CRATER CREATIVES: MATT FOY
Welcome to Crater Creatives, a monthly artist profile series offering a unique look into the artists that call Sudbury home! There’s certain type of creativity that’s born up here in Northern Ontario, maybe it’s the wilderness that surrounds us, or maybe it’s just our resourceful spirit. Whatever the case may be we’re here to shine a spotlight on the innovative artists of all sorts in this big old crater! Have an artist you’d like to recommend for a future Crater Creatives profile? Shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us all about it!
If there had to be a poster boy for the Sudbury music scene this month’s featured artist Matt Foy would certainly be a contender. He’s been an active and integral part of the community for 30 years and a welcome collaborator on multitudes of projects. He’s made a home for himself on the stage of the Townehouse Tavern where you can catch him regularly performing solo or part of a group, often channeling Ringo for another Beatles night.
At Northern Lights Festival Boreal earlier this month Foy was honoured with the treasured Jackie Washington award. Named after the famed Canadian blues musician who graced the NLFB stage 25 times and truly became the heart of the festival until his death in 2009. This award is granted to an artist who has made an outstanding contribution to the arts & culture of Northern Ontario. After years of service to our local community Foy certainly fits the bill!
What initially drew you to start playing music? Tell us about some of your influences.
I’m the youngest of a musical family, everyone plays something different. I’ve been listening to my mother’s piano playing since before I was born! My brothers were both in bands and would practice in our basement so my friends and I would run home from school and sneak in some jams when ever we could.
I always drew my influence from the people around me, always believing that if someone loved or was moved by something in some way, it required some attention.
You’ve been an active performer for a solid 30 year career here in Sudbury, what exciting changes have you been able to witness in our creative community in your time? Where do you see the next 10 years taking us?
30 years ago band were hired for their list of cover songs but, with bars like the Townehouse Tavern bringing in original music and touring bands we realized we could play original music. They opened the door for all of us to be unique and gave us a home to develop as artists.
It’s become the norm for bands to start with original music and the local talent is unmatched in my opinion. Our Sudbury bands are strong and I would put them up against any band from anywhere! I only see amazing things in our future.
This year you were honoured with Northern Lights Festival Boreal’s Jackie Washington Award for outstanding contribution to our local music community. Tell us a bit about what this award and recognition means to you after years of hard work?
This was a bit of shock for me, it’s such a prestigious award and I still feel a bit weird about getting it! NLFB has always been 100% open to all of my projects no matter how off the beaten path I go. It’s my favourite festival to play and attend and to be recognised as the “embodiment of the spirit of the festival” is an unbelievable honour!
What artists locally or beyond keep you inspired?
There are way too many to list! All of my best friends are also my favourite artists. As long as people are living true to themselves and creating honest art, I will always draw from that.
What is your favourite thing about being a part of Sudbury’s creative community?
We have each other’s back! Everyone I know is involved in multiple projects and they are always up for a new challenge. No matter how successful someone is, they are always 100% ready to contribute to or fight for art!
What would be your best advice be to a newcomer looking to get involved in the community?
You deserve to express yourself in a way words fail, be honest to yourself and your art and never, ever sell yourself short.
Where can we follow you work?
January 02, 2018
December 21, 2017
December 14, 2017