Johanna Pavia & SoulDrive

Back in January I first met the members of a local blues-inspired band, Johanna Pavia & SoulDrive. They performed at the Voices Carry event that I photographed back in January and a few months after that they had an album release show at the Boathouse in Victoria Park which I also shot. Johanna contacted me after that about getting some publicity shots of the band. It was the middle of an awfully cold winter so we decided to wait until it got warmer to do the shoot. We were finally able to find an evening where we were all free recently so we met up in the small town of Elora and got shooting.

The band consists of Johanna Pavia, Chris Paleshi, and Nick Rorai McNeil. Johanna joked during the shoot that they’ve had more drummers than Spinal Tap, so the shoot just focused on the three founding members. The village was the perfect spot to shoot as it had everything from gritty buildings to green space to an actual gorge.

They were a lot of fun to work with and I found them all to be quite natural in front of the camera (Chris and Nick pretty much have the best shirts, I might add). We got a good selection of shots for them to use for their promo material which will hopefully help them in what has already been a busy and eventful 2015.

2014 Arts Awards Waterloo Region

Early June means the Arts Awards are upon us. Wednesday night at The Centre In The Square the annual event to celebrate the local art scene was held, with some fantastic music, stage performances, and delicious food samplings from around town.

I’ve been photographing the awards for a number of years and I always look forward to the event. Truth be told, I try to get there before the crowds so I can sample some food from each booth before I start shooting for the rest of the night. This year we were treated to Little Mushroom Catering, the new TWH Social, McCabe’s Irish Pub and Grill, Northern Thai, and Breadbaron. I really couldn’t pick a favourite, although Little Mushroom’s gourmet toppings on their mac and cheese—including goat cheese, bacon, and crushed Doritos—had me back for seconds.

I knew a number of nominees so it was nice to see them in attendance not to mention being recognized for their contributions to the arts in Waterloo Region. As per usual, the night had some killer music acts including Johanna Pavia and SoulDrive, School of Rock, Vienna D’Amato Hall, Victoria Bertini, and Courage My Love. They all performed two or three original songs and pretty much tore the roof off the place for each one.

And similar to previous years, there was an auction of some local art that attendees could bid on before the show and during intermission. I had two photographs up for sale, but neither sold. That’s okay, though, because now I can hang them in my house.

The amount of work that goes into putting this show on is really quite impressive. I actually did some of the graphic design work for the awards this year as well. Kyle Ische also helped out with the brochures, posters, ads, stickers, and anything else that popped up. There is more volunteer work involved than I remember and working on the graphics it made me appreciate it that much more. Both Rebecca Short and Joy Kramer deserve heaping amounts of praise for their efforts year after year for organizing an event of this magnitude.

Craig Cardiff at Seven Shores

Some friends of mine recently purchased Seven Shores Urban Market & Cafe in Uptown Waterloo. The Waterloo Region Record did a nice story on them here as well. Seven Shores is an ethical business with an emphasis on supporting local farmers and foods as well as having a healthy menu.

As new owners, they want to try a few new things with the place. One of those things is having small concerts in the cafe. Craig Cardiff played a set on Saturday to a packed house. It was an after-hours event, but still the kitchen was still open for their tasty food. We ordered a donut (or two) plus some spring rolls. Pretty not bad at all.

Craig played a nice little set for about an hour and a half, which included some audience participation. He’s a funny guy and has a lot of banter with the audience during his shows which makes it even more enjoyable. We saw him a couple years ago in Stratford so it was nice to see him play again.

Seven Shores is located at the corner of Regina and Dupont in Waterloo. Go eat there!

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