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Arts & Crafts founder talks 10-year anniversary plans

Posted by Adam Brady / January 26, 2013

jeffrey remediesIt's been a decade since the release of Broken Social Scene's landmark You Forgot It In People launched the careers of artists like Brendan Canning, Kevin Drew and Leslie Feist. But more than a milestone for BSS (who have semi-officially disbanded), this year also marks the anniversary of the record label born from their success. Arts & Crafts Records have been steadily releasing albums to critical and commercial acclaim since 2003, and last week they announced a series of events and releases (dubbed AC10) to celebrate ten years in the music business.

I sat down with Jeffrey Remedios, founder of Arts & Crafts, at the label's office to talk about AC10 and the Field Trip Festival. Sitting on a retro couch surrounded by vinyl pressings of the latest A&C releases and sipping tea out of an Iron Maiden mug, Remedios seemed excited about AC10 not just as a celebration of the label and its artists, but of the community supporting them.

How long have you been planning the Field Trip Festival?

For a while now. We thought, ten's a big deal--that we got that far--but if we're going to do something, we wanted it to be more about a celebration of our artists and about the community we come from, and as a vehicle to promote the artists we work with and some of the amazing artists in other disciplines we've gotten to work with over the years.

We thought, God, all these other towns have amazing festivals; why can't we?

Did it take a lot of time to choose the venue?

We thought about this for a couple of years — throwing a big event — and just when Fort York came up as a possibility, we were like, "Yeah, that's the space." The shows that have happened there have just used the Garrison Common space, and we're going to use all of Garrison Common and all of Fort York. We're going to use the whole thing. The Fort'll be open, and you can take tours and stuff.

Is there anything else you can let us in on?

We're working through a bunch of that stuff now, like how we're going to engage the city in terms of a ton of gourmet food trucks, as well as with a food marketplace, and working with craft beers and wines — yeah, it'll be a whole experience. Come early, bring your kids, and spend the whole day. There'll be lots of stuff to do, and lots of stuff to check out. We've got a few other announcements to come of things we're going to have.

arts and crafts 2013What else are you doing for Arts & Crafts' 10th anniversary?

We're going to do a retrospective release that's a double album, quadruple vinyl with some of the most well-known songs we have. There'll be some stuff that hasn't been released that's rare, but that we think is sort of awesome. We also wanted to do something new, so we asked our whole roster to pair with someone else from our roster to create a new recording. We wanted also to connect with some other artistic disciplines, so we're working with Norman [Wong] in a photography collaboration, Jeremy Laing in a fashion collaboration, and House Of Anansi to do a short story collaboration.

We've always looked at ourselves as being more inclusive as opposed to exclusive, and there's just so many amazing artists in this town, in our communities. And when you get to know somebody, then you think, how can we do something together? The 10th anniversary is a nice platform for a lot of that stuff. And we thought, well, what do we do a lot of work with? We've done a lot of work with fashion, we've done a lot of work lately with literature and book publishing, and we do a lot with photography. We thought, how do we do stuff in those areas that are true to who we are and what we're about, but kind of celebrate and honour some people who are close to us in those arenas? It was fairly organic, how it all came about.

What else can you tell us about the collaboration disc?

We really wanted something new. Something that was a new recording, and new performances. We've built a stable of artists that support each other and are in each other's lives, so that should be the focus. What if we just pair the roster, get everyone to work with someone else — so it's really like a creative process — and then we'll see what they come up with. Different people have taken it in a lot of different directions.

How about the fashion collaboration?

We're friends with Jeremy and we love his work, and he knows a lot of our artists, so we went, how do we take the kinds of things that he does and come up with a middle ground on a $1000 women's dress and a band T-shirt? He's going to work with a series of Arts & Crafts artists and pair them with visual artists, and create stuff with them in collaboration.

Note: All proceeds from that will go to the MusiCounts charity.

The Field Trip Festival will take place Saturday, June 8th at Fort York. If you haven't heard anything about Field Trip, Arts & Crafts made a handy video for you to watch. This is guaranteed to be an unbelievable show, with acts including The Darcys, Zeus, Jason Collett, Cold Specks, Ra Ra Riot, Hayden, Bloc Party, Feist and, of course, Broken Social Scene.

Tickets ($75) can be purchased at the Field Trip website, as well as on Ticketmaster, and in person at Rotate This and Soundscapes.

When pressed further about exactly what else audiences can expect at Field Trip, Remedios got a little cagey.

"We've got a few tricks up our sleeve," was all he'd say — so I guess that's his final word on it. For now.

Writing by Adam Brady. Photo by Andrew Williamson



Mug Wump / January 26, 2013 at 09:51 am
Wow, I bet those tickets are FLYING out the door haha....yah right...
beerbells / January 26, 2013 at 10:11 am
tickets are crazy expensive, wtf.
Lazoo / January 26, 2013 at 10:26 am
If you just save your patchouli budget from Feb. and your fixie-bike repair budget from the spring you should be able to afford a ticket. Keep in mind attendees are welcome to bring their own home brewed fickle-berry beer and ovo-lacto prepared picnics.
Lauren / January 26, 2013 at 01:12 pm
Actually, ticket prices are pretty standard for a festival. Most music festivals are $250 for a full weekend at early bird prices. $75/day is below average for festivals of this calibre.
ty56 / January 27, 2013 at 11:12 am
Those prices aren't justified. How many people do you expect to show up? Feist is the only draw, everyone else washed up.

Can't wait for the prices of the gourmet food trucks.....

Seems like a rich white people event. Doesn't sound much like a "community" sort of thing.
Pigeon / January 27, 2013 at 12:20 pm
Dude looks like Keanu Reeves.
Aaron / January 27, 2013 at 04:09 pm
After attending a couple of their fiascos on the Islands, I will never again pay a dime to attend an Arts and Crafts festival. The Olympic Island shit-shows were easily the worst concert events ever held, anywhere in the world.

Festivals are supposed to be fun. Save your money and go to Osheaga in Montreal.
Aaron replying to a comment from Lauren / January 27, 2013 at 04:23 pm
"festivals of this calibre"

Really? A dozen or so bands for $92.50 all in? We paid $217.50 for 3 days of Osheaga last year (108 bands), single-day tickets were only $85.00. And nobody at this overpriced, sure-to-be fiasco would approach headliner status there.

Arts @ Crafts should hold a series of free concerts as partial compensation for the absolute fuck ups they've charged people for in the past.

this concert is a huge deal / January 27, 2013 at 05:24 pm
So is anyone commenting under 60 and still in touch with reality?
asdgasg replying to a comment from Aaron / January 27, 2013 at 09:01 pm
BSS and Feist are both huge deals in music, not to mention you're paying to watch members of Metric and Stars as well, all of whom have headlined festivals. Not to mention Hayden is playing. You must have absolutely no idea about how highly regarded these artists are.

Just because you aren't willing to pay for this doesn't mean that A&C is ripping people off. This is a once-in-a-lifetime event that their fans surely would shell out more money for.
ref / January 27, 2013 at 10:11 pm
You do this sort of thing and don't invite Do Make Say Think? Total failure. Ohad is basically Kevin Drew's writer lol.
Adam / January 28, 2013 at 01:57 pm
Got a feeling DMST will be added after their Wavelength show on Feb 16.
Heyman / January 28, 2013 at 07:20 pm
Pushaw, Hayden alone is worth $75.
seanm / January 28, 2013 at 10:19 pm
It's a bit overpriced no doubt. Why can't Toronto have a festival like Primavera Sound, Coachella or even Osheaga? Considering the music scene here, I'm surprised at how lacklustre our music festivals have been.
portly / January 29, 2013 at 11:37 am
BSS last album SUCKED. You guys lost it. Also, Kevin Drew was acting like a huge douche at the Dinosaur Jr. concert thinking he's some sort of indie royalty getting up on stage. J.Mascis has more talent in his fingernail than you ever will. You drunk fool.

I expect this to be a huge failure. Start making some decent records instead.
Aaron replying to a comment from Aaron / January 29, 2013 at 01:51 pm
Feist was a headliner at Osheaga last year.

And DMST never released an album on A&C, so not sure why they would be on this festival, even though members of the band are obviously involved.
mieszkania vispro rzeszów / June 3, 2013 at 09:03 am
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