Have you ever wanted to showcase your talents in front of a crowd of people? Maybe you’re a singer or a songwriter? Maybe you like to tell jokes or play the guitar? Whatever it is you like to do, you’re ultimately going to need a venue to put yourself on display.

girl playing ukulele at streamliners espresso bar open mic st. thomas ontario
Photo by Grayden Laing | Laing Studios/Establish Media

Opportunities to get up on a stage seem few and far between these days. Most bars and clubs prefer to entertain their clients with a simple radio station or possibly an entire band that will play for the whole evening. But the chances of you getting up to sing a few of your own songs or cover your favourite tunes are very limited.

Here’s the good news! Things are changing!

In the heart of St. Thomas’ downtown, there is something very special happening. Streamliners Espresso Bar is hosting an open mic night unlike any other you’ve seen. This is more than an open mic night, it’s a community event where like-minded people come together to support local talent.

playing guitar at a coffee shop open mic
Photo by Grayden Laing | Laing Studios/Establish Media

David Sisson, one of the performers, describes the “magic in the air,” saying:

“The event is packed and every genre is accepted brightly. I’m one of the hip hop artists who attends and found the crowd as receptive to my style as any of the other acts. This night is not only invaluable to the St. Thomas community, but many surrounding places. Coming from London I find this night unmatchable to anything I have back home. The love of the crowd and skill of the artists gives you a night of music you won’t believe you didn’t have to pay a ticket for.”

Photo by Grayden Laing | Laing Studios/Establish Media

Ken Ashcroft, who grew up in St. Thomas but now resides in Montreal, had this to say about the open mic:

“It’s such a pleasant surprise to have discovered my little home town has quietly been developing the arts and music scene. To see my friends and perfect strangers get up and perform for the crowd not only brought a tear to my eye, it filled me with pride and a sense of community that’s hard to replicate in the big cities. Keep it up St. Thomas, and I’ll keep #stthomasproud.”

And it’s not just music!

Photo by Grayden Laing | Laing Studios/Establish Media

Beyond having musicians perform in front of a crowd, Streamliners believes in adding extra elements such as hosting local artists who display their artwork, or having local vendors set up and sell handmade products. This unique setup is what really elevates the event by bringing more of our community together.

Laura Woermke, Executive Director at the St. Thomas Elgin Public Art Centre has played an integral part in connecting the open mic night with our local art community. By displaying her artwork at the venue, Laura is helping to bring together different audiences, creating more interest in both the art scene and the music scene in St. Thomas.

Laura Woermke with her art display. Photo by Grayden Laing | Laing Studios/Establish Media

“I place a great deal of importance on creativity and our community and I am very happy to be a part of it! I am grateful for the opportunity to be a component of the evening. It is a time for me as an artist, to connect with people and talk about what I really love. It is inspiring and hopeful as we see the attendance grow!”

And it’s a family event!

In addition to being an amazing platform for all the local talent, Streamliners offers a warm and welcoming family friendly environment. Ronda Stewart, resident and strong supporter of Arts and Culture in the community, describes the “open mic night at Streamliners” as:

“Such a fun, family-friendly atmosphere. The flavours are delicious. The company is supportive. I love hearing my husband Dan’s gorgeous voice singing his own unique style… and when our daughters join him for a song, it just melts my heart. I strongly recommend this event for musicians of all ages!”

Dan Stewart performing at Open Mic Night. Photo by Grayden Laing | Laing Studios/Establish Media

Starting at 7:00pm and ending around 9:30pm, it’s plenty early enough for all to enjoy.

So, whether you’re looking for your 15 minutes of fame, want to support local talent, or participate in an amazing community event, here’s your chance. Head downtown to Streamliners Espresso Bar in St. Thomas for their next Open Mic Night.

Jeff Butler, organizer of Open Mic Night, performing. Photo by Grayden Laing | Laing Studios/Establish Media

Future Dates Include:

Friday March 8th

Friday April 5th

Friday May 3rd.

More to come…