(Contributed) Brian Barrow, Lucy Rowley and Caden Knudson make up Shades of Green who will be performing at the Kanaka Open Mic 10th anniversary party.

Kanaka Open Mic celebrating 10 years in Maple Ridge

The 10th anniversary celebration will be taking place June 19

Kanaka Creek Open Mic is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a Beatles-themed evening.

“It’s fantastic,” said organizer Pam Burns.

In that time, she has put on about 1,000 shows of various genres of entertainment, including magicians, comedians and dancers.

But the focus has always been music, with performers coming from as far away as Mexico and Ontario.

READ ALSO: CD featuring Maple Ridge artists to raise money for new sound system

“Open mics are like a magnet,” she added.

“Any city in the world you are going to find an open mic,” she said.

Burns started the open mic at Kanaka Coffee House because she wanted to get musicians and artists together in a community so they could all network together and get people out to paid gigs.

But, she said, it is more than a networking community – they are like family.

They go camping and have parties and help out at other community festivals, such as the Thursday Music in the Park concert series, which kicks off this year on July 4.

“One week, this woman came in and said I’m selling my house and I don’t have time to paint it. So we all just went over and painted her house,” said Burns.

She credits part of the open mic’s success to games and music trivia the audience members get to partake in.

“I do music trivia and I do ‘name the lyrics’ and I also do music history and people really like that,” she said, adding that none of this would be possible without the Wheeler family, who own Kanaka Creek Coffee, for giving them the venue.

Burns decided to do a Beatles-themed evening because whenever they celebrate a birthday party at the open mic for musicians or audience members, that person has to answer a Beatles music trivia question.

“Everybody knows a Beatles song,” said Burns, adding that it is not compulsory that musicians play a Beatles song.

Local band Shades of Green, a Canadiana-Celtic inspired band, made up of Brian Barrow, Lucy Rowley and Caden Knudson, who all met at the open mic, will also be performing.

A lot of people have met in the café and formed bands, said Burns, adding that they have even had numerous couples meet there and see their share of marriage proposals over the 10 years.

Burns expects the café to be packed for the celebration with 15 to 20 musicians performing one song each.

Cake will also be served.

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