Deep Cove Folk

Where Are We Going?

As part of getting ready for the planning for next season’s Deep Cove Folk I felt the need to have a better idea of the issues on folks’ minds about the Club.   Based on some ideas from our new Director, Fiona McGinn, I put together a very broad question that I hoped might prove useful: 

“What do you think is the single-most important thing that Deep Cove Folk could do for next year.  If you had your druthers, what would be your one wish to make the Club evenings as enjoyable as possible?”  

This is a variant of what the folks in the measurement business call “the critical incident technique” and can be useful to get a quick sounding of complex issues.

In consultation with Rick Nordin, I sent this question to a small group of 24 folks who were volunteers with Deep Cove Folk, regular attendees or former regulars who haven’t been back much since COVID.  Happily, we had a great return rate, 23/24. I make no claims that this is a representative sample, but I do believe it gives a decent sense of the major issues perceived by what might be considered a set of “involved players” in the Club. 

Here’s what came in, organized into rough (not necessarily mutually exclusive) categories.  The items with bullets are what our folks told us.  I’ve added a section after each category entitled “What we’re up to”.  This indicates the steps we’re taking to try and address the concerns.

Accolades for how it is:

  • I love it just the way it is and cannot come up with any ‘improvements.’ 
  • All I want is more good music 
  • Don’t mess with success

What we’re up to:  Planning for the 2023-2024 season is well under way with a number of great acts already booked and plans are to keep things pretty much the same as before, with some changes that are described below.

Renewal, new blood:

  • Influx of new ideas, volunteers and energy 
  • Younger talent for the feature acts, as Canadian as possible 
  • Increase exposure in social media to draw in younger performers, both features and Open Mic
  • Get younger people involved in running the club 
  • New directors to bring renewed energy and ideas 
  • Renewal in some form 
  • Clarifying why folks come and developing our strategies from there (e.g., Is it for cheap entertainment or part of a larger community support effort?) 

What we’re up to:  We’ve begun a major recruitment effort looking for folks to volunteer for a wide range of activities at the Club (see the list at the end of this missive).  If you’d like to join in please email us at .  We’re also planning an open meeting where interested folks can come and discuss their ideas for the Club—stay tuned for details.

Open Mic and Timing:

  • Timing:  Start on time (not early or late), finish sound checks before 7:30, and keep open stage short. 
  • Strictly enforce time limit on Open Mic performers 
  • Change Open Mic sets to 10—12 minutes from the current 3 songs, to keep the Open Mic set under an hour 
  • Steps to ensure preparedness and quality of the Open Mic performers

What we’re up to:  We’ve made significant changes to the Open Mic so it doesn’t run longer than an hour (details available under the Open Mic menu item).  We’ve also moved our starting time to 7:30 (from 8:00).  God willing and the creeks don’t rise, these changes will have the evening moving along smartly and ending by 10:00. 

Performer remuneration:

  • Pay performers more 
  • My most pressing wish is to pay performers more money 
  • Raise the door prices 

What we’re up to:  We’ve adopted a new, better performer fee schedule for next season (based on our current financials).  We’ve decided to hold off consideration of raising door prices until we see how things go in 2023-2024.

More transperancy and openness in how club is run

  • Formalize the organization of Deep Cove so that members can participate, and finances etc. are reported on to them 
  • Presently, because the inner workings of the Club are not open to interested folks, it’s not really a forum for the discussion of new ideas

What we’re up to:  We will be holding an open meeting for everyone who wants to come where we’ll outline Club plans and open the floor to discussion about how we can do better—a kind of town hall meeting—might even end up with some music happening at the end…details to follow. 

Refreshment break:

  • Reinstatement of kitchen break 
  • Reinstate the halftime coffee where shoulders could rub 

What we’re up to:  We want to restart the refreshment break but need volunteers, especially someone who is willing to take on the challenges of getting it up and running again.  If this interests you, please let us know at .

Sound system:

  • Not be locked in to the sound system, especially for the Open Stage
  • Let people enter when they arrive—no lineups

What we’re up to:  Our hall is big enough that it’s really hard to hear if you’re seated at the back of the room.  Hence, we’re sticking with making sound available for the Open Mic and the feature.  We have taken steps to try and minimize the set up times and “dead air” that occurs during set up.  

The lineups are because of the necessary sound check for our feature performers.  The hall has to be quiet (i.e., empty) to do this effectively.  We will, in cases of inclement weather, change things so it is possible to wait inside downstairs and enter via the back stairs when the sound check is finished (handicapped folks will be able to use the front door). 

I have no doubt that these topics don’t cover all of the concerns people have about the Club—but at least it’s a start.  If you’d like to add your voice to this, please don’t hesitate to let us know by emailing .  We’d value your insight and comments.

And, if you are at all inclined, please let us know if you’d like to help out.  We presently have need for:

  • A treasurer 
  • Some new Directors 
  • A Volunteer coordinator
  • Someone to coordinate the refreshement break
  • Volunteers to help with the refreshment break
  • A communications director
  • Help with our communications (media outreach, social media)
  • A Community Outreach coordinator

Thanks for your support and interest in Deep Cove Folk.

Tim Rogers, May 30, 2023

Scroll to Top