By Marcia Love

The aroma of fresh-ground coffee is mixed with the soothing sounds of talented local musicians during Perks Coffeehouse’s open mic event.

On the last Sunday of every month from 2-4 p.m., artists of any age are invited to come and share their music.

Perk’s owners Ken Turlock and Shantelle Lewis started bringing live music to their Spruce Grove coffeehouse some time ago, but more recently teamed up with local musicians Soap Box Duo for the unique event. The monthly event is open to people of all ages and skill levels. It also has “featured artists” who play a 20-30 minute set to open the afternoon.

The open mic event blends together the visions of providing local artists with a venue to develop their performance skills while also providing great local entertainment.

Perks’ walls are adorned with the beautiful works of local visual artists, and the addition of its open mic afternoon allows it to support and encourage music artists as well.

Jenesa MacMullin, who formed Soap Box Duo with her husband Alexander, grew up in Stony Plain and noted there aren’t a lot of opportunities for artists — especially underage artists — to perform live.

“The majority of people are quite young in this community, so we just wanted to create a place where musicians could gig locally and have the opportunity to be in front of a live audience without it being through a school program,” Jenesa said. “We have people from all different age groups come to play, and I think it’s a good challenge for artists to be in front of a diverse audience.”

Some of the open mic performers have albums out and have toured, while others are stepping up to the mic for the first time. It’s a great way to network with other musicians.

For music-lovers, come grab a cup of coffee and cozy-up for a great afternoon of song!

Musicians are always welcome to come out and play.

To apply to be a featured artist, contact Soap Box Duo via their Facebook page.