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May 26, 2015

For immediate release:

(May 26, 2015, Halifax, NS) – Casino Nova Scotia is excited to announce the finalists for Artist in Residence 2015.  Jurors made the selection following interviews last week. Five stellar candidates, plus a wild card pick will move onto the performance round of the selection process June 12.

Finalists are (in alphabetical order):

  • Arsoniste – Halifax – electronic/pop
  • Kyle Mischiek – Sydney, Cape Breton – pop
  • Wild Card Pick: Like a Motorcycle – Halifax – alternative/rock
  • Samantha Power – Timberlea – country
  • Shannon Quinn – Halifax – Celtic/folk/roots
  • Reeny Smith – North Preston – pop/R&B

“This is an exciting line-up,” states Ken Murray, Assistant General Manager of Casino Nova Scotia.  “We are very pleased to have received strong presentations from artists from a variety of musical genres, as it highlights the diverse interests and talents of artists in Nova Scotia. There’s such a great mix of genres that really highlight the amazing talent of emerging artists from our province. As we were reviewing the applications and interviewing the artists, we were blown away by the incredible talent, direction, and passionate determination from such young musicians.”

Music Nova Scotia Executive Director, Scott Long reported that the jury, which also includes: Asif Ilyas, Carmen Townsend and Ian McKinnon unanimously agreed based on very strong artist submissions and interviews to add the wild card pick, Like a Motorcycle. The live showcase will help the judges make their final assessment.

The Casino Nova Scotia Artist in Residence program will provide the selected musician or group with $20,000 in funding to assist with developing their career through recording, marketing, and live performance opportunities.  Music Nova Scotia is working with Casino Nova Scotia to administer the program.

Music lovers and fans will have their chance to vote from June 1 – June 5 during the online voting, which counts towards the selection of the finalist.  Go to to vote. The public is welcome to come to the Showcase on June 12 at Casino Nova Scotia. Free admission. Must be 19+.

Finalists Showcase:

Friday, June 12 at 8pm

Schooner Showroom, Casino Nova Scotia

Free admission must be 19+


More information on the 2015 Artist in Residence finalists:

Arsoniste (Hometown: Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Arsoniste (pronounced: arson – east) is a synth-pop duo from Halifax, NS consisting of Rachel Sunter and Alex Meade. This emerging duo combines Sunter’s melancholy vocals with a pop-inspired palate of synthesizer, guitar and electronic drums. Sunter and Meade first crossed paths when they shared the stage as members of ECMA nominated pop-rock band SoHo Ghetto. When Sunter decided to depart SoHo to focus on her own project, she enlisted the help of Meade as producer and engineer. The two began performing as a duo in the summer of 2014.



Twitter: @arsoniste

Kyle Mischiek (Hometown: Sydney, Cape Breton)

In 2012, Kyle Mischiek was a fun-loving 16 year-old who entered a local Sydney, Cape Breton talent contest as a lark. Today, Kyle has two studio EPs and a single release to his credit, is a confident live performer, has collaborated with such stellar songwriters as Gordie Sampson, David Myles, Donovan Woods, and Mo Kenney, and has over 200,000 views on YouTube. No easy feat, considering when he entered that contest, he did not play an instrument, had never written a song, and had never stepped foot on a stage. Kyle finished his last year of school in 2013, taking audio recording production, film, and video, and graduated with a certificate in radio television broadcasting. But, it was music that consumed his every waking moment. Kyle was performing at any opportunity, honing his stage skills, gaining confidence with every show.



Twitter: @kylemischiek

Like a Motorcycle (Hometown: Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Like A Motorcycle is a punk rock band based in Halifax. The band formed in January of 2011 and quickly began playing shows in the Halifax area. In September 2011 they released their first EP, Dress Decent, in correlation with their first Maritime tour. Recently converted from 3 piece to 4 piece, Like A Motorcycle released a new single, ‘Hands,’ along with an award winning video in partnership with the Atlantic Film Festival 10×10 program. During the fall they played Gobble Fest in Sydney and opened for Against Me! at Halifax Pop Explosion. They opened for Matt Mays at NSMW in Truro where they were nominated for two Nova Scotia Music Awards and took home Loud Recording of the Year for #Motorpool.



Twitter: @likeamotorcycle

Samantha Power (Hometown: Timberlea, Nova Scotia)

Samantha Power is a Country Music singer/songwriter and has been racking up the travel miles to Nashville since signing with Artist Management Company VMG Entertainment Inc. After receiving a nomination for the 2014 Music Nova Scotia Country Recording of the Year, Samantha has been focussed on performing and writing for her upcoming album. Samantha sees every new day as a special chance to learn, grow and draw on the beauty around her. This perspective gives her the ability to write and perform in an authentic way. She seeks to genuinely relate with every fan through her music, giving her a special connection to the world around her. Samantha is influenced by the greats. She draws from artists such as Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, Jewel, Alison Krauss and Martina McBride.



Twitter: @SamanthaPMusic

Shannon Quinn (Hometown: Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Shannon has been performing as a fiddler/vocalist for the past 16 years. She achieved her music degree from the renowned ‘Humber College’ in Toronto. For the past two years she has been touring internationally with the award winning Scottish group, The Paul McKenna Band. This has included many international performances in Canada, the United States, England, Scotland, Germany and the Netherlands. Shannon has performed at Walt Disney World’s ‘Epcot’ in the United Kingdom Pavilion. In 2008 she released a solo album (The Irwin Lake Sessions) and now after a few years performing and touring she is releasing her second album in July 2015 entitled ‘If All the Young Ladies’. This album features Shannon primarily as a vocalist as well as a fiddler.



Twitter: @sionanq17

Reeny Smith (Hometown: North Preston, Nova Scotia)

Reeny has been singing and playing the piano since the age of five. She credits her inspiration for music from time spent with family and friends at her local church, Saint Thomas Baptist, where she plays piano and is a member of three choirs. Her roots in music stem from an incredible gene pool of family musicians. Both Reeny’s father and grandfather, Wallace Smith Sr. and Jr., are former members of one of Canada’s Premier Gospel bands, The Gospel Heirs. Her uncles Carson and Murray Downey of the Carson Downey Band are also testaments of the great music legacy that she has to inspire her. Reeny was selected for the Portia White Award for Excellence in Vocal Performance in 2011, along with a scholarship from the Nova Scotia Talent Trust recognizing her outstanding musical attributes.



Twitter: @iamREENY


For information on Casino Nova Scotia

Contact: Emily Richards

1983 Upper Water Street, Halifax

Phone: 902-496-6659


For information on Music Nova Scotia

Contact: Scott Long

2157 Gottingen Street, Halifax

Phone: 902-423-6271, ext. 101



About Casino Nova Scotia

Through business and community partnerships we work to build and nurture the economic and cultural health of our community. In 2013 we contributed over $27 million to the Province of Nova Scotia and its programs. As an entertainment destination we are proud to showcase Atlantic Canadian, national, and international talent and invests over $1,000,000 in entertainment annually.  Casino Nova Scotia is a tourism driver and supporter. Each year we welcome over one million visitors, many of whom arrived from outside the province. Ensuring we have a positive impact on the quality of life in our province is important to us. With a focus on the arts, culture and entertainment we support organizations and events that help make our province a vibrant place to live.

Music Nova Scotia is a non-profit organization that has worked since 1989 with a mandate to encourage the creation, development, growth and promotion of Nova Scotia’s music industry. Music Nova Scotia exists to grow and nurture the Nova Scotia music industry, to retain Nova Scotia’s natural resource and promote investment, by:

  • Providing education, information and resources to members.
  • Acting as the advocate for the industry to all levels of government and private enterprise
  • Supporting membership in the promotion of the export of Nova Scotia music regionally, nationally and internationally

About the Artist in Residence Program

Casino Nova Scotia is working with Music Nova Scotia to continue to build the profile of our local music industry. The Artist in Residence program will increase the opportunities for the development of emerging artists in Nova Scotia as well as beneficial for the continued development of our music industry. Casino Nova Scotia is contributing $20,000 to this program to provide a local emerging musician or group with support and opportunities to develop their career. Music Nova Scotia is responsible for administering the fund.



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