By Will Yannacoulias
November 6th Saskatoon’s Brian Paul DG and Friends wrapped up a series of summer and fall outdoor performances at the Little Stone Stage on Broadway Avenue. Opening with a nod to musical pioneer Woody Guthrie, the band shared a two hour set of feel-good folk originals and spoken word poetry with children and grandparents, old friends and passers-by. Staying warm before the show in an old Chevy Astro van (cleverly dubbed the 'Astro-Loger'), Brian Paul DG and Friends spoke with NSMZ about the Broadway open air performances and the spirit of the collaborative art experience.
The art collective have become a regular feature for those who frequent Broadway Avenue on the weekends, adding music, poetry, dance, stories and costume to the eclectic swirl of the neighbourhood. Brian performed alongside Bruce Stephenson, Brad Lafontaine and Diane Beckett, although the group has a rotating cast of contributors. Brian shared that ”last weekend we were here, we were all dressed up as ghost clowns for Halloween. It was supposed to be our wrap up, but a lot of people asked us to come back and play one more. The Broadway Business Improvement District has hired us to do seven or eight shows this year. We wanted to do one more final hoorah, the sun is gonna shine so why not! It’s so great to be in a community like Saskatoon where the arts are encouraged and appreciated.”
A native of Toronto, Brian relocated to Saskatchewan “with my life in a bag and a guitar” sixteen years ago. His decision to make his home in Saskatoon was influenced by the vibrant arts community he found and strong collaborative relationships formed with like-minded souls. “The synchronicities, the lasting co-creative radiant friendships, that’s what’s kept me here. It never ends, my family in this province just gets deeper and deeper. I feel like I’m at home here with a provincial family of friends, mostly with people who are into co-creating art and who value community health. I think in the finest expression of art that’s what we aspire to serve, inspiring health and happiness. If nothing else it’s for ourselves but if it works for others too then great!”
With two albums available on streaming services (2019’s Something New and this year’s Deeper Far Out Love) and a third to be released soon, the group has been producing music at an inspired pace. “We’ve all been involved in art our whole lives” Brian shared. “I myself have probably been involved in 15 or 20 self produced albums, probably written a thousand songs over the years. It’s an adventure, it’s fun, there’s endless potential.” The band‘s latest adventure has been their first music video, produced in collaboration with Saskatoon’s Xsight Cinema. ”While on our Halloween Rigamarole Patrol a fellow ghost clown showed up with a camera and it looks like we’re going to have a music video!” Brian shared excitedly. “Andrew (Florizone) of Xsight Cinema is a wonderful young man, he makes all kinds of video, he made a beautiful work of art we’re really excited about.”
As a lifelong artist who values the beauty and energy of the collaborative creative process, Brian easily expressed the value of performance in his personal life. “I feel devoted to what I’m doing. In a certain sense I’m just in my own little dream and my own little experience, but I experience something more when I create harmony with others. My three favourite things are co creation, inspiration and joy, pure innocent joy.”
Visit Brian Paul DG And Friends online at https://www.brianpauldg.com