In 2018, Michael Boguski (Blue Rodeo), Chris Mason and Lucas Goetz (formerly of Deep Dark Woods), Jim Bowskill (The Sheepdogs, Blue Rodeo), Chris Sleightholm, and Dustin Bentall, teamed up to form The Cold Manitoba Project. Spearheaded by Boguski, the collective of like-minded creatives were moved by Gord Downie’s call for all Canadians to do whatever we can to help move towards healing and reconciliation through awareness, education and action, and began the search for a grassroots charity to support, and a creative way to do so.
Together, they recorded and released the song, "Cold Manitoba," followed by the 2019 single, "Hometown Down Heart." All of the the proceeds from both tracks were donated to the Native Addictions Council of Manitoba – an Indigenous-owned and operated treatment centre that directly targets the addictions problems facing First Nations Peoples in Manitoba and the surrounding area.
Now today, on the last day of Secret Path Week, The Cold Manitoba Project return with a third and final instalment – "Land & Tide." As with the two songs before, "Land & Tide" was originally written by Toronto songwriter, Eddie Orso, with the new arrangement created and performed by The Cold Manitoba Project, and adapted lyrics by vocalists, Kacy Anderson and Ellen Froese. Watch the music video here and pre-save Land & Tide here for when it hits all streaming platforms tomorrow (Friday, October 23).
“Everyone in the band felt this was the strongest tune of the three tunes that we recorded,” reflects Boguski. “The interesting thing was we weren’t even sure Land & Tide was going to happen...We'd initially tracked the beds in a key that was just too low for any of the male voices present in the studio. I was happy with the first two tracks, so I wasn't giving this one too much thought. To quote Meatloaf, ‘two out of three ain't bad’! Chris Mason really was the one who kept gently pushing me to believe that there was something quite workable in the bed track. He said ‘leave it with me…’ What he came back with almost a year later was extraordinary. He managed to get Kacy Anderson and Ellen Froese to do a vocal overdub. These two extraordinary singers weaved some serious vocal magic, and also managed to create some very poignant lyrical rewrites. They remind me very much of Kate and Anna McGarrigle, and I am forever thankful that they were able to rescue what was initially a throw away track. That's the way it happens in the studio sometimes...it just takes some different perspectives, and suddenly the magic that was always there begins to reveal itself.
For me, the line in the chorus “I can see, the turning tide” really hits home given the current social climate with which we find ourselves in. Reconciliation and "doing the right thing" are no longer choices. They are absolute necessities if we hope to move forward and create real change for the next generation."
The goal of The Cold Manitoba Project is to move people towards healing – healing as individuals and as communities – and to help bring more awareness to unifying issues, such as substance abuse and mental health, and to think of ways to reconcile and move towards peace and togetherness.
The Cold Manitoba Project has generated $42,000 to date for the Native Addictions Council of Manitoba. “This is simply extraordinary given how difficult it is to make money from recorded music these days,” Boguski adds. “I could not have forseen this in my wildest dreams. Enough famous people shared the song, and through those shares, word spread. This is just the beginning. It just takes a click. Spread the word. Buy the song. You can make a difference, and together we can make a real positive impact. Gord’s message was simple – do what you can.”
For more information on the Native Addictions Council of Manitoba, please visit www.nacm.ca