Creating a Night of Music for Nightingales


The motivation behind creating the Nightingales acoustic music show was simple.

John Salib
John Salib

We’d heard from local performers we knew that musical artists have a difficult time finding gigs that allow them to do original music and not covers. There really aren’t a lot of places around willing to take a chance on an unproven vocal artist, never mind allow them to perform something no one has ever heard.

The idea for our show grew after a night out where Blair saw John Salib perform in the Song Book Series at Theatre Passe Muraille. It was the night they did their Les Miserable cover night. Pretty cool as a theme night to see and a great show that left a definite impression. And it sparked something. All of us love music and we’re very much interested in supporting local emerging talent in any form. So it got us thinking.

Chris Tsujiuchi performing music written specifically for Nightingales
Chris Tsujiuchi

Blair ran with it. It was a simple concept – all you need to do is find a venue, gather some musicians and plan the night. There’s little prep, no rehearsal time needed since everyone would know their own music, and seemed something very uncomplicated to produce. I mean, it wasn’t a film or a theatre production which are often fraught with a vast array of complexities just to get in motion and take months to bring to fruition. Definitely seemed doable. And it would help a lot of performers out with getting their music out there in front of an audience.

Again, similar to putting on a theatre production when we’d never done that before, either, this was something far outside our film experience. But so what? We never let a little thing like not having done something before stop us. We got educated. Fast.

For the first show, we were grateful for help from the multi-talented John Salib and his close ties to the Toronto music scene. Through his personal network, we ended up with 5 amazing performers for that first show on January 9, 2015 where John was also our evening’s host.

Jeremy Panda
Jeremy Panda

The performers sent in videos of themselves performing for us to preview and we were blown away by the calibre of these music artists who were just at the start of their careers. Headlining the show was the wonderful Maccie Paquette and while not an emerging artist at this point, in keeping with the purpose of the evening, a performer independent in drive and spirit and like a glimpse ahead for the others into what can be achieved by an artist’s perseverance. Rounding out the music line-up for the evening was Chris Tsujiuchi who wrote a song specifically for the show, Shayne Stolz, Katie Pereira and John himself as we took over the Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.

For the second show, we had a much better idea what we were doing and what we wanted out of the evening and so aimed even higher. We solicited videos ahead of time, so we could choose the performers ourselves. Based on the experience from the previous show, our expectations were high. There was never any doubt we would hear a lot of quality music and we weren’t disappointed. Even better, we were pleasantly surprised by the amount of videos we received from those who were eager for the experience and exposure.

Shannon Doherty and Peter Chadwick
Shannon Doherty and Peter Chadwick

With so many more fabulous performers to choose from, this time we made choices based on music type and attempted to create a nice flow for the evening with the line-up and it worked out very well. In addition, we put together door prizes and a couple of gift basket give-aways and even a sweets table for those who attended. We had one performer cancel very last minute due to unforeseen circumstances. Despite that, we were able to fill the vacancy and round out the line-up of Jeremy Panda (who had provided the entertainment at our opening party for the double bill show A Man of Two Minds/Lost Refuge), Edward Sayer, Kevin Myles Wilson and Shannon Doherty (who Blair has known since high school where they were in theatre together), with Peter Chadwick.

Have we become music promoters? No, not at all, we’re film makers at the core. Was it worthwhile? Absolutely. It was a great learning experience for Bony Fiddle in terms of production and promotion and a great experience for the performers. We love the music, it was fun, and anything we can create as a platform for local emerging talent we consider worth our time.

Dundas Square ZOMBIE promo a HIT!


On Saturday, August 30th, we hit up Dundas Square with two of our zombies from our upcoming show Lost Refuge, the second of our double bill feature, to generate some hype about our production, and from the moment we left my apartment we knew it was going to be a great night!

Our zombies for the evening, played by Mandi Sosnowski and Justine Cargo, also featured in our show, were very excited to be a part of the promo and we couldn’t have been more happy with their performance. We learned one valuable lesson during our night out, if you want attention, make friends with a zombie or two!

We rode the subway there and back and even before we got into the train, we had already given away our first promo card to interested bystanders. People were taking pictures and videos from across the subway platform, over their shoulder, and around poles. Some couldn’t stop staring, some could only look for a second before being grossed out, and others just wanted to get up close and personal.

People couldn’t get enough, and we have our talented special effects make up artist Sean George to thank for that! The work he did on these zombies was so great and even made some full grown men run away screaming. No really, we’re not joking.

A little later in the evening, we even had a few people ask if we were a part of the TV show “The Walking Dead” doing a season five promo as part of the Fan Expo that was happening all weekend. Thank you, we’ll take that as a compliment, and we love The Walking Dead.

When we got off the subway at Dundas Station, and our zombies learned how to open doors on their own, we were greeted by a group of guys that wouldn’t get close enough for a picture, along with a whole bunch of people stepping up on their own to take a selfie with a zombie, and that’s just the beginning. As we crossed the street and weaved our way into Dundas Square, we quickly generated a crowd. I’ve never seen so many selfies being taken. We had people running up to snap a picture and then taking off, people asking what it was all about, others just stood by and watched. There must be hundreds of pictures floating around the internet now. Some were foolish enough to try to talk to the zombies and ask for a picture, but we all know zombies don’t talk. We even made a little friend, a young boy who was fascinated with the make up and how we did it.

Over all, the evening was a lot of fun and we got to scare a whole bunch of people. It was an evening well spent. Would we do it again…? Hell yes! And we might too, with all our zombies!

Our show opens on September 11th at the Tranzac Club, located at 292 Brunswick Ave, in Toronto. Come join us for our opening night party. The doors open at 6:30 PM and includes live music by Jeremy Panda, desserts by Chi’s Cakes, drinks from the bar (sold separately) and a chance to win some great prizes, all before we get on with the show at 8 PM. Our other three performances are on September 12 @ 8PM, and September 13 @ 2:30 PM and 8 PM. Tickets range from $25 for the Saturday Matinee to $40 for the opening night party and show, and can be purchased online at bonyfiddlelive.com.

We look forward to seeing everyone there!