Stereophonic Festival Brings Music To Sackville

Devarrow performs on Thursday evening as a part of the Stereophonic Festival
Devarrow performs on Thursday evening as a part of the Stereophonic Festival

Over the course of the last 13 years, in the middle of winter nonetheless, Sackville community radio station CHMA has held the Stereophonic festival, curating a consistently exciting roster of indie-rock and folk-inspired artists and musicians.

In addition to offering Sackville residents the opportunity to temporarily set aside thoughts of the blustery winter weather outside, the festival also serves as a fundraising vehicle for CHMA, a non-profit organization whose offices are on the campus of Mount Allison University.

The station offers Sackville and area residents a variety of open format and specialty music shows, spoken-word programs and more. With the exception of the station manager and program director, the station is almost entirely volunteer-driven by students from Mount Allison as well as members of the community.

Helping put together this year’s Stereophonic Festival are former Times & Transcript columnist Mike Roy and Taylor McCuaig.​​

“The programming for this year’s festival is pretty evenly split between folk music and indie-rock and garage punk. We wanted to be sure we stayed faithful to what the festival has offered in the past,” McCuaig says.

Roy elaborates on McCuaig’s statement noting, “Some of the acts playing [the festival] have a great following here in Sackville, but we also wanted balance that with acts that were fresh to Sackville audiences.”

Despite not setting a hard fundraising target for Stereophonic each year, McCuaig says the importance of maintaining an independent media voice for the region is indeed a primary goal behind the festival.

“CHMA serves as something much bigger than just a radio station for students of Mount Allison,” McCuaig says. “It is a community station that serves the entire population in and around Sackville.”

“While Stereophonic does serve as a fundraiser, it is also about introducing a bunch of really great music to the area’s residents.”

Roy happily notes that, as with the acclaimed SappyFest which takes place in Sackville each August long-weekend, the community’s support of CHMA is largely unlike anything he has seen.

“The community in and around Sackville is always supportive of events like Stereophonic. When we are in the organizing stages of the festival, it is entirely common that we have venues and members of the community reaching out to us to see if they can host a show or in what way they are able to assist,” he says.

“The way that the public rallies around events is amazing. It really is a blessing to be in such community-oriented place like Sackville.”

What: Stereophonic XIII
When: Thursday Jan. 21 though Saturday Jan. 23
Where: Various venues in Sackville
Individual shows are $10 each. Festival passes are $40, available for purchase at Stereophonic Headquarters, located in Struts Gallery, 7 Lorne St., Sackville and may be reserved by emailing

Stereophonic XIII Schedule

Thursday Jan. 21

Struts Gallery – 7 Lorne St., Sackville – 7 p.m. – All Ages

Kira Daube

Thunder & Lightning – 23 Bridge St., Sackville – 10 p.m. – 19+

The Weather Station
Marine Dreams
Dark For Dark

Friday Jan. 22

Thunder & Lightning – 23 Bridge St., Sackville – 7 p.m. – 19+

Pat LePoidevin
Nolan Pike

Sackville Legion – 15 Lorne St., Sackville – 10 p.m. – 19+

Kappa Chow
Beef Boys
Sparkle Water

Saturday Jan. 23

Vogue Cinema – 9 Bridge St., Sackville – 2 p.m. – All ages

Craig Cardiff
Nick Ferrio

Thunder & Lightning – 23 Bridge St., Sackville – 7 p.m. – 19+

Steven Lambke
Alanna Gurr
Esther Grey

Sackville Curling Club – 22 Lansdowne St., Sackville – 10 p.m. – 19+

Jonny and the Cowabungas
Cupcake Ductape
Faux Cults