To help celebrate the ten year anniversary of Music Runs Through It, we asked founder Emma Chevarie to walk us through her history promoting live music events and tell us why she does what she does.
There are some folks whose impact on the city cannot be understated. Emma Chevarie is one. After a chance encounter with the world of live music promotion more than a decade ago, Emma discovered a passion for not only helping bands get on stage, but for building community through music.
After hustling through several years namelessly organizing and promoting events, she branded her efforts as Music Runs Through It. With a name inspired as much by the city’s diverse music make up as by the Wolastoq river that runs through it, Emma continues to bring audiences together by offering an ever expanding array of opportunities.
Whether she is compiling weekly lists of artists on stage in Fredericton, organizing performances in one of several city venues, or plotting international tours, Emma’s work is driven by a love for people and the bonds that form when we gather together to share a one of a kind experience.
To mark the ten year anniversary of MRTI, Emma is throwing a party with performances by Les Chanterelles and Marian, March 10 at Dolan’s Pub. And to further celebrate this milestone, we asked Emma to walk us through her history promoting live music events and tell us why she does what she does.
What is your first live music memory?
My first memory of a live music experience in a big setting is Honeymoon Suite at the Aitken Centre. I was in grade 11-12. I was amazed at the energy in that place when the band took the stage.
Was there a certain experience or opportunity that made you decide to start promoting shows?
I owe my start in promoting shows to the fabulous Jamie Steele from St. Andrews. He was presenting a tour and needed a point person on the ground for the Fredericton show. I was hooked! I loved setting the stage, meeting the artist, greeting the patrons, and feeling the energy in the room once the music started!
What was the first show you promoted on your own?
The first show I presented on my own was Rose Cousins in the basement of Charlotte Street Arts Centre at what was called Doodles Café at the time. We sold out the room and had 60 super happy people that night!
What is the most important lesson you have learned through promoting live music?
In my opinion, the most important lesson to promoting live music is that it cannot be done alone. The community I’m fortunate to be a part of and the music loving show goers I meet make it all possible and most of al make every show memorable.
If you had to pick a favourite show from your past 10 years promoting music as MRTI, which would you pick and why?
It’s hard to pick a favourite show MRTI has presented – they’ve all been so very special for so many different reasons. A couple stand outs – my first show in partnership with Charlotte at Corked Wine Bar. We presented Norma MacDonald to a packed room, and it was the beginning of something beautiful in that space. Another was Steve Poltz at Dolan’s Pub last November; we all knew it was special to simply be together and it was a my friend Leann’s birthday and he improvised an epic birthday song! So much fun!
Let’s talk venues. Can you list all the places you’ve hosted music over the past decade?
I have presented shows at Gallery 78, Roxstone Café, Grimross Taproom, Corked Wine Bar, York County Cider, Mama’s Pub, Dolan’s Pub, The CAP, Wilser’s Room, Lansdowne Concert Series, The Tipsy Muse Café, Charlotte Street Arts Centre, and The Fredericton Playhouse.
One word you would use to describe our city’s music community.
Fredericton’s music community is exceptional in many ways. The venues, promoters, artists, and patrons are always supportive of one another, showing up for each other in whatever role available to them. They’ve all shown their resilience in the face of adversity and continue to shine like a beacon within New Brunswick and outside. The music being produced here is most certainly exceptional, ranging from indie rock, rockabilly, hip hop, country, folk, metal, electronic, bluegrass, and everything in between. We have a lot to be proud of!
What keeps you going and doing this work?
LOVE! Sounds like a corny answer but that’s truly what keeps me going and keeps me wanting to do this work. I love the live music experience and I love the people I can share the experience with. The vibrations, the ripple effect of the music running through us has a profound influence on the quality of our lives.
What are you most excited about for the year ahead?
I’m most excited to have us all gather to enjoy the music, to share laughter, to shed some tears and to savour the sweetness that live music offers. Our forced hiatus has, for me, solidified my commitment to setting the stages and to inviting in the artists and patrons. We are all in need of some healing. Also, Music Runs Through It will present Julie Aubé and Luke Jackson in five separate locations in New Brunswick as part of the UK/NB exchange project which has been over two years in the making! And the ECMAs are coming to Fredericton in May bringing with it an international spotlight on all that is great about our music scene.