The Free Times Cafe
An intimate “living room” space that features Open Concept’s
acoustic & singer-songwriter shows as well as “theme”
and “tribute” nights. The Free Times Cafe has a truly inviting
and outstanding Monday Night Open Stage. Sign up is 7pm and playing slots
fill up quickly! The Free Times also has some of the best looking staff
in the city. Capacity 50. 320 College St. (1 block west of Spadina).
Third Floor Reilly’s
On Yonge St. across from Sam the Record Man. Great for “Dance Floor”
shows. Also has the Toronto’s world’s most sympathetic soundman.
Capacity 200. 340 Yonge St.
Features Jazz, Blues & Rock, plus a Tuesday double-jam, Wednesday
battle of the bands, and other shows featuring Jeff Healey and the Jazz
Wizards. Open Concept Productions currently books select weekend night
shows there. Capacity 300. 178 Bathurst St. @ Queen St.
The Drake Hotel
Embraces “creativity in all forms - writing, visual and performance
art, music, fashion, architecture, design and great culinary experiences.”
A beautiful venue to bring Art to a stage. Capacity 150. 1150 Queen St.
Perfect for Big & Loud Rock shows. Capacity 150. 693 Bloor St. W.
Partners (those that we would define as more than just friends):
Long standing friends and very fine musicians. Open Concept is happy
to collaborate with them on many endeavours.
Free Times Cafe Open Stage
This place has been a second home to myself, and the toe-tapping grounds
of Open Concept Productions. After learning to crawl at its very first
few shows at the Oasis (on College), Clinton’s, and the Victory
Café, Open Concept began to walk at the Free Times. We’ve
been managing the Monday Night Open Stage and maintaining a Wednesday
Night booking residency there for three years running. The Open Stage
has proven to be the lifeblood of our bookings and led Open Concept to
feature shows with well over 300 hundred emerging new artists and some
(seasoned) pros. A special thanks goes out to the past, present, ever
changing staff there (Paul, Julie, Renata, Lauren, Jen, Zoe, Simon, Roger…).
Open Stage Hosts (Free Times Cafe)
Not enough can be said these hard-working hosts. For those who have listened
to the engaging guitar skills of Noah Zacharin, been party to the generosity
of pianist Laura Fernandez, shared performance and songwriting insights
with Jeff Stone or jammed with Jason Lapidus, you know what I mean. Thank
you to them.
Salon Musica / Cluny Residence
Their home has been my third, um… home and a place to explore unspeakably
fine art, engaging house concerts and the world’s most comfortable
sofa. Thank you for the open invitation.
Peter Holliday, Sandra Alland, Wakefield Brewster, Ed Keenan and Ken
Have been my friends and inspirations in the spoken word community since
I first began as a performance poet.
Tom Glenne, the 5.5, & Josh Holden
Tom Glenne is one of the first performers I met at Free Times and remains
the strongest influence I've had in putting together live art. Watching
the ever rotating lineup of the 5.5 and Josh Holden ensembles perform
reminds us at Open Concept the importance of artistic collaboration. There
is nothing greater to be learned than the value of what each and every
person has within them to add to the world.