Mission Improvable • Feb 24, 2017

MISSION IMPROVABLE
Featuring THE DANDIES and SCARED SCRIPTLESS
Saturday February 24, 2018
Doors 6:30PM, Show 7:00PM
Tickets: $25 (+SC) advance, $30 door • 19+
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Mission Improvable features The Dandies (Toronto) and Scared Scriptless (Niagara) for an improv adventure; an evening of interactive laughter and fun peppered with group trivia and prizes along with guest performer Jesse Wray during mingle time. The show will benefit orphans and vulnerable children in Zambia who have been affected by HIV and AIDS. $25 ensures that a child can attend school for a whole year.

Rich Aucoin • Feb 23, 2018

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RICH AUCOIN
Friday February 23, 2018
Doors 8:00PM, Show 9:00PM
Tickets: $15 (+SC) advance, $20 door • 19+
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Rich Aucoin has never been one to do things normally. You know the stories by now: How he toured across Canada on a bike — confirming the next night’s show from the green room of the venue he was currently sound-checking in. On that bike tour, he ran a half-marathon in every city, raised money, donated every cent to Leukemia research. On the next tour, he ran half-marathons for Heart And Stroke while at the same time recording 2011’s We’re All Dying To Live, featuring over 500 players. And his first EP, Personal Publication, syncs up perfectly with How The Grinch Stole Christmas and 2014’s Ephemeral with The Little Prince. How every show features a custom video opening and a party under a parachute and at the end of that show, he puts his phone number up and you texted him.

Well, Rich saved all those numbers in his rolodex (totalling almost 16,000 friends and strangers), so if you’ve received a text from Rich today, or saw a poster around town, or on social media, asking Rich to text you, then you’ve likely already heard the news that there’s a new EP coming out on March 16. It shouldn’t surprise you to learn that when Aucoin’s computer was stolen on a surf trip in Costa Rica in 2016, along with it went most of the recordings for the new EP. Gone. All but one completely finished new song which he had sent to his manager. That song was to be the last song of the new EP. And that record? He didn’t just start over — he made his best work ever: spanning through electro-jungle variations to joyous and catchy orchestral pop.

The Penske File • Feb 17, 2018

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THE PENSKE FILE
With PINEAPPLE GIRLS
Friday February 17, 2018
Doors 8:00PM, Show 9:00PM
Tickets: $10 (+SC) advance • 19+
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For many years, “The Penske House” in Burlington, ON was known as the place to go for the after-show party. A place where several dodgy music videos have been filmed and where countless bands have slept….A place where eating a scorpion and chugging through a chandelier happened at least once. It also just so happens to be the place that Travis (vox, guitar, harmonica), James (bass, vox) and Alex (drums, vox) of The Penske File call home. More importantly, it’s where these three young men became brothers and banded together to make some seriously awesome music.

Following hot on the heels of two critically acclaimed EPs and several massive stretches of international touring, Burn Into The Earth attacks the listener with a sonic authenticity and passion that perfectly captures the ferocious spirit of the band. These 10 epic tracks were produced with the help of long time friend and prolific recording engineer Steve Rizun (Flatliners, Motorleague, Junior Battles). Meanwhile, with a touch of harmonica, and the warm, welcoming pop sensibilities, The Penske File feel like an all-inclusive band for misfits, romantics, workers and intellects alike. On tour, everywhere, forever.

“The Penske File are a fantastic, never before seen or heard mixture of melodic folk punk, pop punk and punk rock. Let’s call it “brother-punk” because whether you know them or not, they feel like your friends when they’re up on stage.” – Scene Magazine

“A genre-fused offering that blends the spirit of punk with deep rooted melodies and lyrics that echo Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, The Penske File have created a sound that is all their own.” – Audioblood

“It’s evident just by listening to the upbeat hooks, that these three guys from Burlington, Ontario, really love what they’re doing.” – Kingston Music

Lido Pimienta • Feb 15, 2018

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LIDO PIMIENTA
With CENTURY EGG
Thursday February 15, 2018
Doors 7:00PM, Show 8:00PM
Tickets: $20 (+SC) advance, $25 door • 19+

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Lido Pimienta is a Toronto-based, Colombian-born interdisciplinary musician and artist-curator. She has performed, exhibited, and curated around the world since 2002, exploring the politics of gender, race, motherhood, identity and the construct of the Canadian landscape in the Latin American diaspora and vernacular.

Lido’s latest LP, La Papessa (2016), charts an evolution from her debut LP Color (2010), an album full of (as the title suggests) colourful landscapes and positive vibrations. The 2017 Polaris Prize-nominated album, La Papessa, takes a more personal approach, describing the narrative of how Lido has found her independence as a woman and as an artist who refuses to fit pre-conceived notions of what a pop Latina artist ought to be.

The album was written in multiple cultural and geographic settings — the desert of Indigenous Wayuu land and the northern mountains in Colombia, as well as in Canada, in both London and Toronto, Ontario — and the music, in turn, reflects these settings. The sounds on La Papessa take listeners on a musical journey from traditional Afro-Colombian percussion to global bass and darker avant-garde electronic sounds. Lido’s piercing, explosive and heartwarming voice unites the compositions, beats and harmonies, resulting in a perfect labour of love and sound that highlights the creative voice of this talented artist.

Century Egg is a colourful band from Halifax, Nova Scotia, boasting a diverse range of influences and artistic traditions. Fronted by vocalist, lyricist, and animator Shane Keyu Song, along with guitarist Robert Drisdelle, drummer Tri Le, and bassist Nick Dourado, Century Egg make refreshingly modern and fun music about the importance of chosen family, staying together and the love of daydreaming and eating wonderful food. In the past year, they have appeared at a number of prominent Canadian festivals (including the OBEY Convention, Sappyfest, and Kazoo Fest), and they are currently working on a full-length follow-up to their first two EPs, Mountain God and River God.

In My Coma • Feb 10, 2018

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IN MY COMA
With KING PARK
Saturday February 10, 2018
Doors 8:00PM, Show 9:00PM
Tickets: $10 (+SC) advance, $15 door • 19+

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From struggle comes strength, from perseverance comes professionalism and from passion comes creative excellence. For Toronto-based alternative rock band In My Coma, their new album Next Life is a landmark musical statement enveloped by epic arrangements, meshed with powerful melodies, insistent guitar riffs and a dark emotional intensity that infuses every note and every lyric. Founded in 2010 by U.K.-born vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Jasper James and his partner, bassist Laura Doll, the band’s lineup was augmented with drummer Mike Paterson in 2011 and later by the addition of keyboardist Linz Clark in late 2015. In My Coma has worked hard to build a solid fan base, touring coast-to-coast and sharing the stage with the likes of Sum 41, Moist, and Neverending White Lights. They have enthralled audiences with their fresh, modern take and unique mix of Brit-Pop, 90s Alt-Rock with a dose of the emotionally darker side of the 80s synth-pop scene. Next Life sees each member going ‘all in’, devoting their creative impetus and prodigious talent to make In My Coma the next truly exceptional Canadian rock band. After years of hard work, perseverance and dedication it’s all paying off, as In My Coma delivers a record of remarkable depth and artistic excellence – an album that insists upon repeat listens and the full attention of the listener.

In Fall 2011, King Park formed in a small basement in Hamilton, Ontario when drummer Daniel Jumaquio and singer/guitarist Timon Moolman decided they wanted to see how loud they could be. Formerly known as To Our Divide, King Park decided to move away from their pop-punk roots and opted for a name change that would match their maturing, deeper sound. After many lineup changes, searching for the perfect fit, Daniel and Timon were joined by two members who completed the project. Tristan Persaud, who’s unique playing style and ingenuity has become a characteristic and indispensable staple to King Park’s sound and Tyler Heemskerk, a thoughtful and calculating bassist of Jazz background who was the final piece of the puzzle, giving the group the rounded out and edgy sound they desired. The honest, grating vocals are matched by the driving bass, soaring guitar lines and relentless drumming to create an experience intended to reach all sides of your emotional landscape.

 

Old Man Luedecke • Feb 8, 2018

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OLD MAN LUEDECKE
With DEVARROW

Thursday February 8, 2018
Doors 7:00PM, Show 8:00PM
Tickets: $20 (+SC) advance, $25 door • 19+

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You can hear the listening on Old Man Luedecke’s new album, Domestic Eccentric. You can hear the cabin in the snowy Nova Scotia woods where it was recorded. On their third collaboration, you can hear the beautiful conversation between Old Man Luedecke and Tim O’Brien, two like-minded artists in love with folk and roots music, playing at the height of their powers.
“You can’t fake a work of heart,” Luedecke sings in “The Girl in the Pearl Earring,” the second song on Domestic Eccentric, and the assured confidence of that line, the assertion of a straightforward truth, is the guiding principle behind the entire album. Old Man Luedecke is the real thing, a modern-day people’s poet and traveling bard and balladeer. He’s played around the world to a loving and increasing fan base, and won two Juno awards in the process. Tim O’Brien is a multiple grammy-winning roots multi-instrumentalist whose solo work and collaborations have made him one of the most respected American players working today. The two last worked together on Luedecke’s 2012 release, Tender is the Night, which was nominated for a Juno, listed for the Polaris Prize and won Album of the Year at the East Coast Music Awards.

Not since Loudon Wainwright III has anyone written so honestly, so openly, or with such aching tenderness and good humour about family life. “Saving up for date night so we can have our fight” “The Early Days”. But Luedecke has always insisted on a solid poetic heft in the way he uses words, and highly personal stories are what have always connected him to the universal in his audience. Recording with Tim O’Brien in an intimate setting at home has yielded an album where the songs take the starring role.

Calling to mind the powerful force at the heart of other musical vocal pairings: The Milk Carton Kids, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Tony Rice and Ricky Skaggs, or even Tim O’Brien and his work with Darrell Scott, the combination of Old Man Luedecke’s highly personal songs and infectious old-time banjo and guitar, and Tim O’Brien’s mastery of bluegrass harmony, guitars, mandolin, bouzouki, and fiddle adds up to much more than a simple sum of parts.

Devarrow is the moniker of Graham Ereaux, a singer-songwriter who blends simple folk with sophisticated pop to create music which reflects an upbringing in Moncton, New Brunswick and a subsequent half decade of traveling. In 2015, Devarrow self-released The Great Escape, a collection of eleven songs written in a leaky-roofed apartment while living in Vancouver for a winter. To support the release, Devarrow toured Canada extensively as a one-man-band in 2015 and 2016, focusing on creating an energetic, captivating and intimate live show performed in the raconteur style. Gaining recognition in the maritimes – including an ECMA nomination – Devarrow moved back East to Halifax, Nova Scotia where he now resides. With a refined focus on lyrics and arrangement, Devarrow is currently working on a new album.

Sun K • Feb 3, 2018

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SUN K
With TEXAS KING and BAND OF RASCALS

Saturday February 3, 2018
Doors 7:00PM, Show 8:00PM
Tickets: $15 (+SC) advance, $18 door • All-Ages

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Some things are just part of your DNA when you’re a young Toronto rock ‘n roll band. Mainly, it’s the echoes of smoky nights in Yorkville coffee houses when Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and Gordon Lightfoot found their voices, while a few blocks away on Yonge Street, The Band was forging the sound Bob Dylan would soon make his own. It’s all ancient history to the young members of Sun K, but no one ever had to explain the significance to them. It came out the moment they began playing together in 2013 and has been the foundation of a sound that has quickly evolved to embrace the edginess of the early New York underground scene and the glowing, complex harmonies of west coast folk rock. Sun K’s unshakable desire to add their link to the chain of all this great music is at the heart of the group’s full-length debut album, Northern Lies. Produced by Cone McCaslin of Sum 41, whose production credits also include The Strumbellas and Operation MD, the eight-song collection is the first statement from a band eager to make its mark straight out of the gate, but also wise beyond its years in the knowledge that this is a seed from which a body of work will eventually grow.

Texas King was formed by front man Jordan Macdonald in London, Ontario during the late months of 2012. The band released its debut EP in 2013 and immediately began touring and performing, soon earning themselves a reputation for high-energy live shows. The EP opened doors and allowed the band to take part in festivals like Canadian Music Week, NXNE, SCENE Fest and KOI Fest. Texas King was named London’s Best Rock Group at the 2014 Jack Richardson Music Awards and has landed supporting slots for bands such as X-Ambassadors, USS, Mother Mother, The Trews, and Current Swell. In 2016 the band hit the studio with Juno award winner Dan Brodbeck to record their first full-length album. Soon after tracking was complete, the guys found themselves back in the van journeying to Lancaster, PA where they showcased at the annual Launch Music Festival.  As they gear up for the release of their hook-filled debut, the relentless Texas King couldn’t be more hungry. Their accomplishments are impressive, but the band feels that it’s just the beginning.

There’s a thunderous noise coming from the mellow landscape of Vancouver Island these days: Band of Rascals. Hailing from the Cowichan Valley this shaggy haired foursome burst onto the BC music scene with the release of their self titled debut EP in November 2014 and haven’t stopped since. Mixing vintage southern blues sensibilities with screeching and electrifying guitar riffs, thundering drums and heart/vibe lyrics, these rock ‘n’ roll brothers-in-arms represent a new generation of North American rock bands. Lead singer Sam Trainor is all that you want in a front man; charisma in human form, flowing locks and howling vocals. Malcom Owen-Flood, known for his magnetic lead guitar playing and studio chops. Sean ‘The Noche’ Marcy is the kind of bass player great rock tales are written about. And grounding the band is drummer Marcus Manhas, a flame-haired hero armed with a set of drumsticks and a killer smile. The last 12 months have been a lightning fast trajectory for the band. Jumping into Bryan Adams iconic studio The Warehouse with famed producer Eric Ratz (Billy Talent, Arkells, Monster Truck) at the helm, the band’s new EP Tempest came together quickly. Thick layered guitars and slamming drums underline soaring rock vocals in a sonic assault that forces blood to flow faster, and creates crackling excitement. This EP jumps out of speakers and every song has a driving force of its own – loud, head thrashing, wild, raging music that sneers, breathes, growls and pulses madly.

Steve Sinnicks • Jan 28, 2018

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STEVE SINNICKS
Sunday January 28, 2018
Doors 3:00PM, Show 3:30PM
Tickets: $20 (+SC) advance • 19+

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Steve “S.G.” Sinnicks began playing drums at 11 and at 15 began to play the pubs with everyone from local artists to Canadian legend Stompin’ Tom Connors. While he still occasionally fills in on the skins, he is now known across Canada and in the U.S. as singer and songwriter in the vein of Nick Lowe, Billy Bragg or John K Sampson with a folkie background and a history of dissent.

“Whether this Canadian Irishman plays solo guitar or sings in front of a sharp folk-rock band, his songs shine brightly. The key is that his clean, crisp vocals bring out the emotion and meaning of each line of his lyrics. The lyrics are filled with classic folk topics of politics, religion, and simple human emotion. Yet, I will put Sinnicks above much of the pack in terms of balancing direct dialect with poetic flourish. Again, the delivery sends it all forward with music that will stick to you, deeper with every listen. It is no surprise he has won awards with his songwriting in the past.” – Folkworld Magazine

Language Arts w/Close Talker • Jan 27, 2018

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LANGUAGE ARTS
With CLOSE TALKER and GREY\\WATER
Saturday January 27, 2018
Doors 8:00PM, Show 9:00PM
Tickets: $10 (+SC) advance, $15 door • All-Ages

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Language Arts serves up bombastic art pop, held together by Kristen Cudmore’s classical guitar-abilities -gone electric- with a wall of effects built throughout to emphasize or disguise. Neil MacIntosh’s wild drumming is dynamically controlled chaos. Rounded out by guest synth bassist, the unbelievable Chris Pruden playing their composed and catchy lines that make you restless to boogie. Finally, guest guitarist/synth doctor, Patrick O’Reilly, transcending the sounds and sending you into the hypnotic feels. The ensemble expresses unique and delicious songs in a memorable show with lots of love and laughs throughout.

“Chock full of bright, inquisitive art-pop” – Indie 88
“Sweetly crafted and ensconcing tunes” – Exclaim!
“Hooks aplenty” – NOW Magazine
“Melodies that will most definitely be stuck in your head” – Noisey/Vice

Close Talker is an indie rock trio from Saskatoon, Canada. Formed in 2012, the band has made great strides in a short period of time: two releases, numerous tours throughout North America, Europe, and the UK, and international attention from revered and critically acclaimed blogs and publications. Close Talker is a band born and raised in the Canadian prairies, made up of childhood friends Will Quiring, Matthew Kopperud, and Christopher Morien. Since becoming a trio in the summer of 2015, the band has now honed their craft, creating a more vast and iconic sound that is turning heads and drawing crowds around the world. Close Talker released their sophomore record Lens in April 21, 2017. The 10-song LP showcases the band’s maturity and poise, while entering new realms of pop sensibility. Produced by Matt Peters (Royal Canoe, Waking Eyes) and mixed by Marcus Paquin (The National, Arcade Fire, Local Natives), Lens unleashes musical talent and precision without sacrificing the raw energy, homegrown feel, and vulnerability of the band’s acclaimed live show. The more subtle track ‘Afterthought’ received high praise and regular rotation on NPR’s World Cafe, stating the song is “as intimate as it is earnest… it’s expansive and as a result, an invitation to lean right in.” While Lens remains an energetic and urgent blend of rhythmically driven grooves and spacious indie rock, the band continues to evolve as one of Canada’s most innovative and, according to Q Magazine, most exciting exports.

Shoegaze-inflected outfit GREY \\ WATER is an indie rock group formed upon the foundation of close friendship and collaboration. Having dropped their debut EP, Love, in July 2016 through Toronto-based label Almost Communist, GREY \\ WATER has been pushing to new heights by recording new material at a studio for the first time, all the while maintaining a DIY ethos.  Today, the band share their latest single. “Jimmy” bursts with catchy riffs and carried along by ethereal vocals. Offering her own thoughts on the song, Victoria says: “I feel as though the story of Jimmy and his significant other reflects the same idea. On the surface, there is a couple in the midst of honeymoon love, yet along with that, there is an undertone of the pressure to change and evolve into something new.”  In fall 2017, GREY \\ WATER recorded their sophomore EP at Catherine North Studios in downtown Hamilton.

The Fugitives • Jan 24, 2018

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THE FUGITIVES
With PIPER HAYES
Wednesday January 24, 2018
Doors 7:00PM, Show 8:00PM
Tickets: $15 (+SC) advance, $20 door • 19+

>> BUY TICKETS HERE <<

The Fugitives, established in 2007, have released four records, which have been nominated for multiple Canadian Folk Music Awards and a Western Canadian Music Award. Their last album, Everything Will Happen, spent 10 weeks on the  Canadian folkTop Ten charts, and earned them a support slot across Western Canada with Buffy Sainte-Marie and an appearance at UK’s Glastonbury Festival. Their follow-up, The Promise of Strangers, is set for release on January 26 on Borealis Records.

A folk collective headed by songwriters Adrian Glynn and Brendan McLeod, the band has toured extensively through Canada, Western Europe, and the UK, often joined by renowned multi-instrumentalist Steve Charles, violinist Carly Frey (Echo Nebraska), and banjo player Rob McLaren (Union Duke). Over the past ten years, they’ve earned a reputation for unforgettable live shows, brimming with complex harmonies, infectious storytelling and top- notch musicianship. As the CBC has it: “This show is simply brilliant”. Performance highlights include major folk festivals across Canada, headlining slots in overseas Americana festivals, and a recently sold out run across the UK on its rural touring circuit. In 2018, the band will tour across both Canada and the EU, and venture into the United States via an official showcase at Folk Alliance.

The Promise of Strangers is an album of dedications – the majority of which were written for people the band has never said a word to. “No Words” was written for Leonard Cohen the day after his passing, “Orlando” is in memory of the 2016 Pulse nightclub massacre. “Lights Out”, the album’s closer, is dedicated to Adam Capay, the Indigenous inmate held in solitary confinement in a Thunder Bay jail for four years with the lights on. There are also two songs to fictional characters – “Till It Feels Like Home”, written for the protagonist of the hit Canadian show Orphan Black, and “Wild One”, written for the adolescent lead in acclaimed director Randall Okita’s feature film debut, The Lockpicker.

Other tracks are dedicated to friends and family of the band — all of them navigating tricky waters. “See This Winter Out” deals with a young friend undergoing cancer treatment, “London in the Sixties” explores the potential regrets of emigration, and “My Mother Sang” is a grateful ode to the mothers of songwriters Adrian Glynn and Brendan McLeod – both of whom were charged with the super human task of raising three boys. In these songs, the concept of ‘strangers’ is more reflective of the distance time and tough circumstance erect between loved ones.

While the instrumentation on The Promise of Strangers – centered on acoustic guitar, piano, banjo, and violin – is similar to The Fugitives previous offering, Everything Will Happen, the ambition of the songwriting stretches further, and so too do the musical arrangements. “No Words” features a gospel choir breakdown, “London in the Sixties” a hair-rasing baritone sax solo, “Orlando” employs synths and effected drums, “Come Back Down” brings the tubular bells-gang vocal party, and “Lights Out” features a sweeping string outro.

Grounded by the impeccable production of John Raham (Dan Mangan, Frazey Ford), and featuring guest appearances by a host of long-term collaborators and friends, including Steve Charles, Ali Romanow, Carly Frey, and Ben Elliott, the album is a collective effort to pay tribute to the dynamic, resilient, hyper smart people who can change the course of your life. Even if you never meet. And even if they’re just made up.

“A sold-out crowd was fed harmonious chants and folksy carols…the music had us glued to our seats” — See Magazine

“Despite their all-acoustic lineup, the Fugitives bring enough energy to the stage to light up a small city” — Georgia Straight

“The Fugitives are capable of achieving dizzying, Arcade Fire-ish crescendos, replete with parallel melodies, complex harmonies and brimming torrents of emotion.” — Uptown Magazine

“A force to be reckoned with” – Exclaim!

Born in New York, raised in Toronto, and now residing in Hamilton since 2015, critically acclaimed folk singer, songwriter and social activist Piper Hayes is truly authentic. On December 8, 2017, Hayes released her debut full-length album, Piper & Carson.

Nowadays, Hayes (who is a two-time nominee for the Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award, 2016 and 2017) performs and writes closely with her partner Carson Ritcey-Thorpe and, after a 2017 western Canada tour, many prime showcases at Folk Music Ontario, Folk Alliance International and South East Regional Folk Alliance (SERFA), they have become beloved darlings of the folk music scene.

Hayes got her start in legendary venues in Toronto including The Horseshoe Tavern, The Rivoli and The Cameron House (playing with artists including Abigail Lapell, Julian Taylor and Kevin Hearn). She has toured all over Canada and the USA, headlined three international tours (visiting Nepal, India, Holland, Scotland, Ireland, England, Iceland, Denmark, Italy, France, Spain and Greece), performed many times on VIA Rail’s national ‘Artists on board’ program and played many folk conferences.

Piper also teams up with the Canadian Mental Health Association (going into schools, conferences and outreach programs to dispel stigma around mental illness), she established a music-therapy-based class for Hamilton Adult Community Support Program and gives workshops on mental health, well-being, music and songwriting.