Gig Seeker Pro


Band Alternative Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Vacant store to become live performance space"

Michelle Bellerose has taken on the challenge of bolstering live music offerings in the downtown core herself.

The Sudbury native, who moved to St. Catharines a couple of years ago, is opening a new venue on Jan. 11 in what had been a vacant storefront at 73 St. Paul St. For the next three months, Bellerose plans to use the space, which she calls Sessions at 73 (http://sessionsatseventythreesaintpaul.blogspot.com/), as a live performance venue for herself and other artists.

"A lot of people, if they see something going on, will pop in and grab a coffee," she explained. "If they're exposed to five minutes of music, they might come back."

She also plans to use the space to rehearse and develop her sound, and people will be able to observe her as she works through the creative process. She calls her music project the Warrior of Tenderness and eventually hopes to release a full-length CD of her songs.

"(Sessions at 73) is also to demystify what musicians go through. At the end of the day ... musicianship can't be self-serving. It has to be relevant to people. Artists are reflecting back to their communities," she said.

Already, more than a dozen artists have been booked to perform in the space. Sessions at 73 -- all performances will be recorded to be uploaded to YouTube -- will be open Monday to Friday, from 10 a. m. to 6 p. m., Saturday, from 10 a. m. to 10 p. m., and Sunday afternoons. Bellerose also plans to invite some public speakers to orate on various topics.

"I'm really excited the opportunity came up to get into the storefront," she said. "Whether it produces concrete results in the short term or yields something later on, it's a nice opportunity to test out some ideas and see where it goes."

Helping out Bellerose with the initiative is Stephanie Vicat, a Paris, France resident who is visiting Canada for one year. Her first impression of St. Catharines was less than flattering. The first Saturday afternoon she ventured downtown, no one was around.

"(In) Europe, we have a strong downtown culture. I thought, where are the other people?," she said.

In Paris, there are places like the one Bellerose is attempting to launch, with non-stop cultural activities, Vicat said.

"You don't even look at the program, you just go there and it's free. If you don't like it, you go somewhere else and have a drink. If you like it, you stay," Vicat said.

Continued After Advertisement Below


"We want to catch people before they go home. If they go home after work, they don't come back downtown. If something is happening in the early evening, they might stay an extra half hour downtown."

After graduating from high school, Bellerose headed to Toronto and spent three years at Ryerson's film school. She then worked for nine years working in the film industry.

"It was 16-hour days six days a week. I had my fill," she said, of her reasons for leaving.

At the turn of the millennium, Bellerose became interested in homeopathic medications and Jungian psychology and studied these subjects for a couple of years while working as an improvisational jazz singer.

In 2004, she opened Toronto's first fully organic restaurant in Kensington Market, which was named Restaurant of the Year by Now magazine. The following year, she started working at a pub on the Danforth, creating organic breakfasts. That year, the pub took home the same magazine's Brunch of the Year award.

"After a couple of years doing that, I felt a push to get back into music," she said.

Since 2006, Bellerose has focused on her art work and music full time. She came to St. Catharines because she wanted to get away from pressures artists face living in large cities like Toronto, and said she believes people who live in smaller cities are good judges of whether an initiative has potential.

"If an idea doesn't find a way in a small town, it's not going to be accepted by the mass market," she said.

"I like to go to areas where a certain way of doing things is novel or resisted. That allows you to refine what you're doing, yet keep the idiosyncrasies of what you're doing."

Aside from opening her new cultural space, Bellerose is also the featured artist for January at the Fine Grind Cafe. She has prepared a dozen poster-sized watercolour, pencil crayon and ink pieces for the show, which opens Saturday with a reception at which she will perform.

Some of the pieces are influenced by Native Canadian iconography and philosophies. As someone who was adopted, Bellerose said she is unsure of her heritage and has always been interested in various cultures.

"I have given myself free range to explore the cultures of other people and extract what is important to me," she said.

"I have an attraction to Native cultures. The aesthetic really appeals to me. There's something about the iconography around indigenous people that appeals to me."

Michelle Bellerose is the featured artist at the Fine Grind Cafe, from Jan. 3 to 31. An opening reception, featuring a musical performance by Bellerose, will take place Saturday, beginning at 7 p. m. The Fine Grind Cafe is located at 37 James St. Call 905-348-3214 for information.

Sessions at 73 (73 St. Paul St.) start Jan. 11.


Lori Littleton can be reached at 905- 684-7251, ext. 259, or e-mail llittleton@stcatharinesstandard.ca

Article ID# 1370267 - St. Catharines STANDARD

"Sessions at 73 aims to expand downtown music scene"

Michelle Bellerose hopes the acoustic concert taking place in her new performance space this Saturday leads to a more opportunities for music to be enjoyed in the downtown.
A local singer/songwriter, Bellerose has leased a storefront for the next three months at 73 St. Paul St. It's called Sessions at Seventythree and she plans on offering musical performances outside the usual context of the nightly bar scene.

Instead, the music takes place in a stripped-down setting, where tea, coffee and baked goods will be served.

"It's like coming into someone's living room for a concert," she said.

This Saturday, she welcomes Toronto-based duo Stewed Roots, who will perform their Cajun roots music from 2-5 p.m.

There will also be a show the next day at the same time by Hamilton's Jacob Moon.

There is no cover charge for the event, though she will be accepting donations to cover artists' gratuity and expenses.

She said the purpose is not to make the sessions commercially viable, but to see if there's an appetite for turning downtown St. Catharines into a sort of independent music village, a place where artists and fans know there will always be something happening -- during the day, along with at night.

"We're trying to assess the extent this crazy idea of mine has legs," she said.

Bellerose is currently working on her own recording and uses the space nearly everyday for rehearsals.

Concert performances will be recorded and posted on YouTube.

For more information, including a schedule of performers, visit www.sessionsatseventythreesaintpaul.blogspot.com.


"Interest afoot in St. Catharines"

Something came to my attention yesterday that I just have to tell you about—I mean I really want to, no one's making me.

A couple of positive, artistic types in St. Catharines have rented out an old store and turned it into a place for musicians to play and for people to hang out. I might be oversimplifying their M.O., so I'll just let them explain it.

"This no-budget operation is designed to demo that places of depressed economic condition and urban decay call forth culture and human development in order to retool themselves." Yeah, that is a little more articulate than I was.
You can read a lot more about the project and stay tuned to the schedule of performances here.

I got very interested while reading the blog, and I've never been to St. Catharines. Go now (the blog, not St. Catharines, unless you were going there anyway)!

Friday, January 16, 2009 BY ADAM MORRISON


"Tellum Passionis" (demo) .... reached #5 on the North American College charts in 2002



Michelle Bellerose is an innovator whose multidisciplinary work touches all human senses through her ongoing investigations into intuition, food, creativity, and health. She is a musician, writer, chef, visual artist, and bodywork practitioner who brings her knowledge of each of these fields to everything that she does. In all of her endeavours, her trailblazing approach invites us to hone our relationships with our bodies and minds in order to experience enchantment and wonder. From pioneering a new form of yoga, to her award-winning work as a gourmet chef, Michelle continually breaks ground with her work and play.

As a musician, an eclectic mix of sounds blends into Michelle's own unmistakable style. Her unique vocals along with her skilled treatment of both improvised and recorded arrangements contribute to her growing reputation as a leading musical talent.