Home Routes - Chemin Chez Nousis creating House Concerts, Community Workshops
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Home Routes/Chemin Chez Nous was initiated by the founders of the Winnipeg Folk Festival and the West End Cultural Centre, Mitch Podolak and Ava Kobrinsky in collaboration with Tim Osmond and with the support of a nationally based volunteer Board of Directors.
Home Routes/Chemin Chez Nous was incorporated as a not-for-profit arts organization in February of 2007 to create new performance opportunities for French and English speaking musicians and audiences in rural, remote and urban, communities across Canada, hosted by volunteers in their homes and other community venues.
The Home Routes/Chemin Chez Nous house concert circuits are normally composed of twelve houses which the artist completes in fourteen days. Each house concert host presents six shows over the course of a year, which runs September to April with a two month break at Christmas and New Years. Each circuit of twelve houses has its own “season” of shows, each with a balanced program that could include blues, Cajun, bluegrass or old-time, to Celtic, Irish, American or Canadian music, whether traditional or contemporary, and any other interesting and fascinating music from just about anywhere on the planet.
A Home Routes/Chemin Chez Nous circuit helps artists to overcome the cost barriers of traveling long distances. Our innovative model offers a viable and lasting alternative to the traditional relationship between artist and presenter because it marries the needs of both into one dynamic program. Artists pay their own transportation costs and the hosts put them up and feed them all along the way. We provide the artist with directions and all the contact info required for a detailed touring schedule.
Home Routes/Chemin Chez Nous is equally dedicated to supporting those communities that are under-served musically. What works for the artist works well for the community. By the end of this 2018-2019 season, our twelfth year of operation, we will have planned and produced slightly more than 8,500 individual concerts in people’s living rooms and community spaces across Canada.
Since our beginning we have had significant financial support from the Canada Council and the Province of Manitoba, joined a few years later by FACTOR, and the Manitoba Arts Council. The artists who tour also contribute to running the organization. Together this provides just enough to pay the rent, to pay our modest wages, printing and mailing costs, the web site and the long distance phone bill. It’s barely enough to operate at our present size. It doesn’t allow for growth because of lack of human resources and we have a bottle neck that has been there for several years. Additional resources would allow us to expand with more concert routes and other initiatives we have planned such as:
We haven’t yet even begun to explore Canada for potential concert locations. In the folk music scene alone, with a few more resources, we could double the number of artists getting work from this program each season. We could double the number of communities benefiting.
- The Home Routes Community Workshops Program, bringing affordable, accessible music workshops to youths, adults and seniors at the community level. We hope this will one day be a fully functional Folk Music School.
- The Wednesday Night Folk Show with Mitch Podolak is a production of Home Routes Radio.The weekly podcast is produced to connect the Home Routes hosts, artists and fans under one roof so that we can share music, ideas, and news about our growing Home Routes House Concert Circuits. The podcast is hosted by Mitch Podolak, creator and founder of Home Routes.
This touring model would also work beyond folk music, to include jazz and classical music, and literary programs. The cultural opportunities for community supported touring are endless. We now have the experience to deliver these ideas. Help us build a functional and fair infrastructure for everybody.
Our goal is to have 1000 people supporting Home Routes at a level of $5 per month.That's equivalent to one slice of avocado toast per month for the individual, and seems like an attainable goal. We believe we have 1000 fans in Canada that will support and help us grow to ways that up to now, we have only imagined.
No matter the amount, your support matters. If you love folk music, the scene, the shows, the pickers, the songs in your head, the lonesome harmonica blowers, the cultural life of your country, consider a monthly donation through Patreon.
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When we reach 500 patrons we will record and post a live concert by a Home Routes performer!
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