James Culleton

Children's Folk Francophone Roots

James Culleton



James Culleton is an artist and musician living in St.Boniface, Manitoba

His latest album “Unusual Friendships” is based on a children’s story written by the award-winning Métis author Beatrice Mosionier: “Unusual Friendships: A Little Black Cat and a Little White Rat.” With a collection of 14 original songs, James effectively turned pen. to paper, back to pen. to paper. to ear drums. The 36 minute-spanning record features a mixture of traditional and contemporary roots song while succinctly retelling the symbolic tale published by Beatrice back in 2002.

The album features Al Simmons on banjo and harmonica, as well as feature vocal spots from Andrina Turenne — the Franco-Manitoban musician. On top of that, there’s an adorable chorus of cats, contributed by some of the children in the St. Boniface neighbourhood in Winnipeg. “Unusual Friendships” was recorded at Scott Nolan’s Song Shop with Jamie Sitar in Manitoba.

“Unusual Friendships” is the story of acceptance and equality, relayed through a peculiar friendship which blossoms unexpectedly between a black cat and a white rat. The 71-year-old novelist wrote the rhyme-heavy book as symbolism for the difficulties that Métis persons experience through not being purebred. Though rats and cats are thought to be enemies, the dynamic duo stick together throughout “Unusual Friends” to fight and earn the respect of others.

Touched by the story — which he said needed to be told — James decided to take his own shot at “Unusual Friends,” however, from a sonic approached. Though he breathed life back into the classic, Canadian tale by recording an entire concept album based around it alone, just that didn’t seem to be enough for the contemporary multimedia artist.


As his first-ever children’s album, James made it his mission to ensure his listeners — whether kids or adults — could be fully-immersed into the musical adaptation. How did he do it, some might ask? Well, he partnered up with an augmented reality (AR) company by the name of Artivive to help turn the exciting listening experience into a wondrous animated experience.

For the full multimedia experience, all listeners have to do is download the Artitive app on their smartphones or tablets and scan James’s latest album cover and bring it to life with the vivid and spectacular, music-backed animations illustrated by James and his 13-year-old daughter Mae Culleton.

Though James has released several other family-friendly records, such as: “Spooky Songs,” “At Christmas Time” and “Vanished Days,” “Unusual Friendships” serves as his first-ever kid’s album. It’s also his 9th overall release as a songwriter.

“Unusual Friendships” and the lead single, “Little White Paws” — which was recorded in both English and French — are now available through all major streaming platforms worldwide. 


James Culleton
148 Horace Street Winnipeg MB Canada R2H0W1
1 204 228 6041




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