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ALBERTA SPOTLIGHT

A WEEKLY ONLINE CONCERT SHOWCASE THAT SHINES A LIGHT ON ALBERTA-MADE MUSIC.

The COVID-19 pandemic has decimated the gig economy, impacting all aspects and individuals who derive a living from live music experiences.

Professional musicians who rely on performance income are among the most vulnerable cohorts. The Province of Alberta recognizes the urgent need to support artists through these challenging times, and also the importance that home-grown talent has in connecting Albertans through music.

In response to this challenge, the government is working with four of Alberta’s music industry organizations with provincial mandates – The Alberta Music Industry Association (Alberta Music), National Music Centre (NMC), CKUA Radio Network, and Stagehand – to develop an innovative program designed to showcase Alberta’s diverse talent and provide support for artists. The ALBERTA SPOTLIGHT online series is meant to connect Albertans across the province with music during these times of physical distancing.

Please note, some artists have chosen not to accept tips. In these cases, links have been provided to their website or Stagehand page.

Applications are now open and weekly concerts will be announced throughout the summer.

Artist Application

via Stagehand

Application FAQ

via Alberta Music


August 13th, 2020

Described as “a marriage of jazz, blues and indie rock,” Calgary‘s Samantha Savage Smith has toured extensively across Canada, Iceland, the UK/EU, and made her U.S debut at the 2015 SXSW.

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Whether they’re packing dance floors in honky tonks or in rock clubs soaked in wine and whiskey, Edmonton‘s Ayla Brook & The Sound Men deliver a tapestry of hurtin’ and feelin’ tunes about life on and off Canada’s barstools.

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From Edmonton, Anders Muskens is an ensemble director and a historical keyboard specialist. He began piano studies at the age of 4, and by 17 completed an Associate Diploma in modern piano from the Royal Conservatory of Music.

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If you are looking for soulful, sultry, country music; look no further. Okotoks born and raised, Michela Sheedy, represents a steely edge to the Canadian country music scene.

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Based in Airdrie, born in Mexico City, the music of Esteban Herrera is an active conversation with his Latin Jazz Trio inside a sea of improvisation. They explore odd meters, complex rhythms and latin traditions.

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August 6th, 2020

A mesmerizing performer and studious songwriter, Calgary‘s Mariel Buckley proves that with each new endeavour, she is bound to vulnerability and truth. This signature candour is what captivates listeners.

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Based in Edmonton, Joe Nolan’s distinctive and intimate vocals stack the deck. From theramin tremors to raw howls, his range of expression reaches extremes. He delivers bandaged fragility and raw rage with equal impact.

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Calgary‘s Justine Vandergrift is like the old hymns she grew up with – even if you can’t put your finger on what makes them authentic, they are undeniably so. Her four studio albums reveal a clear, rich and emotive voice and finely-tuned song-crafting.

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Edmonton‘s Scott Cook has been touring almost incessantly across Canada, the US, Europe, Asia, Australia and elsewhere since 2007. All the hard miles notwithstanding, he still believes that songs can change your life, and your life can change the world.

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As a solo artist Edmonton-based, Jay Gilday is a captivating and jovial storyteller and songwriter suitable for any listening audience. As a rock quartet Gilday puts on a danceable rock show with funky blues guitar and organ-driven 60s sounding songs.

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July 30th, 2020

With their witty sarcasm and gutwrenching honesty The Uppercuts will leave a lasting impression. Calgary-based singer Heather Blush is joined by fellow Uppercut, Captain Steve.

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Aladean Kheroufi, an Edmontonian by way of Algeria, writes songs that are soulful and idiosyncratic. With glass-half-full stubbornness, he has a knack for turning heartbreak into melancholy party anthems.

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Mariya Stokes can captivate a room with just an acoustic guitar and her voice. A seasoned performer, the Calgary-based country-soul singer has opened for acts including Trixie Mattel, Jann Arden, and Jocelyn Alice.

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Astral Swans is a human song-maker from Calgary specializing in abstract narratives of lonerism, human frailty, and dread, all told with darkly comedic empathy, and helpless concern.

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Lucette is the moniker of Edmonton-based artist Lauren Gillis, a soulful and emotive singer who self-describes her music as “country infused dream-pop”.

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July 23rd, 2020

Edmonton based, award winning, transatlantic folk duo 100 mile house just released their fifth album Love and Leave You on Fallen Tree Records.

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From Carstairs Alberta, country-swing entertainers The Polyjesters were conceived by brothers Jason and Sheldon Valleau in 1999 – they’ve been performing ever since.

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Farhad Khosravi is Persian contemporary music composer based in Edmonton. A musical storyteller, he weaves east and west together through the alluring sounds of his santur.

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In today’s cultural mash of simple melodies and bubblegum production, Red Deer’s Ryan Langlois is a barstool balladeer with an uncompromising rock-ribbed growl.

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Best described as Ella Fitzgerald meets Fred Penner, Music with Mandy is a band of performers from Calgary that make jazz approachable for young children and their families.

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July 16th, 2020

With a renegade spirit and luminous voice, Calgary‘s Jess Knights can traverse sultry ballads and raise-the-roof-off-the-church soul with ease.

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Edmonton indie-folk songwriter Ian St. Arnaud wraps death, loss, and resilience in layers of humour and heart-on-the-sleeve honesty, punctuated by lalas and doot doots.

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After close to two decades, Lethbridge singer-songwriter Dave McCann has locked himself firmly into hearts and minds of the Alberta music scene as one of the best untold songwriters working in contemporary roots music.

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The Royal Foundry is an upbeat Alt-Rock band from Sherwood Park that makes catchy-singable music driven by raw guitar and tasty synths. Their music has been featured by Disney, Purina, MTV, and broken Top-40 radio.

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Troy Kokol is a Calgary-based singer, producer, and award-winning songwriter with over 200 song credits to his name.

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July 9th, 2020

With a confident voice and boundless energy, Edmonton based JUNO winner Celeigh Cardinal connects deeply with her audience through humour, passion and love.

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Respect for tradition with the sophistication to shake it off. Edmonton‘s Altameda have evolved into a band with a bold, and unrelenting sound.

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Hailing from Calgary, the charismatic troubadour Matt Blais plays modern roots-rock with a foundation in candid songwriting.

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Nice Horse is a self-contained, all-female four-piece band from Calgary with two Canadian Country Music Award nominations and a wildly entertaining live show.

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For Calgary‘s rap/hip-hop artist Sinzere, music serves as a vessel used to inspire people through cutting-edge lyrics, and deep cinematic sound.

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July 2nd, 2020

An alternative country singer/songwriter hailing from Lethbridge, Leeroy Stagger pens songs dealing with life’s challenges and questions that are literate but down to earth.

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Wyatt C. Louis is a Cree-Métis folk singer-songwriter, based in Moh’kinstsís (Calgary). His songs are built from soaring melodies, railroad-like finger picking and quiet, haunting vocals.

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Edmonton alt-pop artist VISSIA draws on dance, R&B, rock and soul exploring our emotional heart-spaces with unquenchable curiosity and playful awareness.

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Two decades ago it was a song about a bus route that brought Calgary hip hop duo Dragon Fli Empire out of the basement and into the limelight of Alberta’s hip hop scene.

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Edmonton‘s AV (Ann Vriend) is known most for her virtuosic, soaringly powerful vocals, along with her multi award-winning abilities as a songwriter — and she ain’t too bad at the piano, either.

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June 25th, 2020

Corb Lund’s music reflects his Southern Alberta heritage. His blend of Americana-meets-alt-country has attracted accolades from critics in Canada and the U.S.

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Take a sonic journey with Calgary‘s Sargeant X Comrade. Rich, smoky vocals anchor ‘40s swing, hip hop beats, flamenco guitar, reggae, trip hop and so much more.

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Matthew Cardinal is an Indigenous electronic musician and sound artist currently based in amiskwaciy (Edmonton) on Treaty 6 territory.

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Edmonton‘s Marlaena Moore crosses personal bedroom confessionals with grunge influenced guitar tones in a tight pop-song package.

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Calgarian Raghav has sold over 1.4 million copies of his debut album, Storyteller, which led to a MOBO Award, 2 UK Asian Music Awards, 1 Urban Music Award and 4 UK national top 10 singles.

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June 18th, 2020

Lethbridge-based Shaela Miller has affinity for the classic country greats which gives her an unparalleled disposition as an original ambassador of a new wave of country music.

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Two Spirit singer songwriter Shawnee uses music as medicine. The Edmonton-based CBC Searchlight winner focuses on inspiration and empowerment.

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Edmonton’s Billie Zizi deftly combines the groove of classic soul with a flair for contemporary RnB melody, while adding an avant-jazz vibe with her adventurous guitar forays.

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Tim Tamashiro is recognized as a celebrated vocalist throughout Canada. Based in Calgary, Tim is a jazz singer, speaker, entertainer, and former national radio host.

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June 11th, 2020

Nuela Charles is an alternative soul singer/songwriter based in Edmonton, known for her soulful vocals and captivating stage presence.

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From Calgary, Reuben and the Dark is the spirited folk-rock outfit led by Reuben Bullock, whose music blends introspective lyrics with irrepressible harmonies.

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Ariane Mahrÿke Lemire is a bilingual award winning singer-songwriter from Edmonton who loves to play with lyrics and musical form in both French and English.

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Based in Calgary, Tim Williams mixes traditional blues, music from the Mexican border, Hawaiian music and more to create one of the most unique blends in folk music.

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