Welcome to [EDIT]ION Volume 72! We're so happy you're here! Your free, monthly digital publication is packed with stories, thoughts and opinions that will inspire you in between issues of the original, award-winning print magazine.
Cover Story: Harlem Gospel Choir by Jennifer Wood
Photographs by Simone Di Luca
Cover design by Lindsay Vautour
Also in this issue:
- Colleen's Adventures: Brix Experience Moncton
- Katelin Dean on Performing Stand Up Comedy
- Exclusive Film: The Story of BlackLantic. A film by Gary Weekes, hosted by Thandiwe McCarthy
- Frostival Fredericton Mental Health Fundraiser
Atlantic Canada to Welcome the World-Renowned Harlem Gospel Choir
by Jennifer Wood
The Harlem Gospel Choir has travelled the world over performing soul-lifting shows to captivated audiences, and next month, Charlottetown, Moncton, Fredericton, and Saint John will be welcoming the choir to its venues that are sure to sell out.
Bringing the soul-stirring essence of contemporary gospel immersed with hints of jazz and blues, the world-famous Harlem Gospel Choir delivers commanding vocals, brilliant melodies, and contagious energy. For more than two decades, this choir has reigned as the pinnacle of American gospel, fascinating audiences worldwide with the empowering allure of Black gospel music.
Delving into the roots of the African American slave trade, Black gospel music unfolds its origins back to the 1700s when African slaves transplanted their distinctive musical heritage to America, fusing it with their newfound Christianity. Born from the crucible of slavery's sufferings, this distinctive musical tradition emerged, forever altering the landscape of music, influencing genres like Blues, Soul, and Rock-and-Roll. Today, The Harlem Gospel Choir delivers contemporary gospel classics, echoing the spirited performances in the Black churches of Harlem.
The choir has shared the stage with music aficionados including Bono, Diana Ross, Gorillaz, Andre Rieu, Damon Albarn, Pharrell Williams, and more. Their celebrated performances include engagements for three Presidents, two Popes, Ban Ki-Moon, and the UN General Assembly, along with recordings featuring Keith Richards, The Chieftains, Trace Adkins, and others.
Make sure to secure your tickets for these eagerly awaited shows in Atlantic Canada. The Harlem Gospel Choir guarantees to leave audiences profoundly moved, motivated, and yearning for an encore.
Colleen Landry's Adventures:
Brix Experience Moncton, NB
Despite spending the better part of my parenting years rifling through our teenagers’ backpacks and sniffing their breath for alcohol, I scarcely flinched when I gave our older son (and his girlfriend) tickets to a cocktail class at Brix Experience Moncton for his 28th birthday. Furthermore, because I’m a hands-on parent who likes cocktails, I also bought tickets for my husband and I.
Brix Experience Moncton opened in 2022 in a beautifully renovated one-hundred-year-old building and it’s become more popular than the iPhone 15. It’s like a mullet—business in the front and party in the back. The front part is a café, which is modern and cozy with the best lattes around. The party is in the back—an industrial kitchen, a glamorous wine cellar and a glitzy bar for the purpose of cooking, wine-tasting and cocktails classes. I’d move in if I could.
The bar is gorgeous and intimate with a maximum capacity of eighteen people (We made up eight of them as our friends joined in the fun) and get this—it comes with its very own mixologist. I felt like Oprah. We gathered in groups of three at one of four work stations to mix our delicious drinks. Each station contained all the necessary accoutrements—strainers, shakers, simple syrups and spectacular garnishes I’d never bother to make but deeply appreciated. We made three cocktails: Tequila Sunrise, Strawberry Daiquiri and Mango Sour. Between each one, we were served mouth-watering appetizers from the kitchen. Pinch me. I was born for this.
The evening was entertaining, educational and a smashing success. Pardon the pun. Besides imbibing with our son (without having to ground him until further notice), the best part of the evening was it ended at 8pm and I was in bed by 9pm. That’s my kind of adventure.
A Dream Come True:
New Brunswick’s Katelin Dean tries stand up comedy for the first time ever and lives to tell the tale
Katelin Dean grew up in Quispamsis, New Brunswick, and earned a bachelor of arts from University of New Brunswick Saint John and a journalism diploma from New Brunswick Community College in Woodstock. She worked at newspapers in Woodstock and in Fort St. John, British Columbia, before returning home to the Saint John area as an editor at the Telegraph-Journal. She is now a communications officer with the Province of New Brunswick. She also co-hosts a podcast called Kate and Isaiah Living Large with her friend Isaiah Richards that documents their life as big people trying to lose weight. In 2023, hitting a milestone 40th birthday, she set out to fulfill a lifelong dream: to perform stand-up comedy for the first time. This is her story:
"My first memorable exposure to standup comedy was like many of my generation – the clips of Jerry Seinfeld’s act at the bookends of his eponymous show. This was quickly followed by the late-night talk shows – Jay Leno, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, and of course, Saturday Night Live on the weekend. I’d flip back and forth between these shows when I was a bullied kid in high school and dreamt of someday performing myself. I had that chance earlier this year.
Jon Forward – a legend in the New Brunswick comedy community – was kind enough to give me five minutes on the No Jokes Barred lineup for August for my first official standup comedy gig. I wrote and revised for three weeks. I practiced in the car while driving; I practiced in the mirror; I practiced for friends. I practiced these five minutes as if I was recording my own Netflix special.
To say I was nervous is a massive understatement, and I truly didn’t anticipate the level of anxiety I felt. I perform frequently as a singer and musician, and have had several speaking gigs, where I didn’t have an ounce of nerves.
But comedy feels different.
I think it’s because the performer needs more from the audience. It’s not a passive round of applause at the end of a number. Laughter requires more effort on the audience’s part, and the performer must earn it. I had to earn it. I felt all that pressure that Saturday afternoon and into the evening. It was a double-edged sword that I padded the room with friends and family.
I was afraid they’d laugh out of polite obligation, which would still be better than no laughter at all. But I also was afraid I’d embarrass myself in front of them. I arrived at the venue an hour and a half before I needed to, so I could get comfortable in the space. I watched the first four comedians perform, then there was an intermission, and then it was my turn. I took deep breaths as I watched Jon Forward perform a couple of minutes before introducing me. Once I got up on the stage, my nerves disappeared, and I just started talking.
I made my first joke, and there were some smiles and a couple of chuckles. And then I really got into it and so did the audience. My yellow cue cards were safely tucked in my pocket in case I went up on my lines, but they were left untouched. I had so much fun. There’s certainly room for improvement and jokes that could be refined. But I absolutely adored every second of it. And I made $15! It truly was a dream come true – the joke telling, not making $15.
I’ve had the opportunity to perform at a few shows now in Saint John and Salisbury, and I’ve even actually fallen on my face. It was my third performance ever at Cive Lucas’ Case of the Mondays showcase at Wasted Day in uptown Saint John. I tripped on a step and ate the floor. I hopped up quick, got to the mic and quipped that I was now a physical comedian. It might be the biggest laugh I’ve gotten to date. And proof that even if “the worst” happens on stage, I can recover – albeit not gracefully.
Comedy has quickly become a passion, and I’m privileged to have earned a spot with some local greats at Punch Lines Comedy Club's Finding the Funny Comedy Showcase on Feb. 10. I’m shocked to have been chosen for this, but gosh, all I want – all I’ve ever wanted – is to make people happy."
Follow Katelin Dean on Facebook to learn where she is performing next.
BlackLantic and the Sounds of Success by Thandiwe McCarthy. Click here to watch a brand new and exclusive film by Gary Weekes and hosted by Thandiwe McCarthy.
There is power in the sounds around us. The songs we listen to and the conversations we share have lasting effects on our personality and our mental health. Maybe that is why the saying “Silence is violence” rings true for me. I have always paired this slogan with the bystander effect, that when a group of people witness an injustice, every person pushes the responsibility to report the incident to someone else in the group. Leaving everyone silent and letting these stories of suffering and silence go untold. This is why we must celebrate those who choose to raise their voices.
Hillary LeBlanc and Clinton Davis founded BlackLantic about two years ago. It began from their personal journeys toward self-love and combatting racism. LeBlanc was motivated by her own internal struggles and learning to love herself as a Black woman, while Davis felt compelled to act after years of experiencing overt and subtle racism in Atlantic Canada. Together, they aim to model the change they want to see — using the voices and lived experiences of Black Canadians to break stereotypes and to build awareness about important issues and about excellence within the Black Atlantic community.
Click here to watch the film now exclusively on the [EDIT] YouTube channel.
Art Director: Lindsay Vautour
Senior Editor: Jennifer Wood
Publishing Director: Pamela Mullinger
Editor: James Mullinger
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