We interviewed artists participating in WonderFest Sauga Series: Spreading Empowerment Through Art, a series of events being held at the cozy and rustic Common Ground Cafe in West Edge Community Church. WonderFest, presented by Let’s Make Good Productions, brings a unique opportunity to hear original music, listen to spoken word performances, and check out artwork by local artists. WonderFest takes place monthly, happening every last Thursday of each month. The first WonderFest event is happening tonight, July 26th, 7:30 PM at Common Ground Cafe – 157 Lakeshore Road West.
Check out our interview with visual artist Marcelo Pazan and the band FXRRVST below!
MAC: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
FXRRVST (F): Our names are Holly Forrest and Matthew Fuentes. We are FXRRVST (pronounced ‘forest’), an eco friendly indie-rock duo based in Toronto. One of our main goals as a band is to try to be as environmentally conscious as possible in hopes that other bands start following the trend and we all do our part to help sustain our planet.
MARCELO PAZAN (MP): I’m a visual artist and photographer living and working in Port Credit. I was born in Ecuador and came to Canada when I was 5 years of age. My passion is painting, playing music, kayaking and spending time with my family.
MAC: How long have you been creating art or music?
MP: I’ve been creating art ever since I can remember. When I was 13 years of age I entered a contest in the Toronto Sun newspaper. My art work was choosen and I received $10.00 That was my first gig.
F: We have been playing music since August of 2015. We started out just playing open mics as a duo acoustic act, but we added a full band of backing players (drummer and bassist) towards the end of 2016.
MAC: How has Mississauga influenced your art and music?
F: Mississauga hasn’t sonically influenced our music, but it is the birthplace of the band and a massive motivation to keep playing. Holly arrived from Indonesia in late August, 2015 and was living in Mississauga. We would write our songs and practice at the house she was renting ear Streetsville. After writing a new song we would go to any and all open mic’s in the area and play them for everyone. We made so many friends at the open mic’s and the audience was always so supportive. Starting out in such a welcoming city like Mississauga is amazing for bands. Being a performer in general means that you are at the mercy of your audience and early on it can be extremely demoralizing, but all the positivity from other musicians and listeners really helps keep your spirits up. Mississauga will always be our second home.
MP: The waterfront, and living near the lake. I find movement of water so magical and inspiring, maybe because I’m an Aquarius *laughs*.
MAC: How are you feeling about WonderFest?
MP: Excited to be part of a collaborative group of artists. It’s a wonderful expression of our multi-cultural Canadian society.
F: Good! We usually play with a full band, but we will be playing a stripped back acoustic set which we haven’t done in a while.
MAC: As an artist, what would you like to see more of in the Mississauga arts/music scene?
MP: It would be great to see more mentorship programs associated with arts where students are able to learn from established or working artists. Some schools offer, but not all.
F: We think a few more artist grants is something that the Mississauga music scene needs. Being in a band is a big investment. Its a full-time job for no pay. There are so many costs already just to make an EP with recording, mixing, mastering, producing, and printing, but then you cant forget the cost of maintaining a website, pushing singles to radio and booking tours. Some small grants could be great for artists. A lot of musicians have to settle or sometimes even give up because of the cost of trying to convert their music into a career. A little financial help could do wonders for a band that it on the right track.
MAC: What should the audience expect at WonderFest?
F: Its going to be a great show! You can expect every artist to be presenting their talents at maximum capacity. We hope you all love what you hear and see.
MP: Live music, 3D art work, poetry, a fun evening to be enjoyed by all where art and communities come together.
Whether you’re an artist yourself or someone who enjoys creative spaces, WonderFest is something you need to experience! All age are welcome, and cover is PWYC (pay what you can). Proceeds go towards raising money to combat human trafficking in the Peel Region.