Festival at DCMA celebrates local, Canadian talent

October 21, 2015   ·   0 Comments



By Tabitha Wells

In Dufferin County we are fortunate to live in an area that is rich in many ways – the beauty of our rolling hills, forests and stunning landscapes, tourism, the horse industry and small businesses. But one of the big- gest things our county is rich in is the arts. Whether it’s performance arts, traditional (and non-traditional arts) or music, talent seems to be in abundance.

Thanks to our many beautiful landscapes filled with trees, even our county becomes a part of the art with it’s vast array of colours splashed throughout. Harvest time is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful times of year. And with so many farms and farmers, it’s also a bountiful time of year.

The Dufferin County Museum and Archives (DCMA) has decided to celebrate the harvest and the arts together this weekend through their Harvest Home Music Festival; bringing together local artists and artifacts for residents to enjoy.

“This is the time of year to celebrate a bountiful Harvest and to gather as a com- munity to honour our musical roots,” said Nanci Malek, Marketing & Promotions Coordinator for the DCMA via email. “Music is the glue that binds this community together, whether it is in a church, a Friday night Legion jamboree, or your friend’s band per- forming at a Barn Dance. Dufferin County holds a rich history of rock, country, folk and blues.”

She added that since moving to the area from Toronto eight years ago, it has become incredibly evident that music is really important to the area.
“The love of music goes way back into the old country,” she said. “I didn’t realize, being a city person, just how important music is to this area.”

The event consists of two components – the Noteworthy Exhibit opening at 1 p.m., with a number of demonstrations by Cana- dian and local musicians, running until 5 .pm. The latter portion includes a dinner from the Globe Restaurant followed by the Harvest Home Music Festival Concert fea- tured in the Main Gallery.

“You get to see incredible talent, make your own music and play,” said Ms. Malek. “The Noteworthy exhibit alone is something worth seeing. It is made up of all archival artifacts and things about music in Dufferin County since the early days.”

Entry to the day-time event, with the launch of the Noteworthy Exhibit, will be by regular admission. The day will include activities for all ages, such as making a shaker, playing with Boomwhackers and other hands on activities, a folk demonstration with Museum Curator Sarah Robinson, a guitar demonstration with Perry Joseph of Aardvark Music Orangeville and a drum demonstration by local musician and former member of Our Lady Peace, Jeremy Taggart.

“I’m going to do some drumming for everyone [during the day],” said Mr. Taggart. “[Later] I’m also doing a panel chatting about the area, music and making music in a rural community, in that kind of environment. It’s easier to make music in a quiet, slower paced place than the city because you can concentrate more.”

Mr. Taggart, who grew up in Mansfield, has been a strong advocate in the area, helping be a voice against the Melancthon mega-quarry, and participating in Food Stock, where he acted as MC. He joined Our Lady Peace after auditioning to be their drummer in 1993 at the age of 17. He remained with the band until 2014, and moved on to other things, including focusing on his family.

“Musically, I’m still writing, but I’m not actively performing with another band at the moment,” said Mr. Taggart. “I do play with a couple of guys in Toronto, but other than that I’m just practicing and keeping up with my playing and broadcasting. With three kids and a wife, touring doesn’t fit into the cards at the moment. Hopefully I will be doing something musically the rest of my life, but for right now, it’s about spending time with my family.”

Mr. Taggart will be joined by Canadian Juno Nominee Emm Gryner and performer, composer and producer Darryl Neudorf for the panel discussion later in the evening, which will be preceded by a dinner buffet from Rosemont’s Globe Restaurant.

Along with participating in the panel, Ms. Gryner will also be performing later in the evening during the concert.

“I come from a small town and now live in one again, even though I’ve lived all over the world,” said Ms. Gryner. “There’s a real appeal for me about making music in small-town Ontario. 20 years ago, we didn’t really have as much of the internet, but now people know how to run a music career remotely. This festival and the way I make music kind of agree with each other.”

Ms. Gryner is an independent pop artist who has run her career that way for 20 years. Along with being nominated for three Junos, she also recently collaborated with Chris Hadfield while he was on the international space station for his song Space Oddity. She also just put out a new record, called 21st Century Ballads on September 25.

Headlining the concert will be Country-Blues musician Devin Cuddy, whose music is inspired by 70s country and New Orleans Blues. He has been performing with his band for about five years, has made two records and toured all across the country.

“I think that getting people involved in music and music education is important,” said Mr. Cuddy. “I have been a byproduct of that. I took lessons at a young age, studied music at York University and played in bands. It did a lot for me; obviously I enjoy music, and it brings like-minded people together. I think everyone should take a shot at it, just like gym glass.”

Tickets for the evening panel and performances are $50 a person, and include dinner. For more information, or to purchase tickets call 1-877-941-7787.

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