The Bugaboo Exchange was set up as a trade; you, a musician, get a once in a lifetime trip that may otherwise not have been possible, in exchange for some relaxed before dinner playing. Bugaboo, a heli-hiking lodge, gets to bring live music into its already beautiful and friendly backcountry location. It’s a win-win situation!

To enable musicians from across Canada to participate, Bugaboo Lodge pays a travel stipend, determined based on your province of residence, that is intended to pay all your travel expenses plus a little extra, for each musician in the ensemble.

Who can apply:

Living Room Live works primarily with classical musicians…however, we plan to open the Bugaboo Exchange up to a variety of styles, focusing on acoustic music. Any experienced musician is welcome to apply!

Classical ensembles will most commonly be instrumental. Classical singers should have the flexibility to perform in different styles, and should suggest a program that fits the setting (see ‘Music to bring’). Opera is not well-suited to the lodge, aside from the occasional favourite perhaps.

How to apply:

Living Room Live’s role is to recruit a variety of musicians whose music we expect to fit in well at the lodge. We are currently accepting applications for Bugaboo Exchange summer 2019. Please click the link to submit an application or email us at info@livingroomlive.ca if you have questions. You will need to provide a little info about you or your ensemble, examples of rep you plan to take, two sample recordings, and list trip dates you are available.

What next:

You can expect to hear whether we have a place for you this summer or not. If we ask you to participate, we will confirm a date with you, share any more information needed, and send a contract to sign. Once you have paid for flights or other travel and submit receipts, we will send you the travel stipend cheque. This must be done at least two months before departure, and we suggest booking in good time, as we can’t increase the travel stipend later if flight costs go up. If we don’t have receipts by two months before, we will open the spot up to another ensemble.

All about the music:

A before-dinner 45 minute set on each of the three days has worked very well in the past.  Many guests have had a chance to relax after a day of hiking and are coming to the common room for a drink or just to relax before dinner. You could try after dinner, but we have found that things were wrapping up at that point. Please plan for three 45 minute sets; however, as long as you have a good variety of different music, a little re-using is no problem.

You can expect an atmosphere somewhere between background music and performance and choose music accordingly. We heard many people commenting on what a great atmosphere the music provided, and others who pulled up chairs and loved listening to the show. The lodge staff go out of their way to treat guests as family. This is a very friendly place to spend a few days!

Equipment available:
– upright Yamaha piano (we are also looking to recruit one piano tuner per summer: please ask us!)
– mic & mic stand
– amp

Travel information:

The following are stipends offered, determined by the province you will travel from. If you don’t think this fits your situation (eg. you live in Northern Alberta and must book a $400 flight) ask us about options when you apply. We may be able to adjust. The stipend is determined by generously estimating basic travel costs, and adding $250 to allow for differences in flights, unexpected expenses, and/or a little to keep (or for wine or massages at the lodge). Your travel from Calgary to the lodge is arranged by CMH and is not taken into account here.

BC – $750
AB – $430
SK – $750
MB – $850
ON – $950
QC – $1150  
NB – $1200
NL/PE – $1300
NT/NU/YT – $950

You should arrive at the Calgary Airport by ___am/pm the day before your trip starts, and fly out of Calgary after approximately 6:00pm on the last date of the trip. Please check available flights before confirming your participation. If you must leave Calgary a day later, please factor accommodation costs into your travel plans.

Nathaniel taking a break from his cello to meander around snowy peaks.

The Uber coming to pick up tired hikers.

The term ‘pudding’ doesn’t do these exquisite dishes justice.

A day in the life:

7:15     Wake up to the sound of a handbell being rung along the corridors.

7:30     Go to stretch class. Or hit snooze once more.

8:00     Breakfast – help yourself from a continental buffet including oatmeal, fruit salad, fresh baked goods, toast, yogurt, and hot breakfast offerings of the day such as scrambled eggs, bacon, and sausages. Espresso machines and (fancy) tea bags are always available.

8:45     Check the group lists for the day, and pack your lunch from a selection of fresh-made sandwhiches, salad, veggie sticks, dried fruit and nuts, chocolate bars, juice boxes, and fresh baked cookies.

9:15-10:00     Catch a helicopter up the mountain with your assigned group and guide.

1:00     Stop for lunch amid stunning mountain views when the mood strikes you. If you’d like to leave early for a little rest and relaxation (sauna, cold drink on a deck…), now is your chance to catch a helicopter down to the lodge.

3:30-4:30     Your guide will call for the helicopter when your group is ready to leave. Bonus points for precarious pick-ups atop narrow mountain peaks.

4:30     Visit the dining room for a coffee or to check out today’s après-hike offerings. Have a shower, and relax in the mountain view hot tub, sauna, or relaxation room.

6:00     Set up in the common room. Play a 45 minute set of music.

7:00     Enjoy a gourmet meal, family style: fresh baked bread of the day, appetizer, salad, entrée, dessert, cheese. If you like, order a glass of wine or beer, or choose a bottle from the special wine pairing menu.

9:00     Hang out in the lounge with guests and guides, visit the games room, or relax in your room.