The local music scene was recognized recently during Nova Scotia Music Week, when it came time to present the awards.
The Marigold Cultural Centre was named Community Presenter of the Year, and Alan Syliboy and the Thundermakers received the Indigenous Artist of the Year award.
“The means a huge amount to us,” said Farida Gabbani, managing director at the Marigold. “We work really hard at engaging the community and bringing in acts and educational programs. We work with the community and listen to what people want.
“I think this demonstrates we’re on the right track and meeting people’s needs.”
This was the third year the centre was nominated, and their first win.
“We were in shock when they announced it,” said Gabbani. “We didn’t expect it, so it was really exciting.
“There are 180 Music Nova Scotia members and they all get one vote. Obviously, a lot of artists feel this is a great venue.”
She said the three staff members, and one person who works on contract, receive a lot of help from more than 80 volunteers, including the board of directors.
“It’s not just a community theatre, but a community venue, with the art gallery, workshops, summer camps for kids, and sports hall of fame. We also reach out for programs. We have ukuleles here we loaned to the library for an after-school program.
“We’ve been supported so well by the town, county and businesses that it enables us to continue to do that work.”
The centre also houses the Downtown Truro Partnership and Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce offices.
During the past few years new seats, LED lighting, heat pumps and a laser projector have been added.
Alan Syliboy and the Thundermakers received Indigenous Artist of the Year award for the second consecutive year.
“I was very happy about it,” said Syliboy. “Our band is really starting to come together and we appreciate the award.”
The number of band members fluctuates from four to seven, depending on who is able to take part in events. They’ve taken part in more than 80 shows during the past two years and will be performing with Symphony Nova Scotia next year.
Their newest album, Signal Fire, combines rock and Indigenous music and is making it onto the charts in places such as The Netherlands.
“Music is another way to make art,” said Syliboy, who is known internationally for his visual art. “I combine film and animation with music at times. I use my images as a backdrop. I like to do that whenever possible.”
Mi’kmaq culture inspires his art.
“Powwow is very important, and Signal Fire includes Powwow Fever. It was written by Hubert Francis, our lead vocalist, and George Paul a few years ago.”
Syliboy often uses spoken word and tells stories through performances.
“Alan Syliboy has played here quite a few times and in 2018 he was a CAC (Cobequid Arts Council) Lifetime Achievement Award winner,” Gabbani said. “It was great to have two award winners from Truro.”