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

FOCUS: New arena, more ice in Surrey – but will it be enough for everyone?

With both rinks to close at North Surrey rec, the result is a net gain of one ice sheet this fall

Accused Surrey transit cop shooter’s bail hearing set for April

Daon Gordon Glasgow, 35, is accused of shooting Transit Police Constable Josh Harms, 27

Watchdog called after man who yelled racial slurs at Surrey vigil hurt during arrest

BC RCMP say man was ‘acting suspiciously’ at prayer vigil for victims of New Zealand mosque shootings

Two suspects sought after man shot in Surrey’s Hawthorne Park Sunday

Police say victim was arrested after being treated for gunshot in hospital

Surrey vigil for New Zealand mosque shooting victims set for Friday

Holland Park interfaith event aims to promote compassion and tolerance, organizer says

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

No injuries, pollution in Vancouver Harbour ship collision: Transport Canada

Transportation Safety Board says it has deployed a team of investigators look into the incident

Budget 2019: Five things to watch for in the Liberals’ final fiscal blueprint

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release the Trudeau government’s final budget on Tuesday

New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians

The guidelines will be in effect at this summer’s Pan American, Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru

Alphonso Davies doubtful for Canada game against French Guiana in Vancouver

Canada will be without injured captain Scott Arfield and veteran Will Johnson

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh steps into the House of Commons, making history

Burnaby South MP becomes first visible minority to lead a federal party in the House of Commons

Chilliwack grad says modest dress codes don’t protect girls from assault

Sardis alumni was ‘catcalled, harassed, and groped by my male classmates’ despite modest clothing

One of the biggest cow shows in Canada is coming back to the ‘Wack

Prize money of $240,000 is on offer at the spring Holstein show Friday at Chilliwack Heritage Park

Most Read