Inspired by a trip to the museum in the fall of 2017, this project's story begins the day the citizen journalist Shaun Antler visited the small permanent gallery on the third floor, which houses an exhibition dedicated to the history of local music. There she was struck by the notion that renowned singers and song writers started their careers just down the street from where their pictures now hang on the wall, and their records stand in glass cases. Yet, it was less the idea of locals who became famous which peaked her interest, instead it was the idea that she knew there were many more bands, musicians and performance artists that could be included in the display... and so, a seed sprouted in her brain that day. “Wouldn’t it be great to create a list to include their names, and possibly gather more photos and memorabilia, so they too could be featured in the music exhibit?”
It was a thought which would not leave her. And so, that night after she got home, Shaun rummaged through all the stage notes she had accumulated over the past 12 years spent as Artistic Director for The Stage at ROTARYFEST, the Sault's Summer Festival, and it began. She opened her laptop and created a spreadsheet.
The first two years of her "little project" included untold hours scouring the internet and talking on the phone, collecting information from musicians and performers who have, at some point in their lives, called Sault Ste. Marie home. Her research includes individual artists, names of local bands and what instrument each member played, and also, whenever possible, titles of their recordings, accolades received, special events or venues they played, plus the dates they formed, their current status, and more. It is a wide musical landscape with genres like doo-wop, classical, barbershop, electronic, musical theatre, comedic and world music rounding out the more common rock, blues, jazz, punk, ska, emo, indie, alternative, metal, bluegrass and country. Records date back as far as the early 1900's, and include military marching bands as well as big band orchestras.
By the time that spreadsheet had reached 1600 bands, she began thinking about printing it out, so she could present it to the Museum to be put on display in that gallery which inspired it. It was then she happened upon the Borderline Radio, which had just begun airing a 24hr stream of local music, and there she met Bill Cowen who was working on the a similar archival project, but digital.
It has taken over a year since they met, but the site before you is infact just a multi-media version of that paper copy which now sits in its own place of honor in a small room at the top of the stairs on the third floor of the museum.
With help from our partners at the Indivision Network, who have spent 20 years developing arts directories for local communities, many options have been added to promote multi-media artist profiles, and encourage local input. All Audio recordings, photos, and media articles have been collected from existing online artist profiles, like Discogs.com, Facebook, independed news sources, Myspace, Spotify, YouTube and official band websites, or they have been added by the artists themselves.
We would like to stress, that without contributions of local music aficionados, personal submissions from artists, and verbal conversations with a whole host of intriguing personalities, this project could not have made it this far. Special thanks to individuals who reached out to fellow musicians from their eras, family members, journalists, teachers, organization directors, bloggers, and Facebook Group Administrators, Many thanks to you all.
Click the magnifying glass at the top of any page to search for Individual artists, bands and Resources or create your own account to submit your own content.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com if you have any questions or wish to submit additional listings.
Major contributors to this project include individuals who reached out to fellow musicians from their eras, family members, journalists, teachers, organization directors, bloggers, and Facebook Group Administrators. Many thanks to the following individuals to whom this project could not have been accomplished.
Paul Leclair, President of the Canadian Conference of Musicians/Secretary Treasurer Local 276 AFM
Rob Figures, Administrator/Blogger, The Sault Metal Scene
Don MacDonald, Sault Music Scene (Centennial Lanes, Zombie A-Go-Go etc.)
Shane "DJ Seith" Erickson, Soo York City Urban Arts Collective
Brian Kelly, Journalist, The Sault Star
Chris Belsito, Freelance Writer, Soo Today/Sault Musician
Adrian Vilaca, Owner/Operator, The Borderline Radio
Ric Datson, The Sault Ste. Marie Museum/Sault Musician
Ronn Koski, Sault Musician
Glen Thomas, Sault Musician
Kt Antler, Sault Musician
Rick "Styles" White, Sault Musician/Radio Personality
Randy Foreman, Sault Musician
Tony Santoro, Sault Musician
Laurier "Tuffy" Thibodeau, Sault Musician
Marty Siltanen, Sault Musician
Jim Traveson, Sault Musician/"18 Forever" coordinator
Marci and Dama Chindamo, Sault Musicians
Kyle McKey, Sault Musician
Scott McLurg, Sault Musician
Steve Ryan, Sault Musician
Agnes McCarthy, Director, Northern Arts Academy/Vocal Teacher
Denine Williams, Music Teacher, Korah Collegiate & Vocational School
Jennifer Patterson, Administrator, Northern Ontario Country Music Association
We thank our partners in these efforts who have been so important during this preliminary collection of information. Our database currently contains profiles for 1864 bands and musicians.