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Local musicians to play at Winter Olympics

Author: DJ Nasty Naz  //  Category: General

Vancouver | Several local acts to play at events from Feb. 13-28

Several of the capital region’s most talented musicians will represent the province on an international stage when they travel to Vancouver for performances at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

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Stephen MacGillivray
The Olympic Symphonium has been selected to help represent New Brunswick at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Above, band members take a break from recording their next album. From left: Kyle Cunjak, Nick Cobham, recording engineer Brad Perry, Graeme Walker, Bob Deveau and Dennis Goodwin on the banjo.

Singer-songwriter David Myles, acclaimed soprano Measha Brueggergosman, indie-rockers Grand Theft Bus, bluesman Matt Andersen, DJ Naz Ali and folk act The Olympic Symphonium are among a list of at least 22 New Brunswick acts that will perform Feb. 13-28.

Those performances will take place at the Atlantic Canada House and Place de la Francophonie – two stages designed to promote the rich culture and history of this region.

Kyle Cunjak, who performs with The Olympic Symphonium and plays bass for David Myles, said it’s going to be exciting to perform amidst the excitement of such a large event.

“It’s going to be a pretty cool experience,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to see the bobsled in person. I think my dream might come true.”

He said the Olympic stage will give local performers a chance to catch the ears of a new audience.

“There’s going to be tons of bands there from around the Maritimes, and some great Fredericton talent,” he said.

“We’re hoping that maybe people will leave with another great experience and that they’ll learn a little bit more about the music happening in this part of the country.

“You never know who’ll be at the Olympics.”

Cunjak said he’s not sure if his band’s name – The Olympic Symphonium – is a positive or negative.

“It could be good or it could be bad,” he said with a laugh. “I’m just hoping nobody approaches us with a cease-and-desist order.”

A slew of talented Maritime artists are scheduled to perform during the festivities, including multiple East Coast Music Award-winning songwriter Joel Plaskett, Nova Scotia-born singer Sarah McLachlan, Newfoundland storyteller Ron Hynes and Cape Breton fiddle sensation Ashley MacIsaac.

MacIsaac said he believes the Atlantic Canada House could become one of the most exciting spots at the games.

“It’s going to be a real fun atmosphere there,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to the chance to be a part of it. There’ll be seafood, good music and lots of regular folks who will be there to take in the games, and probably some athletes. It should be lots of fun.”

Wellness, Culture and Sport Minister Hedard Albert said it’s a chance to show off the province’s rich cultural heritage.

“Our province is bursting with accomplished artists who make us very proud and whose talent deserves to be shared with the entire world,” he said in a statement.

“I am proud that artists from New Brunswick have the opportunity to be part of this unique artistic and athletic celebration and to serve as ambassadors for our province.”

Tim Walker, who performs with Grand Theft Bus, said his group is excited about the opportunity.

“We are absolutely tickled to have been asked,” he said.

“The lineup is fairly diverse every night, so we’ll be performing alongside (country singer) George Canyon, the (Prince Edward Island) Youth Orchestra, and (Newfoundland singer-songwriter) Amelia Curran. Anything can happen when you’re playing on such a big stage.”

The artists will receive financial assistance for travel and accommodations from the provincial government.