Sometimes, all you need is a little peace and quite to calm the mind, soothe the senses and get that next creative project underway. A gorgeous setting, of course, never hurts either.
This year, for the first time, the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Arts Society has teamed up with the Landfall Trust to offer a unique opportunity for musicians who want to “get away from it all.” Their new Musician-in-Residence program provides artists with a $1,000 living allowance (shared if applicants apply as a duo), two weeks accommodation at historic Kent Cottage in beautiful Brigus, and all of the time, space and freedom to flex their creative muscles.
This year’s musicians-in-residence are Kelly McMichael and Maria Peddle of the band Renders, who are using the opportunity to collaborate on material for a full-length album. Their residency concludes on August 3.
The Landfall Trust offers several other Artists-in-Residence programs each year in visual arts and writing, partnering with The Rooms, Canada Council for the Arts, and Memorial University’s Creative Writing Program. Instead of trying to organize the Musician-in-Residence Program on their own, says Tony Dearness, Chair of the Board for Landfall Trust, Landfall reached out to the Folk Arts Society, who suggested they run it in conjunction with the Newfoundland & Labrador Folk Festival. Dearness says while the residency may also include a public engagement component, in the way of a workshop or performance, the program is largely for the musicians’ benefit “to be able to just get away from everything (and) be in a surrounding that many people describe as magical.”
“It’s very rudimentary and they can be creative as they wish,” he says.
Dearness says this current program helps carry forth the mission of Jake Folensbee, one of Kent Cottage’s previous owners/residents, who wished for the property to support the community and the arts. The cottage, Dearness adds, has also been used for workshops and other activities. In between residencies, creatives/artists can also rent Kent Cottage as a base to work and explore the area. Twice a year, Landfall also hosts an open house, giving curious visitors the opportunity to explore the 200-year-old property and take in the spectacular view.
“It’s only about 4 or 500 metres away from the town itself and it’s sort of a different world. It’s off the grid…it’s lovely,” Dearness says.
The Landfall Trust hopes the new musicians’ residency will be the first of many, and that’s music to the ears of the Folk Arts Society.
“The Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Arts Society is pleased with our new Landfall Trust partnership, which creates opportunities for folk artists to take residency at Kent Cottage in Brigus, to create music and art while reflecting on this province, and their own artistic journeys,” says John Drover, President of the Folk Arts Society.
“Renders, this year’s resident artists, have a history with the Folk Arts Society. On Friday night, August 3rd, they will open for Ouroboros at the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival Aftershow at The Ship. We cannot wait to see what Renders will bring to the stage after their Landfall Trust Artist-In-Residency Program.”