Spotlight: three places to perform in the GTA

Updated: Jan 18, 2018

So, you want to be an entertainer. Despite receiving side glances from disapproving friends (lose them), and risking permanent residency in your parent's basement, you're committed to chasing your dream by writing those rhymes or jamming on your guitar.

As an underground or budding artist, finding the right venue to showcase your talent is important. Toronto is home to many music venues and organizations that support up-and-coming artists, but how do you determine which spot is best for you? This post highlights three fantastic opportunities for you to share your music with Toronto.

Photo by Brianna Roye

1. Dead Poet hosted by Blank Canvas

Best for: Rappers, slam poets and hip-hop fans The vibe: Hosted by the Toronto-based art community, Blank Canvas, Dead Poet events provide a safe space for budding rappers and slam poets to express themselves through rhyme and word. You'll feel the sense of Dead Poet camaraderie when you become familiar with the event's etiquette, which includes chanting “1, 2, 3...Dead Poets!” at the end of each performance. These events are usually held at hip Toronto locations like The Gladstone Hotel. For more event and location info, visit the Blank Canvas Facebook page.

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2. The Moonshine Caf​e

Best for: Singer-songwriters and bands The vibe: Just 30 minutes outside of the Toronto bubble, this quirky bar in Oakville, Ontario invites singer-songwriters and bands of all merits to share their music at Tuesday Night Open Mic. The Moonshine Café is equipped with everything you need for a killer jam session including a drum kit, guitars, amps, microphones and a PA system. Simply put, this place is a hidden gem. Did we mention the owner grills delicious burgers and hot dogs all night? Bring your friends along for an evening of great music and good vibes.

Photo from Pixabay

​3. Bassline

Best for: DJs and electronic music enthusiasts The vibe: If you're starting out on the DJ scene, Bassline offers the unique opportunity of 'Open Deck Night' every Tuesday. Most bars in Toronto require DJs to pre-book show dates through management. Fortunately, this eclectic little bar tucked away on Bloor West invites aspiring DJs to play in half-hour blocks. Bassline is always an epic time, whether you're laying down beats on stage or busting out moves on the dance floor. 

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