From left, New North Collective members Pat Braden, Carmen Braden, Diyet, Robert Van Lieshout, and Graeme Peters. Photos Angela Mouly
Vermilion Allied Arts hosted New North Collective at Lakeland College’s Alumni Theatre on October 13. “It’s wonderful to showcase the amazing talent that Canada has and share a perspective from the north,” said Caroline MacMillan. New North Collective is a group of individual artists who joined together playing original material about what the north means to them and sharing their personal stories. The audience was captivated by wild instrumentals and earthy beats during their last stop on the tour.
“It’s been a while since we drove across the prairies; I forgot how big the sky is,” said singer/songwriter, Diyet who grew up surrounded by mountains in Burwash Landing, Yukon. Comical interludes engaged the audience and described the inspiration for their songs including tales of hunting, fishing, gathering, seasons and melting permafrost revealing prehistoric animals. “I loved the storytelling, and the photographs were very telling. They are very artistic and amazing musicians. Their music isn’t the same through the whole song, so it was unique and a great show,” said audience member, Caroline McAuley. Spoken word artist/bassist, Pat Braden, challenged the audience by asking, “What does freedom feel like; while playing on the tundra or finding your way back when you feel like your world is closing in on you?” New North Collective thanked the Canada Council for the Arts, the board, the video and sound crew, Debbie Peters for her idea to provide northern collaboration, and the crowd for supporting live music. “You need your community to carry you through life,” said Diyet, and the audience went on to enjoy an encore performance.