Backstage with Bob Chartier

Backstage with Bob Chartier

Bob Chartier is known for many things. He’s a talented musician, a creative singer/songwriter, an inspiring mentor to up-and-coming musicians, and the “Mayor” of Calgary’s Music Mile—but his musical journey has been anything but ordinary. 


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Bob became fascinated with music early in life. His mother was a piano player and Bob loved singing his heart out to the gospel songs played in church—until he was told that he couldn’t sing. Bob was described as a monotone who couldn’t carry a tune and he was advised to pursue other activities. For a while, Bob believed this was true, but it never put a damper on his amazement with music. 


In university, Bob met Michael Millar, a bass player for a country-folk band called Humphrey and the Dumptrucks. Michael taught Bob how to make and play a washtub bass and Bob continued playing after he graduated from university and started his teaching career. Although Bob says he “was never really good at it,” he enjoyed playing a washtub bass in bars because it allowed him to meet other musicians. 


At sixty years old, Bob’s musical journey took a critical turn at an Arnold Guthrie concert. The man sitting next to Bob who had sold him the concert ticket realized Bob’s passion for music and encouraged Bob to attend FAMI camp. It was during a camp band scramble playing John Prine’s “Speed of the Sound of Loneliness” for an audience of 150 people that Bob found his buried voice and reignited his love of singing.  


Bob has been singing every day for the past half-dozen years since rediscovering his voice. He has written more than 100 songs and has performed in venues such as the Ness Creek Bluegrass and Old Tyme Festival, and the Water Valley Festival. He’s well known as the "Mayor" of Calgary's Music Mile, a project that created a music district in the heart of Calgary, and he is committed to helping people find their art by hosting “Songwriters in the Round” at the Gravity Café on the Music Mile in Inglewood. 


Bob Chartier’s story is extraordinary and it’s what’s made him an all-around inspiring artist.



Visit Bob’s Stagehand profile to learn more about his music.