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Maritime artists turn to online performances to stay in touch with their fans

Sitting the prescribed two metres apart from each other, Moe Gorman, played by Rob MacDonald, and Alanna Jankov, executive director at The Guild, meet to discuss Moe’s Island Jamboree, an online show on The Guild’s Facebook page.
Sitting the prescribed two metres apart from each other, Moe Gorman, played by Rob MacDonald, and Alanna Jankov, executive director at The Guild, meet to discuss Moe’s Island Jamboree, an online show on The Guild’s Facebook page.


Like quarantined Italians singing from their balconies, Maritimers have created a way of connecting with others during this period of social distancing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

East Coast musicians are reaching into the living rooms of their friends and neighbours and entertaining them by going live on their Facebook pages.

On Prince Edward Island, Moe Gorman, played by Rob MacDonald, and The Guild have launched Moe’s Island Jamboree.

“I start out by reciting a poem or singing one of my songs or telling you what’s on my mind that day, then I turn it over to you. And that’s where you come in,” says Gorman, on a video on The Guild’s Facebook page.


Moe’s Island Jamboree - Justin Shaw

For your Friday entertainment, a brand new Moe’s Island Jamboree, presented by The Guild! This one gets a little nsfw with language as Moe sings “Philip Arsenault” and welcomes stand-up comedian Justin Shaw, who performs a set from his apartment in Hamilton Ontario. This Town is Small

Posted by The Guild on Friday, March 20, 2020

He’s calling on people to send in a video of themselves doing something “entertaining".

“We’re looking for people to sing songs. We’re looking for people to recite poetry, short stories and jokes – but try to keep it clean, though, because it’s a family-friendly sort of thing.”

In the first instalment, on Wednesday, Gorman welcomed Marianne Fitzpatrick who sang VFD, a jazz number by Michelle Shocked, while she cooked supper over a hot stove.

“I promised Rob that I would provide some entertainment during this apocalyptic event. I’m just going to sing silly songs because I seem to remember them better than other songs.”

In real life, MacDonald is the writer in residence and creative guru at The Guild, says executive director Alanna Jankov.

“For him to spearhead this fantastic, creative idea, engaging the public at The Guild, has been a breath of fresh air, especially during these uncharted times.”

Todd MacLean will emcee Quarantunes Isolation Concerts, in-home shows on Fridays and Saturdays, 8 p.m., on Facebook Live.
Todd MacLean will emcee Quarantunes Isolation Concerts, in-home shows on Fridays and Saturdays, 8 p.m., on Facebook Live.

P.E.I. musician Todd MacLean is entering uncharted waters with Quarantunes Isolation Concerts this week, featuring in-home shows Fridays and Saturdays, 8 p.m., on Facebook Live. Check out the Quarantunes isolation concerts page.

“It’s totally dream style, an ‘if you build it, they will come' kind of thing,” says MacLean, who wears many hats in P.E.I.'s music scene, including saxophone player, teacher, piano player, singer, solo artist and group performer.

The series kicked off on Friday night with Rachel Beck in concert. Today it’s Andrew and Nikki Waite at 8 p.m. Then on Saturday, March 28, Nick Doneff will take the stage in his home for the series at 8 p.m.


So pleased to announce that the first performer for Quarantunes Isolation Concerts will be the incredible...

Posted by Quarantunes isolation concerts: in-home shows Fri/Sat 8pm on Thursday, March 19, 2020

The goal of Quarantunes is to create an online space where Islanders and music fans abroad can unite together virtually to enjoy live performances by local artists, at designated and reliable times each weekend, during this time of isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

MacLean will act as an emcee, introducing each artist and directing the audience to a live video done by that person.

“I’m trying to make a show that people can actually attend, even though it’s online. It’s going to be an intimate, engaging experience; like being in someone’s living room.”


Learn more


The members of the Pitre family from Christopher Cross are well versed in the online concert concept. They have formed a social media group, Christopher Cross Music at Home.

Members of this group can request the entertainer of their choice to record a song and load it to the page. It’s left up to the singer to decide whether to participate.

The new page went live Monday morning and in fewer than 24 hours it already had more than 1,100 members.

“You turn on social media, and it was so scary for people,” Kelly Pitre said in explaining why she and her husband, Malcolm, decided to start up a new page. “Things were happening, and people needed a good distraction, I guess.”

Cory Gallant is holding a Live From His Living Room to Yours concert today at 9 p.m., on Cory Gallant Music Facebook page.
Cory Gallant is holding a Live From His Living Room to Yours concert today at 9 p.m., on Cory Gallant Music Facebook page.

In the same spirit, Cory Gallant is holding a Live From His Living Room to Yours concert today at 9 p.m.

“I will tell stories and play the exact lineup of songs we do on tours but with my acoustic guitar,” says the award-winning country singer-songwriter.

Music lovers can check it out on the Cory Gallant Music Facebook page.

“There will be a place to make a donation, but there is no obligation to give money. I know these are hard times for everyone, so if this at least (can provide) some happiness on a Saturday night, that's the main goal.”


Hey everyone, join us Saturday night for a show from my place to yours. Front row seating and drinks are on the...

Posted by Cory Gallant Music on Thursday, March 19, 2020

Ashley MacIsaac wants to bring his fans happiness after his own concerts were postponed.

On April 1, the Cape Breton fiddler and his friends, George Canyon and comedian Bette MacDonald, are putting on a quarantine ceilidh for “Canadians stuck in their homes due to the coronavirus pandemic".


Folks, you can't come out to see our shows. So we're going to bring it to your living room! Me and my friends singer George Canyon and comedian Bette MacDonald are putting on a "quarantine ceilidh" for Canadians stuck in their homes during the #coronavirus pandemic. Our first digital festival will take place April 1! If it goes sideways then I'll have to say 'April Fools! :) & thx CBC News for putting the word out #takeitseriously #digitalfest #comedy #musicfest #georgecanyon #bettemacdonald #ashleymacisaac #scottish #irish #folk #folkmusic #traditional #dancing #storytelling

Posted by Ashley MacIsaac on Tuesday, March 17, 2020

“People can’t come out to see our shows, so we’re going to bring it to (their) living rooms,” states MacIsaac on his Facebook page, adding the start time and other details will be announced soon.

“The first digital festival is April 1. If it goes sideways, then I'll have to say, ‘April Fools’.”

-With files from Eric McCarthy

Ashley MacIsaac is planning his first digital festival on Facebook Live on April 1.
Ashley MacIsaac is planning his first digital festival on Facebook Live on April 1.

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