While Queen of Vancouver Island, title of Carolyn Mark’s 10th album is an homage to BC Ferries (“They don’t actually have a Queen of Vancouver Island ferry and I thought there should be one”), it’s a fitting title for this Victoria-based singer/songwriter and Mint records artist herself.
Besides acting as an ambassador for Victoria during her many tours of BC, Canada and the US, Mark clearly loves her Island home. Mark’s upcoming West Coast Roots Celebration Tour sees her visiting three towns on the Island.
And Marks’s Island home loves her, in no small part due to her efforts as “Queen Bee” organizing (with a lot of help from her dedicated friends) the weekly Hootenanny at Logan’s Pub on Cook Street for nearly twenty years (the Hootenanny began its life at the late, great Old Bailey pub on Courtenay Street).
The Hootenanny, an open mic night with a country theme held from 4 to 8pm every Sunday, is a key cultural event for denizens of Victoria’s thriving alt-country scene.
The Hootenanny is a raucous, good-humoured weekly singalong week that welcomes to the stage newcomers and established performers alike. Audience participation often turns into collaboration, like this.
Thanks to Carolyn Mark and her many friends, the Hootenanny has helped transform its section of Cook Street into a funky little neighbourhood that is worth visiting, and makes Victoria a more vibrant place.