Home Routes HQ
The Chairperson is Derek Black a twenty five year veteran of the Winnipeg Folk Festival including eight years as its Board president. Imbued with the tradition of the folk revival, Derek plays guitar and sings the old songs with passion.
The board members include Chris White, Volunteer Coordinator at CKCU FM and a fine songwriter; Troy Greencorn, Artistic Director of the Stan Rogers Folk Festival in Canso, NS; Lindsay Jane, excellent and passionate Manitoba songwriter; Robert Lyons of Regina, SK, owner of nightclubs and restaurants, a very decent lyricist and guitar player with an old hand at producing house concerts; Ghislaine Cormier, executive director of Fédération Culturelle de l'Île-du-Prince-Édouard, Grant Simpson guitar/piano player extraordinaire and musical director of the world famous Frantic Follies Vaudeville Revue for the past 30 years and Les Siemieniuk, the general manager of the Calgary Folk Festival and a long time broadcaster producing CBC Radio's Simply Folk.
Left to Right: Ava Kobrinsky, Rosanne Blais, Selena Bewsky, Joseph Péloquin-Hopfner, Aimé Boisjoli, Tim Osmond, Mitch Podolak, Dominique Lemoine.
Executive Producer, Mitch Podolak is the founder of the Winnipeg and Vancouver Folk Festivals and Winnipeg's West End Cultural Centre. Home Routes originated as a concept in his brain and he pursued the involvement of everybody else. Podolak seriously plays old-time Appalachian style banjo. He also sings enthusiastically but without skill and is often heard destroying songs in half a dozen different languages. His ambitions are to age without grace, and then evolve into a curmudgeon.
Whether "generally managing" or tickling our funny bones, Ava Kobrinsky is an experienced non-profit arts manager whose wealth of knowledge makes her the backbone of Home Routes. Ava's amazing credentials include: Winnipeg Folk Festival Founding Board Member(1974-1986); River Avenue Day Care Centre President (1977-79); Provincial Coordinator, Federal/Provincial Agreement that founded Manitoba Film and Music (1985-1987); West End Cultural Centre founding General Manager (1987-1995); Program Manager, B.C. Festival of the Arts (1996-97); General Manager, Winnipeg Jewish Theatre (1997-2001) and Winnipeg's Contemporary Dancers (2002-2004).
You can catch Tim Osmond at his desk picking a banjo to the backing-up beep of the dump truck outside his window. (It's an E for all you string nerds out there). As well as being an accomplished bluegrass banjo player and co-founder of Home Routes with Mitch Podolak and Ava Kobrinsky. Tim has quarterbacked the development of the entire volunteer host component of Home Routes. He has initiated and maintained ongoing relationships, encouraging and coaching presenters on house concert production as well as establishing protocols for administration. He also hosts "Sunday Drive", a weekly bluegrass/old-time radio show on CJUM 101.5 at the University of Manitoba.
Selena Bewsky is a professional, multi-talented folk music worker whose contributions in the time she has been here are remarkable. She gets it. She understands the human condition and theoretical goals of what it takes to work in the non-for-profit folk music industry. She has single handedly lifted the productive capacity of the staff team. If there were three or more Selena's on any team, the result would include small organizational jobs like the building the Trans Continental Railroad, the advent of flight and the Normandy Invasion. Selena's professional background includes Community Development, Social Work, Event Planning, Publicity/Marketing, and Music Agent/Management work. A self-professed "ham & egger" musician, Selena plays acoustic guitar, mandolin & "loves a good train song".
Home Routes Classical Artistic Director Mel Braun is a versatile performer, equally at home in oratorio, recital, and opera, always open to new collaborations. He is well-known to Canadian audiences for his many performances and broadcasts of Early Music with Tafelmusik and Opera Atelier, and for his frequent appearances across Canada in the Masterworks of Bach and Handel, which have both been acclaimed throughout the country.
As a teacher, Mel leads the Vocal Program at the Marcel A. Desautels Faculty of Music, a program renowned for its collaborative and holistic approach to training singers. He has seen many of his students go on to significant careers as performers and teachers. Among Mel's many initiatives at the Faculty are the Contemporary Opera Lab, the Professor Bach Project, and Tuesdays in Winnipeg, a venture that brings together high school age boys who love to sing. He has been awarded Merit and Outreach Awards for his efforts.
As a music director, Mel looks after the operatic ensembles at the U of M, as well as working with Winnipeg's Camerata Nova, a choir devoted to exploring new approaches to choral music making. He is much in demand as an Adjudicator and choral clinician, and also enjoys teaching many of the young rock singers that make up Winnipeg's burgeoning Indie Music scene. Mel has a Masters Degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Toronto and a Degree in Church Music from Canadian Mennonite Bible College.