Tea for Two (Hundred+) with @VicFoundation @nmintenko1 and @KiaranMcMillan at @GovHouseBC – Pt. 2

Nick Mintenko and Kiaran McMillan My main contact at the Victoria Foundation is Louise MacDonald. We've been communicating in the weeks and months leading up to this week and she's been organizing all the details on the ground here in and around Victoria - putting the schedule together for all the events and corralling all the details needed to make things go smoothly at each location. One thing I like to know in advance is the names of the players who will be playing Voyageur in the "performance pocket" so I can make sure I get their names correctly built into the slide deck and communicate with them directly if necessary with technical info. For quite a while, I'd ask Louise if we had names of performers for the event at Government House yet and there was no definitive answer. Just before I arrived in town, Louise let me know we finally had a player confirmed. The day before the Government House event she let me know we, in fact, had two! And they turned out to be an absolutely terrific pair.

Nick Mintenko (pictured, left) was up first. He's a wonderful singer-songwriter with a jazz-tinged pop sensibility. Have a listen on his Bandcamp page. Kiaran McMillan (pictured, right) was up next. Kiaran is known locally for his work in a few bands - including Timebenders and Electric Sex Panther (for you Ron Burgundy fans out there!) - but for this outing he was solo (apart from some accompaniment from his own loop pedal). I can tell you that I've heard a lot of versions of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" played on Voyageur but never one quite like this. It was a masterfully looped, jazz-structured contemplation on the song that was no less poetic for being purely instrumental.

I confess there's a special delight I take in hearing up and coming artists play Voyageur. They've got stuff going on, they're trying to find their way in an increasingly complicated business. And then someone proposes that they play this particular guitar for some particular occasion and they take the gig maybe not knowing too much about Six String Nation. So they do a little research and it seems like it might be a cool thing to do. They arrive for soundcheck and get a bit of a trial run and then they sit through the presentation and the whole story just opens up for them and seems to inspire a kind of focus that guarantees I always get to hear them at their best. It's a real treat for the whole audience and a real honour for me.

So thank you to both of these great musicians and thanks also to the crew from SW Audio+Visual in Victoria who made everything look and sound just great in that spectacular Government House ballroom!

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