Jake Vaadeland and the Sturgeon River Boys Take Their Talents Further West
Jake Vaadeland and his band, The Sturgeon River Boys, embody the unexpected. The group, which accessed our Market Travel Grant to rumble over to Breakout West 2022, is a set of young faces creating the type of country and bluegrass music that wouldn’t seem out of place in your grandparents’ record collection. It’s a sound that resonated with the crowd at the Calgary-based event, according to Vaadeland.
“Breakout West was an incredibly successful showcase opportunity for us! We were able to generate industry interest across the country and abroad. Since the event, we’ve been very busy following up with industry contacts gained in Eastern Canada, UK, Denmark and elsewhere. As a direct result of the showcases, we have also recently signed on with Paquin Entertainment and Johnson Talent Management to help us navigate the growing demand we are now seeing.”
Their ‘50’s sensibilities– which this writer is listening to while crafting this article – has also received critical acclaim. Vaadeland won four 2022 Saskatchewan country music awards (fans choice, alternative country album of the year, emerging artist of the year, and songwriter of the year) as well as two Sask Music awards (Roots/Folk Artist of the Year and Album of the Year) after he released two EP’s in 2021. Just a few months ago he turned to a larger project, releasing his first full-length album, Everybody but Me. All three are available on streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple but are also available via his website where you can order physical copies.
It’s a meteoric rise for an artist who, just a couple of years ago, was trying to figure out what it meant to be himself as a young teenager in rural Saskatchewan. His music has since been covered by local student media– like the University of Saskatchewan’s Sheaf – as well as features in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix and Toronto’s NEXT Magazine. Vaadeland says that playing the showcase at BreakOut West, alongside other Saskatchewan artists (and fellow Creative Saskatchewan grantees) like Amy Nelson, Marissa Burwell, and Megan Nash, helped usher in a new era in his career.
“Both of our showcases, at the Ironwood on the 29th [of September] and Legion #1 on the 30th were packed and the response was incredible. This truly was a career changing showcase for us and we are so thankful to have had the opportunity to attend!”
It’s early in the year, but the connections Vaadeland has made over the last couple of years appear to be paying off. He already has performances booked in Saskatoon, Prince Albert, North Battleford, Calgary, Kelowna, and Winnipeg for 2023. Combine that with signing on with booking and management agencies, and the future looks bright for this Cut Knife crooner.
Before we go, we’d just like to share that lyrics from Vaadeland’s song “Be Good Stewards” align perfectly with how Creative Saskatchewan sees its role in the province’s creative ecosystem.
“Be good stewards of the land/ Be good stewards here/ Be good stewards of the earth/ Don’t let her disappear”
Getting out on the road is a business endeavour just as much as it is a creative one. Our Market Travel Grant can support travel costs to attend showcases, festivals, and conferences, and exhibits, where you have been invited to participate. The fund closes once all funds are exhausted. If what you’re looking to do is more on the touring side of things, check out our Tour Support Grant. This grant requires a run of at least six live performances in multiple cities with performance fees being collected.