There’s a certain magic in the air when a living room full of people tune their ears, minds and hearts towards a soulful musician.
That’s the scene at Barrett and Carol Horne’s place four times per year. And they’re gearing up to host another concert on February 9, when Celtic duo Qristina and Quinn Bachand will play an acoustic show at the Horne’s home, 20 minutes north of Whitehorse.
The Hornes will push the furniture aside, borrow some chairs from their church and set up a nice arrangement for 35 people to hunker down for an evening of visiting and music. Each guest will bring snack to share and $20 for the artists.
There are more families like the Hornes in eight communities across the Yukon, welcoming a few dozen people into their homes a few times per year to experience an intimate concert among friends.
These events are part of the Home Routes concert series, a non-profit society based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Home Routes sets up tour schedules for Canadian musicians to drop into a community, play a show in the evening, stay the night with a host family and hit the road the next day to play in another community.
Barrett and Carol Horne were one of the first families to host a concert with the Home Routes series in the Yukon and they are now on their third year. For them, the magic of the moment outweighs the clean-up.
“The audience is there, they’re listening, they’re appreciative and responding with enthusiasm to everything the musician provides,” Barrett says. “And we only have good musicians – we’ve really not had a downer, yet. The Home Routes’ track record is that they only send good artists.”
Qristina and Quinn Bachand are the fourth acts in a series of six this season. Next to come through are Ontario country/folk rock/indie band The Express and Manitoba “prairie balladeer” Scott Cook.
The Home Routes concert series have shows lined up for these artists in Teslin, Atlin, Carcross/Marsh Lake, Dawson City, Haines Junction/Mendenhall, Mayo/Pelly Crossing, Mt. Lorne, Whitehorse and Old Crow.
Because the concerts are in people’s private homes and space is limited, the shows are not widely advertised. Barrett, for example, has an email list of 120 people that he invites, but only has room for 35.
“We’re actually not trying to sell tickets,” Barrett says.
To get onto his email list, or to find out about opportunities to see shows in other communities across the Yukon, contact Tim Osmond, Home Routes artistic director, by email at Tim@HomeRoutes.ca.