Fredericton native David Myles brings his annual Singing For Supper Tour to Moncton’s CF Champlain this Wednesday at Noon.
For the last six years, Myles has used the performances as a means to raise much-needed funds and food donations for New Brunswick’s many food banks. The show will benefit Moncton’s Food DEPOT Alimentaire.
When discussing how his event has grown over the last six years, the pride is evident in Myles’ voice:
“Last year, we raised more than $12,000,” Myles says, before estimating the concerts have brought in upwards of $30,000 since their inception. “It has been such a fun and amazing thing to watch such a simple idea grow into something like this. Every year, the crowds and the donations each get a little bigger.”
Admitting that playing live music in a non-traditional venue like a shopping mall initially struck him as being a little odd, Myles said that keeping the long-term plan in mind was a central part to his dedication to the project.
“Those first few years, we definitely got some strange looks from people wondering why I was performing in the mall, but I wasn’t afraid to try performing in an environment like a mall where people might not pay attention to what I was doing. The purpose of using these shows to help raise donations for New Brunswick food banks was something that I always believed would work in the long run.
“The great thing about this show is that people are able to come and go as they please. Whether someone stays for a half-hour or for the whole performance, the purpose of this show is so much bigger than me as an artist. I just happen to be very fortunate to be in a position with my career that I can do something like this for the benefit of others,” he says.
“It’s an easy way for us to make a big difference in someone’s life.”
One added facet of this year’s Moncton show is the inclusion of students and staff from the Anglophone East School District. In a bid to boost donations, Myles incentivized the district’s schools to voluntarily collect food by promising to play a concert for whichever school collected the most.
“Having schools involved in collecting food items was a goal from the outset of the concert series. I am thrilled to see it come to fruition this year. A lot of students might not realize that some of their classmates might be among those needing to rely upon food banks, so having students take part in collecting food is a natural extension of the show at the shopping mall.”
Although Myles didn’t release a new studio effort to Canadian audiences in 2015, he used the year to begin dipping his toes into the lucrative American market. Towards the end of September, Myles released his official U.S. debut record, So Far, comprised of previously released material that has been re-recorded and re-imagined in an acoustic, stripped-down format.
While some might believe that Myles entering the American market is akin to essentially starting his career over, Myles acknowledges it is partially the case, but that he has years of experience that he and his band are able to leverage works out to their advantage.
“We are basically starting fresh in the U.S., but it’s such a great position to be in. The band and I have years of playing experience behind us, which allows us to approach the market at a higher level. I am playing a lot of places as an unknown artist, and that is perfectly fine. I realized going into it that I would have to lay the groundwork for my career, which is exactly what I have done here in Canada. You can’t go into a market like the States with big expectations. As long as you can keep your head on straight, you’ll be fine.”
Noting that he has received great support from NPR and various online media outlets south of the border, Myles is slated to return to the U.S. for a quick run of shows in the Spring.
“The response I have received to the record and to the live shows from American audiences has been amazing. It feels good; it is a good place to be.”
Myles recently wrapped up an Atlantic Canadian tour that saw him play some of the region’s most iconic venues. While he may be beginning to make in-roads in the U.S., Myles is the first to say that he will never forget his roots and the importance that the Maritimes have played in building his career.
“This most recent tour of Atlantic Canada was a milestone for me in many ways. The band and I had the opportunity to play to sold-out crowds in some of the region’s biggest rooms. Not a day passes by that I don’t realize how lucky I have been.”
What: David Myles
When: Wednesday Dec. 16, Noon
Where: CF Champlain Mall, 477 Paul St., Dieppe