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P.E.I. singer songwriter "making sacrifices for art"

Meaghan Blanchard, shown in this wedding photo with her grandmother, Glenda Blanchard, and husband Thomas Webb, sold her wedding dress earlier this week to fund her upcoming CD. The ad received 14,032 hits on Kijiji.
Meaghan Blanchard, shown in this wedding photo with her grandmother, Glenda Blanchard, and husband Thomas Webb, sold her wedding dress earlier this week to fund her upcoming CD. The ad received 14,032 hits on Kijiji. Ashland Wedding Photography/Stephen Harris/Submitted photo

Meaghan Blanchard sells her wedding dress to a happy bride-to-be to help fund her new CD, due out in January

Meaghan Blanchard knows the cost of making music.

And ECMA award-winning singer-songwriter will go to any lengths to achieve her goal – even to the point of shocking fans when she put her beloved wedding dress up for sale on Kijiji recently.

The online announcement left many Prince Edward Islanders wondering why she was selling her cream-coloured dress with the sweetheart neckline, lace cap sleeves and long flowing train.

It’s all about finances, she says.

“The expense of creating art is so high. And with my new CD coming out in January, I have to find a way to pay for it,” says Blanchard, who received some funding from F.A.C.T.O.R., but it wasn’t enough.

“So I started collecting things around her house that I could sell.”

One day she walked by the spare bedroom of her house and spotted her wedding dress hanging in front of the window.

“I thought, ‘well, that could go.’ I realized that I probably wasn’t going to wear it again and thought maybe someone else could use it.”

So she wrote an ad and posted it on Kijiji.

“I made it personal and I think that’s what made things take off,” says Blanchard.

Her creative writing skills worked. This past Tuesday the dress sold for $1200, after the ad received 14,032 hits.

Understandably, the bride-to-be who purchased it wishes to remain anonymous.

“I’m happy to know that it will be used to help someone else have a happy day,” says Blanchard.

She plans to use the money to help fund her new album, “The Great Escape”. Her producer just finished mixing the 10-track CD last week.

So far she’s put $15,000 into it and needs another $10,000 to print the CDs and do the marketing.

Blanchard says today’s music industry is challenging artists to be creative in their fundraising.

“CD sales are significantly lower since the 90’s. Yet, it’s just as costly to make them. But no one wants to be the one to admit that they have to make significant financial sacrifices to do what they do… but they do like every other business owner. So artists have to make sacrifices.”

Even a songwriter like Lindi Ortega, who has been on a major label, has said she doesn’t think that the old model is working any more.

“I just saw online that she’s doing a kickstarter campaign for her upcoming record, “What a Girl has Gotta Do”. ”

Blanchard will be doing the same thing very shortly.

“So I realize that we’re all in this industry feeling the same way.”

Fast facts

- Meaghan Blanchard purchased her wedding dress before tying the knot with P.E.I. musician Thomas Webb this past summer.

- She says it suited her “short and curvy” body shape and when she put it on really felt like “that quintessential bride.”)

- Website: Go to http://meaghanblanchard.com.

sally.cole@theguardian.pe.ca

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