The Aurora Cultural Centre seeks to celebrate the renewal of performing arts with Aurora Pops Up! This is an outdoor performing arts festival designed to revitalize the creative energy of Aurorans by staging a series of short live performances of music and dance in outdoor spaces across the town, open to everyone and free of charge. Aurora Pops Up! aims to look at how cultural programming can intersect with the daily lives of the public in a deeper, more meaningful way. And how live performance can transcend entertainment, offering unique experiences, moments of connection and inspiring new ways of being around each other.
Places we’ve Popped Up so far include: Machell’s Alley, Stuart Burnett Park, Hickson Park, Chapman Park, Thomas Coates Park, Copland Park, Aurora Cultural Centre, Aurora United Church, Aurora Farmer’s Market, Aurora Food Pantry, Aurora Town Hall, Hilary House, Kingsway Arms Aurora, Chartwell Aurora Long Term Care Facility, Chartwell Park Place Retirement Residence, Coconut Village Spa, Sunrise of Aurora, Prime Data Warehouse, and Hurst Bakery! Check out below to see where we’ll be next.
James Brown (Guitarist, Composer, Educator) is one of Canada’s most talented and versatile musicians.
He has preformed and recorded with many leading artists and ensembles and has recorded three critically acclaimed CD’s of original music. His 2009 recording, “Sevendaze” features Don Thompson, Quinsin Nachoff, Jim Vivian, and Anthony Michelli.
James has also performed with The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (with Eric Idol), Toronto Philharmonia, Sound Streams Canada (with The Hilliard Ensemble), Art of Time Ensemble and CanStage. He also performed in the Canadian premiere of 2X5: a new work by New York composer Steve Reich.
James’ compositions range from solo guitar to symphony orchestra and have been performed and recorded by numerous ensembles and soloists including: Orchestra Toronto, Trinity Chamber Ensemble, Jeffrey McFadden, William Beauvais and The Montreal Guitar Trio.
James has a Master of Arts Degree in Composition from York University and is currently on Faculty at the Royal Conservatory of Music and Metalworks Institute.
His recent composition “The Mosley Street Suite” is scheduled to be performed at Koerner Hall in August 2021 and his fourth studio album “Song Within the Story”, (featuring Clark Johnston, Anthony Michelli and Mike Murley) will be released in the Fall.
Follow and Support James Brown at www.jamesbrown.ca
Since capturing first place at 2016’s Toronto Open Mic Contest, Aurora’s Jay Dee has established her band as a high-voltage, spell-binding feature of numerous music festivals (Wintersong, Markham Village Music Festival, SOTC, Markham Ribfest, Taste of Stouffville, and more). You can find her recently released debut EP “Smiling Face” and new single “End of Time” on all streaming platforms including Apple Music, Spotify, iTunes, and more. “Smiling Face” is her signature, sing-along title track – an effortless genre-bender that combines country, folk and throwback pop with a touch of rock panache. “Smiling Face” the EP clearly demonstrates that Jay Dee is more than that, yet only scratches the surface of her versatility and creativity. Her band is made up the extremely talented Peter Han (violin and keys), Tyler Reznick (saxophone, trumpet, and flute), Mark Stratton (bass guitar), Danny Zaidman (vocals and guitar), and Shane Joseph (drums).
Follow and Support Jay Dee at https://www.instagram.com/jay_dee_band/
Wesley Shen and Justin Massey began collaborating in August 2020, with a common interest in exploring the unique chamber music possibilities of contemporary music. With Justin, playing saxophones of all sizes, clarinet, and electronics, and Wesley on piano, harpsichord, toy piano and Japanese shō, the endless combinations of sounds and colours allows them to create exciting and kaleidoscopic concert programmes. With a goal of promoting underrepresented voices in contemporary music and engaging with new audiences, Wesley and Justin strive to represent the cultural diversity and complexity of Canadian and international arts through their performances, workshops, and masterclasses. As queer identifying musicians, Wesley and Justin steek to promote underrepresented voices through their repertoire selection, commissions, and collaborations. As chamber musicians, they believe forming strong relationships and close collaborations with composers through interactive workshops, improvisations, and demonstrations that are offered through their multiple instruments.
Follow and Support Justin Massey at www.justin-massey.com
Aubrey McGhee is a Toronto-based composer and musician who has been an active performer in the city over the last decade. Between touring the country from coast to coast with various acts and contributing to multiple projects, like “Anywhere But Here” by Tika, “Good Morning Hunter” by Odario, and “Need You” by HMLT. Aubrey is currently serving as one of 2021 Slaight Music residents for the Canadian Film Centre . With his work, Aubrey hopes to continue to inspire and help other creatives tell their stories through art and dialogue.
A 2 times Caribbean Music & Entertainment Award Winner, for BEST STEELPAN SOLO ARTIST, Roy (Django Pan Fyah) Mc Rae. Born in Guyana and well known across the GTA for his versatile Steel Pan skills. Django further studied music at the University of Guyana. His first big event was representing Guyana, as a soloist, at the 1996 World Steel Pan Individual Solo Festival, held in Trinidad and Tobago. D’jango migrated to Canada 1998, formed Xplosion band 2001 and started as a soloist 2007. He has shared the stage with a number of artists such as, David Ruder, Half Pint, The Mighty Sparrow, Pamela Maynard, Ken Booth, Marcia Griffiths, Ernie Smith, Wayne Wonder,The Drifters, Taurus Riley and so many more, Performing at many festivals through out the GTA, USA, and Jamaica. Django has recorded two steel pan albums and is currently working on his original mix album. Django is known as one of Canada’s most versatile musician/artiste. He also provides private music lessons and workshops throughout the community.
Follow and Support Roy McRae at https://www.instagram.com/panfyah/
MIMI: NEW MUSIC FROM AN OLD SOUL
Mimi O’Bonsawin is an award winning roots songstress. You can find Mimi out on the road bringing songs and stories to diverse audiences all over this country and abroad. Her songs are heavily influenced by her French Canadian and Abenaki roots and flow through a centre of love and creativity. Her compositions are nurtured by the beauty of her home landscape, and her performances honest and raw. Her newest release ELLE DANSE is a self-produced French EP that has been gaining momentum with placements on Spotify, Amazon and Apple Music curated playlists. ELLE DANSE was in ELMNT FM’s top 10 Best Albums of 2020 and it was recently nominated for two prizes at the TRILLE OR Awards.
Follow and Support Mimi O’Bonsawin at www.mimi.ca
St. Kitts Music Inc. is a premier entertainment company that provides entertainment Weddings Corporate awards and Christmas parties. We have provided music for companies and organizations such as: Giller Gala, St Michael’s Angel Ball, Stratford Gala, AMBI Gala, CSA Awards, Peller Winery, Canadian Tire, Toronto Star, Rogers, Bell Canada, Microsoft, Casinos Halifax and Windsor, Casino Rama, The City of Vaughan, Scotiabank, Our logo reflects our heartfelt desire to bring you great music. St. Kitts Music will create a musical landscape for your enjoyment. Just go ahead and dance! Let us help you make an ensemble of special moments in time to remember forever with love. St. Kitts has several amazing Bands: Midnite Starr, Sound Machine & George St. Kitts Band. Sounds of Motown each of which will provide outstanding entertainment for you. We take the time to tailor the entertainment to your special requirements and make it a night everyone will be talking about for years to come!
Follow and Support George St. Kitts at www.stkittsmusic.ca
Call for Artists – Aurora Pops Up!
In challenging times, it has been on the shoulders of the arts to bring community together and ride through the turbulence. And now, more than a year after the coronavirus pandemic has darkened theatres, concert halls and venues across the world, we are looking at a new dawn for the performing arts.
This summer, the Aurora Cultural Centre seeks to celebrate this renewal with Aurora Pops Up! This is an outdoor performing arts festival designed to revitalize the creative energy of Aurorans by staging a series of short live performances of music and dance in outdoor spaces across the town, open to everyone and free of charge. Aurora Pops Up! aims to look at how cultural programming can intersect with the daily lives of the public in a deeper, more meaningful way. And how live performance can transcend entertainment, offering unique experiences, moments of connection and inspiring new ways of being around each other.
When and where will Aurora Pops Up! happen?
This festival will launch in mid-July and run through to September. It will be programmed as 30 minute concert events held in a variety of outdoor spaces throughout Aurora neighbourhoods. The goal is to engage area musicians and performing artists, and to bring music to those naturally gathered in both public and isolated areas in a way that adheres to public health standards. To achieve this, these will be surprise ‘pop-up’ events, curated around parks, street corners, parking lots, community meal distribution sites, outside long term care & retirement homes and business locations, transforming the everyday landscape of Aurora into a rich mosaic of artistic jubilation.
How do artists apply?
Aurora Pops Up! is not only about jump-starting the town’s relationship to the performing arts, but equally about providing a home for the incredible artists who’ve been shut down by the pandemic, and to rebuild their relationship with the audience. We invite professional musicians to submit an expression of interest to participate in Aurora Pops Up!
The Aurora Cultural Centre values diverse voices that reflect the communities we serve. We encourage submissions from members of all demographics including, Persons with Disabilities, Black, Indigenous, racialized communities and the 2SLGBTQIA+ community to submit their expressions of interest.
This program will be curated and produced by interdisciplinary artist Kalaisan Kalaichelvan. We currently have an open call for artists that asks for your CV, a sample of your work (up to 10 minutes) and a small description of what you would like to present in your ‘pop-up’. Performing artists will be compensated for their work, and supported by professional audio tech, a producer, front-of-house and volunteers. To apply, click the button below. We look forward to hearing your work!
Call to all Aurora Businesses!
The Aurora Cultural Centre seeks to celebrate the renewal of the performing arts this summer with Aurora Pops Up!. This festival will be a series of surprise 30-minute concert events held in a variety of outdoor spaces throughout Aurora neighbourhoods, open to everyone and free of charge.
The goal is to engage local musicians to bring live music to those naturally gathered in both public and isolated areas of Aurora. We know the COVID-19 impact has been enormous for businesses in Aurora.
The Aurora Cultural Centre is looking to collaborate with you to stage some pop-up events. Businesses must have an outdoor space able to accommodate 4-6 metre diameter to adhere to public health protocols. To join, please register by clicking the button below.