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Arts in Review

Double-billed concert attracts large audience at House of James

The House of James in Abbotsford hosted another night of great music on Saturday, put on by the Abbotsford Arts Council as part of the 2014 Envision Financial Coffee House concert series.

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By Alex Rake (The Cascade) – Email

Print Edition: October 29, 2014

Celtic jazz trio Elsay delights the audience at House of James.  (Image: Alex Rake)

Celtic jazz trio Elsay delights the audience at House of James. (Image: Alex Rake)

The House of James in Abbotsford hosted another night of great music on Saturday, put on by the Abbotsford Arts Council as part of the 2014 Envision Financial Coffee House concert series.

The free concert featured two acts: pop-rock band of siblings Her Brothers at 5:30 p.m., and Celtic/jazz trio Elsay at 7:30. Her Brothers joined the bill after their planned Coffee House series performance on August 30 was cancelled due to rain. This time, the band was accompanied by their father Jonathan Penner (“Her Dad”?) on keyboard.

An engaged audience packed the space for the entirety of the concert, singing along with Her Brothers’ call-and-answer choruses and stomping to the beat of Elsay’s cross-cultural tunes. While many faces seemed to come and go as the acts changed, numbers remained consistently high throughout the night.

As an additional incentive to come see the show, Envision Financial provided a $5 gift card toward House of James to the first 50 arrivals.

Besides providing the public with an opportunity for cultural engagement and the House of James with more business, Saturday’s concert also served the Abbotsford Food Bank; concert-goers were encouraged by organizers to bring non-perishable food or cash donations. Lyle McClelland, branch manager at Envision Financial’s Abbotsford Village location, says that “Envision Financial is pleased to be actively involved in supporting our local food bank through our community program, the ‘Full Cupboard,’ and our partnership with the Abbotsford Arts Council.”  Just after the show started, there were already two and a half shopping bags full of donated items.

The next concert of the series happens November 1 at the Wired Monk on McCallum Road, featuring Abbotsford’s Brennan Sinclair. The series continues weekly until the end of November. Check the Abbotsford Arts Council’s website for schedules and more information.

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