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Andrew Collins Trio
Folk | Ontario
Mando maestro Andrew Collins finds himself at the epicentre of Canada’s burgeoning acoustic/roots music scene. As Collins gathers up innumerable JUNO nominations (5) and Canadian Folk Music Awards (7) won by his various ensembles, he’s zeroing in on the work he does with Trio-mates. They just released a new double album, grafting 11 vocal cuts (tongues) to 11 instrumentals (grooves) to create a seamless finish with their cleverly monikered double album, “Tongue & Groove.” Each cut is milled to perfection and represents a back-to-basics visitation on what the band does best — spontaneity of the stage and rapid-fire, improvisational exchanges.
Folk | Alberta
With the impending release of his fourth album, Braden Gates has already proven himself to be deserving of a wider audience and more than worthy of the attention he’s already received in the space of five short years. Gates has played roots-music haunts like The Blue Chair and the Uptown Folk Club in Edmonton, while accepting much sought after gigs at regional festivals like Pembina River Nights and the Beaumont Blues Festival. He has also been invited to play the prestigious Edmonton Folk and Vancouver Island Music Festivals- all before hitting his 22nd birthday. Gates was nominated for the 2017 Emerging Artist of the Year and Contemporary Artist of the Year Awards at the Canadian Folk Music Awards. With a new album mixed, mastered, and set for a late fall 2018 release on Canada’s premier folk/roots label, Borealis Records, this inspired singer-songwriter simply looks to win over new audiences at every opportunity.
Theatre/Spoken Word | Ontario
Brendan McLeod is a Toronto-based writer, spoken word artist, theatre artist, and musician. He’s the author of one novel, The Convictions of Leonard McKinley, a one-woman play, The Big Oops, two monologues- the most recent of which is his award-winning piece on consciousness “Brain,” and a collaborative spoken word/music show with classical pianist Sarah Hagen, No Country. He is the founder of The Fugitives, a folk group signed to Light Organ Records, that tours internationally and have been nominated for multiple Canadian Folk Music Awards and a Western Canadian Music Award. He is a former Canadian SLAM poetry champion and World SLAM runner-up. He was the 2012 Poet of Honor at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word and the 2015 Poet of Honour at the Victoria Spoken Word Festival.
Chris Funk The Wonderist
Magic | Manitoba
Chris Funk has spent the last 16 of his 25 years in magic travelling across the globe performing a style of magic that can only be defined as “refreshingly different.” Chris has truly mastered the integral elements of each performance and really engages and connects with every audience, while creating standout moments time and time again. Chris has been performing onstage his entire life, first as a musician, then as a magician, and now as a brilliant and witty performer known as “The Wonderist.” He combines intuition, influence, and illusion with side-splitting comedy to create moments that baffle and amuse. Chris is also an improv master, allowing him to take advantage of the moments that make every show different from the last. Witness the dynamic and engaging magic show that has entertained and amazed audiences the world over!
Folk/Traditional | Nova Scotia
With the release of the new album, Rove, Nova Scotia’s powerhouse, Còig, has cemented its status as one of today’s most exciting new North American Celtic groups. With a combined total of over 30 group and solo awards and nominations, the four members of the band are already recognized as major stars of the Celtic world. Rove is drawing rave reviews from fans and critics and has recently been recognized with a 2018 JUNO Award and East Coast Music Award nomination, as well as a 2017 Canadian Folk Music Award and Music Nova Scotia Award nomination. They are a band of fast friends; people that grew up together, played together, and knew each other way before they ever considered being in a band together. The best in trad music, in a non-traditional way. That’s Còig.
Hip Hop, Motivational Speaker | Manitoba
First Nations community role model Hellnback released his first solo record, #FOE=Family over Everything and received two nominations for Best Hip Hop Album and Best Album Cover Design at the 2015 Indigenous Music Awards (IMA). The IMA presented him with the “Most Outstanding Manitoban” Award in recognition of his contributions in music. Currently released his 2nd solo project titled #Fourteen91. Hellnback released two singles that ranked as #1 on the Indigenous Music Countdown ‘The Spirit’ ft. Mob Bounce and “Blessed” by Hendo Brothers. Nominated for two Indigenous Music Awards, Hellnback first gained international recognition as a founding member of the ground breaking group War Party. Hellnback is recently featured on a Tribe Called Red’s latest offering, the Suplex EP.
Hip Hop Hoop Dance
Theatre/Dance | Saskatchewan
World champion hoop dancer, Terrance Littletent, collaborates with interdisciplinary artist, Chancz Perry, to produce a cross-cultural fusion of First Nations Hoop Dance and North American Hip Hop. Both engaging performers share a historical, educational, and inspirational outlook of the two dance genres.
Country/Blues | Manitoba
JC Campbell is a songwriter and a singer. To date, JC has released 3 CD’s. His debut album was an acoustic demo CD to use as a guide to see where improvement could be made. However, as JC performed one of his songs, “100 Days,” at a jam, Errol Ranville was in attendance and subsequently suggested submitting the demo CD to the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards. With two nominations and a television performance of the song that first caught C-Weeds attention, JC started his musical journey. A best Blues Album win at the 2008 APCMA’s and performances at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics are some of the highlights of his career. Thus far, his new album, “Four Letter Lie,” has achieved two #1 spots on the National Aboriginal top 40, air play on SiriusXM satellite radio, CFWE in Alberta as well as on his local Steinbach radio station.
Rock&Roll | Alberta
It’s often said that artists have their entire lives to make their debut album. Randal Arsenault’s case, truer words have never been spoken. The Newfoundland native—now based in Alberta—has packed over two decades of experience into his first solo release, Rock & Roll To My Grave, a shot of old school roots rock that brings Arsenault’s music career full circle. Having toured the world and had his work recognized by the Canadian Songwriting Awards, East Coast Music Awards, and Music NL Awards, Arsenault is eager to make a fresh start after his time away from the music industry. What started with the purchase of a new guitar has taken him on a journey back in time, literally and figuratively. But it’s also reinforced the message of “Rock ‘N Roll To My Grave” that we should never stop doing what we love.
Pop | Ontario
Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer, Royal Wood has established himself as a true musical talent. Since being proclaimed “Songwriter of the Year” by iTunes, Royal Wood has continued to evolve and hone his musical craft – maintaining an unmistakable identity while uncovering and reinventing his sound. Wood has two albums that have debuted in the Top 30, multiple JUNO nominations, two Canadian Folk Music Award nominations, and a #1 added song at Hot AC radio. His songs have been heard on high-profile sync placements like Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice. Royal just completed a wildly successful and sold-out cross country tour opening for the legendary Bonnie Raitt. Royal is currently touring the world in support of his critically acclaimed 2018 release, “Ever After The Farewell.”
The Osmond Davis Band
Country/Bluegrass | Manitoba
Making their world debut in front of 30,000 screaming football fans, this group of five Manitoba pickers has a common passion for bluegrass and honky-tonk music. In a place as flat as their prairie home, The Osmond Davis Band ensures mountain music thrives by keeping that Appalachian connection with their southern neighbours. Guitar flatpicker Simon Davis and five string banjo/dobro player, Tim Osmond, sing a repertoire of music from the likes of the Stanley Brothers, Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs and other traditional and contemporary bluegrass standards. Joined with them on fiddle is the extraordinary Jeremy Penner (The Bills, Wailing Jenny’s), the driving mandolin of Dan Simpson, and the sold backbone upright bass of Karl Ratchinsky. Fans of bluegrass music and supercharged country will love the blend of harmonies and dynamic picking between these fine musicians.
Acapella | Manitoba
Made up of nine performers who represent a cross-section of the Winnipeg music and theatre community, Those Guys have built a reputation for dynamic, feel-good performances. Their repertoire, which ranges from Billy Joel to Bruno Mars, features complex (often original) musical arrangements performed without a single instrument. Those Guys have released three albums, “That Album” (2012), “Live!” (2014), and “This Christmas” (2015). In 2016, Those Guys had the honour of opening for The Nylons during their Farewell Tour. Those Guys are Ben Campbell, Bernie Pastorin, Darren Martens, Derek Leenhouts, James Cambell, Matthew Baron, Michael Engstrom, Sheldon Atts and Wes Rambo.
Traditional/Folk | Ontario
Multi award-winning husband and wife duo Twin Flames combines Jaaji, an Inuk/Mohawk from Nunavik, and Chelsey, a Métis from Ottawa. Together, they take the audience on a musical journey across Canada and the Arctic. Winners of The Canadian Folk Music Award for Aboriginal Songwriters of the Year in 2016 and 2017, they push the boundaries of “Contemporary Folk” and incorporate both Western and traditional instruments in their music. Feature songs by Twin Flames are written in Inuttitut, English, and French. Their goal is to further introduce people from around the world to their beautiful cultures, harmonies, and powerful songwriting.
Classical | Ontario
VC2 is an innovative cello-duo able to captivate audiences through their performances of classical masterworks, unknown gems and boundary-pushing music. Comprised of cellists Amahl Arulanandam and Bryan Holt, the Toronto-based duo presents artistically challenging yet accessible programs and has performed in venues ranging from intimate pubs to Roy Thomson Hall. They have performed as part of leading arts organizations including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, National Ballet of Canada Orchestra Soundstreams, Art of Time Ensemble, Continuum Contemporary Music, Pocket Concerts, New Music Concerts, Music in the Barns, Thin Edge New Music Collective, Contact Contemporary Music, and Tapestry Opera. The duo have been featured artists at Ottawa Chamberfest, Ottawa New Music Creators, 21C Music Festival, Huronia Cultural Campus’ The Gathering, Ritornello Festival, and the Prairie Cello Institute.
Woody Holler and His Orchestra
Folk/Country | Manitoba
Woody Holler grew up on the Canadian prairie hearing the songs of the cowboy. Although he was later trained in opera, a sense of nostalgia held him close to those western roots. In 2009, Woody teamed up with some of Winnipeg’s finest jazz musicians and began purveying his own brand of Western Swing. Since 2010, the band has showcased very successfully across Western Canada, which has led to several tours from across the prairies to the Atlantic and many tours of the Pacific. They have enjoyed a tour of the Northwest Territories and past the arctic circle. In 2016, the band spent three-weeks touring England on behalf of the Northern England Arts Network. Their first album, “Western Skies,” was nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award in 2010. Woody and the boys have just completed their second album, “Jazz From The Saddle.”
Kenzie Jane has developed a unique style of original music, mixing sounds of RnB, Jazz, Folk, and mouth trumpet. She is becoming a seasoned performer playing various venues and festivals such as the Winnipeg Folk Festival, Winnipeg Pride, ManyFest and much more. This summer, Kenzie toured western and Northern Canada, playing festivals and shows in places from the Yukon to the small towns of Saskatchewan. She released her debut EP, Love Me From Scratch this past April and is excited to start working on her next project.
PS: Kenzie will be playing duo, with another lady named Courtney Devon.
is songwriter, pianist, and vocalist who is carving her very own sphere in the Canadian Prairies. After releasing her debut single ‘Spaceship’ in March 2017, she shared her visual for ‘One Time’-a song from an impromptu West Coast winter trip. Listen to her latest, ‘Fade Out
Victoria Turko is a folk singer songwriter who loves to tell a good story in her songs. Victoria plays the piano, but you will usually find her accompanying her originals with the guitar. You can find her performing at different events around Winnipeg or you can see her here on youtube.
The Broken Songs Band began with spoken word, bass, percussion and some sax; first, for the Winnipeg Symphony’s New Music Festival, then later orchestrated in the recording studio by Glenn Buhr. After several years going from project to project in several Canadian cities with a collection of different musicians (sometimes even full orchestra), the new Broken Songs Band is now a quartet: Sweatman on vocals and harmonica, Buhr on guitar, piano and vocals, along with guitarist/vocalist Allan Beardsell, and bassist Gilles Fournier.
Burns and Allen – A Loving Tribute
George Burns and Gracie Allen are reunited in this charming and hilarious throwback to the golden age of comedy. The classic banter and charming rapport of the comedy duo are brought to the stage for a delightful hour of nostalgic laughter. “Local actors Stephen Sim and Caity Curtis successfully pull off old-school laughs as the vintage vaudeville comedy team of George Burns and Gracie Allen, and in doing so remind audiences what made them so beloved.” “Since Curtis’s comic persona closely resembles Gracie Allen, the two score points on a delicious Burns-and-Allen style bit, with Sim … skilfully playing the straight man.”
Experience the amazingly funny world of Comedy in Motion with Canada’s favorite juggler, Bob Cates. The show is much more than a stand up routine, and involves a great deal of physical skill which has taken years to hone. Some skills include advanced juggling, wild unicycling and balancing skills, Dance Dance Revolution while juggling, Chinese Yo Yo and cigar box manipulation, illusion, slapstick and frantic plate spinning reminiscent of the Ed Sullivan Show. He is one of few performers left in North America performing authentic plate spinning – his signature piece. Overall, the show is very fast paced, highly interactive and uses situational comedy and advanced skills to keep audience members of all ages on the edge of their seats right to the very end.
Led by their fearless front-woman Derina Harvey, this five-piece Celtic-rock group offers a fresh take on traditional tunes and intersperse that offering with their own original jigs and reels. Their infectious rhythmic undertow is layered with rock guitar, dizzying fiddle motifs, and topped by Derina’s powerful voice. These transplanted east-coasters have earned a reputation with their high-energy live show, leaving many an audience out-of-breath and hollering from the dance floor!
After a decade of establishing herself as an international singer, Monika Wall began writing her own songs responding to a call one night from three new songs insisting on being heard. The former classical singer brings the beauty and emotional intensity of her voice to the roots/blues album that is extraordinary and rare. Her award winning voice combined with Juno award winning producer Murray Pulver’s insight has created her sophomore album of originals, Let It Flow. A cross between southern rock, gospel/blues, R&B, folk and pop influences come together for a powerful and uplifting experience. Her music is a hybrid between the smoothness of a blues singer and the heart of a story teller.
Raine Hamilton has toured Canada extensively, driving, flying, and floating her way coast to coast. Raine’s new album, Night Sky, tips between the earthly and the otherworldly; it is anchored in relatable lived experience, while reaching into the space just beyond, thinning the veil between here and there, affording safe passage to the rough and beautiful places. Raine’s ethereal voice and lyrics are at the forefront of these powerful and relatable tunes, written both in English and in French. Alongside cello + double bass, and with Raine on violin or guitar, these songs have a moving string quartet feel with a cosmic reach.
The Wardens’ mountain music- blending folk, roots, and western styles – is a piece of Canadiana reflecting the pristine wilderness of the Rocky Mountains. With haunting three-part harmonies, Scott Ward (guitar), Bradley Bischoff (guitar), and Ray Schmidt (bass/mandolin) share stories drawing on 60+ years of fiercely protecting Canada’s most prized landscapes. The trio have performed at Folk Alliance International, Canmore Folk Fest, Alberta Showcase, and shared the stage with Blue Rodeo, Paul Brandt, Scenic Route to Alaska, and Tim Hus.
Vancouver harpist Janelle Nadeau has a way of drawing people in with her warm and engaging performance style. Drawing from a diverse repertoire of classical, Celtic, original, contemporary tunes and storytelling. Currently the acting principle harpist of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, the Turning Point Ensemble and her own groups; Janelle maintains a rigorous performing schedule. She has taken the stage with everyone from Diana Krall and Kanye West to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and has performed on television and radio including on the CBS show, Supergirl.