Claudie Larouche is a busy lady. In addition to Street Strollers, her newly founded business that sees her leading 30-minute daytime walks in Ottawa’s west end, she’s also one of the organizers of the Ottawa Dyke March and a singer-songwriter.
On May 24, Larouche will bring her musical stylings to Ottawa U for a free concert featuring covers, original songs and plenty of humour. She’s been organizing concerts annually for three years, originally holding them as fundraisers for the Ten Oaks Project. “A bunch of my friends and myself, we would just rent a room at the University of Ottawa and host a concert,” she says.
While the concert is free, Larouche says folks are welcome to give donations at the end if they enjoyed the show. “Now that I’m taking a sabbatical from my work I have no income, so I decided that this year the concert would be for me,” she says chuckling. Ten percent of any proceeds will still go to the Ten Oaks Project.
Larouche plays mainly folk music and will be performing covers of songs by Cat Stevens, Simon and Garfunkel, Gordon Lightfoot and Eric Clapton, as well as francophone singer Dany Bédar. She also writes and performs her own songs in both English and French, often focusing on LGBT themes.
“I have one song about having an older girlfriend,” she says. Her subject matter also includes giving money on the street and her own desire to become famous, highlighting her ability to shift from the serious to the upbeat. “It kind of varies,” she says.
Larouche will be joined by several musician friends, including the daughter of a co-worker, a friend whose background is in choral music with whom she plans to duet, and another friend who is a guitarist.
“None of us are professionals or anything — we’re just there to have fun,” she says. “It doesn’t cost anything, so it’s worth your time and we’ll try to make it enjoyable.”