Canada House Brings The Best In New Canadian Music To Brighton

Our guide to their weekend-long celebration...

It’s no secret that CLASH has a soft spot for Canadian music. There’s something about the country’s mindset that produces incredible musicians, working in virtually every genre under the sun. Repeated trips to Toronto and Montreal have exposed us to some of the main hubs in Canadian music, but we’ve also been lucky enough to venture out to other cities, and different provinces.

That’s why Canada House is so important. A special project that brings together Canadian music in its totality, it’s three days of vivid music in Brighton, allowing fans to soak up a disparate array of new and emerging acts.

Part of the Great Escape, it occupies Green Door Store for three days, a triptych of music ventures that moves from hard-hitting rap to dulcet psych, country, electronics, and beyond.

Merging the forces of all seven provinces, this is Canada in excelsis. Powered by CIMA, the organisation will be partnering with Alberta Music, M for Montreal, Manitoba Music, Music BC, Music Nova Scotia, MusicOntario, SaskMusic and SODEC.

CLASH are on the ground, and look forward to soaking up the best in Canadian music, while also touching base with some of our friends from the other side of the Atlantic.

Here’s the lowdown.

Thursday (May 16th)

NYSSA (12.50pm)

NYSSA is breaking through with rebellion, a gritty punk-poet to rise from Toronto’s rock n’ roll scene. Leaning into rough acoustics with flecks of melody and pure lyricism, the artist flexes her soaring vocal range across the likes of ‘Werewolf’ and ‘The Initiate’. Indeed, the last few months have seen the artist open up a new chapter, releasing her highly anticipated sophomore album, ‘Shake Me Where I’m Foolish’. Drawn towards themes of ancient mythos and celtic lore with a contemporary, mythical twist, NYSSA will bring the project to life onstage across this festival season.

Marissa Burwell (1.30pm)

Crafting a rich, momentous instrumentation, Mariss Burwell’s vocals shine with a charged and impacting performance. Honing her stripped-back take on indie rock, the Saskatchewan native spills her truths across introspective verses, detailing her journey through themes of childhood, romance and struggle. In turn, the artist has landed on stages across Europe and North America, gracing her crowds with her universal songwriting. Last year marked a turning point for the artist, releasing her most ambitious project to date ‘Either Way’ via DevilDuck Records. Harmonic and adventurous in its approach, Burwell is going from strength to strength.

Desirée Dawson (2.10pm)

There’s a spiritual resonance to Desirée Dawson’s offering ‘I Am Blessed’, one that opens us up to the Canadian singer-songwriter’s DIY universe. Embracing the beauty of imperfection, Dawson layers her raw vocal takes over finger clicks, whistles and soft harmonies. Elsewhere, the riser is carried by the strums of her baritone ukelele, capturing the essence of folk, Americana and soul with a light-hearted, pop feel. In doing so, Dawson evokes a warmth and familiarity through her performance, one that’s been recognised by The JUNO Awards, film and television features and fresh crowds from across the globe.

Maggie Andrew (2.50pm)

Maggie Andrew is switching things up with her versatile, cross-genre approach. Exploring the contrasts between punk, melodic rap, R&B and indie rock, the Nova Scatian singer-songwriter tackles each track with a sense of balance. Fusing a gritty, hard-hitting production with velvet vocals and harmonies, Andrews continues to grow her loyal fanbase, amassing over six million streams since making her debut in 2019. Now, the artist gears up with a number of live dates between the UK and Canada, bringing a fiery and hard-hitting performance to the forefront.

Vox Rea (3.30pm)

Made up of sisters Kate and Lauren Kurdyak, Vox Rea are defined by their warm and hazy pop records. Exploring themes of addiction, romance, grief and sense of self, the duo hold a universal connection with their in-depth lyricism. Across a number of spotlight singles, Vox Rea seek to expand their sound, echoing the influence of Florence + The Machine to Friedrich Nietzsche. In the midst of an international tour, the outfit promise new material and build a buzz for their next steps.

Fold Paper

Making their bold debut last year, Fold Paper are one of Winnipeg’s most exciting newcomers. Fronted by Chell Osuntade, the outfit are resurrecting the sounds of post-punk with full-throttle riffs, drums and distortion. Having previously played in a number of bands, Osuntade has spent the last year carving his own lane, bringing together a band that ignite the spirit of Blessed, Stuck, Unschooling and Palm. As the touch down on the Brighton stage, Fold Paper are picking up the pace once more.

Friday (May 17th)

Moira & Claire (12.50pm)

Sister duo Moira & Claire share a unique bond through their music, reaching a fine balance between indie, folk and pop. Weaving between earnest songwriting and stripped-back acoustics, the Nova Scotia outfit connect with their listeners, stretching between the East to the West Coast and beyond. Reaching critical acclaim with their debut project ‘I’m not usually this forward but…’, Moira & Claire have continued to shape their sound into a wholesome embrace, coming together onstage to fill the room with positive energy.


Distinguished by her one-of-a-kind performances, Begonia holds a voice like no other. Building a dedicated fanbase along her journey, the alt-diva experiments with a plethora of sounds, spanning pop, R&B, indie and beyond. Latest single ‘Get to You’ is a potent sample of the artist’s strengths, showcasing her versatile tones over a quirky, dream-state production. Elsewhere, Begonia has joined Leith Ross for her European tour, now stepping into her independent shows with fresh perspective. 

Aysanbee (2.10pm)

No stranger to the main stage, Aysanabee is making his way down to Brighton with his head held high. Refining his soulful tones, the multi-instrumentalist, producer and singer-songwriter navigates between his indie, electronic and R&B influences. Last year’s ‘Here And Now’ EP expanded Aysanabee’s sound palette, showcasing a depth in songwriting and experimentation. Now recognised as the first indigenous artist to with The JUNO Awards, Aysanabee continues to break boundaries with his pivotal vocal performances.

St. Arnaud (2.50pm)

Hailing from Edmonton, St.Arnaud is bringing the sunshine with his DIY-feel discography. Reaching into themes of loss, anxiety and mental health, the singer-songwriter stitches together introspective thoughts and anecdotes between hooks and verses. Having shared stages with the likes of Basia Bulat, Reuben and the Dark, and Lucy Rose, St. Arnaud now continues to spotlight his message over feel-good acoustics, uplifting his listener with each release and performance.

Corridor (3.30pm)

Corridor unite the inquisitee sonics of post-punk with a real sense of groove. At heart, their French language pop thrives on melody, but there’s an intelligence and wit here – easy to succumb to, their work also has real complexity. New album ‘Mimi’ shows Corridor at their best, with each song interlocking to provide a palpable sense of unity to the work as a whole. Out now, this is essentially the best time to catch Corridor – fresh from the studio, ready to let their music stretch once more.

Bon Enfant (4.10pm)

Some bands thrive on fashion, but others start their own trends. Such is the case with Quebecois six-piece Bon Enfant, whose songwriting moves between various psychedelic eras, layering these lysergic sonics into something unique. The band’s self-titled debut veered from desert rock to disco, while 2021 follow-up ‘Diorama’ touched on stomping glam rock theatrics. A truly remarkable live experience, Bon Enfant have to be seen to be believed.

Saturday (May 18th)

Jake Vaadeland & The Sturgeon River Boys (12.50pm)

20-year-old Jake Vaadeland is the self-taught country music prodigy causing waves across North America. Together with the Sturgeon River Boys, the band have played a colossal 150 shows across Canada in just 18 months, building their fanbase the old-fashioned way. At its core, the songwriting touches on classic themes – love, heartbreak, together – but does so with a verve and expression all of its own.

Earning seven (count ‘em!) industry awards in a short space of time, he touches down in Brighton to transform Canada House into a veritable honky tonk.

Soran (1.30pm)

They do things differently in Montreal. The city houses an incredible music scene, with independence becoming the currency artists live their lives by. Soran is a case in point – maximalist pop with a dose of Prince, his multi-layered work is packed with light, refusing to be dimmed by the darkness surrounding. A real inspiration, his latest album ‘Loneliness Confetti’ landed back in March, and it’s become a word-of-mouth phenomeon – experience something truly unique.

Haviah Mighty (2.10pm)

Mighty by name, Mighty by nature. Some things were just meant to be, I guess – Haviah Mighty is based out of Brampton via Toronto, is a game-changing hip-hop talent. Speaking from the heart, her literate, emotive word play could be classed as conscious, but in truth it’s simply rap at its most honest. Her album ‘13th Floor’ scooped the Polaris – Canada’s equivalent to the Mercury – while she’s also earned her stripes internationally, gaining a coveted nominated at the BET Hip-Hop Awards. Recently shooting a COLORS session, she’s simply unmissable.

Witch Prophet (2.50pm)

A genius of soulful abstraction, Witch Prophet’s music may well be familiar to regular CLASH readers. Together with her wife and collaborator SUN SUN, she’s responsible for cut-up sonics that move from Erykah Badu levels of introspection through to Portishead heaviness. Work that carries a true emotional impact, Witch Prophet’s slim but essential catalogue is leading the way in psychedelic neo-soul, her transgressive work truly transporting you to another dimension.

Kuzi Cee (3.30pm) rSwOwsfIqU6yFMw

A child of the diaspora, Kuzi Cee’s ultra-colourful sound borrows from a multitude of aspects. Listening to her potent pop pot pourri, you can hear traces of R&B and afrobeats, as well as EDM production developments. Having shared a stage with everyone from Nelly to Jessie Reyez, Kuzi Cee aims for sheer entertainment, bowling you over with her vivacious personality.

Winona Forever (4.10pm)

Canada has long-since developed a fine global reputation for excellent guitar pop. Winona Forever sit in this lineage, while also having a character and sound of their own. Toasting a decade together, they move from fun-filled garage pop through to more sophisticated arrangements, using their live shows as a testing ground for new ideas. Continually aiming to expand the boundaries, the band are continually surprising.

Canada House takes place at Green Door Store, Brighton between May 16th – 18th.

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