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The stage is yours at Okotoks open mic night

Performers in all genres are invited to showcase their talents in front of a crowd at the Okotoks Elks Hall on Thursday, March 9.
Tessa Grunleitner, shown with mom Sandy, got up on stage with a friend to do a couple of karaoke songs at the first open mic night last month at the Okotoks Elks Hall. Sandy says all ages are welcome to perform at the next event, set for March 9.

Calling all performers. 

Everything from music to comedy to poetry is welcome at an all-ages open mic night set for the Okotoks Elks Hall on Thursday, March 9 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. There’s no admission charge and no fee to perform. 

Organized by teenage multi-musician/recording artist Dave Grunleitner, also known as Vicarious Vandalism, and his mom Sandy, in partnership with the Okotoks Elks Club, it will be the second opportunity for local artists to showcase their talents after a successful launch of what they hope to be a monthly open mic series in February. 

“The goal is to grow and foster performing artists in the community so they can get the experience of performing on an actual stage, which does make a difference to other places where you’re level with the crowd,” said Sandy Grunleitner. “This authentic performance feel is great for artists to grow their skills and their confidence.” 

Grunleitner said the inaugural event went really well, attracting performers and audience members ranging in age from elementary school students to seniors. 

About 10 made it onto the stage to perform everything from musical theatre to grunge to country. The evening also included poetry reading and a drum solo. 

"It was across the board and it was fantastic,” Grunleitner said of the varied performances. 

She’s hopeful the upcoming event attracts even more performers. 

“If you want to go up there and tell dad jokes, that’s fantastic; if you want to dance, there’s a space for that. It’s whatever they want to perform. It has to be appropriate for the venue and all ages, but other than that, anything goes.” 

Grunleitner sees the series as an opportunity for artists, regardless of age, to gain exposure, to connect with one another and possibly even find new bandmates. 

“It can be hard to find people with the same interests so this brings them together,” she said. 

There’s equipment on the stage, including guitars, keyboards and a drum set, for performers to use as well as a computer for karaoke and backing tracks. 

The Elks, who are donating the venue to make the evening possible, will have food and drinks available for purchase. Donations to the Elks as hosts are also welcome. 

Grunleitner said volunteers are needed to help with set up and take down. 

Performers can sign up at the door, but to guarantee a spot, they should RSVP at 

Ted Murphy

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