It would be hard to pick a single highlight from last fall’s launch of the Sunday Brunch Collective.

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This article was published 10/1/2017 (1719 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.


It would be hard to pick a single highlight from last fall’s launch of the Sunday Brunch Collective.

A showcase series for some of the city’s best local music and food, the Free Press’s Sunday Brunch Collective was a resounding success, with four sold-out events producing rave reviews for both the entertainment and culinary creativity.

There were the angelic tones of Kelly Bado, the youthful innocence of Mitchell Schimnowski, the pop energy of Lanikai and the road-weary wisdom of troubadour William Prince.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>Chef Ben Kramer and his team served up culinary creativity that matched the entertainment at Kitchen Sync in the Exchange District.</p>


Chef Ben Kramer and his team served up culinary creativity that matched the entertainment at Kitchen Sync in the Exchange District.

As far as the food went, Winnipeg chef Ben Kramer wowed the audiences with four-course brunch fare that featured everything from deconstructed eggs Benedict to bacon soup, all composed from local ingredients.

How, you might ask yourself, do you top that kind of experience? By scheduling twice as many dates for 2017, and broadening the scope of the local music.

Sunday Brunch Collective is back in 2017 with eight dates throughout the year, all featuring Kramer’s innovative cuisine and all hosted once again at Kitchen Sync, the Exchange District’s culinary events centre.

As well, the Free Press announces that the Winnipeg Folk Festival is coming on board as a full partner along with Manitoba Music to help program music for the series. This new partnership will help generate buzz for the next generation of artists that are part of the folk festival’s Stingray Radio Young Performers Program.



Chris Frayer, artistic director of the Winnipeg Folk Festival, said he welcomed the opportunity to join SBC because it provides valuable exposure for the graduates of the young performers program, which has produced a host of successful professional artists. Past participants who have gone on to play the mainstage at the festival include the Crooked Brothers, Del Barber, Sweet Alibi, Daniel Champagne and Brandy Zdan.

"Our program is all about learning what it means to be professional musician and helping them decide whether they want to do this as a career," said Frayer. "This isn’t a profession for the faint of heart but I think we do a good job of preparing them."

Young performer participants work with professional musicians to study both the theory and practice of writing and performing music, Frayer said. A major element in the program is finding as many live gigs as possible. "They have to learn how to project to an audience, how to play to a room," Frayer said. "It’s a big task for young performers."

Sean McManus, executive director of Manitoba Music, said the brunch collective should provide valuable exposure for up-and-coming artists. McManus noted that Schimnowski (who was October’s performer) is a graduate of the young performers program, as is folk duo Roger Roger, which performs at the brunch collective on Sunday.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>Chef Ben Kramer</p>


Chef Ben Kramer

Roger Roger is made up of Madeleine and Lucas Roger, the twin children of Lloyd Peterson, a fixture on the city’s music scene who founded Private Ear Recording and has worked as a producer and sound engineer.

Learning the art of live performance is critical as the music industry evolves, Mc-Manus said. The advent of the digital download has dramatically reduced the income that musicians can derive from recorded music. The end result is that musicians tour and perform live more often to earn a living.

In addition to playing theatres and music clubs, McManus said there is a trend toward what musicians call "listening rooms," — venues with fewer distractions where people are coming expressly for the music. Listening rooms can include certain kinds of music clubs and house concerts. Sunday Brunch Collective, McManus noted, fits into that trend.

"This is a venue where people can avoid some of the rowdiness of other live music experiences," he said. "It’s just like the name implies, a venue where people come to actually listen to the music and really focus on the live experience. It’s a gig where the musician looking for a concert opportunity can really connect with their audience."

Dan Lett

Dan Lett

Born and raised in and around Toronto, Dan Lett came to Winnipeg in 1986, less than a year out of journalism school with a lifelong dream to be a newspaper reporter.

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