Two of Port Alberni’s biggest supporters of the local arts scene will be holding a mid-summer benefit for the arts.
Char’s Landing and Art Rave Alberni have partnered to present a three-day Benefit for the Arts from Tuesday, July 31 to Thursday, Aug. 2. This benefit is thanks in part to a sponsorship through artsVest British Columbia in recognition of the business partnership between Art Rave Alberni and Char’s Landing.
Internationally-acclaimed singer/songwriter and performer John Pippus will hold two workshops for songwriters and performers. This will be followed by a rock and roll dance party with his high energy trio. All will take place at Char’s Landing.
Pippus, a frequent visitor at Char’s Landing, said he started holding workshops in Parksville about a month ago.
“I’ve always been teaching, usually through word of mouth, but never formally,” said Pippus. “I’ve written hundreds of songs over the years and it’s something I know.”
His workshops feature a powerpoint presentation with pictures and examples for the “visual learners” in the crowd, and most of what he teaches is drawn from his own experience as an artist.
“This is my way of looking at writing songs or performing,” he said. “There’s no one right way. Hopefully people can take away a few things from it.”
The songwriting and performance workshops are open to everyone, from beginners to pros.
“I ask people at the beginning for a 30-second intro,” Pippus said. “What are you looking for? What are you hoping to get out of this? I take the temperature of the room and go from there.”
Some participants, he said, are already songwriters but want to look for a new sound. Others have started songs, but aren’t sure how to finish them.
“In both cases, you’re sitting there facing a blank piece of paper,” said Pippus. “You’re starting over every time.”
The workshops and benefit concert, coordinated by Charlene Pattersson of Char’s Landing, will be an opportunity to raise money for Art Rave that can be used to further the organization’s mission.
The first workshop will take place on Tuesday at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6) and will explore the vision, art and craft of songwriting: everything from the first idea for a song to the technical “nuts and bolts,” said Pippus. The second workshop, starting at the same time on Wednesday, will explore the art of performance and what to do before, during and after a performance.
The benefit ends with a rock and roll dance party on Thursday, also starting at 7 p.m.
Pippus said that Char’s Landing is one of his favourite venues to perform at. “As soon as you walk in the space, you just think there’s a magical quality to it,” he said.
The 100-year old church has “amazing acoustics” and is decorated in an interesting way, he added.
“I know I’m going to be allowed to make some magic happen,” said Pippus. “Every time I’ve played, no matter how big the crowd, it’s always the same: magic happens.”
Tickets for all three nights are available at the Rollin Art Centre, through charge by phone (778-421-2427) or online at brownpapertickets.com.