloud!

SoundCloud has really been impressing me lately with their hosting and communities, so I’m going to be posting the Slamtastique recordings here from now on.

You can find some of the recordings from the Slamtastique evenings on SoundCloud.

First Winner for 2013!

Congratulations to Joel Lamothe for winning October 2013 edition of Slamtastique! Thanks to all the judges and the storytellers for kicking off the 2013 season!

With Joel’s kind permission to post his story, here is the legend of Robert Laporte.

Themed Evenings in 2013-2014

Since our themed evenings worked so well last season, we’re going to commit to four themed evenings in the 2013-2014 season of Slamtastique.

Here are the proposed themes. We reserve the right to change these themes, but we’ll give you as much notice as possible.

October 7th / 7 octobre 2013 — Theme: Bump in the Night (Facebook event)
December 9th/ 9 decembre 2013 — Theme: Salad days
February 10th / 10 février, 2014 — Theme: Love Gone Awry
April 14th/ 14 avril 2014 — Theme: Feast of Fools

Note: You may notice that the website has lost a few posts and looks slightly different. This is because I’ve migrated the website over to its own domain and I have to re-enter all the Blog entries by hand. It’ll take some time, but eventually, I’ll get them all over to the new site. Thanks for your patience!