What happens when you take a former Las Vegas lighting tech turned graphic designer who also hosted big-name concerts in the City of Lights who now has spare time and lives in rural Annapolis County? International exposure for music venues in Annapolis County.
Enter Nancy Godfrey.
She and husband Kevin Kozoriz just got back from Folk Alliance, an international conference held this year in Montreal from Feb. 13 to 17. They managed to stuff all kinds of information on performance venues in Annapolis County into the tote bags of musicians, groups, managers, agents, and media attending the conference.
It’s a long story, but it does start in Las Vegas where Godfrey worked on the Siegfried and Roy Show. The couple had attended Folk Alliance in San Diego and later started booking acts in Las Vegas.
“We decided to start a concert series to bring in people and capitalize on the fact everybody travels through Vegas to get somewhere else, so we did a mid-week thing where we would catch people coming through on tour, bring them in, host them for a night,” Nancy Godfrey said. Their venue was a little theatre where plays were performed on weekends. Often, the couple’s acts were performing on the sets of plays.
“We had like Janis Ian and Tom Paxton. Big names. We did pretty good with it. But then we moved here, and I kept seeing the same performers over and over and over,” she said. “This year when they announced they were holding Folk Alliance conference in Montreal, we went ‘oh, let’s go. It’s been a while.’ It’s an amazing five days. Five days of amazing music.”
That’s when her Las Vegas experiences and her graphic artistry combined and she created a brochure of performance venues in Annapolis County. With some help from a few donations, she managed to print 3,000 and get them in the Folk Alliance swag bags.
“I started thinking about the fact that none of the performers we hosted down in Vegas have a clue about what’s available here. They may see Halifax on their radar, but anything outside of that, unless they know someone specific, they don’t have a clue and they don’t know what venues are available. I kind of started mulling over building a little brochure, just a couple hundred of them to hand out to people that I thought might be interested in touring through this area. The venues, just the basic stuff that was available.”
She said one thing lead to another and they ended up getting 3,000 of them printed and they went into the tote bags of everyone who attended the conference.
“That was courtesy of funding from some of the venues (who) kicked in towards it,” Nancy Godfrey said. “The county kicked in money towards it, the Town of Annapolis kicked in money towards the printing costs. They came through and helped us get it in the bag.”
She did the design for free and on her own time.
It cost about $600 US to get the brochures into the tote bags.
“Nancy Godfrey is one of those people who simply takes it upon herself to help the community,” said Annapolis County Warden Timothy Habinski, a musician himself and a harp maker by profession. “I’m so impressed by what it is she accomplished in this. To have had a brochure that details all the recreational and tourism opportunities, the music venues for Annapolis County, placed in every swag bag at a major, major music conference – that’s a phenomenal opportunity and gives wonderful exposure to the county.”
But not only might that attract great performers, it makes the area a music Mecca for tourists.
“We certainly want to promote tourism here,” said Habinski. “We pride ourselves on our musical culture, and Nancy is one of those people who is smart enough to recognize that’s one of the strengths of the region and we should be promoting the heck out of it.”
The brochure contains information on the main performance venues in Annapolis County, including King’s Theatre, Evergreen Theatre, Dawn Oman Art Gallery, and Oqwa’titek Amphitheatre, but also smaller locations like Temple on Queen, Annapolis Brewing, Lunn’s Mill, End of the Line Pub, The Capitol, the Annapolis Royal Legion, and Oakdene Centre – including all booking information. Plus, she lists all 31 community halls in Annapolis County and contact information.
The brochure wasn’t the end of Godfrey’s project. She took all the information, plus lots more, and created the Annapolis Venues website.
Her plans now are to expand the website to other counties and hopefully provincewide.