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This transplanted Maritimer is hosting an East Coast kitchen party — in Port Moody

Kitchen parties are popular on Canada's East Coast and usually involve an impromptu musical jam
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Transplanted Maritimer Adam Faber is hosting an East Coast kitchen party at the picnic shelter in Rocky Point Park on Sept. 24.

If you’re going to visit Adam Faber’s kitchen, you should probably bring a musical instrument.

Although if you don’t, that’s OK, too.

He’s got a selection of tambourines and shakers to dole out that will help you keep rhythm.

Faber’s an East Coast transplant from Halifax where impromptu jams next to the pantry are a part of Maritime culture.

On Saturday, Sept. 24, from 12 – 2 p.m., Faber’s “kitchen” will be the picnic shelter at Port Moody’s Rocky Point Park.

He’ll be joined by about 20 friends and acquaintances — and anyone else who wants to participate — with guitars, woodwinds, a kahon, a set of keyboards and even a kazoo.

What happens from there is anybody’s guess, said Faber, an accordionist with an ear for composing songs that satirize current and local affairs like the English Bay barge and Metro Vancouver’s housing crisis.

But if it’s anything like such gatherings back home, it should be a rousing good time.

“It just brings people out of their shells,” Faber said. 

Faber said when he was growing up in Nova Scotia, it seemed every gathering of family, friends and neighbours eventually gravitated to the kitchen where someone ultimately broke out a guitar, then others joined in.

“The kitchen is where the family hangs out,” he said. “It’s where everyday life happens.”

Faber doesn’t know why music became such an integral part of such kitchen parties. One theory is the seasonal nature of East Coast working life often left people with months of idle time to fill, so they’d pick up an instrument and learn to play.

Once they got good enough to carry a tune, it only seemed natural to share their new-found skill.

Faber said for him, music has been a way to make social connections in his new community. As he and his wife were settling into their Port Moody apartment, he found himself wandering down with his accordion to open mic nights at places like Rocky Point Spirits.

When he started seeing the same faces every week, many became friends.

The idea to transplant an East Coast kitchen party to his new West Coast environs was sparked by an ad in the Tri-City News soliciting applications for the Neighbourhood Small Grants program, an initiative by the Vancouver Foundation to build community and strengthen connections.

Faber said he immediately saw the intersection of his own experience as a newcomer to the area, the program’s goals and their organic connection to kitchen party culture.

His grant will cover the cost of renting the picnic shelter for two hours.

He’s also printed up some some song books he’ll be able to distribute if passersby want to join the chorus.

The music will range from fun rock ’n roll and “dad rock” to originals, Faber said.

“Everyone has a story about a song and music.”

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