Sending her music across the Atlantic
Jenni Roberge wants to introduce her music into the Iceland and Scandinavian markets, and she hopes a mystical, live-performance video shot in historic St. Mary’s Church will help her do just that.
The 28-year-old musician’s efforts will get a boost from a $5,000 grant from the provincial government. She was among 12 Island artists who recently received a total of $50,000 through the Arts Grants program. The program is very competitive, with 47 artists applying for grants this past spring.
“I fell to the ground when I found out I got the grant,” said Roberge, who said she knew exactly how she would spend it. “This is giving me the opportunity to create a very professional live performance video that will be a tool I can use for funding applications and online audiences.”
An artist as well as a musician, Roberge – whose musical name is Jenni and the Hummingbird – describes her music as stories exploring self identities and light shaped by darkness. She left a career in event management to pursue her music career full time.
“A lot of musicians don’t understand you can treat your music as a business,” she said. “I like to pull people from other artistic communities to be able to use their skills.”
She plans to hire local artists, photographers, and musicians to produce three live-performance music videos. The first will be the ethereal, Scandinavian-flavoured video featuring the Atlantic String Machine filmed in the Indian River church considered one of the world’s Top 10 performance venues for its acoustics.
Since a big target audience for her is Scandinavia, she hopes the region will pick up her new video online. “Having a video I can market online makes it easier to market what I do,” she said. “It’s almost like a resume. Musicians need content as part of their portfolio. It gives me an ability to tap into a whole new world of revenue.”
Past Arts Grants have helped Island artists produce work and advance their careers. Hans Wendt -- an accomplished visual artist and recipient of 2017 Arts Grant -- recently sold three paintings to the National Gallery of Canada.
"Through these grants, we have provided $250,000 directly to Island artists since 2016," said Education, Early Learning and Culture Minister Jordan Brown. "The grants are encouraging artists to learn and grow while growing our vibrant cultural sector which – even though we are a small place – is one of things that makes Prince Edward Island mighty.”