november 12th, 2016

Canada’s oldest extant folk music coffeehouse
celebrates its
* 50th *

Days Hours Min

Early bird prices in effect until October 31st!

The Coffeehouse Anniversary Festival Weekend

Friday Night Hootenanny Open Stage (Free)

Friday November 11th, 2016

Sign-up to play at 8 / Show at 8:30

The Yellow Door

Afternoon Concert (Free)

Saturday November 12th, 2016

1 - 5 PM

The Yellow Door

Anniversary Reunion Show (Ticketed, 18+)

Saturday November 12th, 2016

7:30PM (Doors open at 6:30)

Petit Café Campus

57 rue Prince-Arthur East, Montréal

Sunday Closing Brunch

Sunday November 13th, 2016

11:30 AM

The Yellow Door

To celebrate its 50th anniversary, the Yellow Door Coffeehouse will welcome artists that have made their mark on the Yellow Door stage.

Performers cover two distinct generations - the younger folks currently playing at the Coffeehouse, and the older folks set to return from the earliest days of the Coffeehouse!

Folks from the Good Ol' days

Bill Garrett & Sue Lothrop · Bill Russell · Chris Rawlings · Danny Greenspoon · Joel Zifkin · Kevin Head · Linda Morrison · Marc Nerenberg · Michael Jerome Browne · Noah Zacharin · Peter Paul van Camp · Ronney Abramson · Russ Kelley · Stephen Barry with an acoustic 'pick-up' version of the Stephen Barry Band (and, if he can make it from New York, Erik Frandsen)

Today's Young Folks

Bashu Naimi-Roy · The Chinese Kiwis · Corinna Rose · Gabrielle Marlena · Jesse Daniel Smith · Jitensha · Lauriel Lewis · Simon Banderob · Thanya Iyer

Earlybird (Up to October 31st) - Regular:$20 / Students and Seniors (65 and up):$10
After Oct 31st - Regular:$25 / Students and Seniors (65 and up):$15 /
At the door - Regular:$35 / Students and Seniors (65 and up)+: $20
ID may be required at the door to verify student or senior status.

Event presented in collaboration with Kickdrum

Annversary T-Shirt for Purchase

All profits from shirt sales will be donated to The Yellow Door to support its many activities.

This shirt was designed by Coffeehouse host Marc Nerenberg and used as a poster blank in the late 70s. It was intended to be a T-shirt design, but was never manufactured as such at the time. We are finally issuing this iconic shirt to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Coffeehouse!

The shirt is only $12 if you purchase a ticket to the Saturday night celebration show. Regular price: $20. (Select the "Shirt only" option in the tickets selection.)

Order yours online now and pick-up in person at the concert on November 12th, or at the Yellow Door.

A taste of a coffeehouse sing-along

The Coffeehouse

The Yellow Door, a youth organization engaged in social change, had already been around for well over a half century when the coffeehouse was started up by then executive-director, Roger Balk, as a short-term community outreach project. It was 1966 and coffeehouses, which had been all the rage and thriving for the first half of the 60s, during the height of the folk music revival, were actually on the wane, as folkies everywhere were trading in their acoustic guitars for electric instruments as rock music took over the musical landscape.

But somehow the Yellow Door, with its large resident population of Vietnam War draft dodgers, deserters and other war resister types, who were attracted by its progressive politics and its outreach project to get them safely settled this side of the border, proved to be a fertile ground upon which to grow a center for those to whom folk music was more than just a passing fad. Gradually, all the other coffeehouses of that era closed, while the Yellow Door Coffeehouse, though a late arrival on the coffeehouse scene, turned out to have a resilience and staying power that no one would have imagined it would back in those days.

Many, many musicians got their start on stage in this humble basement, and it’s still providing a forum for young people, and some young-at-heart, to share their music, poetry, comedy and even magic tricks (though some may say it’s all magic!) 50 years after it began as not much more than an idea to attract a few more people into the building.

50 years in 50 pictures

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The fronts steps of the Yellow Door back in the day. Second from the right is the Reverend Roger Balk, then general-secretary of the Yellow Door and founder of the Yellow Door Coffeehouse

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The Yellow Door Comedy show, a weekly event for aspiring comedians, which was inaugurated and has been going strong since last year!

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One of Canada's finest songwriters ever, Stan Rogers is one of the notable performers to have graced the Yellow Door's tiny stage, before his untimely death in 1983.

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Erin Rose Hubbard and David Martinez, collectively known as the folk-pop duo Jitensha, played often at the coffeehouse before heading off on an extensive stretch in and around Australia. they will be back just in time for the 50th Anniversary Concert.

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Scenes from the Yellow Door, 1970s

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Singer-songwriter, music producer and a founder of Borealis Records, Bill Garrett was an early habitué of the Yellow Door Coffeehouse, and still performs on occasion, in a duo with Sue Lothrop. The Anniversary Concert will be one of those occasions.

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Can you regognize him? This is an old-time picture of Marc Nerenberg, current Yellow Door Coffeehouse host and president of the Board of Directors of the Yellow Door!

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Bill Russell, an early denizen of the Yellow Door's depths, brings his Louisiana roots to the mix in his broad and varied musical career (that includes a hefty chunk of high quality work aimed at children). Bill will be participating in the Anniversary concerts, as well as events in the coffeehouse itself.

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Scenes from the Yellow Door, 1970s

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Musical mover and shaker and legend of the Canadian blues scene, Stephen Barry is still going strong and will be closing the Anniversary show on November 12th with a few songs from an ad-hoc acoustic version of the Stephen Barry Band assembled for this show.

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Gareth Dicker and Justine Gagnepain, collectively "The Chinese Kiwis", met at the coffeehouse over 5 years ago, are now both members of the Yellow Door Board of Directors, and will perform at the Anniversary Show.

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Scenes from the Yellow Door, 1970s

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Before he was stratospherically famous, a young Bruce Cockburn took to the stage at the Yellow Door Coffeehouse, and we have this old stained photograph to prove it!

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This is the old Yellow Door Coffeehouse membership card which our members held onto fondly through the 60s and 70s

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Scenes from the Yellow Door 1970s: the Reverend Roger Balk, founder of the Yellow Door Coffeehouse.

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A very young Bruce Murdoch was one of Montreal's exports to New York's Greenwich Village coffeehouse scene in its heyday, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Bob Dylan, Dave Van Ronk, and Ritchie Havens, who produced an early record of Bruce. Then he returned to Montreal to take his place as an important member of this town's folk music community, frequently appearing at the Yellow Door. He'll be back at the Anniversary Concert.

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The Yellow Door Coffeehouse, 1970s - a picture from Chuck Baker's archives

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Poet, spoken-word artist, and a current coffeehouse regular, Simon Banderob will give you a run for your money at the Anniversary show.

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Scenes from the Yellow Door, 1970s

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Music producer, music engineer, guitar player and film composer, Danny Greenspoon (far left) will making his way back on the 401 to perform at the Anniversary show on November 12th.

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Folk music icon Penny Lang was a mainstay of the Yellow Door Coffeehouse, even recording an album "Penny Lang: Live at the Yellow Door" there. Penny passed away this summer and is deeply missed by the folk music community across Canada.

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Scenes from the Yellow Door, 1970s

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Singer-songwriter Doug McArthur was performing at the Yellow Door Coffeehouse one evening when someone ran down the stairs, ran in front of the stage and high-tailed it out the back door - all with the cops in hot pursuit. He memorialized the event in a hilarious monologue.

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Scenes from the Yellow Door, 1970s

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Songwriter Bashu Naïmi Roy, from band Saint Lawrence Warehouse Company, and a frequent solo performer at the coffeehouse as well, will delight the audience of the Anniversary show.

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Singer-songwriter Noah Zacharin (right) got his start at the Yellow Door Coffeehouse when he was just a young pup. Still going strong, performing, recording and hosting events in Toronto and environs, he will return to his home town to be among the elders at the Anniversary concert.

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Scenes from the Yellow Door, 1970s

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Thanya Iyer's excellent singing and violin work are always a hit at the Coffeehouse. Thanya will perform at the Anniversary show, hot on the heels of the release of her latest record.

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Another picture from the Chuck Baker photo archive of The Yellow Door Coffeehouse, 1970s. Remember: "No Smoking During Sets"!

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He came to Montreal as a Viet Nam war resistor in 1967, and naturally ended up at the Yellow Door - draft dodger central! Jesse Winchester quickly became one of Canada's premier songwriters, with an endless succession of great songs coming from his pen, that were performed and recorded by himself, but also by many other notable artists, such as Patti Page, Elvis Costello, Jimmy Buffett, Joan Baez, Anne Murray, Reba McEntire, the Everly Brothers and Emmylou Harris. His performances at the Yellow Door were among his most intimate, and were a joy to behold. Having passed away in 2014, he is deeply missed.

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Scenes from the Yellow Door, 1970s

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A frequent habitué of the Yellow Door Coffeehouse during her recent years at McGill University, superb singer-songwriter, Gabrielle Marlena is in the music business in New York City these days. But she'll be making her way back to see some old friends and be a member of the young contingent on stage at the Anniversary concert.

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The Yellow Door Coffeehouse, 1970s - a picture from Chuck Baker's archives

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Scenes from the Yellow Door, 1970s

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It seems as though he was barely a newborn when Peter Paul Van Camp began reciting his poems on the stage at the Yellow Door, but he somehow appeared before us fully formed and articulate. He was a mainstay at the coffeehouse as well as the folk festival circuit for a while, and then, "sniff, sniff", he moved out West, not to be seen in these parts for many a decade. He now makes his triumphant return to appear at the 50th Anniversary Concert and related activities in the coffeehouse itself.

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Corinna Rose, an accomplished, highly original and constantly evolving folk artist, song writer, performer and recording artist, has a solid and ever expanding body of fine work. She showed up to wow us with her songs at the very first revival of the old Yellow Door Hootenanny a few years back. She will be among the young people performing at the 50th Anniversary Concert.

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Chuck and Jenny Baker sent us a suitcase full of old Yellow Door pictures - this 1970s shot in the coffeehouse among them.

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Scenes from the Yellow Door, 1970s

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Whenever the Great Sneezy Waters would make his way from Ottawa to grace our stage, it would be a great night on stage, and a great time was had by all!

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The Yellow Door

The Yellow Door is a 110 year-old organization in downtown Montreal that works to empower young people to initiate and engage in community and creative projects that promote social inclusion, combat urban isolation across all generations, and spark positive societal change. By utilizing creativity, music, food, story-telling and community engagement projects, we see the youth of Montréal take charge and become the innovators of our city.

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