Sounds of Manitoba concert series at WAG-Qaumajuq celebrates local art and music

By: Liam Davies

Sierra Noble kicked off the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Sounds of Manitoba concert series with an intimate acoustic performance. Noble’s show is the first in a four-part concert series taking place at the WAG-Qaumajuq that aims to celebrate Manitoba musicians and art.

“It’s just wonderful seeing people, here again, especially people sitting and swaying together,” said Rachel Baerg, the head of learning and programs at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

“The goal of this event is to create a sort of informal setting for us to connect once again,” said Baerg.

 Sierra Noble performs for the Sounds of Manitoba concert series at the Winnipeg Art Gallery on Friday, Nov. 18, 2022. (Liam Davies)

Noble described performing at MMIWG2S+ vigils across the country and at the national inquiry on the issue in Ottawa. They sang their song “Possibility” to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in an attempt to deliver the message behind the MMIWG2S+ movement and its followers.

“The culture in Winnipeg is beautiful,” said Noble. “No matter where you go, nothing else makes you feel the way you feel when you’re coming home,” Noble said to the attentive crowd, while softly playing their acoustic guitar. 

Noble also told attendees to “take care of one another,” following a depiction of personal experiences with COVID-19.

“It’s (COVID-19) really bad. I’m very thankful to see us all together again. We also need to take it seriously,” said Noble.

“Sierra’s music makes you feel deeply human,” says Baerg. “The stories make you connect with not only the music but the person behind it as well. It’s important that we gather again, experience and support this local music together.”

Valerie Smith, a Winnipeg woman who had seen Noble before, decided to spend her evening at Sounds of Manitoba after hearing about it on the local news.

“What a voice. I’m surprised they didn’t give them a bigger venue,” said Smith.

After several heartfelt stories and emotional songs, Noble wrapped up the show with a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi.”

The Sounds of Manitoba series will return on Jan. 27, 2023 with a performance by hip hop artist Anthony OKS.