(Updated April 28/23)
SaskMusic and artists will head to the UK this spring for various export activities.
Ellen Froese and Grimelda will be among the 18 Canadian artists performing as official showcase selections at Focus Wales 2023 (May 4-6, Wrexham Wales). The annual event showcases new music to the Welsh and U.K. music industry, with a multi-venue festival welcoming 20,000 attendees and 250 artists from around the world on 20 stages, along with a schedule of interactive industry sessions, arts events, and film screenings.
On May 9, SaskMusic will join with our U.K. export consultant/strategists Enki Music, and music industry associations Music BC, Music Nova Scotia, Manitoba Music, Alberta Music, SODEC (Société de développement des entreprises culturelles), MusicOntario, and CIMA to present a pre-TGE showcase in London at the historic Strongroom Bar & Studio (120-124 Curtain Rd, Shoreditch, London EC2A 3SQ).
The event will include a welcoming reception, one-on-one meetings with UK-based industry members, round table discussions, and a showcase of 10 Canadian artists on two stages including Saskatoon artists Ellen Froese and Katie Tupper.
From May 10-13, we will take part in The Great Escape festival and conference in Brighton. TGE is “the UK’s premier new music and industry gathering, where sectors from the entire UK music industry come to network,” showcasing 500 emerging artists from all over the world in 30+ walkable venues across Brighton UK plus a pop-up festival site on Brighton Beach.
Working in partnership with several other Canadian music industry organizations including the Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) under the established Canada House brand, we will be networking and representing Saskatchewan music at international meetings and events, as well as taking in international industry discussion topics during the conference. CIMA helps facilitate entry into international music markets by working closely with key personnel from the Canadian music scene and enabling international export and import opportunities.
This year, 30 Canadian artists have been selected for official showcases. CIMA will lead the Canadian delegation for 3 days of performances (May 11-13) showcasing 18 Canadian independent artists from across the country at the Green Door Store. SaskMusic will be on hand networking and presenting additional opportunities for the artists at and around TGE, alongside partners Alberta Music, Manitoba Music, Music BC, Music Nova Scotia, MusicOntario, and SODEC.
About the Sask Artists
Ellen Froese is what you’d call a “prolific artist”; committed, too. For someone who only just passed the threshold of their mid-20s, she’s amassed a resolutely solid body of work and, with a variety of projects, achieved more than some many years her senior. For Each Flower Growing, Froese’s fourth full-length, produced in collaboration with the Sheepdogs’ Sam Corbett, is her most accomplished statement to date, drawing on her established sound as a folk & country-based singer/songwriter while incorporating a wider frame of reference in the rich production, supple instrumentation, and overall sonic soundworld. It’s much harder to pin down than any simple description can convey, making it all the more worthwhile to check out.
Grimelda (fka The Faps) has re-birthed as a really really really good band with unhinged rock songs that take art and punk to weird levels of amazing awesomeness. While their “New Daft Punk” EP (2021, Transistor 66) highlighted collaboration and genre-bending like the world had never seen, “It’s So Feeling When You Rock” (2023, Transistor 66) is a collection of absurd classics inspired by the need to claw your way through the dumpster fire in search of F U N. Wow. Just wow. Is this the future of music? Could these two skids from the Canadian prairies be transcending sound? Or is this a regression into dank riffs? Find out by catching this ineffable aural monster in every single town on Earth for the rest of eternity.
Katie Tupper: Beneath the painted hues and infinite prairie skies of Saskatoon lies a soulful, creative spirit that proves there’s much more to the so-called ‘fly-over states’ than grassland and grain silos. “Live Inside” is the soulful, downtempo debut single from 23-year-old Katie Tupper about “being young, navigating love, and how we adapt and change with new people.”
Sask Artist U.K. Shows (local times):
Monday May 8 – London, Bush Hall w/Haley Blais and Georgia Harmer
Tuesday May 9 – London, Strongroom (Canadian and UK Industry Pre-TGE Showcase)
Friday May 12 – The Great Escape, Brighton, Canada House Green Door Store, 3:15pm
Saturday May 13 – The Great Escape, Brighton, One Church (Arts & Crafts showcase), 2:30pm
Saturday May 13 – The Great Escape, Brighton, A L P H A B E T, 7:00pm
Thursday May 4 – Focus Wales, Wrexham, Glyndwr TV, 11:00am
Thursday May 4 – Focus Wales, Wrexham, The Royal Oak, 6:30pm
Friday May 5 – Focus Wales, Wrexham, Ty Pawb Flexible Space, 8:00pm
Saturday May 6 – Focus Wales, Wrexham, HWB Cymraeg, 4:10pm
Saturday May 6 – Focus Wales, Wrexham, Old No.7, 8:45pm
Tuesday May 9 –London, Strongroom (Canadian and UK Industry Pre-TGE showcase), 8:30pm
Saturday May 13 – The Great Escape, Brighton, Canada House, Green Door Store, 1:00pm
Saturday May 13 – The Great Escape, Brighton, Unitarian Church, 8:15pm
Thursday May 4 - FOCUS Wales, Wrexham, The Rockin' Chair Room 1, 8:15pm
Friday May 5 - FOCUS Wales, Wrexham, Glyndwr TV, 12:00pm
Saturday May 6 - FOCUS Wales, Wrexham, The Parish, 11:25 pm
Saturday May 13 – Nottingham, Rough Trade (All Dayer)
Tuesday May 16 - Bristol – Crofters
Wednesday May 17 - Cardiff – Porters
Friday May 19 - Manchester - The Peer Hat
Saturday May 20 - Newcastle - North Terrace
Sunday May 21 - Sunderland - The Ship Isis
How were the Sask artists chosen?
Focus Wales and The Great Escape post calls for showcase submissions for their events each year, which we share to our members. CIMA also posts calls for submissions for their presentations at these events, which we share to our members. SaskMusic does not run these intakes nor select the artists.
The pre-TGE London showcase was curated by its presenters (including SaskMusic), and from Saskatchewan automatically included the two artists who received official TGE invites.
As partners of Canada House events at TGE, we facilitate additional plays and connections for Sask artists who have been selected for official showcases. We do not select the artists for this event.
SaskMusic thanks Creative Saskatchewan for their support of our export mission activities.