Hello everyone, I just want to welcome you to the debut Aeolian Podcast with a quick rundown of upcoming events. As I’m sure you know, this week we are holding our pride events, and as of the posting of this podcast, we have had three great events so far, in “Our Pride Place,” our Poesy concert, and London Lesbian Film Festival Film Night. On Wednesday of this week, which if you’re lucky enough to read this podcast on its day of release, we will be having Pride Open Mic Night!
Coming up after that, we have two nights of “Stand! A Pride Celebration” with Pride Mens Chorus this Thursday and Friday, the 25th and 26th of July! The Chorus has been working very hard and the tickets are going very fast, so get them while you can on our website at aeolianhall.ca/events, by phone at 519-672-7950 or in our box office at 795 Dundas St! Please enjoy the interview with our excellent volunteer Mike Hanson!
The following is a transcript of our interview! If you want to listen to the audio version of it, follow these links to Soundcloud or YouTube!
Mike: My name is Mike Hanson and I have been volunteering at Aeolian Hall for approximately one and a half years, enjoying the whole time
Liam: Awesome! So how did you first discover the Aeolian Hall?
M: I moved to London from Toronto approximately three years ago and I found that the Aeolian had phenomenal music. I really enjoyed coming here to see all the live acts and when I realized that I could actually take part myself as a volunteer I thought “Well that’s a good opportunity to get involved in the community, maybe see a little bit more music” and I found that overall, I have become very much entrenched in the fabric of this place and the London community overall and I think, in many respects, I blame Aeolian Hall for that.
L: Are you from Toronto originally?
M: Originally I’m from Saskatchewan. I grew until probably 25 years old there, and then made the move to Toronto in 1990. I really enjoy Toronto for the simple fact that it’s got all of the dynamic intensity, the energy that’s always there. I really feed on that stimulation. As a result, when I came to London, I realized because it’s a quieter city than Toronto is, of course, that I had to make myself very busy and one of the things that I did was to see more live music. I also really like the Old East Village. I think it’s a very dynamic, interesting community with a wonderfully broad spectrum of individuals. I don’t like homogeneous, kind of all one thing, so I appreciate the fact that you can meet all kinds of people here and I find that people generally speaking are pretty darn wonderful when you talk to them.
L: Totally. So you have a family here?
M: I actually have a family originally from Saskatchewan. None of my family lives here down East. In terms of my own family, I have a wife and I have two children. I have two boys who are 13 and 15. I started getting them on the road to volunteerism as well. Brandon in fact, my eldest, just joined me at Home County over the weekend, and I think he did 15 hours over the weekend, and really enjoyed it as well, so I’m hoping that he proceeds onwards and realizes how much fun it is to just give back and get involved in all the things that can be happening.
L: That’s great. What’s your favourite show you’ve volunteered for, or even attended?
M: Oh gosh! In terms of attending, I really enjoyed the O’Pears recently, [that] was a fantastic show to attend. But I have also volunteered for one of those shows as well, of theirs. In terms of other shows, Sarah Slean was fantastic, really enjoyed her show. Jeremy Dutcher, fantastic! I’ve seen Danny Michel play here as well and he did a phenomenal job, he was actually playing as a part of the fundraiser, and we had the whole of the London Symphonia backing him up, and that was a fantastic show.
L: Along the same lines, who would you like to have back or just come here in general?
M: I think somebody who I think would fit Aeolian Hall really well is a band called “Weather Station,” from Toronto and I think she would, either as a solo act or if she wanted to bring her whole band, that would be a great fit for here. In terms of coming back, I have heard that Chick Corea’s show was fantastic here, but he’s not played while I’ve been here, so I would love it if he could come back.
L: I suppose this is along the same lines– actually sorry, I think you’ve answered this, but what makes Aeolian such a great place to contribute to?
M: I think the key thing that I noticed was once I got involved, the people were very welcoming, very generous, very interesting, and I find in some places where you go to volunteer everybody just shows up and will just show up and do their thing, but in this case it really felt like everybody realized that they were part of a larger community and a larger movement in terms of making the world a better place, and that’s what I really liked was that awareness from the people around me that they were doing good stuff here.
L: Why should people go to an Aeolian show?
M: Many, many reasons. First of all, it is a wonderfully intimate location, it has fantastic sound, there’s something about the way concerts sound at the Aeolian that seem to be much different than every other Hall I’ve gone to. It’s almost like a church. It has that magical quality that just makes you feel like you’re in the presence of some wonderful energy happening. It means every single experience you have here ends up feeling like it’s a special one.
L: That’s all I got for questions, thank you, Mike!
Thank you, everyone, for listening, I hope you enjoyed that brief interview with our volunteer Mike Hanson, who provided some really excellent insight on his volunteerism and how Aeolian plays into that. This podcast was created to promote volunteerism and I really hope it encourages you to start volunteering! See you next time on the Aeolian Podcast!!
– Liam Collier