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Dora Lewis

Anne Murray Centre Announces Music Fest in Springhill

Anne Murray Centre Announces Music Fest in Springhill



The Anne Murray Centre has lined up some impressive artists for The Maritime Music Fest this summer. The Festival will feature a mix of well known local talent as well as some of the Maritimes’ best musicians.

“We were trying to book a wide variety of artists so there is something for everyone,” said Charlie Rhindress, Coordinator of the Festival. “It’s a bit of a musical buffet of East Coast talent,” he added.

The closing concert, which is scheduled for Saturday, July 29 at the Dr. Carson and Marion Murray Community Centre in Springhill goes from 4 to 11 p.m. In the hopes of making the concert accessible to everyone advance tickets are just $20 for the seven hour concert. Teens can get a ticket for just $5 and those under 19 can stay until 9 p.m.

In addition to the music there will also be food trucks on site and merchandise available from the artists as well as other Maritime artisans.

“With the support of Nova Scotia’s 150 Forward Fund we are able to present all of this entertainment at a very reasonable cost,” said Bill Munro, Chair of the Anne Murray Centre. “We really wanted to present a series of events that were accessible to the community,” he added.

The concert features a number of East Coast Music Award nominees and winners.

Catherine MacLellan, who has won two ECMA’s as well as five Music PEI awards, will be performing songs from her new album, “If It’s Alright With You,” a tribute to her late father, Gene MacLellan, writer of two of Anne Murray’s biggest hits, “Snowbird” and “Put Your Hand in the Hand.”

Nova Scotia based Pop/Rock singer/songwriter, Christina Martin, also a multiple ECMA winner, will perform as well with her band. Martin has had multiple CBC Radio2 hits like ‘Falling For You’ and ‘It’ll Be Alright’, and is back from Europe and Canada tour dates promoting her new single, “Lungs Are Burning”.

East Coast favourites Gordie MacKeeman and his Rhythm Boys are sure to bring some high energy to the concert when they hit the stage. The PEI based group is led by MacKeeman, a fiddler who is nicknamed “Crazy Legs” because of his ““frenetic loose-limbed step-dancing.” The band, which has released three albums and won a number of ECMAs and PEI Music Awards, has thrilled audiences from Australia to Scotland with their lively performances. Their most recent album is the aptly named, “Laugh, Dance & Sing.” The recording won PEI Music Awards for Album, Group Recording and Roots Traditional Recording of the Year.

Springhill based singer/songwriter, Christopher Brown, will also take to the stage to entertain his hometown crowd. Brown, whose music is a mix of rock, folk and pop, was the 2013 Grand Prize winner of the Radio Star National songwriting competition for his song “The Record Collection.” He has co-written songs with Grammy Award winner Gordie Sampson and recently released his self titled debut album.

With an eye toward having something for everyone, City Natives, an aboriginal Hip Hop group, hailing from first nations communities throughout Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, will bring their masterful rap skills to the concert. These upbeat rappers, who will appeal in particular to youth, recently won Best Duo or Group and Single of the Year at the Indigenous Music Awards, making them the first East Coast artists to do so. They have also won two ECMAs and were nominated for Aboriginal Artist of the Year at the Nova Scotia Music Week Awards.
The concert also features well known local talent including Leah Killen, who has been performing in the Springhill area for decades and is known in part as the daughter of the singing miner, Maurice Ruddick, who wrote the “Springhill Mine Disaster Song.” Chelsea Atkinson, a young Springhill native who is a rising star in her own right, recently won a competition to open for one of her idols, Canadian Country star, Brett Kissel. In addition to performing her own music, Atkinson will host the Teen Contest portion of the concert. Three young Maritime performers will each have the opportunity to appear on stage and perform two or three songs.

The Junior Jills, a group of young people aged twelve to sixteen, who have been mentored by Sackville, NB fiddling sensation Stacey Read, will also bring their fiddling and step dancing skills to the stage.

More details about the Teen Contest and the exact times for each performance are available at the Anne Murray Centre website.

In addition to the closing concert the Maritime Music Fest will also feature a Songwriters’ Circle earlier in the day on July 29. Martin, Brown and MacLellan will be joined by New Brunswick singer/songwriter Jessica Rhaye. Inspired by John Denver and Ryan Adams, Rhaye is known for her “stunning vocals and lush melodies.”

Each musician will perform and talk about one of their own songs and then present an Anne Murray hit and provide some background on that song as well. There will also be a Q&A with the audience.

The Festival will also feature three performances of Charlie Rhindress’s hilarious dinner theatre, “Anne of Springhill,” July 26-28. In the show a group of wacky characters gather for a meeting of the Anne Murray fan club and to plan a tribute to their hometown hero.

Murray herself will be on hand at the Anne Murray Centre on July 29 from 2-5 p.m. for a meet and greet with fans. That event is free and open the public.

The Anne Murray Centre recognizes the support of the Province of Nova Scotia through its 150 Forward Fund, and is pleased to work in partnership with the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage to develop and promote our cultural resources for all Nova Scotians. Other supporters of the Festival include Media Sponsor CFTA 107.9 and Silver Level Sponsor, Archway Insurance.

Tickets for all events are on sale now and a Festival Pass is available. For tickets or more information visit or call (902) 597-8614.