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Return of Music Week to Yarmouth will strike right chord musically and economically


YARMOUTH – It’s back to Yarmouth this year for Nova Scotia Music Week, a celebration of sound and artistry that will take place Nov. 5-8.

The event also is about the business side of music, a chance for artists and others in the industry to get together and make contacts.

NOTE TO READERS: This and other music-related stories are featured in the April online issue of The Nova Scotia Business Journal.

And for the host community – Yarmouth in this case – Nova Scotia Music Week is expected to give the area an economic boost, given the number of people who will converge here at a time well past the peak tourism season.

One of the people involved in the effort to get the Yarmouth area ready says things are progressing well.

 “From what I know about past events, we’re on schedule with everything,” said Rick Allwright, group sales manager with the Yarmouth and Acadian Shores Tourism Association (YASTA). “We’re following Music Nova Scotia’s lead on everything. They’re the organizers. We’re just here to help them make sure it’s a success.”

YASTA’s involvement includes rounding up volunteers to help put on this fall’s event. At least 150 of them will be needed, Allwright said.

“Our transportation coordinator has already recruited his drivers and people to help him,” Allwright said, “but we’re going to need people helping set up the venues and what not.  It’s a massive undertaking and we know the community is going to come together to make sure it’s a success.”

Of course, the key word in Nova Scotia Music Week is “music,” and among the artists who can talk about the benefits of participating in the event is Gabrielle Papillon, the Halifax singer-songwriter who lately has been working with British manager Peter Jenner, a connection she was able to make thanks to Music Week.

Jenner’s resumé includes managing Pink Floyd in the early days of that group and later the Clash. He was one of the Music Week speakers in 2013 in Sydney, where he had a chance to hear Papillon perform. He spoke at last year’s event in Truro too and got to hear her again. He was impressed and decided to work with her.

“He’s helping me out with planning for the release (of her fifth album) and talking to potential label partners and sort of helping me develop a following and a career in the U.K. and Europe,” Papillon said. “Peter’s more or less retired from management, but I guess he’s rather keen on what I do … It’s sort of unofficial and informal right now.”

Trevor Murphy, a member of the band Quiet Parade and founder of the record label Acadian Embassy, has been attending Nova Scotia Music Week since 2007. He says whether you’re there as an artist or in more of a business capacity – and Murphy has done both – Music Week is a good place to make contacts.

“A lot of the time it’s just meeting people … getting to know what they’re looking for, letting them know what you’re up to, and then you kind of just follow up on those relationships, post-event,” he said.

Murphy lives and works in Halifax, but he’s originally from Yarmouth, where Nova Scotia Music Week was held in 2009, ’10 and ’11.

Groups that have never attended an event like Music Week may think it’s just a matter of performing, having someone see them on stage and that’s it, Murphy said, “but it’s really about doing that groundwork and that’s kind of where I have found the most benefit, both for my bands and the bands I represent.”

For her part, Papillon says she has been to perhaps 30-or-more music conferences over the past four or five years and she finds the Music Nova Scotia event is one of the best.

Connecting with Jenner was part of an experience that has made Papillon a prime example of what can happen at – or through – Nova Scotia Music Week.

It was “kind of a magical year for me and I know it was for other people as well,” she said.

Might more magic happen this November, when the event returns to Yarmouth?

From Allwright’s perspective, part of the magic may just be that Yarmouth gets to host it again. He says business people in the area are looking forward to an economic impact at least equal to what the community experienced when it hosted Nova Scotia Music Week before. (He cites a study from one of the years the event was held in Yarmouth that found it generated about $1.2 million in economic activity.)

He says he is confident Nova Scotia Music Week 2015 will help solidify the Yarmouth area’s reputation as a place that does a great job hosting major gatherings, whether it’s music or sports or something else.

“We want to continue being known for that,” he said. “I continue to push, with people I talk to, this is a place to come and put on an event.”

The event also is about the business side of music, a chance for artists and others in the industry to get together and make contacts.

NOTE TO READERS: This and other music-related stories are featured in the April online issue of The Nova Scotia Business Journal.

And for the host community – Yarmouth in this case – Nova Scotia Music Week is expected to give the area an economic boost, given the number of people who will converge here at a time well past the peak tourism season.

One of the people involved in the effort to get the Yarmouth area ready says things are progressing well.

 “From what I know about past events, we’re on schedule with everything,” said Rick Allwright, group sales manager with the Yarmouth and Acadian Shores Tourism Association (YASTA). “We’re following Music Nova Scotia’s lead on everything. They’re the organizers. We’re just here to help them make sure it’s a success.”

YASTA’s involvement includes rounding up volunteers to help put on this fall’s event. At least 150 of them will be needed, Allwright said.

“Our transportation coordinator has already recruited his drivers and people to help him,” Allwright said, “but we’re going to need people helping set up the venues and what not.  It’s a massive undertaking and we know the community is going to come together to make sure it’s a success.”

Of course, the key word in Nova Scotia Music Week is “music,” and among the artists who can talk about the benefits of participating in the event is Gabrielle Papillon, the Halifax singer-songwriter who lately has been working with British manager Peter Jenner, a connection she was able to make thanks to Music Week.

Jenner’s resumé includes managing Pink Floyd in the early days of that group and later the Clash. He was one of the Music Week speakers in 2013 in Sydney, where he had a chance to hear Papillon perform. He spoke at last year’s event in Truro too and got to hear her again. He was impressed and decided to work with her.

“He’s helping me out with planning for the release (of her fifth album) and talking to potential label partners and sort of helping me develop a following and a career in the U.K. and Europe,” Papillon said. “Peter’s more or less retired from management, but I guess he’s rather keen on what I do … It’s sort of unofficial and informal right now.”

Trevor Murphy, a member of the band Quiet Parade and founder of the record label Acadian Embassy, has been attending Nova Scotia Music Week since 2007. He says whether you’re there as an artist or in more of a business capacity – and Murphy has done both – Music Week is a good place to make contacts.

“A lot of the time it’s just meeting people … getting to know what they’re looking for, letting them know what you’re up to, and then you kind of just follow up on those relationships, post-event,” he said.

Murphy lives and works in Halifax, but he’s originally from Yarmouth, where Nova Scotia Music Week was held in 2009, ’10 and ’11.

Groups that have never attended an event like Music Week may think it’s just a matter of performing, having someone see them on stage and that’s it, Murphy said, “but it’s really about doing that groundwork and that’s kind of where I have found the most benefit, both for my bands and the bands I represent.”

For her part, Papillon says she has been to perhaps 30-or-more music conferences over the past four or five years and she finds the Music Nova Scotia event is one of the best.

Connecting with Jenner was part of an experience that has made Papillon a prime example of what can happen at – or through – Nova Scotia Music Week.

It was “kind of a magical year for me and I know it was for other people as well,” she said.

Might more magic happen this November, when the event returns to Yarmouth?

From Allwright’s perspective, part of the magic may just be that Yarmouth gets to host it again. He says business people in the area are looking forward to an economic impact at least equal to what the community experienced when it hosted Nova Scotia Music Week before. (He cites a study from one of the years the event was held in Yarmouth that found it generated about $1.2 million in economic activity.)

He says he is confident Nova Scotia Music Week 2015 will help solidify the Yarmouth area’s reputation as a place that does a great job hosting major gatherings, whether it’s music or sports or something else.

“We want to continue being known for that,” he said. “I continue to push, with people I talk to, this is a place to come and put on an event.”

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