Saskatchewan musician feels at home on East Coast

Winner of the 2010 East Coast Music Award for Galaxie Rising Star of the Year, Nova Scotia’s Kim Wempe has just returned to her Maritime home after spending the past two months touring in support of her latest record, Painting With Tides.

The record has garnered critical praise from across Canada with people drawn to her contemporary folk-inspired songs. Wempe released her first EP Where I Need To Be in May 2009, which went on to be awarded the Folk Recording of the Year at last year’s Nova Scotia Music Awards.

Back in the Maritimes for only two hours when called by The Times & Transcript, Kim says the extensive tour that she just wrapped up went extremely well. The tour included a run of shows through American states including Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire which ended up being among the best received of the almost 50 performances from the tour.

“It was a relatively quick run through the U.S. – 10 days in total from start to finish,” Kim says. “I ended up playing approximately four house concerts while there, and it was amazing to see the reaction given to my music. Perhaps most interesting was the fact that people in those states absolutely love East Coast/Atlantic Canadian music. Of all the people I met, I believe it would be safe to say that 90 per cent of them have travelled to Cape Breton for the Celtic Colours Festival at some point in their lives.”

Born in Saskatchewan, Kim moved to Alberta around the time she was 15 years old. She then picked up and relocated to Nova Scotia where she has resided for the past 3-1/2 years and has simply loved the time she has spent here thus far.

“Moving to the East Coast, it was like I was able to start new. My record started with the ‘Painting With Tides’ song, when I made a conscious decision to surround myself with positive people.

All the people I met on the East Coast have been so friendly and lovely people and it was just incredibly inspiring to me. The whole record has a positive vibe running through it thanks to these experiences I have had.”

Kim admits that she has been welcomed with open arms by fans and peers alike in the Maritimes, fitting in with the Atlantic Canadian music scene as if she has been a life-long resident. It is a far cry from her musical experiences when she was living in Western Canada where she says there was more than one occasion she was put onto a show that also featured heavy metal bands which, needless to say, was not quite her target audience.

“Out west, it seemed as though it was a rock music-oriented scene or a country music scene and not a whole lot of options in between. When I moved east, I immediately saw that singer-songwriters and music in general are so much more appreciated. There are so many other people doing the same thing that it is like you are a part of one big family.”

Article published in December 4, 2010 edition of the Times & Transcript