For many, Christmas time is the most wonderful time of year for a variety of reasons — the lights, the weather or simply the time off work. But for singer/songwriter Allison Crowe, the holiday season is chance to connect with people the best way she knows how: through song.
“I love this time of year, and I love sing-alongs,” said Crowe, following a show in Calgary. “There's a spirit of kindness that comes out during the winter reflection and it's so nice to see and try to get people singing. I think it definitely gets people into the spirit of things.”
And the Newfoundland-based artist will have her chance to do just that this Friday (Dec. 23), when she brings her holiday-themed “Tidings” concert to town as part of the Whistler Holiday Experience.
“I think it's such a lovely way for people to come together and really just have a good time and feel joy and appreciate each other,” she said of the holiday show.
Having grown up in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, Crowe’s career in music began at an early age — before she even knew what she wanted to do for a living.
“I had a dream of singing and being on stage as far back as I can remember — from doing summer theatre and music programs, to doing seasonal concerts in elementary school, to singing along to The Little Mermaid by myself in my room. Music is something I've always loved and wanted to do,” she recalled.
With a passion for music driving her, Crowe did all that she should to be active in the music scene on the island, taking part in school bands, taking lessons, attending open mic nights and playing local coffee houses. As she got more and more familiar with performing publicly, Crowe soon began making a name for herself.
“Vancouver Island's an amazing place to start a career as a musician,” she said. “It's such a positive environment, I've found, for musicians and artists, and there's such a love of music on the island and there is always something to be a part of.”
Now based on the other side of the country — after moving to be with her partner — Crowe has continued her music career at a steady pace, having released eight studio albums and having toured all over the world with her own brand of jazz-inspired alternative tunes.
“I always am inspired by what's going on around me and what's going on in my personal life,” she said of her songwriting. “It really just kind of comes on a song-to-song basis.
Generally, I write in the same way I might write in my journal — and then just sort of edit to song form. Wherever I am in the world, and why I'm there, can definitely come into play.”
But for her upcoming Whistler show, Crowe will just be focusing on selections from her holiday-themed album, Tidings.
“There are songs that are either carols or winter-themed, or that fit somehow the mood,” explained Crowe of the set.
Allison Crowe performs at the Whistler Conference Centre on Friday (Dec. 23). Admission is free and the show starts at 7 p.m.