Here’s a conversation with Kingston music promoter/booker Virginia Clark, the force behind the Grad Club and Wolfe Island Music Festival.
Virginia Clark grew up in Battersea and moved to Kingston to complete a degree in Sociology at Queen’s. After some time on the west coast, she moved back to the east and took up residence on Wolfe Island. She eventually landed a job managing The Grad Club, and are we ever lucky she did.
Kingston’s musical history began in the 1800s with an opera house, a piano factory and several church choirs. Today, as a community of artists and makers, with more restaurants per capita than almost any city in the country, live music takes place everywhere, every night of the week. It’s commonly known that Kingston’s student musicians hone their skills in its local scene without the fear of critics in bigger venues and in larger cities. From Bedouin Soundclash to up-and-coming bands like Kasador – whose bassist is son of The Hip’s lead guitarist Rob Baker – student bands have set their roots in Kingston, risen from Queen’s and utilized Kingston’s music scene as a place to develop their talent.
From free musical lending libraries like the Joe Chithalen Memorial Musical Instrument Lending Library, Joe’s MILL, and the multitude of live music venues like the legendary and student-run Queen’s Grad Club; to the music festivals hosted in Kingston like the decades-old Wolfe Island Music Festival – named one of the best small-scale music festivals in Canada – Kingston has been home to where talent is fostered, bands are discovered and fans can connect on deeper levels in intimate settings.
Tourism Kingston recently caught up with a few of the nominees, including The Tragically Hip’s Rob Baker, Sarah Harmer and The Glorious Sons (ahead of their Juno appearance) to discuss what Kingston has meant to them. For more information on Kingston’s contribution to Canadian music visit here.
Here’s an interview with Virginia Clark on FYIMusicNews.ca