SONGWRITER IN RESIDENCE SUBMISSIONS (Deadline December 19, 2014)
SappyFest is now accepting applications from qualifying musicians for the 2015 SappyFest Songwriter in Residence program.
The residence accommodates one songwriter or songwriting team for a period of two to four weeks in late spring or early summer 2015. Successful applicants will be provided with creative time in Sackville, accommodations, and a private studio space to write, rehearse and practice new material. Artists will also have the opportunity to facilitate outreach programs such as talks, workshops or performances, intended to promote interaction and professional development.
A qualifying applicant must be a Canadian resident with previous work registered with SOCAN. Ideal applicants will have an extensive history of performance in Canada, and a desire to embrace the unique cultural and physical setting of Sackville, New Brunswick.
A $1000 artist fee as well as $500 to offset travel costs will be awarded to the successful applicant. Participants are responsible for all personal expenses including food and materials related to their work.
Applications must include a statement of interest (500 words max), brief personal and artistic history and examples of any previous recordings.
Please send complete applications via post to:
SappyFest Songwriter in Residence Program
PO BOX: 6443
Sackville, New Brunswick
Emailed or digital submissions will not be accepted.
Submissions must be postmarked by December 19, 2014.
For more information please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to your applications and to seeing you at SappyFest in 2015
This residency is made possible thanks to generous support from the SOCAN Foundation.
SappyFest 10, July 31 - August 2, 2015
Submissions Deadline: February 14th, 2015
If you would like to be considered please send a note of interest to submissions (at) sappyfest (dot) com with a link to some online music ( no attachments, no myspace please), and good quality video of a live performance.
Before you submit please take a look at our past performers list, if you don't recognize a good portion of the artists there, your band is likely not a good fit for us. Not being a good fit does not mean you would add some 'eclectic flavour' to our event or challenge the very fine tastes of our audiences. Our festival is a curated affair, only a handful of the 300+ submissions are actually accepted, which is why we don't charge to apply.
Thank you for your interest. Unfortunately only artists selected to perform will be contacted. If you don't hear anything by the end of April, it is unlikely you have been selected.
- Team Sappy
Annual General Meeting
Monday, November 17, 2014
131 Main Street (3rd Floor)
Sackville, New Brunswick
SappyFest would like to invite its membership and those interested in becoming members to the 2014 Annual General Meeting. This is an open meeting with presentations from staff and board members on the organization's activities, financials, and future.
The agenda, last year's minutes, current bylaws and the agenda, are available by request.
Key agenda items will include:
- Board of Directors Elections (potential of 1 to 2 available spaces)
- Approval of 2013 Financial Statements
It should be noted there is a $30 fee for an Annual Membership in SappyFest Inc.
Only current, paid up members will have the opportunity to vote at the meeting or run for the Board of Directors.
Please let us know if you plan to attend so we can make an appropriate number of copies of the documents.
For more information, questions or concerns please contact:
Lucas Hicks, Creative Director, SappyFest Inc.
SappyFest is pleased to be teaming up with Music New Brunswick to present a showcase at this year's MNB Festival on October 17th at the Elk's Club in Fredericton. The show will feature past SappyFest performers and Sackville staples Weird Lines, Jon McKiel, and Motherhood, as well as SappyFest co-founder Julie Doiron. Admission for the showcase is $12 at the door or free with your MNB Festival Pass, available here.
For more information on Music New Brunswick and the MNB Festival visit the festival website at www.mnbfestival.com.
There are some amazing reviews and recaps floating out there. We're grateful to have had Sean Michaels back for another year to give us all the play by play with the Sappy Times. If you missed it, or just want to feel nostalgic, check it out through his blog Said the Gramophone.
We've traded Eons for The Weather Station at the Vogue Theatre. They're both looking like beautiful afternoons.
Remember that space is limited!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, loves.
XO - Team Sappy.
SappyFest starts today and we've made a few last minute changes for your convenience. We like to think it makes more sense now.
Greetings Sappvilians! This year at the festival, I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to share some of my most favourite writers with you. Last year, I had the great honour of sharing my own writing as part of Universal Dawn, the annual literary event at Sappy, and this year I've been tasked with curating it. And, oh! what a dream it has been thus far.
All the wonderful people I asked to read said 'Yes!' which means that you, the ever discerning and curious attendee, will be getting a first rate, top notch, number one draft choice selection of readers.
The very first person I invited was a tall, cool drink of water by the name of Geordie Miller. He and I have read together countless times, and each time he manages to floor me with his particular blend of humour, insight and anxiousness.
Geordie put his first book out this year with one of Canada's raddest independent publishers, Halifax's Invisible Publishing. It's called Re:Union, and boy is it ever a good read. But don't worry! You needn't bone up beforehand. As a a crash course in Miller Time, I present to you this interview in which Geordie jumps most eloquently through a series of thorny hoops and even manages to include a tasty, unpublished poem with which to whet your chops.
How would you describe the outfit you're wearing right now?
It roughly resembles whatever you and the people reading these words would like to imagine.
Will it differ greatly from the one you don at Sappyfest?
I suppose it depends. Did you imagine a marching band leader outfit or was it more 1950s childless Dad-inspired?
Is there a trick to writing poetry?
Yes. The trick is to trick yourself into an unselfconscious state where you are not "writing poetry," but rather doing things with and to words that come far more naturally than people often assume. Things that our brains are doing all the time, like assembling abstractions or recoding impressions as narrative. That's how a neuroscientist would describe brain activity, right? It's not the only trick, certainly. And it wouldn't work for those with formalist inclinations that exceed my, um, cryptic conversational style.
Are your parents proud of you?
My father has purchased in the neighbourhood of 100 copies of my book online and my mom read it with her Book Club. If pride can be measured by markers of contemporary literary prestige, then yes. They are proud of me.
When you meet someone and they inquire about your life, how do you decide whether or not to tell them you are a poet?
"Decision" is exactly it, as there are times when I hesitate to prioritize that fact about myself. Perhaps it's because I'm not always in the mood for the potential ensuing line of questioning about why/what I write. Does that sound nasty or just lazy? Both? It's not meant to be either; maybe sometimes I feel like talking about it is like describing your dreams to a necessarily disinterested person. But usually, yeah, I choose to brag about being a poet, no matter who this "someone" is--unless they look like they might be a member of the Inner Party. Then I keep it quiet.
Tell us about your new book, Re:Union, without using the words 'it' or 'the'.
You praised Re:Union's deployment of humour in your review for that Halifax weekly that rhymes with Le Toast. So my new book is funny--in a way (I hope) that communicates convictions and confusions that readers can appreciate and want to revisit, whether they have read much poetry or not. These convictions and confusions are frequently compressed into postcards/letters, dispatched to lovers (real and imagined), evil forces (neoliberals), cultural icons and common people like you (and me).
If you had to recommend a poem/poet to some unassuming chump in the grocery store, what/who would it be?
The temptation to recommend a grocery store poem would overwhelm me, and I would suggest Allen Ginsberg's "A Supermarket in California." The speaker ventriloquizes Walt Whitman, "Who killed the pork chops? / What price bananas? Are you my Angel?" If I was feeling more creative and ambitious on this chump's behalf, I would offer David Berman's Actual Air. It's even better than avocado.
For the long-distance, diehard fans who've never had the pleasure of seeing you read your poetry, how do you figure the experience will differ from merely reading it themselves?
Well it will probably be louder. And instead of what I'm conjuring as their melodious inner reading voices, they'll have to endure my tuneless ramblings instead. Nevertheless, friends and strangers have told me that my work is conducive to live performance, which is a compliment, yes? Definitely anytime you experience a live performance of poetry or music, as a collective you share an awareness that a script (the poems/songs) exists, which is a vehicle for the improvisations or accidents that can and often do emerge during the show. "The talent" might start a conversation with the crowd, a phone could ring in someone's immediate embarrassment, the heckler may refuse an anecdote. Surprises abound.
Give an example of a time you met with conflict in the workplace, and how you worked to resolve the issue at hand.
Disregarding my obvious discomfort with the practice, my boss insisted on referring to me as "boss." One day I finally got up the nerve to tell them that I was fired.
How is your cat? I can't recall his name, but I do so fondly recall him hassling you as you tried to set up the DVD player on our last friend-date.
Louis never did manage to accept that I had non-feline friends, nor did he ever adjust to cohabitating with two ginger cats. As a result, I had to find a new home for him last month. Though I already miss him very much, thankfully I am moving in with a tabby named Herman in September. I am confident that he will be more amendable to our friendship. As an added bonus for you and me, he loves documentaries.
Would you share a piece of poetry of your's that has yet to find a home? Even the tiniest morsel will do.
STATE OF NATURE
Show some thinking,
as the stand-up does another
dick joke about his dick
It satisfies no one
to be gathered here
at the altar of the unserious
eager to take sides
in the war of all against all
She writes some of this in her notebook
an archive of atrocity and
nasty, brutish, and short.
I know you're a big sports fan. Could you offer some informed commentary on the hypothetical, prospective baseball game that is set to take place at this year's Sappyfest.
It better not be hypothetical! I'm packing my glove. Participating in the game over the past few years, I am qualified to comment that the game will likely feature the following: several swings, many misses, inside jokes, dugout potato chips, aggressive base coaching, passive umpires...it's basically Field of Dreams, but no one has to be Kevin Costner. Everyone gets to be a ghost.
Can you give us a rough breakdown of your gains and losses as a poet in the last year and a half?
I hesitate to include a balance sheet, despite having excelled at Accounting in high school. The biggest gain has been opportunities (like this one) to chat about poetics. To travel and talk to people about poetry and through poetry. Such conversations inculcate a self-awareness that I think will enrich my future writing i.e. I get to sound myself out, hear how others are hearing me, and confront what I don't know, but wanna learn how to do, ya'know? This education derives from some of the poetic luminaries I've been introduced to, read with, or had recommended to me over the past year and a half. The losses I will save for cataloguing in/between the lines of my next collection. Evasive is my exit strategy.
The final schedule is up and out. It's still subject to change (let's hope it doesn't).
There are also less than 100 full festival passes left! Plan accordingly lovers.
Sarah Burwash grew in up in Rossland, B.C., and graduated from the University of British Columbia Okanagan in 2009 with an interdisciplinary BFA. Working in a variety of media from collage and animation to ceramics and installation, Burwash’s work most often takes form in narrative watercolour drawings. Her work is included in private and public collections internationally and has been shown in Canada, USA, and Europe.
Burwash has been in Sackville for the past month as Struts & Faucet's Artist in Residence. Check out her Artist Talk and Ceramics Workshop this Thursday at 10:00AM. Her exhibition will also be up over the weekend!
How has your experience been in Sackville over the last few weeks?
It's been great! I grew up in a small town and I forgot how much I missed it. It reminds of me a lot of my hometown. Your buds are just around the corner. There's something so simple about running into people and being able to walk everywhere you need to go.
Struts is a super awesome centre that is really supportive and is here to help me out. It's also a great time of year.
You've moved from coast to coast, what're the main differences for you out here in the East compared to the West?
I came out here for a change and it really is quite different. I grew up doing a lot of activities in the mountains, like snowboarding and hiking, so I miss that stuff... and my family.
Though I totally love being on the East Coast. I think there's a different mentality here, from my experience. People really value their goals and quality of life over money and commercial possessions.
At least that's true for the people I've met. Humans are resourceful. It's nice getting to know the ocean, too, because I grew up in interior BC.
You work with many different mediums. Do you have a favourite? How do you choose which to do?
I mostly draw, I call it drawing. I draw with water colours so maybe it's painting?
A friend convinced me to take a ceramics course a while back and it was really fun. It felt awesome to switch mediums and do something that you don't take so seriously. It was a reminder that maybe I didn't have to take my drawing as seriously. It was a freeing thing to do and encouraged me to experiment with other things and have fun with it.
I grew up in a family that was very 'do-it-yourself' too. Whenever you wanted or needed something my parents were like “we can do it, we can just make it!” I would see a shirt at the mall that I liked and my mom would say “we can sew it!”
I used to think it was so lame. But if I like something, I’m going to try and make it. I feel like I can do it all.
What do they say? A Jack of all trades, a master of none.
You've done a fairly long string of residencies over the past year in many different places. Tell me about some of your experiences.
I went to Suldal, Norway, at the end of September. The lady who ran the residency would drop me off on the side of the highway and then I'd have to hike for 30 minutes up hill on a path that wasn't very clearly marked. I'd eventually get up to the little farm house and then it was just me and the sheep. I would only come down once a week to get groceries, maybe a can of beer.
I guess I like to seek out rural and off grid situations. I feel like I work well in that way. Without internet or a phone you don't get so distracted. It forced me to do the stuff I love to do like hike around and read.
I was at the Banff Arts Centre and that was a totally different atmosphere. I was with 13 other artists and 3 mentors. It was more of a critical environment rather than an isolating one and that really affected my work in a big way by reminding me how important it is to talk about what you're doing with other people.
I did a three month residency in Point Pleasant Park after that. It was in a big stone building that looked like a castle and I could use the park for whatever I wanted like installations and projections.
Now I'm here!
What's your involvement been with SappyFest in past years?
Well, I've done the Zine Fair for the last 4 years. I vended (at the Sappy Market) my first year when it was a little smaller and there wasn't as much going on. I had just moved to Halifax and I thought I should come and sell my artwork. It was the most magical time as a new person to the Maritimes.
You know, to be new somewhere and have it be such a warm and relaxed environment?
So I sold some prints and met a lot of people that way. I also tried to sell popcorn and that was an interesting combo when handling art prints... I popped two garbage bags full before I left and melted the butter on my Toyota Tercel, Janet. If I wasn't an artist I'd own a popcorn business. I'd be a Kernels rival.
It's safe to say you won't be selling popcorn this year. What do you plan on selling?
I had a booked published by Conundrum Press last summer called The Far Woods. Conundrum will be coming so I'll have those to sell. Maybe it's a bit over ambitious but I'm hoping to make a little zine that includes some of the drawings I've done during my time here. There'll be some newer prints, older work, and post cards. Maybe some little ceramic trophies?
What are you most excited to see at this year's festival?
Andrew Patterson was talking about some of the readings at Universal Dawn and it sounds really interesting. I also really like the Weather Station. I saw her play in Halifax and during every song I thought she was going to cry. She put so much emotion into it. I'm really excited to see her. And Duzheknew.
What do you recommend people do while in Sackville?
Go on the marsh trail. Take a time out.
SACKVILLE BIKE CO-OP VALET AND RENTALS
Friday: 6 PM 12 AM
Saturday: 9 PM 12 AM
Sunday: 12 PM 12 AM
A bicycle Valet service will be offered close to the main stage on Bridge St. Leave your bikes with us and they will be kept safe and sound. We'll even do some minor tune ups, or if you have a moment, show you how to do them yourself.
Free rentals will also be available throughout the day from the Sackville Bike Co-op. Take a chance to get out of town, hit the marsh, or have a quick dip at Silver Lake.
Any bikes left over night will be stored and returned to the valet racks the following day.
For more information email email@example.com
We're just a few digits away from selling out of our Day Passes. We still have a limited amount of Full Festival Passes available and encourage you to take advantage of such a deal and hang out with us here in the Swamp all weekend.
It's fast approaching, we can't wait. We'll see you soon.
Purchase Passes online here, via TicketPro or at any TicketPro location. Or in Sackville at Ducky's Pub, The Black Duck Cafe, and our office located on the second floor of 131 Main Street.
Paul Saulnier and Benjamin Nelson raised their band from Kingston’s lowest places, from bars and basements and late-night pits of the heart, above the swirling fug of death dreams and depression, until this two-piece rock’n’roll act was like a black and red corona setting St George’s aglow. And then while Nelson minded the fort(s), Paul left home – to Toronto, following his heart.
‘For Those Who Stay’ is PS I Love You’s third album, and it was made after Paul quit Kingston for a different big smoke. Of course the band had to go back to Kingston to record it – working at a place called the Bathouse, the duo’s first time in “a proper studio”.
“We basically grew our band and did live takes and then I added 100 guitars to each song,” Saulnier says. It was he (legion of guitars, lead vocals) and Nelson (drums, secondary vocals), plus help from friends Tim Bruton (keyboards) and Matt Rogalsky (production, synth bass). The pro studio added another dimension to these recordings: beside the shrieking mountains of riff there are quiet moments and cosmic moments, moments soft-sung or jangly. There’s a little more Iggy Pop, post-Stooges; some Bowie and a jolt of weird Canada. The title track tells its plot-twists in seven minutes of bending riffs and pan-galactic spin. “Limestone Radio” is a song of ghosts.
‘For Those Who Stay’ was encouraged by the girding strength of love but of course it’s still dredging and confused, of course it’s still resplendent in its churn. Maybe it’s the sound of leaving home and still hearing it calling.
You can buy the new record at www.paperbagrecords.com and catch them on the SappyFest on Friday, August 1.
We called up Steve on a stormy day last week and took up some of his tennis-watching time to talk Sappy, poetry, the mechanics of a “Big Deal” reunion, and how it feels to come back home.
In a lot of ways, we’re going back to our roots this year. Sappy’s always been a family gathering, but this year features a lot of big reunions and returns. What do you think about the theme, Bring it on Home: does it feel like more of a homecoming than usual?
I’m glad to be included in those roots and to be thought of in that way. I’ve been to every SappyFest and volunteered a lot when I was in Sackville, I was on the Sappy board, and I’ve played a bunch of shows. I’m glad to be thought of as part of the theme: that’s how Sappy feels, like going home.
I remember we [The Constantines] played Sappy 2 way back when. We played at George's, and there was no big mainstage then. Things have changed a lot in the interim, but Sappy’s up for grabs in the sense that you can do whatever you want with it. It’s good to know the history and roots, and traditions are empowering, but traditions shouldn’t be burdens, they should be empowering.
Best Sappy memory or favourite Sappy year?
I’ve been to all of them, and loved them all in their own peculiar ways. I don’t know if I feel comfortable choosing a favourite. Well, actually, Charles Bradley and Arcade Fire: that was maybe the best festival that’s happened anywhere, ever. There have been different charms every year, and they’ve all been undeniably magical, but they’ve blended in my mind a little.
I had the most fun at Sappy last year, because I didn’t pull my weight. I was just enjoying being there, and it was fucking awesome. There’s always a lot of stuff going on in the background of everybody’s life, but what’s beautiful and important is that we’re there and bring it together each year.
There’s obviously a lot of excitement surrounding the Constantines’ show and reunion. You’ve already played at Field Trip in Toronto, how was that? Why did you guys want to come all the way down here?
When we talked about doing shows again this year, we decided it would be fun to play Sappy. A lot of the other tour decisions were based around bus schedules and that weekend.
We actually did a kind-of-secret show in Guelph a couple days before Field Trip in Toronto. It was at Kazoo! Fest, a small grassroots festival. It was great, it was the kind of context we’re comfortable playing in, like Sappy. It’s neat to see other festivals following suit. Sappy’s a bit of a trailblazer for festivals like Arboretum and Field Trip.
What can you say about your book, which is a collection of your lyrics? Do you feel weird about seeing lyrics as poetry or poetics instead of as lyrics? They’re the same words, obviously, but putting them on the page separates from the context of music and live performance, and I imagine that affects how you and others read them.
It’s a collection from the past few records. It’s concrete and done, I’m looking at a box of them right now. It came about through a friend’s small press, and I’m incredibly nervous about the fact that I’ve done it. I was dragging my heels on finishing my manuscript. If I had to do it all by myself I wouldn’t have had the nerves; it’s liberating and necessary to have someone else believe in something enough for you to do it.
It was an interesting project and process to think about songs in that context of poetry. This was kind of a learning project, and it’s really exciting to have done it, even though it’s all work that’s come out before. The process of taking lyrics from a song and putting them on a page is an interesting one: even though they’ve already existed as songs, they’re also poetry when you write them down.
In some ways the idea and structure of a song gives you a framework that’s easier to work with. When I write poems it’s hard to know when it’s done or finished, but with songs it’s done when it’s over, you know? Whereas on the page, obviously there are forms and structures to consider, it seems like it’s a lot more concrete. Playing with form, whether with music or art or writing, seems to be popular these days. It’s like, is that all there is? Only form? I don’t get it, I’m way too invested in living in the world and talking with people and stuff. Exciting things happened when we talk to each other. Communication is not isolated. And with songs in particular, I can use as many specific things from my life as I want, but at a certain point the only thing that matters is finishing is the song… It doesn’t matter if it’s a perfect reflection of my life or what I’m doing. Maybe 90 percent of the lyrics are from my life, but sometimes the voice of the song arrives at a conclusion or ending that I didn’t have or didn’t actually happen to me. I think songs have to have their own integrity separate from life.
Playing songs as musicians, we get to do it over and over again. Poetry doesn’t have the same frequency in my experience. I really like the idea of live performance and creating a work that can be reinterpreted and be a kind of living thing that you get to revisit and re-enact. And there’s not those apparent equivalences of being a folk singer or being punk rock if you’re a poet, it’s harder to do it on your own.
All this to say, I’m terrified of putting the book out.
What show are you most excited to see this year?
COOL. I put out a record for Apollo Ghosts, and I’m super excited to see them play. They don’t leave Vancouver very often. I also want to see Ought, who I haven’t seen before. And then there’s the usual faves: getting to see pals and stuff.
Steve hits the Vogue as Baby Eagle, Sunday at 5:00PM, and again with the Constantines on the mainstage at 11:00PM.
Baby Eagle performing Rebel Crimes in St. Johns, NL.
We're slowly updating our Satellite Activities page with exciting things to check out during your time at SappyFest. We're happy to have Sean Michaels back for another year to recap the festival with the Sappy Times, City Mail out hand delivering your letters of love, Universal Dawn, the Kids Corner Power Jam, and Outlier Film Festival presenting the animated feature, Asphalt Watches.
More to come!
Our favourite weekend of the year is fast approaching and it's shaping up to be the one to beat. Tickets are moving very quickly and many side stages have a limited capacity (as does our mainstage) and there will be a cap on how many passes we can sell. We strongly recommend snatching them up!
We can't wait to see you all. xo.
Weekend and Day Passes are available here, via TicketPro.