2014 was quite a year for Fredericton arts, culture and entertainment. While hosting a readers poll might have been a bit ambitious after our first three months, it proved to be a lot of fun reading the results and in some ways, helped shed some light on a few things that weren’t on our radar. It also allowed us an opportunity to connect with some voices in the community we hadn’t yet connected with. A big thanks to everyone who took part. Now, here are the results.
Favourite Fredericton Live Music Performance of 2014
Gord Downie, The Sadies and The Conquering Sun at The Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival – September 12, 2014
For many who attended the 2014 Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival, the 6:00pm set by Gord Downie, The Sadies and the Conquering Sun was not only a festival highlight, but a high water mark for 2014. If there was ever any doubt that Mr. Downie was one of the best frontmen out there, all doubts were extinguished on September 12, 2014 when he schooled Fredericton on what entertainment is all about. We laughed, we cried and we all considered running for our lives at least once.
Favourite Live Music Performance of 2014 (Outside of Fredericton)
Freelove Fenner/Ought/Learning at Callahan’s Pub July 31, 2014 (Saint John, NB)
Prior to their headlining show at Sappy Fest 9, Montreal’s Freelove Fenner played a gig in Saint John at Callahan’s Pub (PDU) alongside Sharktooth Record’s Ought and Learning. By all accounts (and votes), that show was the bomb.
Favourite 2014 Release by a Fredericton Band/Artist
The Olympic Symphonium – Chance to Fate – Released March 18, 2014
The Olympic Symphonium‘s Chance to Fate is a great album and won our 2014 readers poll, almost unanimously. Following the evolution of the group, Chance to Fate highlight’s the group’s growth as musicians, arrangers, and songwriters. For such an accomplished group of musicians to continue to capture our ears while also exploring new avenues and possibilities within their own individual palettes is a true testament to their collective love for the craft. We’re very fortunate to have them on our home team.
Favourite 2014 Release (non-Fredericton Band/Artist)
Little You Little Me – What Have You Been Doing With Yer Time? – Released April 2, 2014
First released as a bonus disc in Hard Times in The Maritimes’ music issue, this album plants LYLM firmly at the forefront of the next rising wave of Saint John music. So good.
Favourite New Fredericton Band/Artist
When asked to describe Sexghost, founder Will Pacey says, “It’s a four piece concept band about a sex ghost. A love story about a ghost that comes in dreams. It’s like a rock opera. A spooky one. With sexy results. We play pretty regularly in Fredericton, and occasionally Saint John. We’ve played the Capital, the Cellar, Reneu, Cafe Loka, Peppers, and some house shows. Our members are Kevin Belyea on guitar, Josh Bravener on guitar/drums/keys, Jake Martin on bass/drums, and myself on drums/bass/baritone guitar.”
There you have it. Check them out if you get a chance. Sexghost.
Most Anticipated Fredericton Album of 2015
The Shorty Tubbs
In a lot of ways, 2014 was the year of The Shorty Tubbs. Playing several shows, recording a great single, and later releasing an accompanying video, The Shorty Tubbs took the city by storm and won over even the most critical of skeptics. Garage Rock at it’s finest and quirkiest. Look out 2015, an album is coming.
Favourite Fredericton Music Video of 2014
The Shorty Tubbs – Teenage Zombie Heart
Produced, filmed and edited by Tim Rayne, this video for Teenage Zombie Heart is simply the best. Better than all the rest. At least this year.
Favourite 2014 Music Video (non-Fredericton Band/Artist)
Little You Little Me – Live @ Hard Times
Recorded in a single take on a single camera by Jarrod Hachey and Corey Bonnevie, Little You Little Me live @ Hard Times is an incredible document of time and place. In a relatively short period of time, these guys have proven themselves credible, talented and a killer live act, nailing changes and harmonies while keeping the energy level high and mighty.
Favourite Local Radio Program/Podcast/Internet Radio Show
Erin Bond embodies all that community radio should be – radio about and for the community. Airing weekdays on CHRSFM, Homemade Jams offers a voice to the voiceless, interviewing a whole slew of local and visiting musicians and showcasing their music. You won’t hear any Beyonce or Miley Cyrus on her show but you may get to hear a band that’s coming to town, performing at popular venues like Dolan’s Pub or The Capital. Homemade Jams is an important part of our music community. Well done, Bondo.
Favourite 2014 Fredericton Art Exhibit
ShiftWork is an ongoing project involving several city artists. A collective perhaps, who work full-time to support of their love for creating. Presenting a series of shows that include from a wide range of artistic pursuits, the crew behind ShiftWork are doing great things for the city’s arts community. Their shows are quick, sometimes only 24 hours, but by all accounts, they’re well worth seeking out.
Favourite Fredericton Visual Artist
Marie Fox’s work will leave you speechless. What else can we say? Definitely someone we’d like to feature in an upcoming article. Wow. Thanks to all this year’s voters who gave her praise. Much deserved.
Favourite Fredericton Art Gallery
The Beaverbrook Art Gallery
While Fredericton is home to several unique galleries all presenting art in a different way, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery remains a favourite, housing some incredible works of art and constantly presenting new works throughout the year. There is no other space quite like it. Well worth visiting on the regular. Take a guided tour or strap on your headphones and get lost amongst one of Canada’s greatest collections of world renowned art. Bonus Points: admission by donation on Thursday nights.
Favourite Fredericton Theatre Performance of 2014
A Christmas Carol – Theatre New Brunswick
There was no shortage of hype surrounding this year’s TNB holiday production of Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol. Pairing two of the city’s most celebrated theatre artists with a cast and crew of the highest regard, this show was destined for greatness from the first note.