On April 28, a sold-out crowd attended One Year In – Hugh’s Room Live Celebration Salon. A fabulous evening of talented singers, musicians and the spoken word. Fittingly Holmes Hooke, who did the talent booking for the first 12 years at Hugh’s Room, hosted the evening. At intermission, the enthusiastic crowd was served celebratory cake!


Brian Iler, Chair of our Board said, “One-year in. It’s a lot to celebrate. Starting with the immense support we’ve received from the hundreds of musicians, who have enriched our lives with their talent. We also celebrate the wonderful team who book and promote our concerts, our staff who do such a great job welcoming and nourishing us and the host of dedicated and devoted volunteers on our board of directors and committees. Most importantly, we would not be here without the support of our community, those who, in the very early days, chose to donate the money we needed to open and those who choose to spend their evenings with us.”


Performances included:

French Squeeze: Marjorie Maltais & Jacque Arsenault with special guest Sarah Hagen
Mezzo-soprano Maltais joined forces with Acadian tenor Arsenault for an appetizer size offering of their French repertoire, with Arsenault on accordion and virtuoso piano guest accompanist from BC, Sarah Hagen.


Jack de Keyzer

Blistering guitar attack took a back seat to a rare acoustic session with the JUNO Award winning journeyman, known for his seamless sets of original and classic blues.


David Woodhead

The ultimate utility player on any stage, David’s Confabulation project has highlighted his creative agility as a bass player or multi-instrumentalist. One of the most frequent visitors to the HRL stage, David’s roots range all the way back to the legendary Perth County Conspiracy.


Kellylee Evans & Drew Gonzalves

Hot off his JUNO win with Kobo Town (Where the Galleons Sank – World Music), former Ottawa resident, Drew Gonsalves backed up old friend and collaborator Kellylee Evans, in an unprecedented public appearance. Internationally acclaimed Kellylee continues her return to form with her soulful jazz blues passion.


Sheila Carabine

Indie folk singer/songwriter and one half of the CFMA winning duo Dala, split off for a romp through her original material digging into her Irish roots, as well as her gentle look at “love and loss.”


Jaron Freeman-Fox

Inheriting the mantle and fiddle of the late Oliver Schroer, Jaron shed his “Opposite of Everything” crew, for a solo set of his soaring loop layered exploration of musical parts unknown.


Joe Fiorito

West End resident and former Toronto Star community columnist and author, shared a read from his just published City Poems book, a powerful, witty and oblique look at his hometown “The Art of The Street’s Voice.”


John Lorinc

Urban affairs commentator and journalist with a cutting eye to the corrupt or ethically challenged, John is one of the architects of the historical look back at the land surrounding Toronto City Hall a.k.a. “The Ward” (Queen to College, Yonge to University). He read from the second book on this favourite topic chronicling settlement and survival.


Robert Priest

Poet, children’s author and singer/songwriter provided spoken word play for adults that the Toronto Star called “Passionate, cocky, alternately adoring and insulting.”

Hugh’s Room Live Kitchen Band

Freshly baked and direct from the second floor, Thomas McCallum and McKinley Leonard Scott cast off their “whites” and delivered the first ever presentation of our hidden staff talent. Mostly folk and as earnest and honest as the menu, they strived to serve, this finale closed the night with audience participation, no cutlery required.