Alex Browne photo Stephanie Lee, music coordinator at Islands Cafe’s White Rock store, says monthly music nights help enhance the “aloha spirit’ of the business.

Music nights aim to keep Islands hopping

Monthly events at White Rock Cafe promote upcoming artists

Islands Cafe’s White Rock store has another dimension to add to the appeal of its Hawaiian-themed art and surfboards, Hawaii-sourced coffee, acai and poke bowls and other treats.

On the third Friday of every month, from 7:30 p.m. until doors close at 11 p.m., it’s also a venue for new and upcoming artists in the Semiahmoo Peninsula and Lower Mainland.

Stephanie Lee, barista and music co-ordinator for Islands Cafe in White Rock, says it’s an opportunity to enjoy music by singer-songwriters in keeping with the laid-back island atmosphere created by owners Jalene and Robb Harding (whose large, colourful paintings are among those decorating the walls).

“It’s the aloha vibe of love, respect and community,” she said, adding that in addition to a line-up of three to four performers each music night – which is hosted and M/C’d by Rachel Fournier – the atmosphere is usually enhanced by tea lights throughout the premises, at 1237 Johnston Rd.

“All the girls from work come to support the artists, as well as the artists’ friends and wives and girlfriends and boyfriends and families, and a lot of our regular customers,” she added, noting that the well-received event fits in well with the “family” feeling of the business.

“And when the music is done, the musicians talk together about collaborations, or share tricks of the trade or information about upcoming gigs – everyone’s so supportive of each other. “

While regular musicians are generally from the White Rock or South Surrey area, Lee – who inherited the music co-ordinator part of her job about a year ago – adds that the interconnectedness of the music scene in the Greater Vancouver area means she’s also being exposed to musicians from across the region and giving them opportunities to perform at the cafe as well.

That’s certainly the case with the headliner for the next music night on Dec. 21, emerging young Vancouver singer-songwriter Molly Annelle.

Annelle’s appearance will feature songs from her latest EP, Pick Me Ups, newly-released and available on all major music platforms.

“I heard about her from one of our regular performers, David Fretter, who said ‘you have to hear her music,’” Lee said.

Entirely produced, written and sung by Annelle, the six-song EP covers genres that, according to her promo material, include everything from “alternative R&B to electronic/dream pop and chillwave” and “soothing, yet funky, melodies.”

Among other regular Islands performers who will likely appear that evening are Peninsula favourite Richard Tichelman – a former colleague at Islands who is now pursuing his music career full-time.

“He’s so super-talented and making such progress, but he’s still part of the family and comes by whenever he can,” Lee said.

White Rock resident Fretter is another reliable regular, Lee said, adding that in addition to musical talent he also has a flair for comedy which has led to him branching out into sets at comedy clubs.

“He’s the sweetest guy, and anytime I have a cancellation or can’t meet my deadline he’s so ready to jump in – and he’s introduced me to so many artists,” she said.

“We also have another wonderful girl, Madelyn Read, who is also a White Rock local. She does an act that’s a crossover between country and hip hop. I heard a few songs before I booked her and she’s really good. She has that southern twang thing going, but her songs are so upbeat, everyone can get into it.”

Just Posted

SURREY EVENTS: ‘Classic Scary Movie Marathon’ for Halloween, and more

Concerts, plays, fundraisers and other events in our weekly guide for Surrey

Halloween Calendar

Family friendly events happening around Surrey

Surrey landlord’s petition to overturn RTB decision fails

Case involved former tenant evicted from basement suite on grounds his landlord needed it for family

PHOTOS: ‘Young at Heart’ seniors sing and dance again in Surrey ‘bursary show’

The Vaudevillians on Surrey Arts Centre’s main stage Nov. 2-3

Rick Hansen Foundation gives Surrey $105K to make washrooms more accessible

The grants will be used for accessibility upgrades at eight civic sites across the city

Scheer, Trudeau, Singh haggle over potential minority government outcome

If you believe the polls, it appears the Liberals and Conservatives are neck-and-neck

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

Workers at four Vancouver hotels ratify contract with higher wages, job security

Unite Here Local 40 president Zailda Chan says it’s the first hotel strike in Vancouver in nearly two decades

Japanese buyer expands wood pellet contract with B.C.’s Pinnacle

Mitsui and Co. increases contract with Interior energy producer

ELECTION 2019: Have Justin Trudeau’s Liberals really cut middle-class taxes?

Conservative Andrew Scheer vows to cut bottom bracket, NDP’s Jagmeet Singh targets wealth tax

B.C. RCMP officer suing the force for malicious prosecution

Cpl. Tammy Hollingsworth cleared of wrongdoing after misconduct hearing

UPDATE: Vehicle located and driver arrested in relation to fatal hit-and-run

Male pedestrian in his 50s died after being struck by vehicle on Highway 11 in Abbotsford

Talk to your kids about vaping, B.C.’s top doctor says

B.C. health officials have discovered the first vaping-related illness in the province

Most Read