To be a songwriter, ‘you just need a point of view’

Musician Ivan Boudreau brings Canadian acts to Langley for SongStage at Bez Arts Hub

Ivan Boudreau has been growing his musical showcase SongStage for years – bringing friends, colleagues, and musical heroes together for evenings of creative exploration.

Many venues across the Lower Mainland have housed Boudreau’s project, but he said none have suited SongStage quite like Langley’s own Bez Arts Hub.

“Everyone who goes into that place for the first time goes ‘whoa, where’s this place been’?” Boudreau said. “The place is perfect for a concert – a little place in Langley people don’t quite know about yet.”

Boudreau has been a songwriter since high school, traversing the cab-country scene around Boston and Toronto for much of his career.

He has joined musical showcases such as SongBird North, filled musical mentorship roles, and been a part of the Songwriters Association of Canada which all helped lay the groundwork for his own event.

“I love to share the stage and there’s just so much quality art. It’s a concert setting – people are not going for dinner or drinks, SongStage gives a quiet place for artists to play original songs,” Boudreau explained.

SongStage takes multiple artists – typically four – and puts them all up on a stage together where the relaxed show just goes where it may.

Bringing together stories on process and musical creation mixed with intimate sets, the evening is shaped by the Nashville “in the round” style where the floor’s command rotates to each artist for several turns until the night concludes.

A former Maple Ridge resident, now in Port Coquitlam, Boudreau held early versions of SongStage in the ACT Arts Centre as a full set performance night – which is still running and currently entering its eighth season.

He later started the Gallery Bistro in Port Moody where the series took shape over two years and adopted the SongStage name.

After meeting Russ and Sandy Rosen and wanting to bring the show to a bigger level, the perfect home for SongStage would finally present itself.

“I married a girl who liked arts and music and did a lot of things – we lived on the road doing mobile theatre,” Russ Rosen said. “We decided to do less travelling and start Dance Barn Studio. When it came time to decide whether to shut it down or go big, we decided to make music everything.”

The couple opened Bez Arts Hub (20230 64 Ave, #102) in 2017 to try and bring a bigger musical culture to Langley.

SongStage debuted in March of this year with a successful season of varying artists – Langley’s own Bruce Coughlan returned to his home town for a performance at Bez Arts. Angela Harris, Ken McCoy, Todd Richard, and many more stopped by to take part throughout the season.

Boudreau said he finds performers through long-established contacts, newsletters, and even artists simply asking to be a part. He hopes SongStage will also give new songwriters a chance to establish themselves and maybe even inspire a few to begin their career.

“There’s no qualifications to be a songwriter. You just need a point of view and we all have them,” Boudreau said. “If you ask ten people in a room the same questions, you’ll get a different answer from everyone. We all have something to say – something different.”

Read more: Michael J. Fox’s former bandmate takes Willoughby stage

The 2019/2020 season is already taking shape with three planned Saturday night SongStage events on September 21, November 16, and February 8.

The first show in the fall will feature performances Jessica Barbour, Ranj Singh, and Bez Art’s own Russ Rosen.

Tickets can be purchased at www.bezartshub.com.

“It’s a struggle to get people out,” Boudreau admitted. “Live music is not in the same place as it used to be but I’d like to see it growing – get some songwriters with name recognition; ‘name on the marquee’ kind of performers.”

In the meantime before SongStage starts up after its summer break, concerts at Bez Arts Hub including Qristina & Quinn Bachand and Emily Chambers with Curt Henderson will be happening in the coming weeks.

“It’s a perfect venue and listening room,” Rosen added, “and SongStage is right along the line with what we’re wanting to do at Bez Arts Hub.”

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

History made in draw 1 of 2020 New Holland Canadian Junior Championship in Langley

Champion curler Carly Smith is an amputee competing with other able bodied athletes

Olatoke sets new Spartans record in Edmonton

Langley-based university off to a good start at Golden Bear Open

Critter Care calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

LETTER: Langley man suggests seniors deserve more from taxpayers

Seniors who rely on CPP and Old Age Allowance are stretched

‘Like an ATM’: World’s first biometric opioid-dispensing machine launches in B.C.

First-of-its-kind dispensing machine unveiled in the Downtown Eastside with hopes of curbing overdose deaths

Canucks extend home win streak to 8 with 4-1 triumph over Sharks

Victory lifts Vancouver into top spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

BC Green Party leader visits northern B.C. pipeline protest site

Adam Olsen calls for better relationship between Canada, British Columbia and First Nations

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

B.C. landlord sentenced to two years in jail for torching his own rental property

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

VIDEO: Highway 1 left looking like winter war zone with dozens of stranded vehicles

Tow-truck driver says 30 vehicles still dot snowy landscape, including one rolled-over dairy truck

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Canada Post driver in hospital after ice smashes windshield at Massey Tunnel

Incident happened on Richmond side of the Massey Tunnel

Most Read