Much like saltwater and stories, music is something that seems to be in the blood of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. Ask around and you’d be hard pressed to find someone who can’t sing, dance or play a stringed instrument of some sort (or do all three at once). From our boisterous kitchen parties to our beloved balladeers and songwriters, we’ve rightly claimed our place on the musical map of the country and the world.
Starting this week, those looking to enjoy their lunch along with some breathtaking views and tunes will be able to whet their appetites during the Atlantic Place Concert Series in downtown St. John’s. The free series (designed and facilitated by Business & Arts NL, and supported by business members and commercial real-estate firm Martek, which manages Atlantic Place) will take place every Thursday from 12:30 to 1:30pm, August 11 to September 1. The series will feature the solo sounds of some of the city’s finest musicians, kicking off with a performance by Jenina MacGillivray on August 11, followed by Ilia Nicoll (August 18); Steve Maloney (August 25); and Mick Davis (September 1).
Events such as this helps make local art accessible to all, while giving their spaces a transformative quality, says Charlie Oliver, CEO of Martek.
“We have always believed that business and arts have a synergistic relationship. Whether it’s the artist’s brush or sculpting, music, dance or storytelling, the incorporation of our artistic soul’s energy makes our buildings and work places and spaces much more pleasant, inviting and human,” Oliver says.
“The inclusion of art in all its various forms help imbue our spaces with touches of beauty. The transformation of a space by the addition of wall art, sound and action makes the spaces more inviting.”
From supporting local musicians and purchasing local art to jazz up their buildings, to buying and gifting tickets to events and performances, Martek has been a staunch supporter of the local arts for years. In addition to playing host to the Atlantic Place Concert Series, the firm has offered up space in their buildings to artists for other performances, activities and interaction. For example, Atlantic Place was recently used as the “rainy day” location for the Downtown St. John’s Busker Festival.
“We have recently set aside space for a small performance arts group to facilitate workshops,” Oliver adds.
Each and every artist and piece of art that has come through their doors has left a lasting impression, Oliver says, “whether buying Scott Goudie’s paintings from the early days onwards, encouraging and supporting Janice Udell’s Banff exhibitions, to the visual impact Jim Miller’s work continues to have…” Each artist has contributed their skills and talents to help add to the province’s rich and diverse cultural tapestry in their own unique way.
The intersection of business and arts, Oliver adds, is an important one that allows both sides to better understand each other, and events like the upcoming lunchtime concert series helps make those connections happen.
“We are so happy to be a part of highlighting our diversity in music, dance and in the broadest sense, our arts community.”