Folks, it gives me great pleasure today to bring you some news about my old boss and the former proprietor of this fine web site, David Newland.
For those of you who don’t know, David is a Cobourg-based folk singer and writer – and a one-time media type who also works for Adventure Canada. He calls this new project Northbound: The Northwest Passage in Story and Song.
When David first travelled to the Northwest Passage in 2013 with Adventure Canada, he didn’t know he would end up making nine trips (and counting) to the High Arctic—and return with the material for an electrifying new project.
“Like all Canadians, I had a fascination with the north,” David said. “But the north is not what southern Canadians think it is.”
Inspired by the tension between the mythical and the actual Arctic, David created a live show, The Northwest Passage in Story and Song. Backed by his band, Uncharted Waters (Saskia Tomkins, Sam Steafan Hannigan, Oisin Hannigan and Sam Allison), he debuted the show in January of 2016 at The Loft in Cobourg—promptly selling out multiple performances.
“The audience reaction was amazing,” he said. “We had touched a Canadian nerve.”
With songs, photographs, and stories inspired by his own experiences in the Arctic, The Northwest Passage in Story and Song went on to sell out theatres across Ontario, and David has brought versions of the show on tour to BC, Alberta, Quebec and Nova Scotia.
At every turn, he sought to collaborate with other artists—like Inuit performers Siqiniup Qilauta (Sunsdrum), who bring drum-dancing, throat-singing and Arctic games to the show. Even more importantly, they bring northern voices and perspectives to southern audiences.
Along with Siqniniup Qilauta and his own band, David will be bringing a diverse group of musical collaborators in for the recording, including Drew Gonsalves, front man of Juno-winning Calypso combo Kobo Town; Celtic/classical fiddler Alex Cheung; ethereal vocalists Annie Sumi and Tannis Slimmon; and singers from the Northumberland Orchestra and Choir under John Kraus. Special guest Lois Suluk, actor and musical performer, is making the trip from Arviat, Nunavut just for the show.
The event is more than songs, stories, and pictures, according to David. He believes Canada needs a new view of the north.
“I chose the title Northbound because, as Canadians, we are bound to the north—which is the Inuit homeland. And I really hope to bring that point home—literally!”
Break a leg, David. No seriously, the moose is wishing you the very best with this new project.
Northbound: The Northwest Passage in Story and Song
David Newland & Uncharted Waters with Siqiniup Qilauta / Sunsdrum & special musical guests
Saturday, November 3, 7:30 PM
Trinity United Church, Cobourg