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Doylefest 2023 Epilogue: A Musical Phoenix Rises Up From the Flames

pictures by Melanie Macpherson

story by Christopher James Vasseur

As the last days of September fall from the calendar and our cover switches over to October's Artist, the fresh memories of Doylefest are starting to fade. It’s raining outside and no longer shorts and flip flop weather. We all know what's coming next and its cold, white and dumb. There's still lots going on musically, however.

Part of what makes Doylefest truly special is the crowd. Made up of young and old, musicians and music lovers, everyone is welcomed with open arms.

Eliza Mary Doyle is off playing shows and probably recording some songs along the way, living that troubadour life with gratitude and ease.

Meanwhile, back at home, the organization she helped start is thriving. They've won two SaskMusic awards in a row for industry achievement and continue to expand. If you flip through the articles on, you'll find we've been following along attentively for years (I believe both were born around the same time).

If you head over to the CAMP website, you can get a better idea of what they are all about, as their vision states:

“Engaging under-served & remote Saskatchewan communities in music, arts and cultural programming for self-expression, healthy identity-formation, healing & reconciliation with a focus on supporting and building local capacity through mentorship & training opportunities.”

There's posters all over town for fall and winter shows, a lot of them featuring Doylefest artists.

Doylefest featured a large and diverse list of performers including Haunt Era, Zhe the Free, The Steadies, Kit Langfield, Phoenix Rising, and Chesterfield.

I am heading into the RAIS studio again with my bandmates. There is a good chance a couple friends from Doylefest will show up. Next weekend I'm off to the Cap for another NSMZ show to cover, Melanie too.

While all of these fall events are going on, one summer story kind of got swept away. In July of this year, Doyle (and her sister Maria) lost much of her/their belongings and her dwelling to a fire on her property.

Eliza Doyle and her band on stage the Saturday night of Doylefest

Luckily, no one was hurt but it still hit hard with over $30,000 in damages. Mitch Dureault, being forever the kindest dude ever, has started a GoFundMe for Eliza here:

As well, my pal and bandmate Peter Abonyi has spearheaded a fundraiser in Eliza's honor. A bunch of her amazing friends are donating time and talents to the event. There will be a very good sampling of Doylefest artists making some noise at the event on October 15th. Check out this line up!!

- Joule Tallman

- Sharp Tail

- Gopher Broke

- Blackstrap Mountaineers

- Ray Elliott and Shannon Elizabeth

- Moonlight Magnolias

- Chesterfield

More details can be found at the link below. Eliza Mary Doyle has done much for the music community in this province, so if you can, come on down and show her your appreciation and help her build her home back up. She organized this years Doylefest along with dealing with all the nasty fire business, BTW. I'll be at the door and slinging drinks so come say hi to me too. If not, we'll catch up at Doylefest next year. Cheers, friends.

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