Amelia Curran Brings Her Watershed Tour to Heartwood

Amelia Curran and her band will be at Heartwood Concert Hall this Friday, Nov. 3rd.  This JUNO winning artist is touring to support her release earlier this year of her eighth album called “Watershed”.

The tour hasn’t been without its mishaps.  When she arrived at Heathrow in June to begin her UK tour, she was denied entry.  She was told that there were technical complications with her sponsorship visa and she wasn’t cleared to legally work in the U.K.  She had no choice but to cancel the tour and head back home.

For many artists this kind of setback would have been devastating but she took it in stride.  “What are you going to do?” she shrugged, “Circumstances are out of your control.”  Amelia Curran has bigger issues on her mind.

While celebrated for the depth of her songs, with press comments like “Curran packs so much meaning into each line that the listener barely has time to register each clever lyric before the next zinger comes along,” she has an agenda.  Long before national TV ads encouraged people to speak out about mental illness, Amelia Curran made it a central part of her own purpose.  In 2014 with some friends she  established an organization called It’s Mental to lobby governments for better mental-health services.  A public service video she made to bring attention to the cause, which included a number of Newfoundland celebrities, had the effect of bringing the issue to the forefront of political consciousness in her home province.

The most common phrase she hears in dealing with those who suffer from mental illness is that “the system is broken”.  For her there is no better evidence of this than the fact that her Facebook page receives messages from people asking “Where can I get help?”

“And now something has happened,” she told CBC earlier this year after a committee of representatives from the PCs, NDP and the governing Liberals in Newfoundland outlined 54 ways to better help people dealing with mental health and addictions issues, along with targeted deadlines to meet.   Her efforts are showing results but she knows that the struggle must continue.  She went on to say “Our job now as advocates is to make sure this thing doesn’t collect dust. And that these things actually happen.”

And mental illness awareness is not the only cause that she champions.

The new album is named Watershed for a reason.  She feels that it represents “a shake-up, a directional change.”

“This record is big on theme,” she told Ben Rayner at The Toronto Star, “and I’ve never had a record big on theme. I’ve certainly talked about the themes of records in the past, but I was lying or making it up because people wanted them to have a theme (when) usually ‘the most recent batch of songs I wrote’ was the theme. This time it’s very clear. Intended or not intended, I really don’t know, but it’s very clear: it’s very clearly an ‘activist’ record.”

The main message of this record is that she is “fed up” with the sexism that is endemic to the music industry, and is still a factor in society at large.

“I’ve always been a feminist,” she told Lynn Saxberg at The Ottawa Citizen, “I’ve never been against any person or any sense of equality or any sense of justice. We just want women to be safe and valued in our community, and there is nothing wrong about that.”

Poetry with a message is an integral part of Amelia Curran’s art.  With a background that includes acting and playwriting, she applied those skills to a documentary she produced and appeared in called “Gone”, which aired last September on CBC in Newfoundland and Labrador.  The film was about two friends who committed suicide.  She had a double purpose with the documentary, first to remember the joy of the lives that were overshadowed by suicide, and secondly to raise awareness of mental health issues.

“I was raised by leftists, so I’ve always been a concerned citizen,” she told a few years ago, “But now I’m a really sick and tired concerned citizen.”

Despite the serious themes contained in the songs on Watershed, her latest album has been called “some of the most accessible and catchy music she’s written thus far.”

Click on the album cover to sample and download Amelia’s music

Showtime on Friday night is 8:45 (doors open at 8) and tickets are $25 in advance

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One Response to Amelia Curran Brings Her Watershed Tour to Heartwood

  1. Gillian says:

    I’m fed up too. Go, Amelia!

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