By Stevie Connor, Blues & Roots Radio
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Happy Summer Solstice everyone !
Having been brought up in the Celtic traditions of storytelling, oral history, music, reverence for our ancestors and the observance of each solstice I find it fascinating when finding out more about the Aboriginal / First Nation cultures here in Canada, especially in the area I live, Port Credit in Ontario. I want to find out more in a respectful way, so that I may understand the peoples that lived here many generations before we did. I was very honoured to be invited a few years back into a circle to smoke the peace pipe with the Elders of the Mississauga's Of The New Credit First Nation who are a sub-tribe of the Anishinaabe speaking First Nations located in southern Ontario are closely related to the Ojibwa. The name Mississauga comes from the Anishinaabe word meaning " Those at the Great River-mouth."
I had a fabulous weekend watching their sunrise and sunset ceremonies on the shores of Lake Ontario, observing in between many dances and live music from First Nation and Métis artists, the mix of cultures brings out some amazing music and rhythms.
National Aboriginal Day
June 21 was National Aboriginal Day. This was a day for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. Although these groups share many similarities, they each have their own distinct heritage, language, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs.
For generations, many Indigenous Peoples and communities have celebrated their culture and heritage on or near this day due to the significance of the summer solstice as the longest day of the year.
Through research and exploration, “Strong As A Nation” is meant to bring First Nations, Metis, and Inuit musicians’ and their music to the forefront on a national scale while also continuing to strengthen and create advocacy for First Nations, Metis, and Inuit issues surrounding music and music education for youth and children. Through this indigenous lens, they share research, talents, and the stories of the places and people that meet along the journey of coming together as a nation.
'Strong As a Nation'. Video written, shot and edited by Youth4Music Ambassador Cole Forrest Stevens
A Canadian folk and country singer-songwriter, who won the
Juno Award for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year at the Juno Awards of 2017 for his debut album ' Earthly Days '
William is a member of the Peguis First Nation from Manitoba
The Dock On Queen - Toronto
Never heard of it I hear you say.... well that's because it opens this weekend, I think you should definitely check it out because it is owned and being opened by the wonderfully talented musician Mimi O'Bonsawin an incredible singer / songwriter based in Toronto, There are two sides to this venue ....
Formerly from Sudbury Mimi said " The Dock pays homage to my life growing up in Northern Ontario. it is Northern Ontario through and through. We are all from up north and decided to bring a little of that to Toronto. Even the wood we recycled is from an old school in Espanola. The canoe we have hanging on top of the bar is my grandfather's canoe.”
Mimi has entered into a licensing agreement with Sudbury based coffee entrepreneurs Sommelier de café / Old Rock coffee, on top of great coffee there will be fab eats and amazing music
I hope to see you there to celebrate and enjoy a full day of coffee, food, drinks, giveaways, and musical performances for the grand opening this Sunday June 25th at 932 Queen St East. https://www.thedockonqueen.com/
If you are still not sure who Mimi is I highly recommend you check her out, she has just released a brand new album called ' Connected ' which was a Blues & Roots Radio Album Of The Week a few months ago, and today sees the launch of a brand new video for one of the tracks from it, ' Beautiful Place ' celebrates the land and our connection to it, I have been a long time fan of her music and all that she embodies as a human being,.
Remember above I was talking about learning more in a respectful way of the First Nations Culture ... well ... Mimi has kindly agreed to sit down with me and talk about some of the history of her people, culture, her songwriting and how it is all ' Connected '
Here is the newly released video
The Rogue Folk Club - Vancouver
Located in Vancouver, British Columbia the club attracts the Very Best In Live Acoustic Roots Music everything from Celtic to Bluegrass, Blues to Gypsy Jazz, World Music to Singer-Songwriters, Old-Time, Trad and more. The Rogue Folk Club provides a unique approach to concert presentation, offering audiences the opportunity to see and hear some of the most accomplished musicians and singers in the world in a relaxed, intimate setting and presents at least 50 concerts, 12 Roguelele Nights, and 10 dances per year in Vancouver.
When the likes of Sharon Shannon is on the list of artists who have performed here it speaks volumes for the standing it's held in amongst musicians.
Artists To Watch For
Sarah has as a new album out .... and she heads out on a cross border summer tour in support of it's release today, Bandit Queen, which was released in February of this year peaked at #1 on Canada's Roots charts, has become a staple in Top 30 charts across the country, has appeared in the Earshot Top 20, and keeps on being recognized by bloggers and industry insiders as one of those albums that people need to hear.
Sarah has received much airplay on Blues & Roots Radio shows from within Canada and further afield in Europe, she is a renowned live performer and has played some of the finest stages in Canada and beyond. The critically acclaimed album is described as a genre-defying 13 track cinematic adventure that recounts tales of truck drivers, religious figures, prehistoric geology, upside down turned around folk tales, millennial graduates, and other characters she has met or made up along the way.
Go and see her if you can if she is playing at a venue near you, Sarah is charming, witty, and she will have you singing along in thoroughly entertaining performances. Check out her extensive tour at her website link http://www.sarahbeatty.ca/shows/
The Fraser Valley Blues Society presents The Steve Kozak Band CD release party and dance at the Eagles Hall in Abottsford BC. June 24th, Steve was the winner of a 2012 Maple Blues Award and has been nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award as Blues Artists of the Year by Break Out West.
His current release is a mix of new original material and some obscure but classy covers.' It's Time ' is being featured as Blues & Roots Radio's ' Album Of The Week ' and is well worth a listen in it's entirety and will beckon you to add it to your collection.
One of Canada’s finest blues artists, Steve Kozak has been turning heads of blues fans in Canada for over thirty years since he first broke onto the Vancouver scene in the mid-eighties.
When it comes to tasty West coast blues guitar, Steve's name is at the top of the list -- just ask greats like Duke Robillard and James Harman who have shared the stage with this gifted bandleader, instrumentalist, writer and singer.
I hope you are finding the things and people of interest that I bring to you each week across this amazing country we call Canada, I feel blessed to be able to live and breath music from so many different cultures daily. Thanks for all the brilliant feedback over the last month of me doing this and please go and check out the other blogs on these pages from all around the world, there is some wonderful reading.
Have a safe week ahead from me here in the Wee Hoose !