As we celebrate our first full year here at Great Dark Wonder of spreading the love that is Canadian music, here are some interesting highlights that we’ve compiled along the way…
We became dedicated “Road Warriors” between September 30, 2016, and the present day.
- Amassing an unknown quantity of miles driven, we made the trek from our home in south-central PA to Canada on 22 occasions.
- During those 22 excursions, we attended 36 live music events.
- We saw concerts in the Niagara peninsula, Toronto, Hamilton, London, Peterborough, Gravenhurst, Creemore, and as far as Montreal.
- We supported Canadian artists who ventured into our neck of the woods, and caught 11 shows here too, catching them in PA, NY, MD and VA.
- And here is the big number, of which we are both proud, and eager to exceed over the next twelve months: we saw a total of 104 different artists (2 of which were American) live in concert.
It is truly amazing how fast twelve months can pass by. Back in mid-September 2016, the concept of Great Dark Wonder quickly developed from a simple idea to a real life Canadian music blog. And just one year ago, the website was live and the first posted article became etched in cyberspace!
We have made many references over the last year about how one concert in Brantford, ON prompted us to progress from casual music fans to bloggers with a desire to discuss, share and promote Canadian music to a much wider audience. We planned to use the blog as our own forum for sharing concert pictures, writing the occasional review of an album we liked, and spreading news about known upcoming tours. We had no clue that Great Dark Wonder would develop to where we are today, with regular featured articles, artist interviews, and even a guest appearance on an Ottawa community radio station.
This journey has been incredible for us, discovering so much amazing music and meeting many wonderful people along the way. People who have become good friends and with whom we share our love of Canadian music. These twelve months would not have been made possible if not for the generosity of many, in terms of their time, connections, and willingness to work with us, the ‘new kids on the cyberspace block.’ We are grateful to all of the artists that have given their time to chat with us at shows, connect through social media, and provide exclusive content for the blog.
The same appreciation goes to the publicists, merchants, agents, and managers who have fostered connections to artists. And most of all, we are grateful to each and every one of you that has taken time to read an article on our site, conversed through Twitter, shared us on Facebook, and expressed interest in what we continue to do. We thank you all for joining us during our inaugural year, and welcome you to join us in our sophomore season. Who knows what can be accomplished over the next twelve months…
If you had told me twelve months ago that our “little blog that could” would have more than a handful of readers, and that we would have the opportunity to interview and interact with a number of truly talented and delightful artists (and one awesome writer!), I would have said you were crazy. We knew we had found a niche we could inhabit quite easily, but finding so many kindred souls to share it with us has been far and away the best part of this year.
I get asked quite often, “Why Canadian music? We have plenty of great music down here.” This is true. Even after a year of writing this blog, I sometimes have trouble articulating a cogent answer to this question, but let me try: the diversity, the vast array of styles and genres (even within the same album), a consistent refusal to remain within a narrow box, a willingness to use song to ask (and answer) tough questions… these are the things I cherish about the music we’ve found north of the border. And truly, the quantity and quality of music from Canada is already so overwhelming that I think I could keep exploring it to the end of my golden years and not hear half of it. (But I surely plan to try.)
So what comes next? We plan to keep doing what we’re doing (and hopefully continue to improve at it). We also hope to expand our horizons a bit… in addition to the folk/roots music that M and I both love, Canada has a host of great classical and jazz music going, and we intend to dip into it and see what we find. (We already had a terrific introduction to the jazz scene with Toronto’s Kensington Market Jazz Festival.) M will no doubt explore some of the more hard-edged rock music coming out of the north.
Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “Without music, life would be a mistake.” We’ve been fortunate to find great beauty, tremendous joy, and even some truth in the music we’ve been privileged to hear this year, and our lives have been enriched beyond measure. With all of you, we can find a great deal more of that beauty and joy in the year to come.
Enjoy a playlist of some of our favorite songs/memories from this past year: