Airdrie musician Christine Wigley has taken a corner of a massive shop on her family’s acreage and turned it into a free jam space for musicians.
The shop was her father’s, who she says died suddenly a few years ago.
”He was a racing car driver. There are trophies and photos on the wall, and I’ve added my things. It’s a nice ode to him while making it my own space.”
She moved back home after her father’s death to help with the family business. While cleaning up his shop, she decided to set up some of her music gear in a corner and invite a few musician friends over to celebrate her birthday.
”That birthday jam was a lot of fun, and we just decided to keep it going.”
The we is Wigley and her partner, Airdrie’s Steve Jevne. She says the jam space wouldn’t be what it has grown to be without his involvement.
“He has so many connections in the music industry.”
The jams are invite-only through a Facebook group and usually held once a month, where sometimes up to 30 local musicians and friends gather.
“People come from Airdrie, Carstairs, Crossfield and Calgary.”
Unlike an open mike event, where some people attend to listen and others want to chat with their friends, this space acts as a listening room.
“It’s non-judgemental. We’re there to hear the musicians’ craft and support each other, and being able to play in a listening room is a treat because we don’t get that in a pub.”
She says the jams often lead to musicians trying out different instruments or collaborating on songwriting.
“There’s not really anything like it here. I feel really blessed to be able to share the space with people.”