The South Dundas Fireman Mutual Aid Meeting was held at the Iroquois Legion on August 15, 2011. During the meeting, Legion Branch #370 presented the local fire department with the first of two cheques totalling $5,000 from Poppy Funds. The donation is being made in memory of Comrade Jay Merkley.
“We have welcomed two new members on to our board,” said Sandra Whitworth of the St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage, “and we are delighted that Anna and Eric have joined us.” Eric Pietersma and Anna Boisvenue have joined the three current SLAS board members, as the outstanding 2015 season at the Stage continues. “Anna has a background in accounting and Eric has legal expertise and so they expand the skill set on the board in a range of important areas. We started a planning process a year-and-a-half ago to try to begin to move from an operational board to a more properly governance board,” Whitworth said. With artists like the Young Novelists, Harry Manx, Chick Gamine and Madison Violet coming to the Stage this winter and spring, the volunteer members of the board are hard-working and clearly dedicated to bringing great music to South Dundas. Some of the musicians who perform at the Stage have also led workshops with elementary children at the Akwasasne Mohawk School. One of the SLAS board’s long term goals is to make such outstanding workshops in many types of music available to other students in the South Dundas area. Pictured, l-r, are board members Eric Pietersma, Derek Hunter, Sandra Whitworth, Tony McCadden and Anna Boisvenue.
It promises to be a night of music that is both unexpected and exhilarating.
On Saturday, October 27, at 7 p.m., artist Kevin Fox will bring his fresh and delightful sound to the St. Lawrence Stage. David Simard, first introduced in an Emerging Artists showcase in 2010, to much praise, will open.
Kevin Fox, whose extensive body of work has been described by the Halifax Chronicle as a “set of glowing acoustic pop gems” and by Cadence Magazine as “poetic and even romantic,” has a unique background and an equally unique musical sound.
He has arranged music for Justin Bieber and Kathleen Edwards, recorded with Celine Dion and toured with Chantal Kreviazuk, Steven Page and Olivia Newton-John.
“I think his (release) Songs for Voice and Cello” is stellar, and his live performance is incredible,” said board member Sandra Whitworth.
Unusually, Fox has made the cello, most often restricted to classical music, the unique focus of his pop/folk approach.
“I believe that a cello is actually a kindred spirit to the human voice,” Fox explained. “When I sing and bow or pluck the cello, the sound resonates with my voice. There is simply great beauty in this string instrument.”
Fox added, with a laugh, that his unusual choice of instrument should be blamed on the fantastic music program that used to exist in the Maritimes. “In every grade, students were introduced to a musical instrument. Every year there was a new classical instrument and a new sound. The cello became my musical voice.”
A graduate of McGill in classical composition, Fox says that “song writing and arranging have always been part of me. You could say that I speak both pop and classical music. I describe my career by saying there have been many cookie jars on the shelf that I’ve dipped my hand into. I love arranging for the stage. I love arranging for the studio. And I love singing. Music has been the focus of my life since I was 10.”
I asked him about his songs.
“I have this interest in beauty. I seek beauty through my music, seeking out the colours that make me feel good, or reflect my mood. Then I want to put this unique beauty I have found down on pages to share. I also tend to believe that artists look inward and find a wealth of things that they can share with others.”
Kevin Fox released Set Right in 2011, an album that audiences are loving. “I wanted this one to have a collaborative element,” he said, explaining he had used several instruments and musicians in this work. “ But I did add lots of cello parts too,” Fox laughed.
David Simard is looking forward to his return to the Stage. “It’s such a treat to perform in that setting filled with people genuinely enjoying the music.”
Simard has been touring, but he finds that he loves “the rhythm of life on the road. It lets me focus all my energy toward music, which is exactly what I want to do.”
Generally, Simard prefers to stay away from labels. “I just say I’m a folk singer, straight up.” But he has been given one label that he finds intriguing, that of “avant-garde folk singer.”
“It comes from an album review in Italy. It said I was avant-garde because I was ‘a folksinger who’s rooted in the past, and looking to the future’. I do sing traditional folk music, but I am always trying to create something new and progressive in my music.”
The influence of cabaret has been part of that creative process.
“At one time, while I was living and working in Montreal and Victoria, I performed with aerialists, contortionists and dancers, with circus people: they were always looking for music and musicians. That experience led me to try and fit a kind of theatrical edge to my music. It is a style I would like to explore again.”
The theme of movement is a strong component of a lot of Simard’s compositions. “I’ve moved all my life. On tour I constantly move, crossing new geographic regions, always arriving, always leaving, maybe staying a short time in one spot. That theme appears in my music. I write about life, I guess. I love music. Music is my life.”
With upcoming artist David Simard opening for him, Kevin Fox will be in concert at the St. Lawrence Stage on Saturday, October 27.
Tickets are $18 in advance, $20 at the door available at the Basket Case, Strung Out Guitars and Compact Music or at www.st-lawrencestage.com/shows.html
According to Ontario Plowmen's Association president, Charles Leduc, 82,820 patrons attended the 2015 IPM. The weather couldn't have been better and IPM chair Jim Brownell couldn't have been happier with the 2015 SDG International Plowing […]