Atlantic Canada’s Performing Arts Conference, Contact East, is hosted by Atlantic Presenters Association (APA) every year in a different city. This year’s event was held September 23–26 in Moncton and fortunately I was able to attend.
This conference is meant to to bring together the very best of North American talent, in music, theatre and dance, to showcase and pitch their work to regional, national and international presenters. It was the first ‘in person’ event held since the beginning of the pandemic and had to be adjusted to meet all health regulations. All who attended were extremely appreciative of all the efforts taken to ensure a safe gathering. It was an excellent opportunity to discover new musical talent, some of whom I hope to be able to present in the not so distant future so keep your eyes open. Another important component of the event was the much needed re-connection with my industry colleagues and the subsequent discussions that came out of the well organized workshops and panels.
The arts industry as a whole has taken a huge hit during the pandemic since our entire livelihood (and much passion) lies in the gathering of individuals to share in an experience. There have been work arounds and discoveries of new channels to allow us to share however nothing can replace a live experience – the exchange of energy between artist & audience and the collective shared energy that builds in a space around that experience. It’s been a challenging time for all involved. The simple act of us being together in a shared physical space to enjoy what was presented and to share stories of the last 18 months on a personal level was powerful. I dare say we all came away from the weekend feeling a bit more understood and rejuvenated.
You can also discover the great live music artists who showcased over the weekend (click on their name to link to the website): Quote The Raven, Rube & Rake, Valmy, Joce Reyome, M3D14, General Khan, Kristen Martell and Silver Wolf Band.