This weekend was unlike any other in our city. Everywhere we looked there were musicians and friends buzzing about. I felt like a star struck kid as we drove around looking for a parking spot - pointing and shouting out, "There's ______! Oh and there's ________!!"
So now that the dust is starting to settle and we had a solid night's sleep - it's time for reflection. Here are our top 6 awesome things about this weekend:
1. We got to start the night off at the awards show gala with an exciting full band performance! Sharing the stage with dear friends and brilliant musicians in front of a packed Harbour Station all clapping and singing our song?? Unreal. So so wonderful. Thank you to Ray Legere, Andrew Sneddon, Dillon Robichaud, and Remi Arsenault for lending us their talents once again! Go big or go home right? We chose to go big AND be home!
2. Community support. I don't know about you, but we felt the ECMA buzz stretch far into the surrounding communities of Saint John. We couldn't believe it when we drove into Grand Bay-Westfield after not being home for a few days and saw the shout out from the GB Sobeys team! It's not every day that you can stop in for an emergency box of Kraft Dinner and get greeted by name from an employee who has saved a newspaper clipping to show you. Seriously. Pinch us.
3. Any opportunity to spend time singing to the entire East Coast and hanging with Bill Roach and the team of CBC's Weekend Mornings is a treat. But looking over to see Cherry Tomato making toast with Keith Mullins just took it up a notch! Thank you to the Sanctuary Theatre for opening it's beautiful doors all week and to Weekend Mornings for inviting us!
4. The Quality Block Party. Saint John was MORE than buzzing this weekend! At the same time as the ECMA conference, there was an amazing festival happening! All venues were packed, there were amazing bands playing, and the love was flowing! The more music, the better! I think the "Q" in the alley became the official logo thanks to Duncan's Electrical!
5. The unsung heroes...tech/sound crews and volunteers. There is a team of very special people who are the first to arrive everywhere, the last to leave, and they never whine about it. This team does their best to make everyone feel comfortable so they can do their best on stage and they ask for nothing in return. THANK YOU to the sound and tech crew that was amazing all weekend. Also - the VOLUNTEERS. My goodness. Need something? A volunteer was probably smiling and available to help you.
6. The venues!! We got to explore new places to play and were treated to beautiful architecture, amazing acoustics, and hospitality like only Saint John can provide. One of these beautiful spaces was the St Andrews and St David Church on Germain Street. It was packed all the way up to the balcony and people were enjoying stories and songs from some of our best songwriters. Whether you were giggling at Dave Gunning's story about his sweet songwriting partner, Henry the dog, or you were in awe of Erin Costello's soaring, emotive vocals...those high ceilings provided the perfect ambiance.
There were many more highlights that are more "business" related and we'll share all the opportunities coming up for us as things unfold. But all in all - this weekend was one for the books! Congratulations to all of the award winners and thank you to the whole village that made it all possible. If you'll excuse us, we're going to go have a huge nap. Aw - who are we kidding? We're going to work on music while Cherry Tomato is at school and maybe sneak in a quick lunch at the Saint John City Market. We hope you'll make Saint John a spot to visit next time you're planning an adventure.
Much love to all and thank you for your support!
Lisa & John