Skip to main content

[Shivering] Songwriters Intensive

Shivering Songs, an annual music fest organized by indie folksters The Olympic Symphonium and their pals, takes place January 22-25 in Fredericton. This year’s line-up includes such artists as Buck 65, Amelia Curran, Alan Jeffries, NUAGES and Sentimentals, and even recent Giller Prize winner, Sean Michaels!

Christine Fellows & John K. Samson, 2014 Songwriting Intensive, 
Charlotte Street Arts Centre (Fredericton NB)

On Saturday and Sunday during the festival (January 24 & 25) the Charlotte Street Arts Centre—which is celebrating its 10th anniversary—will be hosting a Songwriting Intensive, where 12 musicians from across New Brunswick will work their creative process with Canada’s legendary root rockers, Skydiggers.

The public can hear their results and learn more about songwriting from Skydiggers at the Intensive Showcase, which will be held at Charlotte Street on Sunday January 25 at 5pm (admission by donation).

The Charlotte Street Arts Centre’s program coordinator, Kaylee Stevens tells us more:

How excited are you about Skydiggers coming to Fredericton to lead the Songwriting Intensive?
KS: It’s pretty cool to have Canadian legends Skydiggers coming to our fair city! There has been a lot of buzz around the city for the past few weeks, and everyone is starting to get a little giddy. They’ll be a great fit for our Songwriters Intensive, as their songwriting style is so unique and notable. It’s also a great bonus that they’ll be performing in our auditorium with East Coast sweetheart Owen Steel on Saturday night! The Charlotte Street Arts Centre auditorium will be a great place to hear Skydiggers; the room has such a special feeling, with great acoustics and historical architecture, the show will be an experience for all who attend!

How were the emerging and established musicians selected to participate in the songwriting workshop?
KS: Participants were selected through an application process. The application was fairly basic, but it focused on understanding why applicants felt they needed to attend a songwriting intensive. This project is focused on musicians that realize the steps they need to take to move to the next level in their career. We did have a few applicants who admitted they didn’t really consider themselves musicians, they just wanted to hang out with the Skydiggers for a weekend! We had to be a bit careful.

What can audience members expect to enjoy at the Intensive Showcase?
KS: The Intensive Showcase is really an opportunity for audience members to get to know Skydiggers, and learn about the songwriting process. Skydiggers will host an intimate evening discussing the ins and outs of creating music for the public. The intensive participants will have an opportunity to show the progress they made on their musical works throughout the weekend, and share their newfound knowledge. The showcase is by donation at the door, and is a no-pressure, friendly environment.

What else is going on at the Charlotte Street Arts Centre these days?
KS: There are so many things being cooked up at Charlotte Street Arts Centre right now! 2015 marks our ten-year anniversary as Fredericton’s community arts centre, so we’ve got a full year of special events, exhibitions, and programming to celebrate. The Charlotte Street Arts Centre was, once upon a time, the old Charlotte Street School, built in 1884-1885. We’re looking back through the school days of the building, conducting research with alumni of the school, remaking artifacts into works of art, and really trying to learn as much as we can about the history of this beautiful building. For example, the wooden beams that support the floors are thought to be almost 500 years old, so we’re looking into things like that.

Anything you would like to add?
KS: We’re really glad to partner with Shivering Songs in this songwriting endeavour. Those guys work tirelessly to bring high-caliber artists to our small community, and they succeed every year. They also work hard to encourage young/emerging artists in the area, and I find Shivering Songs is the perfect balance of both. I can’t wait to take in as many shows as possible this weekend!

Popular posts from this blog

Charles Hsuen

Even after almost 30 years as the voice of jazz in Halifax, Charles Hsuen shows no signs of slowing down. His passion to preserve and promote the genre to listeners of all ages cannot be overstated. Recently we spoke with Hsuen about his roots, and his life-long love of big band, bebop, swing, Sinatra and more.
What are your own roots? My roots derive from a rather mixed background. My father is of Vietnamese / Tibetan / Chinese heredity, but grew up in India, before immigrating to Canada in 1967. While my mother’s roots stem from Indo-China, she grew up in Brunei before immigrating to Canada in 1969. Both extended families ultimately settled in Toronto and my parents met and married in the early 1970's. The last name “Hsuen” (now XUAN), pronounced “Schwen,” comes from the Last Emperor of China Henry Pu Yi who ruled using the name Xuantong from 1909 until his forced abdication in 1912. The story was of a tumultuous reign, his forced resignation and eventual attempt to reclaim his ti…

Danny Bilsborough

Danny Bilsborough, NSCC alumna and owner of Danny B Studios, has spent most of her days consulting various clients on software options for their new business endeavours. 
Although she’s been involved with assessing some really exciting projects, nothing makes her happier than grabbing her brush and splashing colour on a canvas. That’s why she’s decided to take the plunge into becoming a full-time artist.
“I was always so scared to try using colour, but when my daughter was born and the opportunity came to incorporate these new palettes into her life, they quickly found their way into mine,” she says.
Colour brings light to many things and gives people a sense of enjoyment. Markus Maier explained in his academic journal titled Color Psychology that colour carries great meaning and can have an important impact on people's affect, cognition and behaviour.
Bilsborough’s favourite pieces to create are those of nature and animals – a quick look at her online Etsy page confirms this. She be…


Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the passing of Elvis Presley, International World-Champion Elvis tribute artist, Thane Dunn and his Cadillac Kings, will perform seven shows throughout the Maritimes over the coming months. Recently we spoke with the King of Kings about his passion and profession.
What are your roots? I was born in Moncton, New Brunswick. I've lived everywhere from California to Toronto but Moncton always has had a special place in my heart. My musical roots have always been early Rock and Roll and also old Country and Western like Buck Owens and Stonewall Jackson. I’ve always been a huge Jim Morrison fan. He had a lot of similar traits to Elvis.
What first inspired the Elvis tribute? I always loved the man and I’ve had people tell me I looked like him and in early bands I was in people would say I sounded like him. I had a few months leading up to the decision to do it where it seemed every time I turned on the TV there was Elvis, the radio would be playing Elvis…