Feature Friday: Muse Collective’s Canadian Women’s Songbook
Canadian music: quick name some artists. Who comes to mind first? Neil Young? Justin Bieber? Leonard Cohen? What about Joni Mitchell? Feist? Anne Murray? A new organization in Ottawa’s music scene is working to celebrate legendary Canadian women musicians past, present, and future.
Muse Collective is hosting their first event “The Canadian Women’s Songbook: Women in the JUNOs”. Six local musicians will share their favourite songs by JUNO award winning women past and present. The goals of the initiative are to highlight the contributions made by Canada’s impressive roster of award-winning women musicians, and to showcase the next generation of women artists through their predecessors’ legendary music. The Muse Collective has gathered amazing local talent to participate, including Malak, Julie Corrigan, Lucila Al Mar, Crystalena, Scary Bear Soundtrack, King Kimbit, and Lena Paquette. What better way to celebrate the music of great musicians of the past than by hearing them performed by up and coming musicians of the present? In addition to sharing their JUNO favourties, each artist will also be performing their own original tunes. The event also features a talk and performance by guest artist and JUNO award winner Lynn Miles.
Muse Collective was an initiative conceived of and launched by Ottawa musicians Chrissy Steinbock and Sarah Howard. The concert is funded through Ottawa 2017’s microgrant funding program, but Muse Collective is just getting started. Another goal of this community-minded organization is to provide safe and safer spaces for women in Ottawa’s music scene. They are supporting women in music in Ottawa through concerts, talks, creating mentorship opportunities, showcasing local talent, and providing spaces for musicians to try out new songs and experiment with their craft. Overall, Muse Collective is aiming to provide more connections, experience, and visibility for Ottawa’s women musicians, as Steinbock illustrates, “Safe(r) spaces for women in music is like bikes on roads. More presence makes it safer for everyone.”
Though planned well in advance, this event comes on the heels of the announcement of 2017 JUNO nominees and criticisms of the surprising lack of gender diversity among those nominated. In 8 categories not one woman is nominated, and in 12 additional categories, only 1 in 5 nominees is a woman. There are 42 categories for the JUNO awards, meaning that nearly half provide no representation or represent the contributions of women to Canadian music, not to mention those who identify as transgender, non-binary, or gender queer. Making this concert a timely contribution to the Ottawa music scene.
The concert will be held this Sunday afternoon at Trinity Anglican Church (1230 Bank Street) at 2 pm. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door or pay what you can, no one will be turned away. Contact Muse Collective at musecollective.ca or on their Facebook page if you would like to get involved or need more information.
Below are some of Shot in the Dark’s videos (also a great supporter of Ottawa music) for some of the featured artists in this Sunday’s show.
Julie Corrigan, “My Love”
Lucila Al Mar, “24”
Malak, “Rule the World”