Home is where the concert is

By Alicia Ward

Imagine what it would be like to have a concert in your living room: just you and a few friends gathered around a performing musician, enjoying an intimacy not found anywhere else. Gallery House Concerts attempts to capture that closeness, offering a chance for people to enjoy the performances of talented musicians in the coziness of Jackie and Dale Bourgaize’s living room.

A new addition to Calgary’s music scene, Gallery House Concerts was created to help promote musicians while giving audiences the opportunity to listen to amazing performances in a unique environment. The living room features a fireplace and beautiful windows, and combined with a separate viewing area fits 50 people. Any are welcome to attend, and plenty of parking space is available.

While house concerts offer a wonderful opportunity for audiences, they are also beneficial to the artists who play them, especially those that are on tour.

“We know how tough it is to tour,” says Jackie. “Tours usually don’t make money.”

Gallery House Concerts is a non-profit venue, so all proceeds go to the performing artists. Travelling musicians can also stay over at the house, which helps lower the cost of touring.

“We don’t make any money off of it,” explains Jackie. “We just volunteer the space so we can have the music at our house.”

Even though the venue is only a few months old, it has already begun to develop its own spunk ­ — the seats closest to the stage are the most uncomfortable, while the more luxurious seating is found near the back. Another homey tradition is a potluck dinner, which encourages attendees to bring and share food with the rest of the audience. This helps promote the sense of community that makes Gallery House Concerts unlike other venues.

“You build a community with this,” says Andrew Stanislav, a friend of the Bourgaizes who helps organize Gallery House Concerts.

“You have this opportunity to connect with people. Musicians meet other musicians. You make some new friends. I love it.”

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