[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!