A seasoned road warrior whose full-time touring schedule dates back to her days in Canadian rock band The Joys, Sarah continues to feel most at home on-stage. She plays nearly 300 shows per year, primarily in Canada, the United States, and Europe. Along the way, she has shared the stage with artists including Melissa Etheridge, Sass Jordan, Emm Gryner, Craig Cardiff, Joel Plaskett, David Wilcox, and many others. Whether it’s just her and her acoustic guitar or her full band, she is a mesmerizing performer. The 2015 DVD Sarah Smith: Plugged and Unplugged captures Sarah and her band in peak form, both live and in the studio.
The Borderlands Ensemble is a chamber orchestra based in London led by Igor Saika and Jason Stanford. Igor Saika wears many musical hats: he is a composer, arranger, conductor, pianist, cellist, accompanist, and educator. He has worked extensively in theatre as a music director, and has composed for video games and animations, but his main passion is collaborating with other artists; he has done musical arranging work with groups like Arkells, Terra Lightfoot, the National Academy Orchestra, and the 2015 Juno Awards.
A native of London Ontario, he has returned to live here after many years away, and he is excited to share new musical explorations and collaborations with London audiences.
Jason Stanford’s oeuvre includes a wide range of instrumental and electro-acoustic music compositions, ranging from works for solo instruments and chamber ensembles to a number of pieces for orchestra. Jason’s music has been performed across Canada, the US, and Europe including a piece for large orchestra which was performed in 2013 to an audience of two-thousand in Die Musikverein, in Vienna, Austria. On the other side of the Atlantic, his percussion Quartet ‘Awakening Fire’ has enjoyed over a dozen performances by the TorQ Percussion Quartet.
Jason holds a doctorate in music composition from The University of Toronto and a bachelor’s and master’s degree in music composition from Western University (née The University of Western Ontario), where he has been a professor in the Faculty of Music since 2012. Jason has a deep appreciation for popular music of all styles, and is keenly interested in undertaking creative projects
Jane Carmichael (vocals, ukulele) and Kevin Kennedy (vocals, guitar) are indeed a married couple. They became The Marrieds in December of 2010, when they posted three snow day songs on YouTube during London’s infamous “Snowmageddon” of that year. The songs were viewed over 10,000 times in just a few days, and captured the attention of CBC radio, which made them the Sound of the Day across Canada.
The Marrieds are known for their “folk-country sound filled with playful lyrics and sweet harmonies” (Lori Mastronardi, The London Free Press). They have played for audiences across Canada, winning praise for their songwriting, performances, and charm. They have shared the stage with luminaries including Kathleen Edwards, Bahamas, Danny Michel, Peter Katz, Lennie Gallant, Ian Thomas, and many others.
The Marrieds recently won a 2017 Jack Richardson London Music Award in the Folk/Roots Category, as well as a nomination for Video of the Year for “A Girl Said Yes.” In 2014, they won in the same category and also picked up the CHRW Juried Local Album of the Year Award. Other nominations include being on the short list for Folk Music Ontario’s 2017 Recording Artist of the Year, 2014 Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award Finalist, Canadian Folk Music Awards Vocal Group of the Year (2014), and the Toronto Independent Music Awards in the Folk/Roots category (2016, 2012) and Best Music Video (2016).