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Homegrown Hamilton Grand Opening
The Sky Dragon not–for–profit co–op has had some recent changes outside their King William Street building that many a passerby couldn’t help but notice. The big Homegrown Hamilton sign gracing the storefront is eye catching and direct with the venue’s new vision.
With all of the Lister Block renovations at James and King William Streets the corner been in upheaval for the last few months. But the newly christened Homegrown Hamilton offers a new start for what Tim Lidster and company believe is a very different kind of venue.
“We’re not changing the name of the Sky Dragon Centre – we’re a new business that is leasing space from them in their building,” explains Lidster. “When we took over the cafe, we knew that we wanted to focus less on the political side of things and more on the community side of things and the name Homegown Hamilton came from there. What it means is that, to the greatest extent we can, everything in our cafe will be from Hamilton or as local as possible and we will actively do what we can to support local farmers, artists, musicians, small businesses and community groups.
“The venue is quite a bit different – we did a fair amount of renovation, put in a larger stage and proper sound system and made it a bit more of an old school coffeehouse,” adds Lidster. “We tend to get a very diverse group of people in the cafe, but it’s a very open and inclusive space so everyone feels welcome. We also host a very wide range of events, from community activist groups getting together, to letter writing nights, to our popular open mic night, to a games night, to Edumacation Mondays, so it’s always different but interesting.”
Homegrown Hamilton’s grand opening weekend is a cross section of what the venue hopes to offer Hamilton – music, food, art, literature and community.
“On top of delicious, wholesome food and the only freshly roasted on–site coffee in the city, we have a great selection of music,” notes Lidster, “ranging from bluegrass/folk/country (Modern Field Recordings) to jazz–pop (Trio Arjento) to amazing loop based craziness (Sam Klass) at night and a fantastic group of performers [Euphonic, The Plain Steel, Steve Hanson, Fitz the Resista, Campbell Young, Molly Babin] playing during our Saturday Musical Matinee Brunch. Dundas author Joan Krygman’s book launch should be really fun and her bright, colourful characters are impossible not to love. Her kids book will be
loved by all and the LITchat event is a great opportunity for local writers to come out and read and hear other writers. We’ll also be displaying new works from the Hamilton Sculptures Guild and other Hamilton artists. We feel that this whole weekend is a fair representation of what the venue is about as we really are about supporting all aspects of the artistic spectrum, including visual arts, literature and especially music.” V
Homegrown Hamilton’s Grand Opening weekend happens Friday December 9 through Sunday December 11. Click on homegrownhamilton.com