SPOTLIGHT SERIES | FONTINE on Touring, Community, and Lessons from the Natural World

Posted on


Welcome to Spotlight Series, a regular feature shining a light on emerging local music makers in the stellar music community in Manitoba. 

By Cierra Bettens

After a years-long journey as a staple in Boy Golden’s Church of Better Daze, Fontine Beavis, aka FONTINE is going solo—but not alone. 

For several weeks now, Beavis has been on the road with Boy Golden on a North American tour with The Sheepdogs. When she returns home to the Canadian Prairies, she’ll move on to a new project: the release of her first EP, Yarrow Lover

“The songs are ones that I’ve written, but the entire process from recording to playing them live and everything in between is so collaborative with so many of my friends,” she says in an email to Manitoba Music. “Without my incredible community, I honestly don’t think I would be in the position that I am right now.”

Set to be released on February 8, Yarrow Lover draws most of its inspiration from the natural world. Composed in post-breakup mode, Beavis connects nature motifs with personal experiences. 

“The EP is called ‘Yarrow Lover’ because yarrow is this plant that has healing properties, and going through that relationship, going through the breakup, and ultimately writing this EP was really healing for me every step of the way,” Beavis says. “The whole EP kind of takes you on that journey of mine.” 

Music has been an integral part of Beavis’ life for as long as she can remember. Growing up in a family of musicians, Beavis spent her formative years admiring her father’s musical prowess. 

“It’s just such a blessing and an incredible feeling to be able to create art with the people I love the most." 

“He was a touring musician when I was younger,” Beavis says. “I got to go out on the road fairly often, hang out during soundchecks, and watch my dad being a total rockstar.”

Moving from Winnipeg to Brandon was pivotal for Beavis, who soon connected with a cluster of musicians trying to make a living out of what they loved. It was these connections that laid the groundwork for the making of Yarrow Lover

Beavis recorded her single “Homemaker” with her then-roommate and co-producer, Kris Ulrich. In the span of a day, the duo dreamt up synth mixes, drum beats, and vocal ad-libs that culminated into the single. 

“Through collaborating with Kris, we were able to hone in a sound that really felt like me,” Beavis says. “It’s just such a blessing and an incredible feeling to be able to create art with the people I love the most." 

Since planting new roots in Winnipeg, Beavis has come a long way as a musician. But a recent epiphany shone a new light on the singer/songwriter’s growth over the past few years. 

“Something kind of cool that happened the other day while I was looking ahead at my calendar for this summer, planning dates, and whatnot,” Beavis explains. “I found a note I had written to myself for August 16th (my birthday) of this year. I don’t know when I put it in there, probably a couple of years ago, but it said ‘art will be my primary job by today’.”

Settling back in on the Prairies from tour with an album of tunes in her back pocket, Beavis can confidently say a once-distant vision is now right in front of her.  

Cierra Bettens is a writer and editor based in Treaty 1. She edits the arts and culture section of The Uniter.

Read more news