The Lounge

CION and Destination Northern Ontario Present a Series of Interviews, Performances and Seminars celebrating Film, TV and Music in Northern Ontario.

Music Events

G.R Gritt - Friday, February 12th @ 7:00 pm


G.R Gritt


Click the image above to get your free ticket!

7:00 pm: GR Gritt, Greater Sudbury / Robinson Huron Treaty 2x NOMINEE OF NOMFA 2019

  • OUTSTANDING ALBUM BY AN INDIGENOUS ARTIST - “Shelter As We Go” (as Quantum Tangle) - Winner

  • OUTSTANDING ALBUM - “Shelter As We Go” (as Quantum Tangle)

 After living many years in Yellowknife and forming the band Quantum Tangle, they have recently moved back to Sudbury / Robinson Huron Treaty territory where they grew up. This homecoming coincides with a journey through transition to a body that they feel better represents them. With these changes has come a new voice both physically and in the growing magnetism of their songwriting. GR Gritt pulls effortlessly from the past to create soulful futurisms with their new sound that elegantly weaves the melodies using vocals, guitar, and new electronic elements. By exploring the emotional and cultural core of their heritage, as a non-binary, queer, indigenous artist they create new spaces and encourage other to do the same.

Kalle Mattson - Friday, February 12th @ 8:15 pm





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8:15 pm: Kalle Mattson, Sault Ste. Marie 3x NOMINEE NOMFA 2019

  • OUTSTANDING SONGWRITER - “Astronaut” - Winner



Kalle Mattson is a Juno & Polaris Music Prize nominated singer / songwriter based in Canada. Since 2009 he has released four full-length albums & two EPs to critical & commercial acclaim. His first music video for “Thick As Thieves” gained over 1,000,000 views & was covered by Time Magazine, NPR & The Huffington Post. On his most recent solo album, 2018's “Youth.”, Mattson set out to make a coming-of-age album about the in-between days of post-adolescence and pre-adulthood. It was released to rave reviews with Dominionated saying - “file it under instant classic.”

Music Production in a Pandemic Panel - Thursday, February 11th @ 1:00 pm


Click the image above to register for this Free Panel.

CION will host the online panel titled Music Production in a Pandemic. It will feature some of Northern Ontario's most experienced audio engineers and talented musicians who will discuss how the ever-changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected how they make music. This panel will serve as a great resource for aspiring and professional musicians or producers looking for support to finish their projects. The moderator of the panel, Chris Dorota from Advanced Systems Integration, will be joined by Matt Wiewel from Deadpan Studios, Benjamin Leggett from Canadore College's Sound Engineering Program, and musicians Will Powers and Cassidy Houston.



Will Powers - Thursday, February 11th @ 7:00 pm


will powers

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7:00 pm: Will Powers, Greater Sudbury, NOMINEE OF NOMFA 2019

  • OUTSTANDING ALBUM - “Flowers of Atacama” (as Pharos of Alexandria)

 Oli Palkovits likes to wear many hats and stick his fingers in many pies. His personal project, Will Powers – for which he writes, records, arranges, and produces – serves as the main vehicle for his output. He's collaborated as a recording and mixing engineer, backing musician, artwork designer, and most recently co-founded the record label / artist collective CARE Records alongside NOMFA alumnus Jackson Reed. The debut double EP by Will Powers, SAME & BURNING HANDS, was released last fall as their first two issues.  

Céleste Lévis - Thursday, February 11th @ 8:15 pm



 Céleste Lévis

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8:15 pm: Céleste Lévis, Timmins 2x NOMINEE OF NOMFA 2019



 From her very first notes, you will be entranced by Céleste Lévis' singular voice. Since her impressive journey on the popular Quebec TV version of The Voice, she has taken the stage across Canada touring her first album “Celeste” and her second self-produced album “Donne-moi le temps”. Through her songs, she conveys her unique depth and style that will surely lull those who take the time to listen.

Northern Lights Festival Boréal Streaming Live on Facebook and on July 9

Northern Lights Festival Boréal is one of Canada's original music & arts festivals, in continuous operation since 1972. The summer festival is a signature cultural event of Northern Ontario, typically taking place each July on the shores of Lake Ramsey, in Sudbury, ON. The organization has become known internationally for its eclectic and diverse approach to programming, combining a variety of live music with visual arts, storytelling, craft and other performing arts. NLFB has a long tradition of highlighting francophone, Indigenous, and other multicultural performers, reflecting the community in which it takes place. In 2019, NLFB also founded the winter 'Bloom' festival, further expanding its impact & opportunities in the community. NLFB is currently planning the biggest festival celebration yet - the 50th anniversary event, scheduled for July 8-11, 2021. American folk icon Judy Collins has been announced as a headliner, with many more exciting names to come. In order to stay in the loop, follow NLFB on social media or sign up for the e-news at

Stream the 2020 edition here starting at 6:30 pm on July 9th.


Barry Miles - 7:00pm

Barry Miles 2

With a knack for storytelling and a penchant for tragedy, Barry Miles combines a love of broken characters and sinister afterthoughts into a muddy blend of alternative folk and northern gothic. Barry is a roots, rock, folk and country artist, also known as a primary member of Sudbury's bluegrass-outlaw country supergroup Murder Murder.

Kevin Closs - 7:30pm

Kevin Closs 2

Kevin Closs is a singer-songwriter from Sudbury, Canada. Since 1990 he has worked as a recording and performing artist releasing ten independent albums and played concerts, festivals and clubs across the country. Kevin's third album, Surrender, featured two hit singles, "Erica" and "Home", which made the Canadian Adult Contemporary and Country Music charts respectively. Many of Kevin's songs have become part of northern Ontario's cultural landscape. "The Camp Song", "All For A Song", his solo guitar arrangement of "O Canada" and many others are as familiar to northerners as jack pines and loons. His contributions to the northern Ontario arts community won him the Jackie Washington Award in 2002 and the Mayor's Celebration of the Arts Exceptional Achievement Award in 2016. He has garnered support from the Ontario Arts Council from which he received grants in 1996, 2002, 2016 and 2018.

Céleste Lévis - 8:00pm

celeste levis 2

From her very first notes, you will be entranced by Céleste Lévis' singular voice. Since her impressive journey on the popular Quebec TV version of The Voice, she has taken the stage across Canada touring her first album "Céleste". Through her songs, she conveys her unique depth and style that will surely lull those who take the time to listen. In September 2018, she released her self-produced album "Donne-moi le temps" that has since received 6 nominations at the Gala des Prix Trille Or and the Northern Ontario Film & Music Awards. More inspired than ever, she hopes to continue to touch the hearts of audiences across Canada. Célesta also played at NLFB in 2019!

St. Joseph Island's Go North Music Festival Livestream 6:30 pm on July 2

The Go North Music Festival is a one-day music festival held on Beautiful St. Joseph Island, 52 km from Sault Ste. Marie. The day-long family-friendly event features a variety of musical acts primarily from across Canada, with local artists joining in the fun. The music genres range from blues to folk, to rock and pop, with a focus on quality, variety, and bands producing new music.


Frank Deresti - 7:00pm

 frank deresti and the lake effect 600

Frank Deresti is a versatile and adventurous musician with an extensive list of performing and recording credits to his name. He maintains an active schedule as a performer, bandleader, collaborator, sideman, session musician, composer, and teacher.

His current songwriting project, Frank Deresti and the Lake Effect, continues to break new ground within the singer-songwriter genre. Armed with a diverse collection of instruments and influences, the band combines engaging and thought-provoking lyric writing with thoughtful and well-crafted arrangements. You will hear elements of folk, jazz, pop, country, soul, and more all wrapped into an impressive and distinct package.

Jesse Merineau - 7:30pm

Jesse Merineau

Jesse Merineau is a singer/songwriter from Sault Ste Marie, Ontario. Jesse grew up with a natural passion for music. With nothing but his acoustic guitar and vocals, he started performing live at the age of 16. After a few years of hard work, he was the “go to” opening act for touring bands crossing through Sault Ste Marie. Once he had the attention from his city, he upped his act.

The Fast Romantics - 8:00pm

fast romantics

Unrelenting road-warriors, the band has been exploring their sound as a group in rewarding ways, blending vintage synthesisers and slide guitar with their trademark fuzzy anthem swells. 

Live From The Rock Festival Presents Curated Livestream

The Live from the Rock Folk Festival is an annual music and arts festival located on the beautiful shore of Lake Superior in Red Rock, Ontario. Since the Live from the Rock Blues & Folk Society started dreaming up the first festival in 2002, with the inaugural event held in August of 2003, Live from the Rock has become an annual tradition for over 2,000 music lovers from around the region, the country and the world. It is a grassroots festival run almost 100 per cent by volunteers and without the support of approximately 200 dedicated volunteers and the Township of Red Rock each year, the festival could not exist.


Nick Sherman - 7:00pm 

nick sherman live from the rock

Thunder Bay based singer-songwriter and guitarist Nick Sherman’s music has taken him across the country where he has performed at various events and festivals such as Ottawa Bluesfest, Vancouver Folk Festival, Luminato Festival, and more. He spends part of the year in remote Indigenous communities bringing music programming into schools.

Arley Cox - 7:30pm

Arley Cox and the Roosters

Born on the shores of Lake Superior in Thunder Bay Ontario, Arley Cox has been inspired by this lush part of Canada her whole life. Living in Thunder Bay remains a constant reminder of her strength, determination, and ability as she takes on the Canadian Music Scene with her debut album "Parts of Me". 

Cassidy Houston - 8:00pm

cassidy houston

With a presence as large as her vibrant red hair, Northern Ontario based, singer-songwriter Cassidy Houston captivates hearts with her soulful yet candid performances.  With a diverse range of musical influences, from Chantal Kreviazuk to Stevie Nicks to Dala, Cassidy’s passion for her music shines when she shares that magic with her audiences.

The Lounge with Rose Erin Stokes

The Lounge with Rose Erin Stokes

In The Lounge, we have the pleasure of chatting with Rose Erin Stokes.

When listening to the hauntingly beautiful melodies on Wherever I Go, the debut full-length album by Rose-Erin Stokes, you can’t help but be transfixed by every lilting note, every phrase and every plucked string. There is a quiet stillness to some songs, and within others one can sense an emotional tumult just rippling under the surface.

What is undeniable is the deeply honest approach to her musical storytelling, a wide-open emotional tableau that is representative of the silence of the vast forests, and big open skies of the northern Ontario city of North Bay where Stokes was born and raised.

Wherever I Go was produced by friend and Juno-nominated producer/engineer Ben Leggett in his home studio in North Bay. The two previously collaborated on Stokes’ debut EP in 2014, as well as on the first Hidden Roots Collective album, Come Up, Honey, which came out in 2016. That side project saw Stokes join musical forces with singer/songwriters Annie Sumi, Holly Cunningham and Brigitte Lebel – all of whom has strong North Bay connections. The album was nominated for a 2017 Canadian Folk Music Award.

Stokes has toured extensively as both a solo artist and with the Hidden Roots Collective, and was lauded with two nominations from the 2015 Northern Ontario Music and Film Awards, winning for Best Vocals on a recording for her EP. The 2017 Northern Ontario Music and Film Awards saw her take home Best Songwriter for her song 'Let You Go' which was recorded with the Collective.

Spending much of the past few years as an itinerant musician after her university days in Sudbury, Stokes said she has found herself more rooted in her northern Ontario home than ever before, and it’s reflected in the tone and tenor of her music. There is calm strength to both her music and her melodies, and a deft sensitivity throughout the compositions, arrangements and the recorded performances that is powerfully compelling.

In the Lounge!

An excellent chat with folk singer/songwriter Cassidy Houston!

Straight from Red Rock, Ontario, this phenom is a rarified talent with a stunning stage presence and a heart of gold.  She is currently a Board Member with Folk Music Ontario and is about to release her first EP.  We had a lovely time chatting with this kind soul about her music and what she has been up to during the pandemic.

Check her music out at

Her EP "Faces" is released on December 17th and you can purchase physical CD's at her website -

Tonight in The Lounge!

We speak with Spencer Jose, entertainer, songwriter and man of many wigs.

We chat about his journey through Northern Ontario as a musician, what it is like making music right now and about his latest project Dry Heaves! It was great chat and we are stoked to see folks like Spencer doing things they love to do.

Dry Heaves Spotify

Dry Heaves Instagram

Dry Heaves Facebook

Dry Heaves River and Sky Performance

Cosmic Daves Guitar Shop Insta

Tonight in The Lounge!

We speak with the brand new Executive Director of Northern Lights Festival Boréal, Célyne Marie.

Certainly no stranger to festival planning, Célyne has been a key volunteer at past editions of NLFB, as well as signature music & arts festivals such as Up Here. She has served as their Artist Hospitality Coordinator since 2017. Through this experience she became familiar with ins & outs of festival management. In 2019, Célyne worked as a Freelance Artist Hospitality Lead for River & Sky and Venue Manager with both the Northern Ontario Music and Film Awards and JUNOfest. She has sat on the Board of Directors at CKLU and as a member of the Parent Council for Valley View Public School for ten years, where she first gained experience with fundraising and event planning. With fond memories of attending NLFB every year as a child in the 80’s, she has expressed festival work as her passion in life.

In this edition of  The Lounge!

We speak with Max Merrifield, artistic director of Northern Lights Festival Boréal on how the pandemic has created innovation.  What does the future of the festival look like and what are the challenges of presenting live music during a pandemic.

Check it out!

Abigail Cassio - Executive Director for River and Sky Music/Camping Festival

Abby Promo Pic

We are speaking with Abigail Cassio, Executive Director for River and Sky Camping and Music Festival.

We chat about the festival, her journey with the event and what the future holds for this popular Northern Ontario destination.

Tune in to watch this great interview with one of Northern Ontario's best and brightest.

Sign up to volunteer or check out what is coming up at

Film Events

Maddy Falle - Producer and Development Manager at Gearshift Films

This week in The Lounge, we catch up with Maddy Falle, Producer and Development Manager at Gearshift Films.   Maddy Falle has been working in the film industry for close to 10 years.  We spoke with her about her journey to producing, what is like to shoot in the north and what the future holds for Gearshift Films.   

Tune into our conversation on Thursday, April 8th @ 6:00 pm on Facebook and right here in the Lounge.


The Lounge with Lindrena Newbery

The Lounge with Lindrena Newbery

Tonight in the Lounge, we chat with Toronto Film School Bursary Winner, Lindrena Newbery.

She is a Grade 12 French Immersion student from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Some of her highlights while at school have been playing saxophone in the school band, taking electronic music, and sharpening her storytelling skills in writer's craft. She also participated in Envirothon for four years, competing in local environmental competitions. Her team took part in the provincial level competition this year. Musical theater has been a significant part of school life. She has taken part in Mamma Mia and Willy Wonka.

Outside of school, Lindrena is a singer-songwriter, who hopes to finish recording her material soon. She plays various instruments, including guitar and piano. She enjoys performing at local cafés and events.

Her passion for social justice led her to take a dual credit course with Algoma University in social justice and equity in the summer of 2020.

Lindrena enjoys spending time outside, hiking and kayaking along Lake Superior, always with her camera ready to capture the beautiful scenery of Northern Ontario.

She is excited to explore Toronto and looks forward to her time at Toronto Film School.

The Lounge with Jake Thomas

The Lounge with Jake Thomas

This week in The Lounge, check out this incredible chat with Jake Thomas from Northern Light & Colour, located in Sudbury, Ontario.

Established in 2017, it is a child of an alliance between Red Square Motion, a Toronto-based post-production facility with nearly a decade of experience and a portfolio of projects that include NETFLIX exclusive feature films, TV series, award-winning commercials and music videos; and Sudbury-based Riley Lake Productions, a production outfit that has a vast portfolio of Northern-based projects.

Jake is an inspiring creative force in Northern Ontario and this is a great conversation about the exciting future our production industry has.

Check out his demo reel of aerial photography at the link below.

The Lounge with Jordan Schinkel

The Lounge with Jordan Schinkel

This week in The Lounge!

We speak with Jordan Schinkel, Post Production Director of Northern Operations for Stratagem Group.

Jordan leads Stratagem’s post-production arm, coming on board after 20 years of industry experience working at some of Canada’s premiere production houses. As Director of Operations, Jordan is based out of the post-production facility in North Bay, working in collaboration with Canadore College, where he will continue to strengthen Stratagem’s commitment to academic training and building scale in Northern Ontario and around the globe.

You can reach out to Jordan @


The Lounge with Christina Tarini

The Lounge with Christina Tarini

This week in The Lounge, we have a really wonderful chat with Christina Tarini, owner and operator of Twister Sister Craft and Catering.

Craft Services is the beating heart of the film set. They are the proverbial bartenders, knowing everyone's name and taking care of everyone's physical and emotional needs. They not only feed everyone, they are often a source of comfort on the hard days.

Christina has been at this for 11 years and has seen it all. Check out this interview and learn more about one of the unsung hero departments on a film set


Tonight in The Lounge, we chat with writer, director and occasional scriptie, Alexander Galant.

Alexander is an accomplished author with a background in theatre who was recently in Northern Ontario to scout locations for his project "The Ghostwriter".

It was a great and insightful chat with someone who has a great passion for storytelling.

In this edition of the Lounge!

We speak with Mathieu Séguin, creative director of Motion Arc Studio and award-winning Cinematographer. His work varies from commercials to documentaries, to cinema but all have a common goal of telling a story through vivid imagery. Aside from knowing the technical and logistical aspects of a production, Mathieu understands the art of lighting and uses it as his paintbrush. He is an alumnus of the American Film Institute (AFI)'s world-renowned cinematography program. Mathieu has been mentored by Mark Doering-Powell, ASC.

Tonight in the Lounge we have a great conversation with Writer/Director, Tomas Street. His directorial debut FUGUE, is on Itunes and various streaming platforms right now.

Check out this video for some wonderful insight on learning everything you need to know on a film set and some great advice for creatives on looking to get their projects off the ground.

The Lounge Presents: A Conversation with Christine Rochon

Christine Rochon is a producer and production co-ordinator from Sudbury, Ontario.   She has been working in the film industry for the past 8 years.  In 2017, Christine and a talented group of filmmakers from Northern Ontario collaborated to make the independent thriller “Fugue”.  It was screened at the Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival in 2019 and will be coming to VOD soon.

The Lounge Presents: A Conversation with Director Ray Xue. 

Ray discusses his passion for filmmaking and how he came from making his own short movies on no budget to helming his first major feature film in Sudbury, Ontario.   Listen to his advice for aspiring filmmakers and visual effects artists.  Learn why he loves the Northern Ontario crews and how you can put your own movies out on the internet.

Join us for a conversation with producer Allison Black about her film "Giant Little Ones".

This touching drama about two popular teen boys, best friends since childhood, who discover their lives, families, and girlfriends dramatically upended after an unexpected incident occurs on the night of a 17th birthday party.

You can buy or rent the movie here.

Music & Film Recommendations

CION Weekend Pick - Riot Girls

Watch it Online!

This pick for a rainy April weekend is Riot Girls!

Directed by Jovanka Vuckovic, this sci-fi, pulpy action flick was shot in Northern Ontario.

In an alternate 1995, a mysterious disease has wiped out all of the adults. In this new age, two gangs are pitted against each other in a brutal war for territory, resources and survival. ​

Check out a soon to be cult classic this weekend and thank you to all of the Northern crew who helped make this film.

Weekend Music Pick - Harvey King and the Grindstone

Harvey King and the Grindstone

This August Long Weekend Music Pick comes to you from Harvey King and The Grindstone. This new band made up of veteran Sudbury musicians just dropped their first EP.

"Established in 2018, Harvey King & the Grindstone is a six-piece band from Sudbury, Ontario. Their 2021 four-track EP release, Bigtime, showcases the band’s Northern soul, rock n’ roll roots and provides a teaser for a full 10-track LP anticipated for release in 2022."

This kind of music gets us excited to see live music again. Check out the album on Spotify at the link below.


Northern Ontario's Virtual Marketplace

In partnership with Destination Northern Ontario, CION is pleased to showcase here a crucial element of Northern Culture - our incredible shops and services who have developed new ways of doing business to stay open safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Take a look at all of the communities of the North who have come together to share what makes the North so memorable.

Please check out these online resources: