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Tips to stay safe during forest fire season
Nothing tops off a hot day like a cool, colourful cocktail!
A new world-class venue in Cow Head is just the ticket for Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador.
A new short film explores the cod moratorium’s ripple effect through the lens of one fisherman.
Dennis Flynn photoAvid kayakers share some of their favourite paddling spots in NLBy Dennis FlynnWeaving through a cathedral of dual stone arches, I glide past the huge sea cave visible only at low tide before threading a needle past a turbaned stone-faced man guarding the narrow entrance to a tiny hidden cove where a river greets the sea. Once known as Turks Gut, this section of Marysvale is stepped in stories of a ghostly drummer boy, narrow escapes and, best of all, a small Turkish pirate ship hiding here to avoid capture by the naval authorities.In a province as vast as Newfoundland and Labrador, there are countless coves, boundless bays and bights, hundreds of haunting harbours, and secluded spots by the score that would make a top list of places to sea kayak. It is an almost impossible task to choose only a few, but I reached out to one of the most experienced and qualified kayakers in the province and the country for his choices of favourites. Richard Alexander (co-founder of The Newfoundland Kayak Company) is the first and one of only four individuals in Canada to hold the highest sea kayaking certification possible (level 3 Instructor Trainer). He is the author of Paddle Canadaâs Coastal Canoeing program and over the years he has delivered more than 175 courses under Paddle Canadaâs nationally accredited curriculum, certifying thousands of individuals. Additionally, Richardâs wilderness travel experience includes a sea kayak expedition up the west coast of Greenland that finished 400 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Richard has very precise guidelines on what constitute a great kayaking âspotâ for him. Namely, it should be relatively small and specific (not a large area like the entire Bay of Exploits); it must be very unique; and it can be visited by variety of paddle craft, but has to be little known or difficult to get to. You wonât find many tourist locations on Richardâs list of sea kayaking spots, which tends to be for expert level experienced paddlers.Cape La HuneThe spectacular remote South Coast of Newfoundland holds a particular fascination for him, and Cape La Hune is high on his favourite places list. âA picture of the bow of my kayak with Cape La Hune in the distance occupies a cherished space on my desk at work. And rightfully so. It is, in my humble opinion, the most spectacular and beautiful spot on our island. The area is actually two headlands of hills, cliffs, sea stacks and beaches guarding the entrance to two fjords, the biggest of which is 13 kilometers long,â he writes by email to me. âLocated between the communities of Francois and Grey River on the South Coast, there are no roads or boat loads of tourists photographing the fjord, hills and cliffs of Cape La Hune. There is only wilderness. You have to work very hard to get to Cape La Hune, and that effort makes the sight even more impressive. The best day of paddling of my life was spent rounding the Cape and camping on its beach. I will cherish that day for the rest of my years.âGrand BruitResettled communities also hold special appeal for Richard. âGrand Bruit, 75 kilometers east of Port aux Basques, makes this list because of its ânewnessâ and size. Officially âshut downâ as a community in 2010, Grand Bruit feels as if the people living there just stepped out and will return at any moment... Grand Bruit is spectacularly beautiful and eerie at the same time.âNormanâs HeadFor those wanting a much more technical, expert-level challenge, Richard adds, âI consider the Normanâs Head tide race in sea kayak to be the best tide race on the island -- hands down. Located just west of Burgeo on the south coast, Normanâs Head can produce eight knots of current flowing directly into the open sea. Waves one metre-plus will form on big tides in flat calm conditions. Any sea state will make the race bigger, confused and more dangerous. People have died here. The spot is so treacherous the locals dug a canal with pick and shovel to avoid this spot. My advice to people visiting it is always, âIt is OK to sit on the beach and look at it. You donât have to paddle it.â Water like this commands great respect.âOtter PointRichard concludes his list with an unforgettable place to travel and camp by kayak. âFor me, it is Otter Point -- a non-descript piece of land jutting out into the sea on the Southwest Coast of the island. There is nothing special about it. No dramatic fjords, tide race or sea cliffs. Yet for me and my group of friends, it is the standard by which all other camps will be compared. After a tough day of bad conditions, we were exhausted and looking for a place to camp. Then, out of nowhere, just when we needed it, a little sand beach appeared at Otter Point. We landed out of necessity. Looking around we realized that we had stumbled onto the worldâs perfect campsite. A level bed of crowberry provided a perfect place to pitch our tents; a small beach with a yearâs supply of driftwood next to a natural fire pit made the camping effortless. On top of that, the wind dropped, sun came out and the temperature soaredâ¦ To this day, we continue to paddle in the hope that all those intangible variables will again come together to create another Otter Point.â Casual KayakingSwitching gears to get a perspective from a newer sea kayaker, I chat with Barb Parsons-Sooley, owner/operator of Wind at Your Back Guided Adventures based out of Hearts Delight-Islington in Trinity Bay. Through her adventure tourism company Barb offers guided sea kayaking, guided hiking and what she calls a lazy river rafting experience.Spread EagleâSpread Eagle has a colorful coastline with an amazing sea stack. We also visit an isolated area called Marleys Cove that was a hub for forestry and coal mining 100 years ago.âConception BayâAnother place Iâve kayaked that was an out-of-this-world experience was around the coast of Bell Island. Itâs just so breathtaking and surreal looking at the stark cliffs looming above you.â St. ChadâsâKayaking on the Eastport Peninsula in a very small fishing village called St. Chads is magical. Itâs a closed-in harbour with only one small opening out to the open sea. There is an island in the middle of this protected harbour; youâll find a small waterfall and a quick hop over rocky beach and youâre in a freshwater pond at the edge of the harbour. Just amazingCape BroyleâI canât leave Cape Broyle off of my favorites list. Itâs the place where my love affair with sea kayaking began. One simple kayaking tour with Stan Cook and I was hooked. Iâm thankful that I had this experience and I hope to do that for others. Itâs a magical shoreline of waterfalls and caves.â Bay RobertsâMy hometown of Bay Roberts is another of my favourite places. Itâs a beautiful kayak along the shore in Conception Bay. Itâs a feeling of connection when paddling to Fergus Island or along Frenchâs Cove, where I know my ancestors rowed boats to their fishing berths for many years. Clear waters with stunning depths and heights of cliffs.â
By Connie BolandJohnny Letto photo. Forest fire season is in effect for the island of Newfoundland May 1 - September 30, 2021, and in Labrador May 15 - September 30, 2021. Ninety-four recorded wildfires burned 4,177 hectares throughout the province in 2020. There were 72 fires on the island, burning 145 hectares, and 22 fires in Labrador, burning 4,032 hectares. Totals for 2020 are below the previous provincial 10-year average of 105 fires and 30,757 hectares burned.Stephanie Pinksen, acting Wildland Fire Management Training Specialist with Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, believes people are more cautious and aware of safe forest fire practices. âWe advise people to remain vigilant,â she says.Individuals are responsible for being aware of the forest fire hazard rating before lighting an outdoor fire. Failing to comply with regulations may mean fines and penalties, including costs associated with fighting a forest fire.Stephanie reminds people that anyone travelling through forest land on an all-terrain or motorized vehicle during forest fire season is required to have the vehicle fitted with a muffler and a screening or baffling device to prevent sparks or particles of burnt carbon from escaping and creating a fire hazard. Operators are required to be equipped with a fire extinguisher containing a minimum of 225 grams of ABC-class fire retardant.To report a wildfire in the province, call 1-866-709-FIRE (3473). Visit the Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture online at www.gov.nl.ca/ffa for updates and information such as:â¢ Daily updated forest fire forecast mapâ¢ Information on active forest firesâ¢ Public reminders and wildfire prevention tipsâ¢ Under âWildfire Preventionâ link to FireSmart, a national program committed to helping Canadians - including home and cabin owners - reduce wildfire risk.Read More: Connie Boland talks to Stephanie and water bomber pilot Johnny Letto about their experiences and gets their advice for staying safe and avoiding forest fires in the July issue of Downhome.
Nothing tops off a hot day working in the garden or lounging on the patio like a cool, refreshing, colourful drink! Check out the July issue of Downhome for more recipies.Outport Spritzer Ice cubesAuk Island Outport Raspberry Screech Wine Ginger ale or 7-UpAdd 3 or 4 ice cubes to a wine glass. Fill 1/3 with wine and top with ginger ale or 7-Up (adjust the wine:soda ratio to suit your taste). Frosted Lemonade 1/3 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed3 tbsp granulated sugar1/3 cup ice water3 cups vanilla ice creamChill water with ice cubes for several minutes to make it super cold. Add lemon juice, sugar and ice water (ice cubes removed) to a blender. Blend until sugar dissolves. Add ice cream and blend again until combined and frothy. Divide into 3 cups. Serve immediately.
A new world-class venue in Cow Head is just the ticket for Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador.By Nicola RyanFor the past 25 seasons, Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador (TNL) has been putting on sold-out performances for the Gros Morne Theatre Festival. Based in beautiful Cow Head in Gros Morne National Park, the festival dedicates itself to the creation and development of plays for and about Newfoundland and Labrador, and entices hundreds of theatre-lovers to the small community every summer. Itâs an absolutely world-class event that had definitely outgrown its original facilities. This year, after a brief COVID-19 delay, TNL is thrilled to be moving into a brand new state-of-the-art venue, The Nurse Myra Bennett Centre for the Performing Arts. Gaylene Buckle, TNL general manager, is thrilled over the new space. âItâs amazing,â she enthuses. âEvery person whoâs worked on that building has put their heart and soul into it to make sure it is what it is.âThe new, fully accessible facility is twice as large as their previous venue, the Warehouse Theatre. The main stage, the Fortis Theatre, has a 178-seat capacity, a large proscenium stage and tiered seating. Outside, an airy lobby welcomes eager audiences. âCertainly one of the things that we had uppermost in our minds when we were designing this facility was to make sure that that audience are getting the best experience they can get.â Gaylene says.Backstage, the centre has expanded technical spaces, new dressing rooms, a state-of-the-art kitchen for preparing and serving the dinner theatre, and dedicated office space for the managers, directors and designers.âWe hired Denise Dolliver, who had been our production manager for many years, as our theatre liaison between the contractors and the architects and the company. So I can guarantee the attention to detail in every aspect of that building from the office to the box office to the production facilities to the performance venue. Itâs all been so good and beautifully organized. Every artist and every community member that walks into that space and gets the tour is like, âHoly Moses!â Itâs hard to believe that this is in Newfoundland - let alone Cow Head, a community of 425!âThe new theatre is the result of many dedicated individuals coming together and working with a clear vision and a shared sense of pride. Monetary support came from contributions by the provincial and federal governments, plus more than $3.5 million that was raised from the private sector.âThe Set the Stage campaign led by [former premier] Brian Tobin brought the private money into play; Gudie Hutchings, our MP, was so instrumental, and all the departments have just been amazing to work with. Same with the provincial government and all the program officers. I canât tell ya!â Gaylene says.Contractors from Pittmanâs Enterprises brought their expert craftsmanship, and the Dobbin Foundation contributed $1 million and gave the centre its name - a fitting tribute to Nurse Myra Bennett, hero of the Northern Peninsula and subject of TNLâs beloved play Tempting Providence. Iâm not going to say that it hasnât been without a hell of a lot of stress,â laughs Gaylene, âand a hell of a lot of work and hell of a lot of âoh my God what are we gonna do?â But I can tell you that itâs been a great big amazing team of people who have put this thing together, and now I canât wait to start sharing it with the world!âFrom September to April, when the festival is not in session, TNL focuses on community engagement and outreach, and fostering new talent with their Corner Brook Youth Theatre. It was always the intention of TNL to put the new centre to use year-round as an incredible resource for the arts community. Management has lots of plans to open it up as a presentation venue for other plays, concerts and workshops; a workspace to design and create new costumes, sets and props; a location to collaborate with local farmers and producers; and especially a hub for the high school drama festival. âThatâs one of the things weâve been talking about for a number of years,â says Gaylene. âHow much more can we create now that we have this lovely building?âLast year, the Gros Morne Theatre Festival was disrupted, like most things, by the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the company is eager to get back to treading the boards, albeit with a reduced lineup of shows scheduled with a local audience in mind and safety protocols including bubbled seating, masking, physical distancing and sanitizing in place. âIn some ways, itâs probably not a bad thing that we have to limit what weâre doing and our audiences because it gives us an opportunity to really figure out how this building works,â says Gaylene. Theyâve been working hard to adapt, adopting new software, creating meticulous contingency plans, and coming up with creative solutions to pandemic-era challenges. The company plans to film all its plays and make them available to patrons, with a little tour of the building included at the end of the show, so they can virtually attend.âUnfortunately, we havenât been able to have a great big open house because COVIDâs not allowing that,â sighs Gaylene. âWe had it planned last year, but we didnât want to go ahead and [reschedule] and then have to shut it down again. Itâs just not the year. The Grand Celebration will be in early June of 2022 - please God! - when we can all get together and celebrate together.âThis year, the festivalâs 25th season opens on June 25 with Tempting Providence and tickets are selling quickly. âItâs such a wonderful, beautiful play,â says Gaylene. âAnd to have the new centre named for Myra Bennettâ¦ it just feels amazing.â
A new short film explores the cod moratoriumâs ripple effect through the lens of one fisherman. We sit in on their chat as the creators discuss their inspiration.The animated short-film, Last Fish, First Boat, tells the story of the 1992 cod moratorium through the eyes of fifth-generation fisherman, Eugene Maloney. When the federal government shutters the fishery, Gene and his crew haul up their fishing gear one last time. Gene pivots to boat-building. Now in his 80s, Gene continues to build boats from his Bay Bulls woodshed, overlooking the southeastern shores of Newfoundland and Labrador. In the following conversation, filmmakers Kat Frick Miller and Jenn Thornhill Verma discuss why Geneâs story and the cod moratorium remain relevant today, 30 years on. Kat Frick Miller: Our film is based on your book, Cod Collapse: The Rise and Fall of Newfoundlandâs Saltwater Cowboys, which is part historical nonfiction, narrative and memoir. Of all of the stories you could have drawn from, Jenn, why did you focus on Geneâs story for this project?Jenn Thornhill Verma: The day before the cod moratorium was formally announced, when the federal fisheries minister John Crosbie is in Bay Bulls confronted by hundreds of people - fishermen, plant workers, men, women, children and news crews - Gene Maloney isnât in the crowd. Heâs taking a break from fishing to go home for dinner (what Newfoundlanders and Labradorians call lunch). Thatâs when Gene learns the cod fishery is closing. When he sets back out in boat, itâs to haul up all of his fishing gear one last time. Gene had boots in the boats in the harbours where the cod moratorium happened. We can see through his story that the moratorium was more than an end to fishing; it marked an end to a way of life. We know now the signals that the cod population was collapsing had been there: from 1962, the earliest recordings of the cod population, to 1992, Atlantic cod were already 90 per cent depleted. But Geneâs story humanized the moratorium response. What resonated with you about Geneâs story, Kat?KFM: When you wrote the book the pandemic was not yet happening, but Geneâs story so perfectly tied into this moment as an illustration of your world upending overnight. I was surprised by how much I could relate to it, but I kept thinking about it more and more, imagining Gene: he would have gone out in boat, working with a crew, hanging out on the wharf, that kind of daily structure. Then, to have that abruptly end, removing all of your social connections, your work connections, it felt so relevant. We always need those examples of peopleâs journeys through a really difficult time and how they navigate that period. And I appreciated the lightheartedness that Gene brought to his story. Heâs able to carry on, lucky enough and determined enough to find something else to turn his hand to boatbuilding.JTV: I love how Gene jokes about the lawns, fences and houses looking a touch more manicured in 1993. People who were accustomed to leading busy lives are suddenly trying to find things to do. Thereâs a universal theme here about your identity changing overnight, having to pivot your career and redefine what you do now. Letâs talk about how the film came together - especially given you and I have never met [in person], and youâve never met Gene Maloney either. Kat, how did you get from idea to illustration to animation?KFM: The pivot in Geneâs story felt very similar to this idea of us taking on a new collaboration in the digital realm. Your script allowed us to travel back to when Gene is a kid and contrast his life then to when heâs a working man on the water. That narrative illustration is a rewarding process, and the strength of your story along with your reference photographs helped me to shape a world that had a lot of depth. The contrast of the broad scenes painted of Bay Bulls in the hustle and bustle of the fisheryâs heyday with the quieter moments of precise detail with Gene whittling in his woodshed, draws you in. Once we honed the script, we storyboarded, which was a new process to me, breaking down the narrative and isolating those moments we wanted to illustrate. We landed more than a dozen still-images, then giving thought to the animation, asking which elements we could highlight that would bring the images and the film to life. I timed the animation to your audio narration. JTV: Thatâs where our co-producer, Matt LeMay - an award-winning filmmaker; and our sound designers the indie rock duo, Jamie Bonaparte and Michelle Opthof of Paragon Cause came in. They took what we started and fine-tuned the production with an original soundtrack. I had just had twins (in May) just before we launched the project, but I was just as excited to see what we all birthed! KFM: To think about that we created from our own isolated pods, across three provinces (me in Nova Scotia, you all in Ontario, and our main character, Gene, in Newfoundland and Labrador), and to think about what we can come up with when we are face-to-face and really have that in-person energy to travel on-site - the ideas that we can explore, the stories that we can create will be awesome. Can we give a sneak peek of our next film project?JTV: Last Fish, First Boat tells the story of the human outfall from the 1992 cod moratorium, and the next story we want to tell, Unsettled, also shares the human consequences of fishery closures. Resettlement - or moving people from small, often outport, rural and remote communities to places that offered the promise of prosperity in terms of jobs and economic growth - are part of the life history of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. Weâll focus on another story from my book, about April MacDonald and her family, resettled as part of the Fisheries Household Resettlement Program from Woods Island in the Bay of Islands to Lark Harbour in western Newfoundland. Resettlement has affected the trajectory of tens of thousands of people from hundreds of communities across the province - Indigenous and settler communities alike. We know resettlement is not unique to Newfoundland and it happens for any range of reasons - in response to economics, geopolitics and climate change - but it feels unique here because of how itâs linked to the fishery, but also because almost as soon as people settled in the outports here, they were leaving and itâs still happening today.âLast Fish, First Boatâ is a six-minute animated film, funded by Canada Council for the Arts, and distributed by Canadian Geographic (via YouTube) with an educator version via McIntyre Media.
By Mariah PardyTragedies happen every day, but when one strikes a small town, everyone feels it. On February 3, 2003, a dark cloud of grief rolled in and covered the small fishing town of Musgrave Harbour. It was the day that families lost their brother, father, grandpa, husband, friend, and so much more than what mere titles can express. What was supposed to be just another duck-hunting trip turned out to be the last these men would take together. Six men headed out on the water. Only one returned home. Drowned at sea were Roger Hann, 36; Draper Fahey, 24; Irving Faulkner, 59, and his two sons - Danny, 35, and Darren, 31. Irvingâs other son, Dion, 38, managed to swim to a nearby island where he was rescued by passing fishermen.I was six years old at the time, and I remember it as the first time I saw my dad cry. He had just gotten the call from back home that a boat had capsized and his former classmates, friends and neighbours had drowned. Nine years later, my family and I moved to my dadâs hometown of Musgrave Harbour, and I become great friends with some of the kids and grandkids of these men. Today, those children are grown up and some even have kids of their own. I did not get to know everyone affected personally in my three years in Musgrave Harbour, but a few have become great friends who I know will be lifelong. One thing I can say about all of these people is that they share in this tragedy and they all continue to be a shoulder to lean on for each other.My best friend, Amanda Goodyear, is the granddaughter of Irving and the niece of Danny, Darren and Dion. She has a family of her own now, but reminisces on what could have been.âAnyone who knows our family knows how extremely close we all are. I really wish my Pop was around for all of the big events because I know he would have never missed them,â says Amanda. âMy skating competitions, school concerts, graduation and so much more. No matter how far away it was from Musgrave, he travelled from one side of the island to the other with us. Now I have a son and a daughter of my own, and I would have loved for him to have met them. My son is five now and he asks questions about his Pop Faulkner all the time. We know heâs still here, even though we canât see him. Of course, this goes for my Uncle Danny and Darren as well.âAmandaâs cousins, Danielle and Katie-Lynn Faulkner and Alex Viselli, all daughters of Danny Faulkner, share different memories of their father. Danielle was only three years old and Katie-Lynn was six months old at the time of Dannyâs death. âMy dad and I were very close,â says Danielle. âI donât remember a whole lot from my childhood. Itâs been really hard because I wish he could be there to see each milestone.âSays Katie-Lynn, âEveryone says that my dadâs love for his girls was so strong and he loved to show us all off. Itâs been a battle to say the least, always wishing he could be here to watch us succeed with each milestone and support us through everything that comes our way.âTheir older sister, Alex, was 15 in 2003, so she holds a more vivid range of memories of her father. âUnlike my sisters and cousins, I was fortunate enough to have more memories of him from my childhood,â says Alex, reminiscing. âHe was loving, protective, silly and adventurous. He would do anything for his girls. From the age of six, I lived in Toronto with my mom, so I only saw him during the summer and some March breaks. But those times with him were filled with so much love and fun. He did everything he could to always keep me smiling, from a fridge full of lobsters to fast rides on the four-wheeler.âI was also lucky enough to know Kyle Faulkner, Darrenâs son, when I lived in Musgrave Harbour. Iâd look forward to seeing Kyle in the high-school hallways; if you were having a bad day, you werenât anymore because his smile was contagious. The one thing I know for sure is that he has a smile just like his dad. âI have many memories, but some of my favourites would be when we would take our Ski-doo to the cabin and rabbit snare together. I cherish these memories because I still enjoy to do all of these things that I first did with my dad,â says Kyle, who was five years old when his dad died. âThis situation made me realize that anything can be taken away at any time, so it is important to appreciate each day we have on this earth.âRoger Hann lives on in his two sons, Josh and Tyler Hann. Josh was 14 and Tyler was 3 when their father passed.âMy dad was a kind, easygoing, hardworking and loving person - everyone tells me that I am just like him,â says Tyler. âIâd love for him to see how much I have accomplished and endured in my life. Thereâs been countless times where Iâve felt like I havenât had a leg to stand on, but I always got back on my feet and pulled through because I know he would be proud.â Draper Fahey did not have any children, but he is remembered as a kind man who is deeply missed by his family. Another dear friend of mine to this day is Myles Faulkner, the son of Dion. Mylesâs story is different from the rest. His father survived, and something that he lives with to this day is the âWhat if?â question.âI have learned so much from my dad. If he had not lived I probably wouldnât do the things that I do because I wouldnât have learned how to hunt or how to boat. He has taught me how to do all of the things we love, and it makes it even more special that we can do these things together. I know that he lives his life for me and wants me to enjoy my life because, despite everything that has happened, he does the things he loves and I think he enjoys his life,â says Myles. âIâd love for Pop to see that I fixed his Argo and that Iâm still using it. For uncle Danny to see that Iâm a diver just like him. For Uncle Darren to see how Kyle turned out and how we are still such good buddies. I think they would all be very impressed with the fact that Dad has continued to enjoy life despite experiencing such a loss.âA year after the accident, Dion fixed up the boat that once held such a painful memory. He used it to create new and lively memories for his son, nieces and nephews, and friends of those lost. That boat was used until three years ago, and now that engine runs Mylesâs boat. One thing Iâve learned from the experience of my friends is that tomorrow is never promised. And I got a real glimpse of how strong individuals have navigated the bumpy and unpredictable road of life after loss. I am inspired by how they have all prevailed from this hardship and how the families of all the men lost have made sure that their legacies live on.
Wendy Rose talks with Justin Fancy about his new album, Sure Beats a Good TimeHailing from Conception Bay South, NL, itâs hard to know whether to call Justin Fancy a townie or a bayman, based on his proximity to the provinceâs capital city. Thereâs one title that Fancy holds without any debate: award-winning yet still-rising star in the Newfoundland country music scene.Fancy released his debut album, Sure Beats A Good Time in September 2020. Working within Covid-19 restrictions, capacity was limited, but Fancy worked with Corner Brookâs Steady Entertainment to live-stream the show, which boasted an opening act by comedian Shaun Majumder - an impressive feat for an emerging artist. And just two months after the album release, Fancy spotted his name on the list of nominees for the 2020 MusicNL Awards, which he went on to win - not bad for a debut album, wha?The first song on the record is the title track, âSure Beats A Good Time,â and itâs obvious within 30 seconds of this seven-song, 24-minute album that this is some good and true country-rock. Fancy has a thick country twang, singing about universally relatable topics like friendship, self-doubt, making love, getting excited for Friday nights, and just generally making the most of life.Fancy slows things down a bit on âYour Memory,â but the pace picks up again on âMakes Me Wanna,â Fancyâs most recently released single. In mid-April, Fancy released the accompanying music video, starring Big Brother Canada 7 star Samantha Picco (local music lovers may also recognize her from Chris Andrewsâ âCandyâ video).A personal favourite from the album was âStop Lovinâ You.â This fourth track is where Fancy really bares all, showing deep emotions in his lyrics. âThere are things that I learned to do in spite of the feelings that I had for you. Thereâs no turning back but I have to stay, I built up my walls since you went away. Thereâs nothing left for me to sing, Iâve driven myself to stop loving you.âAnother slower tune, âWonderworld,â is more in the traditional country/western vein. The fantastic fiddle playing on this track makes it stand out on the album.âFigure This Outâ is a perfect fit for a country radio playlist, with its catchy hook and simplistic chorus. Itâs an easy tune to sing along with, even on the first spin.The album closes with âLovinâ Man,â an emotional piece about a father gifting his son with a guitar. Though Iâm unsure if itâs autobiographical, after interviewing Fancy and listening to his album, I think itâs pretty obvious that these lyrics come straight from the heart - and from this rising country starâs past, which is certainly helping to shape his future.In the coming months, fans can get hyped for another single from Sure Beats A Good Time with an accompanying music video. However, the real excitement comes in 2022 when Fancy expects to release a second album or EP.Q&A with the ArtistWendy Rose: Did you grow up listening to country music legends, or was this a genre you dove into on your own accord?Justin Fancy: Country music has always been a huge part of my life ever since I can remember. As a teenager, everywhere I went there was country music on in the car, at home; and as technology advanced it became a whole lot easier to access the older songs. I remember looking up the Top 100 Country Songs of all time and downloading them one by one. When I started to learn how to play guitar at the age of 13, I was obsessed over the stories the songs told, the chord progression, the crying of the steel guitar, and other musical and lyrical elements that made up the songs.I remember playing around campfires at campsites at an early age, entertaining the older folk with a mixture of traditional Newfoundland and Irish music, but mostly country and western songs. I grew up around country music in my hometown of Conception Bay South, and I credit my friends and family for that. WR: Where do you draw your inspiration from when writing?JF: I certainly write from personal experience and emotion, and I think listening to country music inspired me to be able to write such vulnerable songs. Itâs not easy to talk about or express your emotions, especially when sometimes they are based on bad experiences youâve had with relationships, or with life.My most recent country music hero, Luke Combs, was the one who changed it all for me. His songs, his talk about breakups and raw emotion, and really opening up to his fans was very inspiring for me, and I can say that he was one of the main reasons I finally got the courage to release this music. Listening to music that was a lot older than me, I was and still am so amazed at how open and beautifully vulnerable country songs were back thenâ¦ I think growing up and being able to relate to these songs really taught me how to write and try and do the same for others.WR: Sure Beats A Good Time earned you two 2020 MusicNL Awards - Country Artist of the Year and Rising Star of the Year - as well as a nod from the ECMAs for Inspirational Album of the Year. What was your reaction to these wins and nominations?JF: Itâs just an amazing feeling to know that your fans and the music community are watching the success and the amount of work that has gone into this. It takes a great team in the background to sustain a career in this industry, and I have to acknowledge them at every opportunity possible. The awards motivate me to continue this journey, and Iâm forever grateful for the recognition.WR: Thereâs no doubt that a pandemic is definitely a strange time to launch a music career, but do you have any parting wisdom for any emerging musicians who might be hesitant to take the leap right now? Aside from, you know, advising them to definitely make branded face masks? (Genius, btw.)JF: I think itâs very important to make a plan, pandemic or not. Do your research, develop industry relationships and seek their advice on what they think is best... The biggest mistake I find [is] independent artistsâ¦ [who] just release a song with no plan and hope that itâs the next top 40 Billboard hit. The song could be the best song in music history, but without the proper promotion and plan, the song wonât be heard.
Hoping to be declared the burger king or queen at the next backyard BBQ? Here's a recipe that will have your guests flipping over your skills!Sweet & Spicy Chicken Burger with Waffle Bun2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless4 Belgian waffles, lightly toastedLettuceDredge:1 cup flour1/2 cup cornmeal1 tsp chili flakes1 tsp onion powder1 tsp garlic powder1/2 tsp smoked paprika1/2 tsp black pepper1 tsp kosher saltEgg wash:2 eggs1/2 cup milk6 shakes Tabasco sauce1/3 cup pure maple syrupDressing:1/3 cup mayonnaise1 tbsp white sugar2 tbsp Apple cider vinegar1/2 tsp dry mustardpinch of cayenne pepperSift all dredge ingredients together in a bowl and set aside. Whisk all egg wash ingredients together thoroughly in a separate bowl and set aside. Dredge the chicken breast in the flour mixture, shake off excess. Dip the chicken breast in the egg wash and let the excess drip off. Repeat this process two more times, and then end with a fourth dredge. Deep fry the chicken breast in 350Â°F oil until golden brown. Remove chicken from the oil and place on a rack in a baking dish. Finish cooking the chicken in the oven until it reaches an internal temperature of 165Â°F.For the dressing: Whisk all ingredients together thoroughly and adjust the sweetness/acidity to your preference by adding more sugar or vinegar.Assembly: Place a chicken breast on one waffle, drizzle with dressing, add lettuce, and top with a second waffle. Serve immediately.Yield: 2 servings