News / Ottawa

Wellington West cafe hosting weekly, live music shows through to spring

Thursday nights in Ottawa’s Wellington West neighbourhood are getting a little more exciting if you’re into chocolate and free music shows.

The one-year-old A Thing For Chocolate on Wellington Street West will host a live, house concert-style music night every Thursday through May 14 with local and out-of-town solo acoustic artists.

The Sounds Simple series runs through the next 17 weeks and will mix together both experienced and emerging artists. Although there are no tickets or cover charge, they are still “pass the hat” performances.

Trish Murray, founder of RedLeaf Music, organized the series and chose A Thing For Chocolate because it is intimate and has the house party vibe she was looking for. Omar Fares opened the cafe in a converted house last year.

“Where he has the tables and chairs set up are where the dining and living room of the house used to be. So it already feels like a house,” she said.

She admits she’s concerned some nights will be more crowded than others with a capacity of about 30 people, but not every night will be a full house, she said.

Shawna Caspi, who is originally from Ottawa, will open the series on Thursday at 7 p.m.

“Everybody won’t get in that night,” said Murray.

Other artists on the roster include Amanda Cottreau, Leonard Youngfoot, and Dylan Watts.

Murray said she got the idea last year when it rained during Taste of Wellington and singers had to find a place indoors to continue the show. She met the café’s owner and the partnership grew from there.

An event like this is needed because independent artists need to be able to perform in a quieter setting where they can heard instead of playing over constant chatter, said Murray.

"It’s pretty daunting for a lot of people as their first time to play a show all on their own, to play for a large room of people," she said. "This makes it more accessible for some artists who maybe haven’t done this before and also gives them a nice listening room."

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