Former Torontonian/stellar singer/songwriter Kathleen Edwards is leaving her guitar and violin in their cases for the time being to set out on a new venture as the owner of Stittsville coffee shop Quitters. (That gal has the best sense of humour, also in evidence when she hosted last year's Polaris Prize gala.)
She cites depression and burnout from her last round of touring with her Voyageur album as part of the reason, and also the media's focus on her personal life. "I decided to take a pretty indefinite break from music," she told the Ottawa Sun. No word yet on when the place, located just outside Ottawa, opens.
Fans, keep in mind: breathers are good - vital, even - for future creativity.
Bye-Bye, Radius Clause
NXNE faced criticism when it instituted a new policy that prevented bands from playing in Toronto 45 days prior to playing in the festival. (Canadian Music Week moved up its dates to May this year).
But last week both music fests proved that they're listening to feedback by removing the so-called radius clause just as NXNE was hitting full tilt. "We're happy to see this issue resolved for the strength of the local community and artists building their careers," said CMW president Neill Dixon.
"Unintended consequences of our policy were pointed out. We are making changes that address these issues - changes that don't hurt up-and-coming bands and yet still protect the integrity of NXNE's lineup," said NXNE's Michael Hollett.
Reaction to the move has been overwhelmingly positive.
Toronto's always loved Massey Hall, but lately the venue's demonstrated even more flexibility, creativity and innovation - for example, hosting the new Live At Massey Hall Series (double-bill shows with Canadian artists for $18.94) and becoming an official NXNE venue for the first time.
More changes are afoot starting September 1. The Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall has hired a new director of programming, Chris Lorway, who officially takes over on that date.
Most recently executive director of Soundstreams, Lorway was also founding artistic director of the Luminato Festival for five seasons and has worked with Carnegie Hall and the cities of Toronto and Chicago.