The seasons are turning and with that brings the stellar annual Manitoba Music showcase in Toronto. The music industry association is hitting the road, bringing new music from the prairie province to The Horseshoe Tavern on October 25. Presented in partnership with NOW Magazine, the night will include performances from dreamy shoegaze rockers Living Hour, vocal powerhouse Begonia, electro-pop band VIKINGS, and yacht rockers The Middle Coast.
This will mark the sixth year in a row that Manitoba Music has invited music fans and industry insiders to Toronto culture haunts for shows featuring some of Canada’s most buzzworthy emerging acts. Each of the 2016 showcase artists have been garnering praise and making waves.
Living Hour began in the basements of south Winnipeg, writing dreamy love songs inspired by the cinematic sky of its hometown. Blending bright shimmering guitar pop with thick Casio drones and uniquely powerful, smoky vocals, the band’s sound washes over you like the soundtrack to the best parking lot makeout session of your youth. The band released its debut album worldwide with US label Lefse Records in February 2016 and has spent much of the year on tour, including recent stops in the UK and Europe.
Known for her voice in the JUNO-winning harmony driven group Chic Gamine, Dirks has a timbre that recalls the golden age of soul, proud and courageous. And yet it still returns to the ground, finding a quietness, a hesitant intimacy. She's joined in studio by producers Matt Schellenberg (Royal Canoe) and Matt Peters (Royal Canoe, Close Talker), the collection of songs that forms Begonia's upcoming debut release, Lady In Mind. Her song "Juniper" is currently sitting at #1 on the CBC Radio 2 Top 20.
Electro-pop band VIKINGS has played a number of festivals such as Rainbow Trout, MEME, and the Festival du Voyageur, and independently released its debut self-titled album, sending the first single, Great Abyss, into heavy rotation on CBC Radio 3, and reaching number 3 on the R3-30. Coming off a busy 2015-16 headlining festivals and playing sold out clubs in and around Winnipeg, the band is currently recording new album, with the singles to be mixed by Billy Bush (Snow Patrol, Garbage, Tegan & Sara).
Yacht rock outfit The Middle Coast’s impressive and engaging live sets have already earned the trio heaps of accolades – including the “Favourite New Band” from The Uniter – in addition to billings at CMW, Cavendish Beach Music Festival, and the Winnipeg Folk Festival, where the band received the Rising Star award. The band has recorded with the likes of Howard Redekopp (Tegan & Sara, The New Pornographers), Don Benedictson (The Bros. Landreth), and Dave Schiffman (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Weezer).
The Toronto showcase is part of a busy season for Manitoba Music, which has been supporting showcases in Hamburg, Warsaw, Nashville, and Ottawa, and presenting an upcoming artist exchange event in Minneapolis with MPR’s The Current. Bringing Manitoba music to new markets and intensifying business activity in existing markets is a key component of Manitoba Music's trade and business development activities. Manitoba Music's market development initiatives are funded by the Province of Manitoba, Manitoba Film & Music, and FACTOR through the financial support of the Government of Canada and Canada's private radio broadcasters.