Local Singer Part of International Project

Manotick’s Leith Ross One of Nine Canadians in Folk Music Canada International Collaboration

A Manotick singer/songwriter is one of nine Canadian artists taking part in a collaboration between Folk Music Canada and artists from Australia and the Nordics.

Leith Ross, now based out of Toronto, performs the song I Remember with Ida Wenøe of Denmark. Folk Music Canada (FMC) is releasing nine original songs as part of the International Collaboration Recording Export Program. From a call for submissions, FMC selected nine Canadian export-ready folk musicians and partnered them with nine international folk artists/bands from Australia, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Iceland and Sweden. The goal is to help artists grow their international presence and networks during a time when touring is not possible.

“We understand the impact this time has had on creation and the live showcase model,” says Executive Director for FMC, Karrnnel Sawitsky. “This project has fostered a meaningful connection from across the globe; allowing for remote creations between artists with distinct perspectives and styles.”

FMC wanted to set the artists up for success in the remote collaboration process, thus all participants are financially compensated, with all production and promotion costs covered, and the rights of each song are retained by the artists. The collaborative recordings will be promoted on a global scale as a means of export for these Canadian Folk artists and to celebrate the importance, diversity, and cultural value of folk music in Canada.

“I have loved being a part of this project. While this year has brought challenges to so many, it has also been a time of reconnection and repurpose,” says Halifax folk musician, Jenn Grant. “In some cases, our limitations have opened new doors and pathways to creativity and joy. I hope that people will hear the love and authenticity that went into this songwriting process. It was a career highlight to share this experience with Ash Bell and Sarah Tindley all the way in Australia, for Folk Music Canada’s export program.”

Ross delivers a raw, vulnerable style of music that is a culmination of inspiration sourced by Celtic family roots and the highly formative High School Musical series.

Leith Ross’s debut EP Motherwell is described as an incredibly honest and intimate collection of songs.  The music was inspired by their own coming of age story, and written in hopes of providing the soundtrack to a shaping moment for someone else. Motherwell was humbly recorded live off the floor in one afternoon with college mates, and released in October 2020 on Birthday Cake.

Songs from Ross’s debut EP have been played on CBC Radio 2 as well as editorial playlists on Spotify, Amazon Music, and Apple Music. The EP received critical acclaim from Exclaim!, Stylus Magazine, Red Guitar Music, and indie blog If It’s Too Loud.

Ross is not the only area musician on the project. Amanda Rheaume of Barrhaven, a former Live 88.5 Money Shot contest winner and a Juno Award winner, is also part of the project.

With their own unique perspectives and distinct styles, the powerhouse pairs have come together remotely to create new music representing both traditional and experimental folk sounds. See below for the full list of pairings and song titles:

● Breaking Point by Aerialists (Canada) + Långbacka/Bådagård (Sweden)

● I’ve Been Gone by Amanda Rheaume (Canada) + Monique Clare (Australia)

● Don’t Matter by Cécile Doo-Kingué (Canada) + Beckah Amani (Australia)

● Hope & Fortune by Irish Mythen (Canada) + Svavar Knútur (Iceland)

● Sons & Daughters by Jenn Grant (Canada) + Ash Bell and Sara Tindley (Australia)

● I Remember by Leith Ross (Canada) + Ida Wenøe (Denmark)

● Ovddos / Hivumuuniq by PIQSIQ (Canada) + VILDA (Finland)

● Fall Awake by The Once (Canada) + Jack Carty (Australia)

● Bright New World by The Small Glories (Canada) + Darling West (Norway)

All songs are released today and available on Folk Music Canada website and through all streaming platforms, and have supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Government of Canada.

Folk Music Canada is a member-driven organization that supports and promotes the Canadian folk music community and is dedicated to raising awareness about the importance, diversity, and cultural value of all types of folk music in Canada. Founded in 2000, FMC operated for nearly a decade as ‘Folk Alliance Canada’, changing its name in 2009and establishing a strategic plan in 2011. FMC is committed to the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity, and access in the folk music sector, the arts sector overall, and throughout all of society. FMC has adopted the Canadian Code of Conduct for the Performing Arts for all activities.