Open Waters Festival 2021
Open Waters Festival 2021: New Music for the New Decade!
A new event streamed online each day from January 6th - 16th, 2021.
Welcome to the Open Waters Festival of New and Improvised Music!
Bienvenue à ce festival d'envergure canadienne et internationale!
The Open Waters Festival is a truly amazing event on the Halifax winter cultural calendar, uniquely situated at the beginning of January. Every year it offers a rich and challenging programme guaranteed to jar us out of any post-holiday temptation to hibernate!
This year is unique in so many ways and our Artistic Director has risen to the challenge, assembling an excitingly diverse virtual programme – presented for our very real enjoyment! This work of curation will bring an unparalleled range of new music performers, styles and configurations to interested listeners. And the festival pass must be the best bargain on the cultural marketplace right now!
This year’s necessarily more regional focus—with some significant and exciting contributions from cutting-edge musicians in Québec and Vancouver— allows us to appreciate even more the dynamism and depth of the scene in Halifax and Atlantic Canada. From the cross-fertilization with indigenous traditions you will hear with Allan Sylliboy and the Thundermakers to the remarkable showcase of contemporary piano music assembled by Jennifer King, from the reunion of Crofts/Adams/Pearse to the first presentation of original pieces by Janice Jackson: this is a truly formidable assembly of shows, to be enjoyed in your home. I can’t imagine our audience having a better virtual musical experience during this period of restricted live shows.
Welcome, then, to this Atlantic Bubble festival, designed precisely to burst our bubbles of isolation, complacency or discouragement. Let’s take it all in!
2020 has been a remarkably successful year for our Association in spite of the constraints and uncertainty of the COVID times. On behalf of the Board, Staff and membership of Upstream, I thank all of our audience members and urge you to get more involved in 2021. Please consider joining Upstream if you aren't yet a member. Please donate to our significant Paul Cram Creation Award or make a more general donation in support of our ongoing work in New Music presentation and outreach. Consider volunteering for next year’s festival or for our season's other activities when we resume in-person activities. Above all, make a New Year's resolution to attend more concerts in 2021 virtual and—we hope before too long— real. And please help us spread the word about Open Waters and our other events through your social media and other networks.
Bon festival à tous et à toutes!
Have a great festival!
Dr. Christopher Elson
Professor French and Canadian Studies
King's Carnegie Professor
New Music for the New Decade!
We respectfully acknowledge that the Open Waters Festival takes place at K’jipuktuk, in unceded Mi’Kmaw territory.
The Open Waters Festival (OWF) of New and Improvised Music is officially opening January 6th and ending on the 16th with a new event steamed online each day.
The enthusiasm and support for creative music in our community gives us something to look up to. Finding a way forward with Open Waters Festival in this abstracted online format offers inquisitive artists and curious audiences connections from which we all benefit. New solutions with open ears, open minds and open hearts! We know that this OWF is compressed from previous years, but stay tuned for the RIPTIDE solo series that will follow through the winter months, flowing new and improvised music forward, cutting through the breaking waves…
The Upstream Board is chaired by Chris Elson and served by Marilynne Bell, Brian Crawford, Tom Donovan, Geordie Haley, Dawn Hatfield, Michael Lee, Shelley MacPhail, Nancy Morgan and Lelland Reed.
The Upstream staff includes Lukas Pearse, Gay Hauser, Sebastien Bezeau and Morgan Rogers (co & co).
We wish to thank: Norman Adams, Melissa Andrew, Joan Craig, Simon Docking, Peter Dykhuis, Chris Elson, Fountain School of Performing Arts, etc. Press and Atlantic Digital, Andrew Jackson, Alan Sylliboy, Mohammed Sahraei, Stephen Osler, Jacqueline Warwick, and all the incredible musicians who play with us.
We are grateful for our public support: The Canada Council, Canadian Performing Arts Fund of the Dept. of Canadian Heritage, Arts Nova Scotia, the Nova Scotia Dept. of Communities Culture and Heritage and HALIFAX.
Our community support comes from The Craig Foundation, The SOCAN Foundation, the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation, The Canadian New Music Association, Vocalypse Productions, suddenlyLISTEN Lyle Tilley Davidson, etc. Press and Atlantic Digital.
Our Upstream Music donors 2020: Brian Bartlett, Marilynne Bell, Joan Craig, Brian Crawford, Shauna DeGruchy, Tom Donovan, Chris Elson, Dawn Hatfield, Gay Hauser, Linda Hodgins, Michael J, Lee, James MacKelvie, Lukas Pearse, Martha Radice, Lelland Reed, Chris Spencer-Lowe, John and Lois Thompson, Sarah Wakely and Carol-Ann Wien. Thank you.
Paul Cram Creation Award Donors:
$1000.00 + Tim Brady, Ruby Cram, Mary Vingoe and Upstream Music
$100.00 + Robert Bauer, Marilynne Bell, Jerome Blais, Hugh Davidson (in memory)
Tom Donovan, Chris Elson, Gay Hauser, Linda Hodgins, Wendy Lill, Mark Miller, Steven Naylor, Lukas Pearse, Norma Smith, Dave Staples.
$25.00 + Anonymous, Gina Brown, Michael Fuller, Jeff Reilly, Sarah Wakely.
Upstream Members 2020-21: Mark Adam, Norman Adams, Brigitte Albert, Melissa Andrew, Elizabeth Beale, Marilynne Bell, Sebastien Bezeau, Brian Crawford, Shauna DeGruchy, Tom Donovan, Tom Easley, Chris Elson, Mary Ferguson, Geordie Haley, Dawn Hatfield, Joanne Hatfield, Gay Hauser, Dylan Hay, Linda Hodgins, Andrew Jackson, Matthew Jahns, Jennifer King, JF LaFleche, Laura Lee, Michael Lee, Wendy Lill, Dan MacCormack, Dave MacDonald, John MacLeod, Harold McGee, Jim McKendrick, Kevin McNeilly, Joel Miller, Nancy Morgan, Daryl Nichol, Stephen Osler, Sheila Paterson, Lukas Pearse, John Plant Music, Lelland Reed, Gavin Rhodes, Donald Robadue Jr., Nicholas Ross, Fiona Ryan, Chris Spencer-Lowe, Richard Starr, Diana Torbert, Andrew Terris, Mary Vingoe, Sarah Wakely, Mike Whitehouse, Carol-Ann Wien and Linda Winham.
Upstream Music Association is a registered charity #1361524669RR001. All donations are gratefully received. Thank you!