Opinion: Canadian Music Week As A Fan And Grateful Performer

By Erik Masson, Photos by Christine Stratton

Being from a small town, massive concerts and festivals held a sort of enamored status in my mind; while not devoid of musical events, my town sees festivals rarely, with big-name concerts being even scarcer. This year has been my first experience with Canadian Music Week (CMW), and it has wildly exceeded all of my expectations. One is unleashed unto a fountain of raw talent waiting to be discovered. As a fan, I’ve been introduced to a plethora of amazing bands that I never knew existed, from all over the country. All the venues I’ve been to thus far have been small and intimate, creating a personal back-and-forth experience with the audience. You can almost always catch the band after their show, and I have yet to see a CMW performer who was not excited to talk to a fan. While not every band may fit your musical taste, you are sure to find something you never knew you would like.

Molly Thomason at The Central

Molly Thomason at The Central

Even better than being able to catch all these great artists is being able to catch all these great artists for free with a performer bracelet. Being fortunate enough to play with the incredibly talented Molly Thomason, I was able to experience the Canadian musical community firsthand. The atmosphere is one of collaboration, with musicians supporting each other, going to each-other’s shows and even arranging musical collaborations. The crowds are warm and welcoming, composed of both long-time fans of the artists, people just looking for some new music, and friends who get the chance to see their comrades practicing their trade. I highly recommend picking up a copy of the CMW schedule in order to not miss any of the fantastic Canadian bands playing this week.

As a performer, there is nothing better than the rush of playing for a crowd no matter the size, and the fantastic appreciators of CMW have already made this first experience unforgettable. For that, I must thank all CMW-goers for making every musician night’s special. As for the other performers, I feel privileged to count myself among them, and I feel that CMW’s performers all represent the art in a heroic fashion. If this is the future of Canadian music, then the future is incredibly bright.

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