As we go forward, a look back on some great moments.
As we turn the page on another calendar year, many of us are setting goals to have an even better year than the last one, and in the hubbub of trying to focus on sticking to your New Year’s resolutions, it’s easy to lose sight of the good times many of us had last year.
Here’s my Best Of list for 2022:
Best event – Wakefield Out Loud
STO Union’s Wakefield Out Loud show was one of the most intriguing art shows I’ve ever experienced. STO creative director Nadia Ross filmed 14 locals during the pandemic and invited them back to watch themselves live on screen two years later. The result was an emotional look back on where we all were and where we are all going. Kudos to Ross and STO Union for showing us all what we needed to see.
Best new song – Rebelle’s “Head On Fire”
It’s been a tough few years for musicians in the Hills, but Wakefield band Rebelle spent some time in the studio to record their new track, “Head on Fire.” The raucous track wastes no time getting into its gritty garage-infused rock and boasts vocalist David Taggart’s signature Cobain-esque growl. Give it a listen — it’s sure to set your head on fire.
Best new album – Esmerine’s “Everything Was Forever Until It Was No More”
Esmerine’s third installment of their triptych series, “Everything Was Forever Until It Was No More,” is an in-your-face exposé of the “crazy” times in which we live. The final chapter, released last spring, is a fitting finale to the trilogy of albums, which collectively question the human condition through epic arrangements, intense instrumentals and a cello that can make you weep with a few notes. Honourable mention goes to John McAlpine’s “Too Much Time”.
Best new restaurant – Cuisine Express Indienne
When Asma Sultana took over the Last Train to Delhi in Chelsea and renamed it Cuisine Express Indienne, she brought much more to the table than just a new name. Sultana, who moved to Canada just three years ago from the West Bengal region in India, makes arguably the best butter chicken in the area. Her curry lamb dish will have your tastebuds returning for more.
Best New Business – Motel Chelsea
Former business partners Christina Stobert and Una McDonnell deserve applause for breathing new life into the old La Vallée (aka Tulip Valley) motel. The two renovated the space into an upscale boutique motel reminiscent of 1970s New York. But the space has become more than just a motel and restaurant — it’s become one of the premiere music venues in the Hills. The place has hosted bands, including the Great Lake Swimmers, DJs, and threw a hell of a New Year’s Eve bash with Wakefield band Waked Up!
We have just under 365 days to make 2023 shine as some moments in 2022 did.
Artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, and writers, get to work! We’ll be listening, reading and dancing.