Huron Hygge kicks off with successful first virtual concert
BY DENNY SCOTT
The Huron Hygge initiative, designed to show what Huron County residents can do while enjoying their own backyard for the winter, kicked off its virtual concert series last week.
Pronounced “hue-gah” or “hoo-guh”, hygge, a Danish word, describes coziness or contentment and, by hunkering down in the winter and enjoying what our own homes and community offer, has been practised in Huron for years.
To highlight that and add to the hygge-style of life, Huron County has created a program that will allow people to “find [their] Hygge in Huron” through ontarioswestcoast.ca/huronhygge.
The website offers classes, workshops, online exhibits, recreational activities, reading recommendations and the aforementioned online concerts.
The online concerts kicked off last Thursday with a performance by Huron County native Charlie Weber. Now hailing from London, Weber blends folk, rock and pop punk to create his unique sound. The performance was well received according to Cultural Development Officer Rick Sickinger.
“I think it went phenomenally well,” he said. “We had close to 1,000 people watching the livestream and another 1,000 watched it in the 12 hours afterwards. By Friday morning, we had 2,000 viewers, which is really great for a Huron County musician.”
Sickinger said the COVID-19 lockdowns have been extremely difficult for artists, so being able to showcase their talents is great. He also said that the number of viewers shows there is a need for this kind of entertainment during the pandemic.
The concerts start at 7 p.m. are available on Facebook or Channel 1 on both HuronTel TV and Hay Communications. Sickinger said the concerts are being promoted as dinner and a show and he encourages everyone to order take-out from their favourite local restaurant to complete the experience and continue to support local eateries.
The concert series, which is free, continues tonight, Jan. 21, with folk-pop singer Holly Clausius whose tunes have been on CBC Radio for the past several months.
Huron County native Adam Wendler will perform on Jan. 28. Wendler, who now lives in Germany, is a multi-instrumentalist who blends pop, folk, country and rock music for his unique sound.
Canadian Idol and platinum-selling artist Ryan Malcolm will perform on Feb. 4.
Huron County husband-and-wife duo Melina and John Powers will perform on Feb. 11 and the St. Onge family will perform on Feb. 18.
While the virtual concerts were already set to take place despite the lockdown, Sickinger said that other programs are being modified to work during the lockdown.
Outside of some of the outdoor activities, nearly the entirety of the Hygge schedule is now virtual, Sickinger said, including meditation programs, yoga lessons, author readings sponsored by the Huron County Library and workshop programs.
“We’re adding to the website throughout the month,” Sickinger said. “We’re looking mostly virtual except for some recreation events.”
He said programs are still being figured out as far as feasibility goes, and that, if the lockdown stretches on, more activities will be considered for virtual participation, especially around the Family Day holiday.
Visit ontarioswestcoast.ca/huronhygge for more information.