CV Arts Council boasts impressive musical lineup this fall

·4 min read

After COVID-related delays and forced venue relocation, the Carleton Victoria Arts Council has rebooted its concert schedule, including a strong lineup through September and October. Sherman Downey kicked the fall season off with a performance on Thursday, Sept. 9.

"Even though we are currently unable to access the Weldon Matthews Theatre, due to COVID restrictions from the Department of Education, the Carleton Victoria Arts Council is committed to and continuing to bring live music to the Upper River Valley," said Pearl Black, CVArts director of programming.

Black outlined what she described as a "fabulous" fall lineup, including Downey, who performed at the Second Wind Music Centre in Florenceville-Bristol on Sept. 9..

Following Downey will be Saltwater Songs, featuring Catherine McLellan, Rachel Beck and Tim Chaisson, on Sept. 19; Twin Flames on Oct. 6; and Séan McCann on Oct. 17.

"And this is just the start," Black said. "We are working on other shows as well."

She said the Second Wind Music Centre would host all upcoming shows in its intimate surroundings but restrict capacity to only 100 people for each show.

Black added COVID precautions would remain in place.

"We will be taking extra precautions, extra cleaning, sanitizing, screening at the door, names for contact tracing, etc. to keep our audience safe," Black said.

She said area music fans could reach out to CVArts through its Facebook page or via email at to find answers to questions or reserve tickets.

Downey, the award-winning singer-songwriter from Newfoundland and Labrador, gained a dedicated audience following his debut release of Honey For Bees which garnered international attention and earned wide critical acclaim, including MusicNL's Male Artist of the Year.

His second release, The Sun In Your Eyes, took home the MusicNL's Pop/Rock Recording of the Year, SOCAN Songwriter of the Year, and an ECMA nomination for Group Recording of the Year for Downey and his band, The Ambiguous Case.

The album's first single, Thick as Thieves, won the CBC Searchlight Prize as "Canada's Best New Artist," bolstering his profile as a touring act with a flourishing fan base.

Downey's latest release, New Beautiful, provides more of his character-driven songs from his country-folk musical roots.

In 2021, Downey earned MusicNL's Male Artist of the Year honours and the Ron Hynes Songwriter of the Year Award.

Saltwater Songs will hit the stage on Sept. 19, featuring the collaboration of a trio of well-known PEI songwriters, Catherine MacLellan, Rachel Beck and Tim Chaisson. MacLellan, the daughter of Canadian songwriting legend the late Gene MacLellan, joins Chaisson of the East Pointers and Beck to offer songs and stories.

While all three performers tour widely on individual projects, the Saltwater Songs tour provides a chance to see the talented singers and musicians on stage together.

Tickets are $30 each for adults and $15 for students

The musical duo Twin Flames consists of an Ingenious couple, Jaaji and Chelsey June.

Twin Flames' three full-length albums have garnered nominations for 29 music awards, including two Canadian Folk Music Award wins and three Native American Music Award wins. Most recently, the couple came away from the inaugural Summer Solstice Indigenous Music Awards with three wins.

Twin Flames played thousands of shows throughout Canada, Greenland, the United States, Australia, France and the Cayman Islands.

The duo was selected as artist-in-residence for the 2019 Folk Alliance International conference and partnered with UNESCO to write Human, the official song to celebrate the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages.

Tickets are $30 each for adults and $15 for students

The Oct. 17 show at the Second Wind Music Centre will feature a return to the Carleton County venue for a CVArts Council favourite, Séan McCann.

Founder of iconic Canadian band Great Big Sea, McCann is a multiple East Coast Music Award winner.

He is also a recipient of the Order of Canada for his advocacy work in recovery and mental health.

Black said CVArts welcomes the popular entertainer back to help him celebrate his best-selling memoir One Good Reason and the release of Shanty Man, a collection of sea shanties.

Tickets for McCann are $35 for adults and $15 for students.

Jim Dumville, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, River Valley Sun

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