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Welcome to the eighteenth [EDIT] bi-weekly boost.
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Stories, thoughts and opinions to inspire you in these unique times and to enjoy between issues of the original, award-winning print magazine.
The same quality journalism and world-class photography that you expect from [EDIT], but all unique content exclusive to THE [EDIT]ION.
Photograph by Nienke Izurieta
Design by Lindsay Vautour
Proofreading by Alexandra Fournier
Featured in the eighteenth issue below are:
The brand new winter volume of [EDIT] is on newsstands across Canada now! But in the meantime, scroll down to enjoy the exclusive content in [EDIT]ION Volume 18.
Photography by: Nienke Izurieta and Amy Stewart
New Brunswick-based band Tomato/Tomato has moved away from their well-known folk music genre in their newest album It’ll Come Around, which has a unique rock n’ roll sound that highlights their talent in a new way. Lisa McLaggan, one half to the husband and wife duo, notes that “at the end of the day it's still us,” and fans are loving the new sound. John and Lisa McLaggan sat down with [EDIT]ION’s Morgan Leet to discuss the new album.
[EDIT]ION: How did you first start playing together, as a husband and wife duo?
John: We have always played music together because we met in music school, but we didn’t start this group until 2014. We had been playing jazz before this and we actually got hired to play a show at the zoo! They needed us to lead a parade around, and that’s kind of how we started playing this kind of music.
[EDIT]ION: How has your music evolved since then?
Lisa: All of our records kind of have an evolution happening. I think we were definitely more influenced by bluegrass music at the beginning and then we started heading more towards alternative country and Americana. More kind of roots music.
[EDIT]ION: Your live shows have a reputation for being uniquely entertaining. I love how many instruments you have on the go, Lisa! What makes your performance so special?
Lisa: I think we have fun with a lot of off-the-cuff banter. There’s not a lot of scripted things that we’re saying. I think audiences like that we are authentic and what you see is what you get. We might even end up in some kind of marital argument of stage! I think that’s a draw for people maybe. We’re definitely a fun experience and we want people to have fun watching us.
[EDIT]ION: Did you always have the goal to pursue music as a career?
Lisa: We definitely didn’t start the band thinking that we were going to travel internationally and tour year-round. We were more thinking playing for free at a farmers market and things like that.
John: We are both life-long music lovers and have numerous music degrees between us. Our focus for a long time was teaching at different colleges so we moved around a lot. Then when we decided to move back here there was no music program in Saint John, so we knew we would be giving that aspect up and didn’t really know what was going to happen. But it was never our intent to gig as a living. It just kind of happened.
[EDIT]ION: This past March you went to record your newest record in Nashville, returning home right before lockdown. What was it like having to finish the record here during lockdown?
Lisa: It was really interesting because when we went to Nashville it was just when things were starting to percolate. We got home to New Brunswick the day before the deadline to isolate for 14 days was implemented, so it was just bizarre. It was also nice though because we do have a studio that John runs and he was able to put the finishing touches on our album at his own pace. And that was really our whole plan anyways. Of course some things were not able to happen though, like when we needed some strings recorded and we couldn’t use anyone local because no one could come in. But it still went well! Of course I think releasing the album during the pandemic was much more challenging!
[EDIT]ION: What was the inspiration behind the album?
John: We went into it honestly with political exhaustion and just wanting to write something upbeat, positive and high-energy and not get into any heavier material. Then as the year has gone on it just kind of worked out better and better.
Lisa: We are definitely proud of that record. It’s funny because it's unfortunate that the rollout was full of hiccups, but I’ve never been more proud of work that we’ve put out!
John: Yeah, the approach to this one was a bit different. The first two albums we did completely ourselves, then I found that to be too much and just needed some outside creative energy. Our Christmas album was actually done on the road in Australia and we had people doing stuff in Nashville and emailing us. Then our third album we did entirely in Nashville in about nine days, and that was a really great experience. Then for this one, all along we planned to do it as kind of a hybrid. So we went to Nashville and got all of that energy, then brought it back here and then I still had some energy to mix and master it. So it's a culmination of the past 10 years and we feel that its our best musical work so far!
[EDIT]ION: An interesting aspect of the album too is that it features your uncle's guitar, who you never actually met. And you actually found this guitar that once belonged to him through a neighbour, right?
John: It was kind of wild because all along I was listening to more retro music and was saying to Lisa that I thought this album might be more of a rock n’ roll one. And then this 1964 Fender Stratocaster worked its way back into our life and it just felt like it was the perfect guitar to make that kind of album. It was inspiring to get that guitar back. He was the only person in my family who had any instruments ever. Lots of our friends come from musical families and have things like their grandfather's banjo, and I always thought that was so cool but I never thought I would have something like that, so it was pretty special.
The Diversified Talents of Sgoagain Wecenisqon
By Jennifer Wood
There is little Mi'kmaq and Wampanoag artist, actress, model, designer, and influencer Sgoagain Wecenisqon hasn’t tried and been successful at in her artistic pursuits. From an early age, she was recognized for her painting, drawing, carving, beading, and weaving. She recently added clothing designer to her portfolio of talent. Her brand, NiiN, is a streetwear line inspired by the art and culture of the People of the Wabanaki territory.
Wecenisqon is from the Mi'kmaq community of Esgenoopeitj First Nation in New Brunswick. She is most recognized for her artwork, her formidable powwow dancing (she has performed throughout North America and in Europe), and her steadfast dedication to share and inspire Indigenous youth with her culture and heritage. She is equally passionate about advocating for Indigenous artists and encouraging them to express their political, social, and cultural lineage in their art. She has modelled for many Indigenous fashion designers including Sho Sho Esquiro, Native Styles, Janelle Wawia, Mi’kmaq Designs, Denise Brillon, Catherine Blackburn, Native Wear, and Indigenous Maori fashion designer Chermene Pererniko.
She has been selective with her choices in film and modelling and supports Indigenous artists in the movie and fashion industry first and foremost. She has appeared in films including the HBO production Is The Crown At War With Us?, the PBS special We Shall Remain (Part 1: After the Mayflower), and most recently in 20th Century Fox’s The New Mutants (the latest in the X-Men series).
“Working on The New Mutants was especially amazing,” she tells [EDIT]ION from her home studio. "As an extra, I played eight different people. The production, including the costumes and makeup, was world-class. And I got to perform some stunts, which was incredibly fun.”
Today, you can find Wecenisqon working full-time on her fashion line and her other artistic pursuits from her home and mothering her two children.
Check out Sgoagain’s clothing line at niin-designs.myshopify.com
Emily Chase meets with [EDIT]ION's Morgan Leet to discuss her growing lifestyle, art, and fashion brand.
Emily Chase is an entrepreneur who enthusiastically works to support local businesses in every way possible. She started building her Instagram business, @emily.shoppingsoulmate, over a year ago. It started as a way for Emily to showcase her artistic ability while she was living in Ottawa, Ontario, and began to have her pieces showcased in galleries. She moved home to New Brunswick and her account evolved to highlight the beauty of her home province to her followers back in Ottawa. Based in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Emily tells [EDIT]ION that she “started shifting the focus of my page to all things local and beautiful in Fredericton and surrounding areas. Last fall I started featuring weekly illustrations of local products and businesses that I was enjoying and it really took off. I was able to channel my love for drawing into my passion for supporting and celebrating all things local.”
[EDIT]: What brought you back to New Brunswick after moving to Ottawa?
Emily: I am a born and raised Maritimer. I grew up in Centreville, New Brunswick and then moved to Fredericton to attend New Brunswick College of Craft and Design where I received a degree from their fashion design program. Fredericton is also where I met my husband. Once we had both graduated from our programs in 2011 we moved to Saint John so he could attend Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick. We spent seven years of medical school and residency there, and in that time we added to our family with our daughter and a golden retriever. Once my husband graduated and completed his first 3 years of residency, he was accepted into an infectious disease fellowship training program with the University of Ottawa. Ottawa was definitely a massive change from a small town and it took me about a year to adjust to being in such a large city. While my husband studied for his exams, I took an online course and became certified in Event Planning which then led me to work with a local charity called Art for Mental Health where I took on the role of handling their public relations. I had so much fun and discovered a real talent for public relations and marketing as I was able to get them television appearances and radio interviews. I also got the opportunity to do some modelling for a couple of different brands in the city and design a line of shirts featuring feminist icons that will be launching in the summer. We are now back in New Brunswick where my husband has taken a job as a staff physician. I am still working with the charity, attending meetings via Zoom, and I was thrilled to become an affiliate with a label called BBxCollection that I now get to promote here.
Emily: Fredericton exemplifies the rest of New Brunswick and has an open, friendly and collaborative group of small businesses. There is a huge focus on supporting each other and the want to see our neighbours succeed, which I think is the true nature of Atlantic Canada. In this community you're free to reach out, ask questions, and celebrate each other instead of being overly competitive at the expense of others.
Emily: Once we can safely travel again I really want to expand my page into exploring local places and using my art to showcase local businesses all over the Maritimes. Then eventually extending that into different provinces all over Canada. I have a few exciting projects coming up this new year here in New Brunswick. I feel so welcomed by all the local makers here and I have so much fun showcasing and sharing all I love on my page.
[EDIT]: What advice would you give someone looking to build their brand on social media, as you have?
Emily: First, make sure your message is clear and it's something you have a real passion for. Next, get organized! Having content pre-planned and batched will take away all of the guesswork. Once you’ve decided on your content, don’t be afraid to reach out to like-minded businesses or other creators for potential collaborations. You have to become comfortable with self-promotion because no one else is going to have as much love and passion for your message as you do. Lastly, don’t get too hung up on how many followers you have and having a perfectly manicured account. People respond to authenticity and when you’re being honest and open followers are more likely to respond and connect with you. Do the work. It won’t take off overnight but you don’t know how many people are looking for your message or service until you put yourself out there.
[EDIT] + TOURISM NEW BRUNSWICK
Coffee Bar and Social House in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia
The Barn is not just an ordinary coffee bar. It is also a social house where the community of Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia and beyond can gather. The innovative duo behind The Barn is Mike and Amelia Bishop, who started their business in 2017. Their entrepreneurial spirits have taken them from their previous business in food preserves, which Mike explains “became one of the largest jam producers in Nova Scotia,” to now co-owning both The Barn and their newest venture, Sunday Silence Coffee Company.
Before it became the coffee bar and social house that it is today the building was still a staple in the Mahone Bay community. Amelia tells [EDIT]ION how “right from the beginning everybody was very curious about the space. We tried to make it very clear that we wanted to be good stewards of this historic property and building because there was a lot of connection to it in the community. It was a beloved space for markets and festivals.” After renovations, they have managed to maintain the historical feel while making it a modern and comfortable atmosphere.
The inspiration for The Barn came when they moved to the area 10 years ago. “When we first moved here we had a vision for this place, a community that would be just an awesome place to feel yourself and relaxed, to feel like you belonged. There’s a lot of places that just try to get you in the door and then move you along, but we are really a place that you can feel at home. Our goal is to make all people feel like they have a place that is theirs,” says Mike. Every aspect of the business works to facilitate people feeling comfortable, from friendly and welcoming service to amazing coffee and their now in-house baked goods.
They have felt the support of the community through and through with Mike noting that “they really showed up this past year during the pandemic. They adapted along with us.” The support for the business has allowed it to continue growing, and soon they are hoping to expand their coffee to other retail locations.
Memoir: Conversations and Craft by Marjorie Simmins
Marjorie Simmins began her thirty-plus-year career as a writer and journalist in Vancouver and she is the author of 2014's Coastal Lives, a striking and moving memoir about the differences between living on Canada’s East and West Coasts (2014), and Year of the Horse (2016), which details her life with horses in British Columbia and Nova Scotia. Memoir: Conversations and Craft (2020) is her third non-fiction work and arguably her best yet.
Marjorie’s conversations with the likes of Lawrence Hill, Claire Mowat, Linden MacIntyre and many more are profoundly insightful and fascinating. They inspired me and enlightened me in so many ways. She is a master interviewer, writer, conversationalist and thinker, and spending time with her on these pages is a pure joy. Simmins’s fourth tome, Somebeachsomewhere: A Harness Racing Legend from a One-Horse Stable will be published by Nimbus Publishing this year and here at [EDIT]ION, we cannot wait.
Pan-African Flag Raising For Black History Month
This province-wide Pan-African Flag Raising for Black History Month was organized by Sankara with support from Black Lives Matter Fredericton, the New Brunswick Black History Society and Black Lives Matter New Brunswick. Last February, the Inaugural Pan-African Flag Raising in Saint John, New Brunswick kicked-off Black History Month with a big crowd.
This year even more cities and communities across the province are raising the Pan-African flag. This year's flag-raising ceremonies will be live-streamed on Monday, February 1st at 12:00 pm. Although we cannot gather together, we can still come together to celebrate virtually! The theme for Black History Month 2021 is The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity. It is chosen each year by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.
The theme for Black History Month 2021 is The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity. It is chosen each year by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.
Quispamsis/Rothesay - KV Library
Tune in here on February 1st on the Facebook live event page to experience an historic moment.
Mullinger Meets Canadians
New Podcast Episode with Jonathan Torrens
Mullinger meets actor, director, producer, writer, podcast host, musician and television personality Jonathan Torrens. Best known for his impressive turn as J-Roc in the Trailer Park Boys, Torrens began his career at the tender age of 15, hosting the teen-themed, consumer affairs–oriented program Street Cents. Seven years later, he created, wrote, co-produced and hosted Jonovision, a wildly successful teen talk-show program that aired for five years and received seven prestigious Gemini Awards. More recently he was a leading cast member on the globally adored sitcom Mr. D and has also played roles in Jason Priestley’s hit show Call Me Fitz, Degrassi: The Next Generation, Game On, and written seven episodes for Letterkenny. His podcast Taggart and Torrens (created with Jeremy Taggart) has been downloaded more than four million times and received a Canadian Comedy Award for best audio program in 2018. In this episode of Mullinger Meets Canadians, Torrens and Mullinger discuss their new life as virtual performers, being an entertainer in the Maritimes, the creation of Trailer Park Boys and much more!
Click here to listen now. Remember to rate, review and subscribe!
[EDIT] + ACC presents... The Story of Podstarter
British-born Rhys Waters and Nova Scotian Jonathan Burns shared an outlook, a passion for podcasting, and the notion that this was the right time and right place to launch Podstarter.