The Riding Mountain Artists’ Residency provides professional artists with time to focus on their work in the beautiful natural setting of Riding Mountain National Park, housed in the historic Deep Bay cabin.
Follow along as we feature this years’ artists-in-residence and their exciting projects!
MAC: Tell us a little about yourself as an artist and your practice.
DPH: I’m a musician, songwriter, and composer who works in recording and live performance. Classically trained on piano since age 3, I’ve used that base of knowledge to diversify my instrumentation from drums to banjo to pedal steel. My songwriting mainly feeds my principal projects: bilingual folk duo Fire & Smoke, roots-pop trio Red Moon Road, and my nascent solo neo-trad project: Renard. In recent years, I’ve supplemented my stagecraft with a return to theatre, composing and acting in productions by Théâtre Cercle Molière, One Trunk Theatre, Theatre Projects Manitoba, etc.
Tell us about your project—what will you be working on in the Deep Bay Cabin?
My time during this residency will be focused on two specific aspects: songwriting and arrangement, and developing a live show. For the first week, I will be writing and demoing songs for Renard, as well as Fire & Smoke, using a portable recording studio and a couple of choice microphones to capture the colour of the cabin’s acoustics. The second week will see the arrival of my main collaborator, Claire Morrison, from Montreal. We will be developing a live set destined for performances during the fall showcase season, as well as a release show in late October.
What is your relationship with the park, and what are you most looking forward to exploring?
My mother worked there for many years and would often bring me and my brothers along with her when my dad was working in the fields, and we spent our days combing through all the books and movies the museum had to offer. When I left home to study theatre at the U of M, I worked there as an interpreter for a few summers in the late aughts, delivering interpretive programming around campfires and in the bison enclosure, the park was my life, and the only reason I left that job was to dedicate myself to a career in music.
How do you hope the park will influence or inspire your project?
The Park, and Clear Lake in particular, are sources of lore for me. From my time as a counsellor at Camp Wannakumbac through to my years working as an interpreter for Parks Canada, more than half of my life has revolved around the cycle of the seasons in Riding Mountain. I hope to outline the shadows of my memories and immerse myself once again to the intersection of human and natural history endemic to those waters, forests, and plains.
The Riding Mountain Artists’ Residency is offered in partnership by the Manitoba Arts Council and Riding Mountain National Park.
Interested in the staying in the Deep Bay cabin? Find out how to apply to the Riding Mountain Artists Residency through the Learn – Residencies grant stream. Apply by November 1, 2022 for a residency in the summer of 2023.