Raising each other up through music

An International Women's Day event held at the Charlotte Street Arts Centre aimed to increase representation of all genders in the New Brunswick music scene.   (Caitlin Dutt/AQ)

Eva George is working to increase representation of all genders in the New Brunswick music scene. 

George, the art reach program manager at the Charlotte Street Arts Centre, held an event for women musicians on March 8 for International Women’s Day. 

Members of St. Mary’s First Nation, the Multicultural Association of Fredericton, Wangled Teb, Dumpster Cub and others danced, sang, performed and drummed from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“It’s an opportunity to raise each other up, said George. 

“I hope they see that there is an opportunity and space for them in the music industry, regardless of their gender.” 

George said Music NB contacted her on Feb. 1 and asked if the centre wanted to host an event for International Women’s Day. She agreed and started organizing the show.

The event was open to the public, but it focused on helping women form connections in the music industry. 

Angee Acquin of St. Mary’s First Nation performed at the event. (Caitlin Dutt/AQ)

Angee Acquin of St. Mary’s First Nation, a performer at the event, wants events like this one to continue to happen throughout the year to honour women.

“It’s been my teaching that women are the life force. Women are what bring life into the world,” Acquin said. 

George said it was important to see diversity among women on stage.  

“Someone told me a long time ago, ‘If you can’t see it, you can’t be it.’ The more you see people that look like you doing the things that you want to, the more able you are to do it.”  

Andie McCausland plays cello in the Saint John band Dumpster Cub. (Caitlin Dutt/AQ)

Andie McCausland and Jill Wong, members of the Saint John-band Dumpster Cub, performed at the event. They said they don’t see a lot of women performing on stage in Saint John, especially folk-synth bands like them, so it’s nice to perform alongside other women.

McCausland said being a woman musician and working with other women musicians is empowering.

Indigo Poirier, who fronts the one-person electronic band Wangled Teb, said bonding with other women musicians is key to succeeding as a woman in music. 

“The biggest thing for me has been having that sense of community and knowing that I haven’t had to go it alone, she said. 

Indigo Poirier who fronts the band Wangled Teb has seen a rise in female musicians since she joined the music scene. (Caitlin Dutt/AQ)

Poirier said even though the music scene in Fredericton is male-dominated, she’s seen an increase in female performers since she’s started. 

Wong said she hopes that in 20 years, it’s not a big deal to see a woman performing in a band on stage or working in the music industry. 

“[It would be nice for women] to have that confidence to do their thing and take on that role without feeling like maybe they shouldn’t be there.”