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Clusterfolk puts focus on young people in northern Ontario who make great music

Videos shot at various locations in Sault Ste. Marie

Local musicians are getting the chance to step into the spotlight by performing in their very own music videos in an online music festival.

The Clusterfolk Music Festival is featuring eight emerging local artists and songwriters from around the North in an online video series throughout the month of April that will culminate into a live performance at the end of the month.

The music event is a bit of a revival of the former Sault Ste. Marie festival of the same name that was held at Bellevue Park in 2011. 

Jackson Reed, a local musician, began work on this project last Spring when he was an Algoma University music and visual art student. 

He was hired by the NORDIK Institute, a community-based research hub affiliated with Algoma University, to intern with 180 Projects, an alternative art centre and gallery in Sault Ste. Marie, to coordinate a youth arts event with funds and support from Catalyst X, Northern Lights Collaborative and the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Youth Opportunities Fund.

The goal was to engage with young and upcoming artists from the area and create opportunities for them to work and practice in their field.

“We wanted musicians who maybe haven’t had a lot of exposure, who haven’t recorded or played a lot of shows or done a lot of development in their careers and try and give them an opportunity to do some of those things,” said Reed.

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from April 4 to 20, a video will be shared to the 180 Projects website at 180projects.com/clusterfolk

The debut video is from Sudbury’s Will Powers performing Proof at the Bushplane Museum.

Will Powers is the pseudonym of singer-songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Oli Palkovits. 

In 2019, his album Flowers of Atacama won the Northern Ontario Music and Film Award for Best Album and in 2020 his double EP Same & Burning Hands was released on Care Records, a label he co-runs with Reed.

Other artists to be featured are Distich, Gabrielle Dumas, Storm Rausch, Jupiter Marvelous, Jackson Reed and Jacob Quarrell, XENO, The Uncanny Valley and Will Powers.  

The videos were filmed and edited by Curtis Carriere of Bad Taste Cinema and the audio was engineered and mixed by Dustin Goodall of Unsalted Audio.

They were all shot at various locations in Sault Ste. Marie like the Bushplane Museum, the Bellevue Park greenhouse, the Rad Zone and Outspoken Brewery.

Reed says there’s a lot of original music in the North and in Sault Ste. Marie and the festival is a great way to get that music out there.

“There are a lot of people that like to make music and like to play and are supportive of each other. This project has been really cool for me because I’ve been discovering new, young people who make great music,” he said.

The live show will be held April 23 at the Rockstar Bar with Uncanny Valley, Jupiter Marvellous, Will Powers and Distich. 

Tickets are $10 at the door. Doors open at 8 p.m. Show starts at 8:30 p.m.