Thank you to everyone who joined us at Contact East 2022! Contact East 2023 will take place next September in Woody Point, Newfoundland. Check out our Digital Conference Handbook for information on this year’s artists, activities, and more!
It is with great delight that, on behalf of Friends of Writers at Woody Point, we welcome you to Contact East 2023, which runs from September 21st to 24th, 2023.
A note for our friends, especially those making their first trip to Woody Point.
While you work to finalize travel and accommodation details, we want to give you a bit of information about the area that may be helpful. Woody Point is home to our festival in the heart of Gros Morne National Park, on the shores of Bonne Bay. The community is a fishing village with a thriving tourism industry, but the town does have limited amenities.
The town is very compact, and you will find the venues are a short walk or drive from the accommodations and restaurants. When you arrive in Newfoundland, the airport in Deer Lake, Woody Point is a forty-five-minute drive. There are rental vehicles available at the airport, but we will also be assisting with transportation between Deer Lake and Woody Point. If you prefer to use the transportation provided, we will need flight arrival and departure information from you preferably by the end of August.
While there are a variety of accommodations, they can book up quickly, so we have reserved/held several rooms with accommodation providers in the area. These rooms will be held until the end of June 2023 at which time they will be released to the public. We encourage you to book sooner rather than later and will provide our contact information if you have any specific needs, we are happy to help suggest options that will suit you best. Whether you are renting a car or are on foot there are local taxi services and shuttle buses to help get you where you need to be without any stress – but if you do plan to rent a car choosing accommodations a little further from town centre would be helpful for those who do not.
We have a few small general stores and there is no pharmacy. You may want to stop at a supermarket or pharmacy in Deer Lake before heading to Woody Point, should you have any last-minute needs. For those we are assisting with transportation to and from Woody Point, the drivers of the local transportation companies are happy to stop at a grocery store or pharmacy and will answer any questions you may have.
As hosts, we will do our best to assist and ensure that your time in Woody Point is enjoyable. Diana can be reached if you have questions, by email at email@example.com or by telephone at 306.308.0036 (C).
Once again, we look forward to seeing you in Woody Point and hope you love it as much as we do.
Friends of Writers at Woody Point 2023
The following accommodation providers have rooms reserved for Contact East 2023 and these reservations will be held until the end of June 2023 unless noted otherwise. There are a variety of accommodations which include single rooms, double occupancy, and multi-room/full house options.
For all reservations in Woody Point, please state you are part of the Contact East conference. You must CALL to book accommodations—DO NOT BOOK ONLINE. Norris Point and Trout River do not have rooms on hold.
It is important to note that this list is not inclusive of all accommodations or Airbnb options in the area.
Subject to Change
Woody Point Public Library
Registration Desk Open
Woody Point Royal Canadian Legion
Merchant Warehouse Retro Cafe & Wine Bar
Gros Morne National Park
Gros Morne Adventure (Optional)
Extra cost applies
Discovery Centre – Gros Morne National Park
Welcome & Opening Activities
Downtown Woody Point
World's Smallest Pub Crawl
Woody Point Royal Canadian Legion
Merchant Warehouse Retro Cafe & Wine Bar
Atlantic Moves Meeting
Water Taxi and Bus to Cow Head
Myra Bennett Performing Arts Centre
Shallow Bay Conference Centre
Myra Bennett Performing Arts Centre – Studio
PD Session TBA
Myra Bennett Performing Arts Centre
Myra Bennett Performing Arts Centre
Travel Back to Woody Point
Woody Point Royal Canadian Legion
Woody Point Royal Canadian Legion
Woody Point Town Hall
Woody Point Royal Canadian Legion
Woody Point Royal Canadian Legion
Woody Point Royal Canadian Legion
Merchant Warehouse Retro Cafe & Wine Bar – Upstairs
That’s a wrap! Connect and regroup with other members and APA staff after a whirlwind three days of conferencing. We’ll have a demonstration of the Arts Touring Connector with developer Ross Paton. This is a brand spanking new block booking tool being launched this Fall! And as always we will discuss programming, and have a chance to share our plans for the rest of the season before we head our separate ways.
JUNO-nominated neo-folk group Aerialists take a distinctive hybrid approach to folk tradition, combining deep roots in Scottish Gaelic, Norwegian, and Irish folk music with a unique post-rock bent. Their third release, 2020's Dear Sienna, digs deeper into their singular prog-trad sound, inviting collaborators from Brooklyn to Gothenburg and taking home a Canadian Folk Music Award for Pushing The Boundaries. Framing harp and fiddle in an electric soundscape, Aerialists are ethereal yet precise, technical yet visceral, and every song feels like a new beginning. With Dear Sienna, the band has created a love letter to those who have come before us and those who will come after.
Charm of Finches
Indie folk duo Charm of Finches from Melbourne, Australia, make haunted tunes about love, grief and whispering trees. The sister duo has mastered the art of seamlessly pairing vocal harmonies with their many stringed instruments. Charm of Finches have enchanted many with their impressive musicianship and impeccable song writing, traversing melancholy and wonder in equal measure.
The sisters, Mabel and Ivy Windred-Wornes, released their third full length album Wonderful Oblivion in 2021 through New York-based label AntiFragile Music to critical acclaim. They have since toured the UK and Europe in Spring/Summer 2022 and are set to return in January 2024.
Winners of the Australian Folk Music Awards Best Folk Album (2022) and Music Victoria Best Folk Act (2021), their music has been nominated twice for the prestigious Australian Music Prize.
Their 2019 sophomore album Your Company won the 2020 Independent Music Awards' Best Folk/Singer-Songwriter Album - the same award won by Martha Wainwright the previous year.
Nominated for Music Nova Scotia’s Indigenous Artist of the Year in 2021 and 2022, New Artist Recording 2022, SOCAN songwriter of the year 2022 which Austin garnered Indigenous Artist of the Year and New Artist Recording along with Socan Young Canadian Songwriters Award Honourable Mention 2022, Chief Noel Doucette youth Achievement Award 2022 and Nominated for the Women in Music Canada Honours 2023. She has followed up with the newest release of her single Natural Born Original, 16 and the sequel to her single Buried Truth – Buried Truth Part 2 and 3. DeeDee is currently working on new songs for her second EP which will be released in the spring of 2023. DeeDee’s multi-faceted sound will be sure to have you dancing, while simultaneously pulling on your heart strings!
“My goal is to touch the hearts of all my listeners through my realistic lyrics. I pour my heart into everything that I sing and play!”
Groove is their mission; music is their vehicle.
Winners of the 2021 Music NB awards for both Breakthrough Artist of the Year and Video of the Year for their single “Paper Boat”, this 7-piece all-Acadian heavy soul band released a debut self-titled album in 2021 and are well on their way to reaching other galaxies with their celestial soundscapes.
Fans of soul, jazz, hip-hop, and rock will be captivated by this band of groovy cosmonauts, who blend catchy grooves with ambient interstellar jams. Whichever universe you call home, there is bound to be an element of their sound that will capture your heart and prepare you for blast-off.
Grid City Magazine described their debut album as “a winning combination of thick grooves, poetic lyricism and originality.” The launch of Les Moontunes (LP) was celebrated with Live on the Moon, an innovative live-stream concert that reached over 20,000 viewers, loaded with impressive musicianship and out-of-this-world animations.
Since their 2015 formation in Moncton, NB, Les Moontunes have performed at numerous festivals in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, including the Halifax Jazz Festival, le Congrès Mondial Acadien, Acadie Rock, Music NB's Festival 506, and the East Coast Music Association's Breakout stage showcase which has solidified the band's status as an innovative act within the East Coast music scene.
The group is currently producing a much-anticipated second full-length album, expanding its sonic palette to entice fans and extraterrestrial life forms.
Ptarmageddon is an alternative rock band based in Labrador City. They originally formed as a COVID project, live-streaming concerts from their living rooms. In 2021 they released their debut EP of original songs, "Holding Pattern," and followed it up with an Arts NL-supported concept album, "Dream Logic" (2022). They are currently writing their first full-length album, and released an acoustic demo of the first five songs, entitled "Things," for the 2023 RPM Challenge this February.
XIA-3 is an emerging instrumental fusion band based in Newfoundland that blends traditional Chinese influences with Western post-rock grooves. The group was formed in 2022 and is fronted by guzheng virtuoso Dr. Jing Xia with support from well-established St. John’s punk rockers Ritche Perez on bass and Brian Downton on drums. As a professional artist and scholar, Xia started to study the guzheng at six years old and has degrees in Music Performance (B.A.), Arts Management (M.A.), and Ethnomusicology (Ph.D.). She is the winner of the 2022 MusicNL Award “Rising Star of the Year,” and was just nominated for two 2023 ECMA awards: Roots/Traditional Recording of the Year, and Global Recording of the Year.
Amai Kuda et Les Bois
Amai Kuda et Les Bois don’t fit into the usual boxes. Breaking boundaries is part of their superpower. Not a band or a solo act, they prefer to call themselves ‘a movement.’ Led by Amai Kuda, their shows and albums always begin with the pouring of libations and the invocation of ancestors. This spiritual element weaves its way throughout all their music, whether that be soothing acoustic ballads, dancy electronic grooves or alt-rock-hip hop-infused political tracks. Ecouché, for example, the “stunning new single” (Indie88) off the new album EmUrgency! is sung entirely in a language of ancestral communication and can’t be delivered the same way twice. It embodies what NOW magazine has called the group’s “tantalizing Afro-soul” fusion sound.
The Chimera Project
THE SHOW: Dancing the Seven Grandfather Teachings For grades 4 - 12 A contemporary dance program featuring two stories driven by the Seven Grandfather Teachings. The works are performed with a vocabulary of First Nations’ hoop dancing, contemporary dance, and ballet. The ancient teachings blaze a path leading to self-knowledge, empathy, and connection to our natural world. The on-stage presentation consists of two works, a question and answer session, and can involve an interactive workshop.
This program was created in 2016, guided by Elder Shirley Horn, with choreography by Malgorzata Nowacka-May and additional choreography by esteemed hoop dance artist Arik Pipe. The show has reached over 15,000 young people across Ontario, Québec and BC since the creation of work. This program manifests decade-long collaboration with Shirley Horn and acclaimed Indigenous artists who each bring their specific voice and direction with respect to cultural expression.
Good Dear Good
A vision of unison and love arrives on stage with intoxicating, searing vocal harmonies and relentlessly catchy pop-rock melodies. From the remote shores of Eastern Cape Breton, music became a means of expression for Tim Hatcher and his partner Brandon MacDonald. On a course to find their community, they moved to Halifax to pursue a career in music. Now located in Dartmouth, Tim and Brandon met bandmates Izra Fitch and Connor Booth, rounding out what is now Good Dear Good.
Tim delivers his words with an endearingly infectious positivity on stage, but with deeper reading, a sense of pensive gloom permeates the lyrics. Good Dear Good’s debut EP “Arrival” echoes bright while you journey to the dark depths of the Atlantic — watching the sun shine a beam straight to the ocean floor. Here you’ll find themes of resilience, perseverance, and love within a broken system.
Nico Paulo is a Portuguese/Canadian songwriter, performer, and visual artist. She moved to Canada in 2014 to pursue her career, originally setting down roots in the vibrant Toronto arts community, and eventually moved east to become an essential part of Newfoundland’s celebrated music scene. Paulo’s highly anticipated, self-titled debut LP, due for release in spring 2023, is a melodically dynamic, heart-baring collection that finds her exploring the interconnected nature of relationships and the flow of time in lush, sophisticated pop arrangements. The album’s textures come courtesy of production by Joshua Van Tassel (Villages, Fortunate Ones) and Tim Baker (Hey Rosetta!). A showcase at Contact East will include material from the LP alongside select covers which may include traditional Portuguese and British folk songs as well as a rendition of Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game."
Candice Pike, Hilary Knee and Josh Murphy are three Newfoundland and Labrador dance artists who create and perform Ruralesque – a show at the intersection of contemporary dance, burlesque, traditional Newfoundland culture and community concert! After knowing each other for over a decade, the group finally found themselves together in Corner Brook, NL in 2020 and began working on this show. With a shared rigorous-yet-generous working style and a similar sense of humour, these artists melded their unique dance, theatre, and improv practices into their version of the perfect NL variety show. They were supported in this process by 7th generation Newfoundlander, Lois Brown, whose first-hand experience of the NL Cultural Renaissance and the development of “new dance” in the province helped shape the performance as a whole. As choreographers, performers, and dance teachers, this group is interested in exploring ideas of belonging, self-reliance, queering, and stretching the limits of everything they’ve learned to date about what both dance performance and Newfoundland art should be! As one reviewer said, “They take their work seriously, but not themselves.”
Candice was the 2021 winner of Live Art Dance’s Diane Moore Creation Award for “Ruralesque” and various phases of creation and presentation have been supported by ArtsNL, The Canada Council for the Arts, The Arts and Culture Centre, Gros Morne Summer Music, and Neighbourhood Dance Works.
Yvette Lorraine is a classically trained soprano & Indie-Folk Singer- Songwriter from Corner Brook, Newfoundland. Her debut single "Where Did You Go" reached as high as #13 on The Top 20 of CBC Radio’s Most Popular Charts in Canada (Sept 2021), while gaining over 50,000 streams and views since its release. Yvette is ECMA’S latest recipient of the Musician’s Achievement Award. Her debut mixtape "Same Story" was supported on Apple Music’s New in Indie Playlist during its release (Nov 2021) and has been nominated as inspirational/gospel recording of the year and pop recording of the year by the 2023 East Coast Music Association. Yvette Lorraine's live records feature the brilliant vocals of the Smith Sisters, the virtuosic playing of Ian Sherwood (saxophone) and the wildly talented Chris Kirby (keys/producer). With a lifetime of experience in theatre, jazz, and opera Yvette's live performance promises you an engaging and versatile set that tells a story and makes you want to sing along.
Singing songs of love, life and justice, 6-time Juno nominee, Ammoye delivers a wholly unique future forward reggae sound that incorporates old-school rocksteady, dancehall and dubstep with gospel, soul and R&B. With her unique, soothing and multidimensional voice and messages of empowerment, Jamaican-born Ammoye is a lightworker and self-declared soul rebel.
Ammoye’s newly released 13-track album Water features the who’s who of the contemporary international reggae scene with contributions from Toronto’s own DJ Agile and Danny Maestro, The Senior Allstars from Germany, Thomas Blondet from Brooklyn, Adian Hanson Donsome of NYC’s Donsome Records and the legendary Lord SassaFras, as well as production from Natural High and executive production, mastering and sound engineering from Tandra Lytes Jhagroo, both based in Jamaica. Ammoye is also an advocate for mental health and an ambassador for CAMH.
Ammoye participated in the Going Global x Mondo showcase, presented by Global Toronto and Small World Music. On the release of Ammoye’s new album, Water, it garnered consideration from the Academy Awards for a Grammy nomination.
Christine Friday is deeply rooted to her family’s ancestral hereditary lands, Friday’s Point which includes surrounding lands and lakes that make up her family’s tribal hunting grounds, located within the unceded lands of the Wabi Mkwa family. She lives on Bear Island, in her community of Temagami First Nation.
Christine is Anishinaabe Kwe, she is a proficient resilient Indigenous storyteller. She began her dance career with In the Land of Spirits in 1992 and has maintained a professional dance career for over 30 years, as a choreographer and director, developing solo work, commissioned work, youth creations and full-scale productions. In the past four years she has produced several dance films to broaden her audience and expand her potential. As a community activator she inspires gifts that awaken the connections to ignite the cultural wellness and traditions of our Anishinaabek community. Christine has developed and delivered strong community focused programs and gatherings for over 20 years. Her company, Friday Creeations based on Bear Island Lake Temagami is a First Nations professional arts and culture based community platform that encourages creative entrepreneurship and self-sufficiency that connects to land, empowerment and truth. She is in the process of launching her dream into reality with the grand opening of the Dance Studio Lodge and Outfitters Company the summer of 2023, inspiring and activating land based with professional performance and traditional artistic practices to awaken storytelling rooted in land and individual creativity, connection and healing.
Grâce à sa voix chaleureuse, sa présence authentique et son charisme hors pair, auteure-compositrice-interprète Maude Sonier fait son bout de chemin dans la scène musicale francophone et acadienne, charmant les publiques depuis 2019.
Originaire de Miramichi au Nouveau-Brunswick, elle débutera d’abord son parcours musical lors des festivals de musique classique de sa région. Vers l’âge de 12 ans, celle-ci combinera finalement ses deux grandes passions; l’écriture et la composition, d’où naitront ses toutes premières chansons originales. Ces dernières lui mériteront une place au fameux concours Accros de la chanson, pour ensuite la menée au Gala de la chanson de Caraquet ainsi qu’au Festival International de la chanson de Granby.
Depuis, elle ne cesse de développer son art, travaillant avec des artistes tels que Matt Boudreau, saisissant les opportunités de jouer en compagnie de Caroline Savoie, Pierre Guitard, The Hypocondriacs et bien d’autres. Accompagnée de sa guitare ou du piano, elle vous chantera ses textes réconfortants sur des airs imprévisibles et rêveurs, le tout parsemé d’émotions fortes. Laissez-vous transportés par son univers musical pop-folk alternatif, presque psychédélique, toujours en évolution et riche en couleurs !
With her warm voice, authentic presence and unparalleled charisma, singer-songwriter Maude Sonier has been making her way in the francophone and Acadian music scene, charming audiences since 2019.
Originally from Miramichi, New-Brunswick, she began her musical journey at local classical music festivals. At the age of 12, she finally combined her two great passions; writing and composing, from which her very first original songs were born. These songs earned her a place in the famous Accros de la chanson contest, and then led her to the Gala de la chanson de Caraquet and the Festival International de la chanson de Granby.
Since then, she has continued to develop her art, working with artists such as Matt Boudreau, seizing opportunities to play with Caroline Savoie, Pierre Guitard, The Hypocondriacs and many others. Accompanied by her guitar or piano, she will sing her comforting lyrics on unpredictable and dreamy tunes. Let yourself be transported by her pop-alternative, almost psychedelic musical universe, always evolving and rich in colours!
North Barn Theatre
North Barn Theatre was formed in the Spring of 2020 by Laura Stinson and Ian McFarlane in the Ohio Valley, Antigonish County, Nova Scotia. McFarlane and Stinson are theatre makers, scenographers and puppeteers who have worked internationally across the United States, Canada and Europe with companies such as Bread and Puppet Theater, the Canadian Academy of Mask and Puppetry, and The River Clyde Pageant. When an international tour was interrupted by the COVID19 pandemic, McFarlane and Stinson returned to rural Nova Scotia to establish roots as independent theatre makers and to connect with the communities that raised them. As visual artists and material based performers we aim to engage in a design-led creative process that promotes non-hierarchical, interdisciplinary collaboration. Our vision is to provoke thought around critical social and political issues by using playful imagery, landscape, objects and spectacle. We work from the belief that art is nourishment and should be available to everyone regardless of their social status.
Shahin Sayadi – One Light Theatre
Ritual Music to Cure a Lover is the story of today’s Iran. It is the story of youth, rising up against their fathers’ choices. It is the story of love overcoming hate; of light destroying darkness. Ritual reflects the cultural revolution taking place in the streets of Iran, right now. The play culminates in a traditional exorcism ceremony, intended to rid a young man of the “sickness” of his love for an outcast woman, which ultimately reveals his father’s long-buried secrets. The creator of Ritual, Shahin Sayadi seamlessly shifts between multiple characters and temporalities, weaving together inter-generational perspectives that provide a panoramic viewpoint into the struggles of a community transitioning from a traditional village to a modern society. Fighting darkness to step back into the light. Ritual is a one performer show.
"One of Vancouver's punchiest indie singers." - Fish Griwkowsky, Edmonton Sun
Beau Wheeler is a queer non-binary composer and singer based in Vancouver, Canada. Blessed with a set of pipes that would be the envy of Torch and Twang era kd lang or a young Robert Plant, Beau is about to release two new albums of music that capture the breadth and diversity of their musical vision.
Theirs is a music that encompasses a wide spectrum of human experience. With songs that touch on love, loss and redemption, and an unflagging ability to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again, Beau, who recently came out to the world as trans, is one of Canada’s brightest lights and an artist to watch out for.
Their music pulls no punches as it shines a light on gender, surviving cancer, and the all too human experience of love in a way that turns the dark and sour stuff of life into something beautiful and hopeful. Beau’s songs remind us that ‘we’ve all been there’ and that no matter how low you are feeling that there’s hope. You’re not alone. Pain and joy form equal parts of life’s equation. The essential magic of Beau’s work lies in this unflinching ability to fearlessly open up and bring a room full of strangers together to share and heal from the vulnerabilities that we all feel.
Duane Andrews and the Hot Club of Conception Bay
Duane Andrews‘ music is the product of a great ear, an adventurous spirit and a love of music that is beyond category. Uniting what would seem to be impossible – traditional Newfoundland music with the swing jazz of the legendary Django Reinhardt, Andrews makes it not just work – he makes it soar. The Juno award winning producer, composer, and globetrotting guitarist's latest album is the best evidence yet of his truly unique musical vision and is the sound of him, literally, bringing it all back home.
“MY LIFE IS LIKE A PHOENIX ON FIRE AND I'VE FOUND BEAUTY IN THE ASHES MAKING IT WORTH THE BURNING.”
Mehuman means, “The Faithful One”. Artist, activist, advocate, adventurer and true to her ancient name, Mehuman's songs invite the listener into her fearless transparency. Mehuman’s signature sound, “folk hop for hip folk” is Affrilachia - Americana, is rooted in the traditional rhythms of Gospel, Jazz, and Blues. With keening spirit-filled melodies enveloping folky lyricism Mehuman sings from her soul with a sacred conviction that lovingly ministers to troubled and despairing hearts with one tested truth, “There is always Hope.” In times when the world needs more grace, and a lot more love, both are found in rare abundance in Mehuman’s way of life and music.
La Patente, the new Acadian sensation from Fredericton, New Brunswick, is made up of 4 guys in their mid-thirties. The acoustic music draws inspiration from styles like country, cajun, folk, and blues. The artists describe their music as folk country blues. This party band wants one thing: to be on a stage! The collective La Patente comprises Marc Colecchio, Mathieu Émond, Marc-André Godin, and Chad Ritchie. They have one album and one EP and are recording another album in 2023.
Weary is an indie band from Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Since forming in 2017, Weary has explored the sonics of heartache, longing and change through atmospheric indie. Weary released their debut album ‘Feeling Things’ (2018) to acclaim from CBC, GoldFlake Paint, and Exclaim, garnering several provincial award nominations. Their sophomore album ‘Hush’ was released in 2022. Weary has performed at Sappy Fest, Lawnya Vawnya and Flourish Festival. Weary has been shaped by community; members have been involved as teachers, advocates and organizers with community arts organizations, non-profits and local activism around themes of disability justice, queerness, mental health and addictions.
Alex Rioux for Fruit Machine
Fruit Machine is an original physical theatre performance created and directed by Alex Rioux in partnership with Solo Chicken Productions the coop. This groundbreaking production uses movement, projection, and historical text to interpret and investigate the questionable practices of the RCMP and Canadian Military that targeted the 2SLGBTQIA+ community from the 50’s through to the 90’s. Fruit Machine gets its title from the non-functional device of the same name developed by Frank Robert Wake that attempted to use pupil dilation as proof of a man’s homosexuality. Created and directed by Alex Rioux, with a primarily queer ensemble and creative team, Fruit Machine shines a light on the barbaric practices and the unfair treatment of queer individuals in Canadian history and creates space for 2SLGBTQIA+ artists to take ownership of their history, and their stories.
"What can the audience expect?" One aim that I have as a performer is to deliver anything but the expected. The songs are written in advance (mostly), but that does not guarantee consistency. Spontaneity is welcome and, in fact, a large part of my show revolves around this notion. No two shows are the same! Nonetheless, they are all honest & positive experiences in their own right. And regardless of the individuality of each, they are always highly entertaining, emotional, hilarious, and full of wickedly good musicianship. I like to think of my live performance as a variety show of sorts. The setlist may contain an opening number that has you up and dancing with your sweetheart, and then just as soon you are crying, laughing and pondering life in each others' arms. By the end of it one may feel that JJ Cale, Arlo Guthrie, and Leon Redbone are all part of my bloodline.
Tamar Ilana’s music and fierce talent reflect her life growing up in multicultural Toronto; accompanying her ethnomusicologist mother, on village fieldwork expeditions and on stage as a child; living in Ibiza, Barcelona, Paris and Seville and her Jewish-Indigenous background.
Tamar is a renowned flamenco dancer and multilingual singer, and in 2011 she founded her flamenco/global roots project, Ventanas. Together they have released three albums, been nominated for four Canadian Folk Music Awards, and toured Canada, US and Colombia. They will be embarking on their first European tour in October 2023, and are currently recording their fourth studio album.
Tamar has also collaborated with such renowned artists as Jesse Cook, Measha Brueggergosman, Jim Creeggan (Barenaked Ladies), Suba Sankaran, Manu Soto, Anna Colóm, Meesha Shafi, and Margaret Atwood. Tamar has been featured in award-winning international musicals in New York, San Francisco, Washington DC, the UK and Germany.
Tamar is the co-founder and Artistic Director of FabCollab, a performing arts organization based in Toronto, Canada. Under her direction, FabCollab has created numerous programmes and presented over 200 IBPOC womxn and minority artists at iconic Toronto sold out venues, live streaming to audiences of 40,000+ in partnership with the National Arts Centre, Lula Lounge, Koerner Hall, Small World Music, the Aga Khan Museum and the ROM.
At Contact East, Tamar Ilana will be joined by Ventanas original member and oud player, Demetri Petsalakis.
The Ballast Collective
The Ballast Collective is an Immersive multimedia project in the form of a music concert, and features Ian Foster (keyboards, film), Nick Coultas-Clarke (drums, programming) and Andrya Duff (dance, music manipulation).
The project was borne out of a mutual love of music and how technology can unlock possibilities never before seen or heard in a traditional concert.
Through the use of samples, wearable sensors and triggers, and film footage synced to software, The Ballast Collective aims to highlight cutting edge technology over the course of an hour long experience that reframes the interaction between traditional and electronic instruments, film footage and the movement of the human body.
This isn’t a science lecture, though: audiences can expect great grooves, emotional prepared piano flourishes, and expressive film and dance sequences that allow you to move, meditate, or get lost in a moment.
The Collective is a coming together of experienced artistic minds. Ian Foster is a MusicNL and ECMA award winning songwriter, music producer and filmmaker who has toured internationally since 2007. Nick Coultas-Clarke has performed with his hybrid acoustic and electronic drum kit on the largest stages in Canada with bands like Repartee, Fortunate Ones and more. Andrya Duff is a multidisciplinary artist whose performance projects include The Baroness Von Sketch Show (Choreographer/Dancer), Pleasure Principle (Ryan McNamara - Harbourfront Centre), and many more.
The Ballast Collective is proudly based in St. John’s, Newfoundland, with an eye on bringing subtle elements of Newfoundland culture to the world via music, film and dance.
Plywood Joe is a the country folk punk project from the Acadian artist Joey Robin Haché. For the past ten years, he has created a witty character that allows him to express his desire to return to his roots, to deal with more regional and intimate subjects. The artist has created a character which allows him to explore another universe: that of the workers of the working class area where the real Joey Robin Haché comes from. The character Plywood Joe lives in a totally different reality from the artist, he uses another language and explores another music. This project values the regionalism of the Baie des Chaleurs, and wants to unite the world around songs drawn from a simple daily life, reflecting the reality of northern New Brunswick in a way that is not sarcastic or satirical, but rather full of compassion and empathy for the normal life of the average person.
Femmes du Feu Creations
Femmes du Feu Creations has been creating and presenting circus works, researching innovative ways to combine its contemporary dance and choreographic backgrounds with contemporary circus, with an ongoing vision for cross-discipline collaborations. We have a number of projects able to tour currently such as Tweet Tweet, In The Fire and Flora and Fauna.
Resonant, acoustic chamber folk with an otherworldly edge, and a lyric presence that cuts deep. Prism-clear vocals + strings, reaching out beyond the earthly.
Imagine Joni Mitchell with a string quartet.
Raine is part prairie songstress, part storyweaver; Each song has a story, delivered between songs with humour and grace. Raine invites the love of the violin into the singer-songwriter genre, writing for violin and voice, as well as for guitar and voice. Joined by cello and upright bass, expect string arrangements that push and pull, that move as they console.
A classical violinist and musicologist by training, Raine and the string trio offer string-quartet-like arrangements of Raine’s original songs. They call this chamber-folk, a hybrid of the classical tradition of string quartet chamber music, with the singer songwriter folk that comes so naturally to Raine.
Raine’s latest work, the full-length album Brave Land (2021-22), is a concept album about mountains, and the courage, wisdom, and otherworldly connection they represent. Here, as in Raine’s 2018 award winning album Night Sky, the songs are set to intricate and seasoned arrangements for guitar, violin, cello, and double bass.
Nostos Collectives Dance Association
Enchantress is a contemporary dance trio choreographed by Jessica Lowe, set on three female dancers with a massive parachute skirt designed by Olivia Aubrecht. The feminist work depicts the journey of a woman’s life through the modern pagen traditions of “The Triple Godess”, which breaks down a woman’s life into three phases “Mother, Maiden & Crone”. Each dancer in this work represents one of these phases, showing the passage of time and age. The massive skirt which is passed between the dancers is the through line connecting each phase of a woman’s life, it represents the weight, burden and beauty of aging as a woman. The audience should expect to watch a highly physical and theatrical dance work, paired with an accessible coming of age story about womanhood.
2021 JUNO Award Nominees, Rum Ragged, take a bold approach to the distinct folk music of their home, the Eastern Canadian island of Newfoundland. With a reverence for their roots and a creative, contemporary edge, this young band has quickly become known as the finest performers of their great, living, musical tradition. Boasting bouzouki, fiddle, bodhran, banjo, guitar, and button accordion, these new champions of East Coast music enliven and enlighten audiences with their signature brand of Newfoundland folk. Always honest, thought-provoking, and often humorous, it’s Rum Ragged’s live show that makes them a fast favourite with any audience. Their combination of striking vocal harmonies, staggering musicianship, and captivating storytelling gives concert-goers an experience they won't soon forget. Since their inception in 2016, Rum Ragged has maintained a rigorous tour schedule, performing at some of the world's premier folk, celtic and roots venues all while managing to record four acclaimed, award-winning studio albums. Rum Ragged is not your run-of-the-mill folk band, they are the genuine article.
About Contact East
Contact East is the Atlantic Presenters Association’s hallmark event and Atlantic Canada’s performing arts booking conference. The annual event provides an essential and inspiring experience for delegates bringing together regional, national, and international performing arts presenters, managers, and agents, to see performances which showcase a diverse range of artistic genres, including but not limited to music, cabaret, dance, disability arts, circus arts, comedy, youth-oriented programming, and cultural performances.
Contact East is a four-day showcase and professional development conference complete with approximately 30 artist performances, showcase and pitch sessions, as well as an unprecedented opportunity for presenters to network and learn from some of the best in the business from the Atlantic Provinces, across Canada, and internationally.
APA is further committing to its mandate to present a diverse range of artists from a variety of backgrounds. APA acknowledges that past artist selection processes were not fair or equitable and understands the value that lived experiences and community-based practices have when it comes to making decisions. APA is committed to implementing and upholding equitable practices in choosing artists to perform at Contact East 2022 and beyond.
The artists chosen by the selection committee shall have equitable representation across populations, including Indigenous, Black, racialized, 2SLGBTQIA+, Deaf, Disability, and Mad arts communities. Atlantic Presenters Association is dedicated to providing a space that is accessible, inclusive, and free from oppression, harassment, and discrimination.
To further ensure a fair selection process, APA will be putting out a call for applications for interested individuals to be on this year’s selection committee. In the past, Contact East’s selection committee has been hand-picked from APA’s membership rather than opened up to the larger presenting community. The goal of this change is to make sure the committee represents a cross-section of different artistic genres and cultural backgrounds, resulting in an overall diverse representation of committee members to ensure the selection process is as fair and equitable as possible.
- General Khan
- Halifax Circus
- Joce Reyome
- Kristen Martell
- Martha Mutale
- Meredith Kalam
- Quote the Raven
- Rube & Rake
- Satellite Théâtre
- Shalan Joudry
- Silver Wolf Band
Awards & Nominations
Initiated in 1998, Contact East sponsored a series of awards to recognize excellence and achievement in the field of live performance touring and presentation. The Contact East Awards of Excellence celebrate the growth of the industry and recognize the accomplishments of presenters and performers who comprise the touring sector in Atlantic Canada.
Beginning in 2015, Contact East streamlined its awards into one honour, the Atlantic Presenters Association Achievement Award.
The Atlantic Presenters Association Achievement Award is presented annually to a deserving individual who has made a significant contribution to the performing arts touring sector in Atlantic Canada, thereby furthering the objectives of the Association. The recipient is selected by the APA Board of Directors.
2022 – Shahin Sayadi, Prismatic Arts Festival, Kjipuktuk/Halifax, NS
2021 – Angela Campbell, Imperial Theatre, Saint John, NB
2020 – Jenelle Duval, First Light Centre for Performance & Creativity, St. John’s, NL
2019 – Pam Leader, The Savoy Theatre, Glace Bay, NS
2018 – Tim Yerxa, The Fredericton Playhouse, Fredericton, NB
2017 – Steve Butler, Paquin Artist Agency, Toronto, ON
2016 – Heather McGean, Dalhousie Arts Centre, Halifax, NS
2015 – Erick Bickerdike, Chester Playhouse, Chester, NS
Beginning in 1975, the event was produced by the Touring Office of the Canada Council for the Arts. In 1982, the event was managed by a steering committee of representatives from the four Atlantic Provinces. With the incorporation of the Atlantic Presenters Association in 2001, the organization took over management of the event and has been producing quality conferences ever since.
According to the Atlantic Presenters Association’s records, Contact East has been held in the following years and locations:
2022 – Nova Scotia – Halifax (Neptune Theatre)
2021 – New Brunswick – Moncton (Capitol Theatre)
2020 – Contact(less) East
2019 – Prince Edward Island – Charlottetown (Florence Simmonds Hall at Holland College)
2018 – Newfoundland & Labrador – St. John’s (Arts and Culture Centre)
2017 – Nova Scotia – Membertou, Cape Breton (Membertou Trade & Convention Centre)
2016 – New Brunswick – Saint John (Imperial Theatre)
2015 – Prince Edward Island – Charlottetown (Confederation Centre of the Arts)
2014 – Nova Scotia – Pictou (deCoste Centre)
2013 – Newfoundland & Labrador – St. John’s (Arts and Culture Centre)
2012 – New Brunswick – Fredericton (Fredericton Playhouse)
2011 – Prince Edward Island – Summerside (Harbourfront Theatre)
2010 – Nova Scotia – Antigonish (The Keating Millennium Centre)
2009 – New Brunswick – Moncton (The Capitol Theatre)
2007 – Nova Scotia – Liverpool (The Astor Theatre)
2005 – Prince Edward Island – Summerside (Harbourfront Jubilee Theatre)
2003 – Newfoundland & Labrador – St. John’s (Arts and Culture Centre)
2001 – New Brunswick – Saint John (Hotel Courtenay Bay/Imperial Theatre)
1998 – Nova Scotia – Wolfville (Old Orchard Inn/ Atlantic Theatre Festival)
1996 – New Brunswick – Saint John (Delta Hotel/Imperial Theatre)
1994 – Prince Edward Island – Charlottetown (Confederation Centre)
1992 – Prince Edward Island – Charlottetown (Confederation Centre)
1990 – Nova Scotia – Dartmouth (Holiday Inn)
1988 – New Brunswick – Saint John (Delta Saint John/Saint John High School)
1985 – Nova Scotia – Halifax (World Trade Centre)
1983 – Massachusetts – Boston
1982 – New Brunswick – Sackville (Mt Allison University)
1979 – Nova Scotia – Halifax (Lord Nelson Hotel)
1978 – New Brunswick – Moncton (Hotel Beauséjour)
1977 – Nova Scotia – Halifax (Lord Nelson Hotel)
1976 – Nova Scotia – Halifax (Chateau Halifax)
1975 – New Brunswick – Fredericton (Lord Beaverbrook Hotel)