Toronto Blues Society | » August 2023 – Loose Blues News

August 2023 – Loose Blues News

Published July 31, 2023 in Loose Blues News

Bonnie Blues: Bonnie Raitt is making her long awaited appearance at Massey Hall on October 6, get your tickets as they’re nearly sold out! She tours across the US and Canada in September/October with one additional stop in southern Ontario, Centennial Hall in London, on Oct. 5.

Venue News: After three years without a home, Hugh’s Room Live announced on July 6, 2023 that they have secured a new home. The venue has successfully purchased a historic church property located at 296 Broadview Ave. in Toronto’s east end. This significant milestone provides Hugh’s Room Live with a permanent home for the first time since shutting the doors to its original location in the Roncesvalles neighbourhood three years ago.  The acquisition of the Broadview Faith Temple Church comes after Hugh’s Room Live faced the challenge of relocating from Dundas Street West due to a rent hike in 2020. The new space will not only serve as a music venue but also aims to become a world-class performance and music hub, supporting artists and fostering community engagement. The new home will feature performance studios, dedicated support for artists, and vibrant community musical activities. While some renovations will be undertaken over the summer, the initial priorities include ensuring accessibility and establishing a commercial kitchen. These goals will be the focus of immediate fundraising efforts. 

In other venue news, LiveNation has acquired two new venues – the Opera House on Queen Street East and The Key to Bala up north.  LN continues to bring us the big blues names, like the upcoming Eric Clapton  show at the Budweiser Stage and last month’s Tedeschi Trucks concert which seems to be declared the best show of the year if you go by all the social media posts. Hopefully the Opera House will be a good home  for some of the top touring blues bands who’ve been skipping Toronto.

Awards and Acknowledgements:  Congrats to Rodeo King/Junkhouse man Tom Wilson (aka Lee Harvey Osmond) who is now a member of the Order of Canada. Governor General Mary Simon announced the new investitures on the eve of Canada Day. He is recognized for his multifaceted contributions to the arts in Canada, notably as an iconic musician, as well as for his advocacy of Indigenous communities in Canada.” “I received an email from the Governor General letting me know they had a matter to discuss with me. I usually get these kinds of formal requests from bill collectors so this note came as a bit of a surprise.”

Chuck Jackson is the first recipient of the “Erin McCallum Blues Legend & Legacy Distinction”, a different kind of award programme which selects blues artists of stature to acknowledge one or two musicians who are no longer with us to be given the distinction of “Blues Legacy” artists. Chuck selected two dearly departed Downchild alumni, Hock Walsh and Jane Vasey. “To be able to name Hock Walsh and Jane Vasey is something I am very happy to do – both of them have made great contributions through music, and this is recognition they should have had a long time ago. There are a lot of artists who have passed, who are deserving, and this is a way for people to have an opportunity to learn about their musical contributions,” he wrote.  Jackson is scheduled to be presented with a physical award acknowledging the distinction on Thursday August 17th, 2023 as part of the 25th annual Southside Shuffle’s opening event, The Beggars Blues Banquet. Learn more at

Another blues award programme just announced is the “Independent Blues Awards” and though it’s US-based there’s a very high proportion of Canadian blues talent in the long nominee list: Angel Forrest, Kenny ‘Blues Boss’ Wayne, Annika Chambers and Paul Delauriers, Chris Antonik, Spencer Mackenzie, Bywater Call and more. Check out

Kensington Jazz needs volunteers: The Kensington Jazz Festival is calling out for volunteers who can put in a few shifts from September 29 to October 2. As a volunteer, you can help make this festival an incredible success. Join an extraordinary community of individuals who are passionate about music and dedicated to creating a positive impact. To sign up go to:

Jackie Shane Day:  Toronto kicked off Pride week by declaring June 23 as Jackie Shane Day to honour the music and legacy of Jackie Shane, an iconic musician, black trans trailblazer and queer icon who was celebrated in Toronto and around the world. A new documentary My Name Is Jackie will premiere at The Paradise Theatre on Thursday August 10 at 8 PM. Directed by Nicky Lawrence, the event includes a 40 minute film, plus a performance and fireside chat celebrating the inimitable Jackie Shane.  

– Brian Blain

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