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Local artists and musicians tell us what lies ahead for 2020

With a new year and a new decade beginning, artists with strong connection to our community have looked ahead and commented on their artistic plans for 2020

Think of it like a New Year’s resolution but focused on arts and culture. Some currently live in the Sault, and some have moved to other communities, but each of the below artists has a strong connection to our community. We asked them about their artistic plans for the coming year and this is what they said:

“I plan on finishing the writing stage of my debut album, Marcescence, followed by some recording time later in the year. I'm also working on a collection of photographs to accompany the album.”  – Jenny Gauvreau, singer/songwriter, musician, photographer and music instructor

“In 2020, I will release an album of new material and revised older songs. I am also working on two books: a nonfiction book on music and a book of poetry. I hope that 2020 will bring more opportunities to play live. I would love to do a few short road trips this year.”  – M.D. Dunn, singer/songwriter and author

“Now that we are in a new year and new decade, I feel that it is time to change direction from the stage into the studio. I have been writing and gathering material for a new album for 2020. Although I will still continue to do dates, my primary focus will be on original material.” – Paul DellaVedova, blues musician, performer and songwriter

My resolution is to keep exploring my art and to always strive for something new. A good year in the arts is one in which creativity brings people together - here’s to 2020 being such a year.” – Anthony Aceti, runs Shot in the Dark Productions and Superior Heights OnStage

“As in 2019, I’ll continue to avoid any semblance of a ‘real job’. I’ll keep writing slightly ridiculous renditions of northern life, but at a quicker clip: I want to write 250 000 words in 2020. With any luck, that’ll keep the bills paid.”  – Jacob Maybe, author, writer of words and inciter of adventure

“My goal for 2020 is to complete my first country EP album. It is never too late to follow your passion.” - Mark Tarantini, Country music entertainer, musician and songwriter

“To continue capturing the night sky and dynamic backdrops of Northern Ontario, creating graphic landscapes for my Lake Superior Park Series, and putting pencil to paper drawing scenes tied to my Finnish heritage, donating 20% of these original artworks to building of the new Mauno Kaihla Koti, long-term care facility. Maintain connection with nature on a daily basis and exploring the forests, waterways, and trails along the North Shore of Lake Superior that remain a source of inspiration. Nature is a necessity as an artist and as a human being.”  – Paula Trus, artist, photographer, video editor and outdoor adventurer

“2020 looks to be a multifaceted year for me. First, of course, being my heart, my soul, my reason for being - music. I intend to have re:BORN both in the studio this year and on the road to play in new rooms. The second thing is the relatively new outlet for me of photography, which I think may just eat as much time as music these days.” - Blair Burch, guitarist, musician and heavy metal aficionado

“I'd like to really focus on seeing individual projects through to the end. Too often I bounce between projects making for slow progress, where I'd like to see more works brought to completion before moving on.”  – Drew Armstrong, 3D artist, graphic designer, video editor, flash and motion graphics designer

“I intend on using discarded materials to breathe new life into something that someone felt was no longer needed. Upcycle, inspire and reinvent the old.” - Patrick Gladu, multi-disciplinary artist

“I plan on getting my band into the studio and writing some originals. Practice guitar more. Put some good promo together for bigger corporate gigs. I’m also always trying to inspire youth to get into music.”  – Greg Simpson, musician, songwriter, sound engineer, and graphic designer

“A big part of being a circus artist is marketing yourself. My goal in 2020 is to polish and package everything I have and begin to market my acts at the highest professional level. In 2020, I want to appreciate and focus exclusively on the skills I can do, as opposed to what I cannot do.”  – Jean-Luc Bedryk, circus performer, choreographer, acrobatic and dancer

“Lots on the go going into 2020. I’m planning to finish and release a new album with my latest collaborative effort “Ontarians” this year, as well as some new material with Shannon Moan, and a few other ideas and projects on the horizon. Booking some spring shows with the Lake Effect, who will likely release a new single or two before too long. On the teaching side, through my work with Algoma U, the Algoma Conservatory, and the Great Lakes International Summer Music institute I’m hoping to help as many young musicians as possible find and nurture their spark this year. Starting the year feeling grateful to be part of a vibrant and inspiring creative community.”  – Frank Deresti, singer/songwriter, instructor at the Algoma Conservatory of Music Instructor, Algoma University and the Great Lakes International Summer Music Institute

“In 2020 I’d look forward to creating on a bigger scale; concerts, full albums, and establishing connections with bigger musical sources. This year I want to expand my boundaries, past an online presence... to make my name known in the industry and take a step towards a career.”  – Hannah Nicoletta, singer / songwriter, musician and producer

“In 2020, I'm excited about new collaborations. I love the magic in working with other artists and exploring new ideas. It's incredible to be part of a group of people bringing ideas to the table, shaping a project, and creating a finished, collective piece that's a blend of everyone's efforts and truly unique. We are lucky to have so many gifted artists of all stripes in Sault Ste. Marie. My goal, as an actress and musician, is to meet some more of them and make great things.”  – Christina Speers, actress, singer, musician and performer

“My plan for 2020 is to increase the youth involvement in community theatre with many mentorship opportunities.”  – Randi Houston, theatre director

“My artistic plans for 2020 are to hone my skills on my respective instruments, get more recording experience, and play amazing shows with my newly formed band and Mustang Sally.”  – Nicholas Gingras, singer, musician and performer

“My ‘just do it!’ list for 2020 includes getting outside more... expand my daily journal practice to include more illustrations, less words... upgrade my studio to include a recording space... work on a stop-motion animation... and unplug more consistently to make time to work on putting down new stories.” - Joanne Robertson, author and illustrator of The Water Walker

“My artistic plan for 2020 is continuing to develop my craft through session work and collaboration, finding the courage to release the abundance of solo work I’ve been sitting on and perhaps touring that record come the fall.” - Joseph Kargi, songwriter, performer and musician

“For 2020, I'm planning to focus in on radio programming. Also in the works, I am following-up my debut beat-tape from last year, and doing some work with the Soo York City Urban Arts Collective. Look out for more Vinyl Listening Parties and DJ nights as well.”  – Shane Seith Erickson, DJ and performer

“My goals center around battling the opioid crisis in our community. With the internet, I can pretty much work anywhere in the world as an artist, but the Sault has a special place in my heart. It was here that I got sober. When I'm not strapped to my art table surrounded by paint and India ink, I plan to be involved in whatever community activities I can in order to battle this horrible disease that is claiming so much of our youth. Arts and culture, teaching chess, or lecturing about my own experiences promises to be a great venue to do this.”  – Darren Emond, comic book illustrator, visual and commercial artist and magician

“I plan to not just take the time, but make the time for creating and promoting my music. I also plan to make plenty of time to create memories with those I love, and I'll have more to draw on for creation of music.” – Jay Case, singer/songwriter and all-round musician

“Machines Dream is in the middle of writing our 4th album, which we hope to begin recording in a few months. I’ve also got a couple of side-projects cooking in the studio, and I’m producing a couple albums for local artists. I do wish I played live a little more often, and I’m hoping to correct that in 2020 if possible. Fingers crossed on all points.”  – Craig West, progressive rock performer, musician, songwriter and music producer

“Completion and release of my 2nd album 'Solitüde' and concert recorded by Shaw TV was a major musical, personal milestone, though it sponged up all my artistic resources, energies. It has been a year, almost. There is something new the universe is hatching out [for 2020], I can feel it, just not quite sure yet what it is. I am waiting. ‘When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.’ - Lao Tzu.” – Britta Wolfert, singer/songwriter and artist

“I’m leaving my painting practice in 2020 after I finish a last collection of nude paintings called ‘Human Nature,’ supported by the Ontario Arts Council. In the next year, I want to continue touring ‘Pawatamihk’ an installation and performance piece that was recently shown in a parking garage for the Cold Waters symposium in North Bay. In this New Year, I plan on moving more in that direction and getting training to support integrating more technology. On the arts administration side of things, the Northern Indigenous Art Alliance (NIAA) plans to shift our focus to organizing artist meetups in Sudbury. Have a creative new year!” - Rihkee Strapp, Socially-engaged, multi-disciplinary artist and Board Member of the Northern Indigenous Art Alliance

"Working on myself as much as possible because the better you are as a person the more easily the muse flows through you. When it flows easily through you, you connect with the listener more. That leads me to my next resolution: connect with more people! See the circular logic there?" - Adam Smale, jazz guitarist and composer

"You’re probably not as good at public speaking as you think you are... so maybe invest in some cue cards.” - Patrick Hunter, visual artist and paint queen.

“In 2019, Algoma Repertory Theater was founded with 25 local artists. After a successful first year, we are focused on developing our voice as a company of artists in Sault Ste. Marie to create great theatre for 2020.” - Sandra Forsell, actress, theatre director and co-creator of the Algoma Repertory Theatre Inc.