Yellowknife artist Grey Gritt will be down in the hub this week, but unlike other performances, Friday’s event at She Takes the Cake cafe will be open to all ages.
Gritt, who was last in Hay River opening for Harry Manx on tour with the Northern Arts and Culture Centre (NACC), will be headlining beginning at 8 p.m. June 27, but will hopefully be supported by local talent at the open mic portion of the event beforehand.
“It’s an opportunity for different people in the community to come out, hear something new, and maybe play some of their own music as well,” said Alice Coates, vice-president of Pharus, a volunteer group in town organizing the event in partnership with the cafe.
“We’re always interested in promoting arts in Hay River and we rarely see music for all ages.
“We thought this would be a great opportunity for parents to bring their school-aged kids and enjoy the show.”
The show will also be held the same weekend as Diamond Jenness Secondary School’s graduation, which Coates said she hopes will draw in families already in a celebratory mood.
“We’re promoting inclusion on grad weekend,” she said.
“Grad is a family event, She Takes the Cake is a great central location and music is an inclusive medium.”
Melissa Beck, owner of the cafe, said she hoped the restaurant’s new location would not only draw in more foot-traffic, but also make it easier for artists to attract crowds and host gigs there.
At the time of the move a few months ago, she said that helping to develop the arts scene in Hay River by providing a venue was high on her list of priorities for the business.
Manager Danielle Sachs agrees.
From the art for sale on the walls to hosting events like photography auctions and gigs, the cafe has stepped up as one of the few places in Hay River to host a casual arts scene, she said.
“All ages deserve the chance to experience live music in a safe environment,” said Sachs. “It’s unrealistic to expect weekly performances but if we get the chance once in a while to help do something really cool then that’s exciting.”