NB Musician heads on a “once in a lifetime” cultural exhibition

Morgan Bokneck for the Times Transcript

Sunday the 9th July 2017

When Moncton musician Patrick Murray found out about a musical residency onboard a boat sailing across Canada, he immediately signed up.

“I got a call when I was in studio, and I think I yelled in someone’s ear.  I was pretty excited to be on it.” He said

The Canada C3 is a cultural sailing project taking place in 15 legs over 150 days to celebrate Canada’s 150 years of Confederation.

Each leg of the trip will have different scientists, artists, indigeneous Elders, historians, community leaders, youth, journalists and educators onboard.  They will anchor in different communities to do research, create art and perform music, according to the C3 website.

The C3 journey started in Toronto on June 1, heads through the Northwest Passage, and will finish up in Victoria on October 28.  Murray will be the fifth leg of the expedition, which kicks off in St John’s, Newfoundland, sailing through the Narrows and along Iceberg Alley.  Finishing up in Nain, the north most Nunatisavut settlement in the province.

Murray and his shipmates will be visiting indigenous communities and national parks along their way.  He said he hopes there are still some icebergs at this time of year, and he upgraded his phone camera just in case.

Murray, originally from Saint John, said when he found out his childhood hero, Canadian children’s musician Fred Penner, would be on the same leg as him, it just added to his excitement.

“I just remember growing up and seeing him on TV.  He always had those catchy songs and wholesome advice for kids, and here he is, still doing music.”

“If we get the same cabin, I hope he doesn’t snore,” said Murray with a laugh.

Murray is a retired Navy/Airforce(corrected) Veteran, who said he now uses music as a way to cope with anxiety(corrected).  He put out his first album “Losing Sight of Shore” in 2013 while still in the military, working on counter drug enforcement operations in Caribbean, according to his website.  He said next album will be out in the fall.

For a year after the album’s release, Murray said all proceeds from one of the album’s songs will be donated to The Humanity Project, a nonprofit that feeds Moncton’s homeless.  Murray said he admires the selflessness and dedication of the charity.

“Being in the military, you know about that, because it’s all about the other person, you’re serving your country.  It’s about something greater than yourself..”

Upon the album’s release, a 20 piece a capella group will get together in Saint John to sing one of the songs, Rolling Fields, which is about New Brunswick.

Murray said that music is an integral part of Canadian identity, and that being part of this “once in a lifetime” sailing journey with other creative people is something he’s really looking forward to.

“It’s really cool to be part of something that may never happen again.  Never again will there be a 150th anniversary.  This is it.”

Murray sets off on the Canada C3 on July 12, and will arrive in Nain on July 22.  The Canada C3 is an initiative of the Students on ice Foundation which has led exhibtions through the Arctic and Antarctic since 2000


Ken Kelley for the Telegraph-Journal

Tuesday 31 January 2017

After spending almost a quarter century as part of the Canadian Navy, Saint John native Patrick Murray is taking some time for himself.  And what better way to keep himself busy than with music.

As Murray is making plans to record the follow-up effort to his 2013 debut Losing Sight of Shore, Murray has released a single, “Rolling Fields,” which pays tribute to his home province.  The song’s lyrics, sung in an acapella format, paint a vivid, year-round picture of the province’s landscape, name-checking various locales along the way.

“When I wrote ‘Rolling Fields,’ I had thought it would be a bold move to perform the song acapella, which I felt would allow listeners to really focus on what I’m saying with the song’s lyrics.  I’m hoping my love for the place I grew up shines through,” Murray shares.

It was while he was in high school that Murray caught the song writing bug, nurturing his knack for crafting original material in the 23 years he spent in the navy while also travelling the world in a variety of capacities.

“In addition to flying for four years with the Sea Kings, the bulk of my time was spent in the navy doing tours overseas,” he shares, noting said tours in Yugoslavia and the Middle East, among other places.

Murray notes his long, fruitful career with the military came to a close when he was placed on medical leave in 2014 and subsequently discharged last year.  In that two year span, Murray faced a series of personal changes, including divorce, but music proved to be a constant refuge of sorts for him.

“I’m a firm believer that to appreciate the good in life, you have to live through challenging and dark times,” he says.

“In the last two years, I have written what I feel is some of the best songs of my life.  For me, music is about building connections with the audience.  There is no greater gift than someone identifying with or finding something that speaks to them personally with my songs.”



‘Hopeful inspiration’ behind song for Rehtaeh Parsons in new CD


A compilation CD of music by Atlantic Canadian artists in support of suicide prevention training will include a track dedicated to Rehtaeh Parsons.

Living for Today is the creation of local musicians Wanda Rose Milne and Keith MacNeil, written by Milne after a major life upheaval that included the loss of both parents.

     “The song is hopeful inspiration, about always being in your moment and not going to the bad place,” said Milne from her Chezzetcook home Wednesday.

Milne said it’s the message of hope that prompted her to offer it to Compassion Action for the “Life Support” CD.

     “Now every time I sing it, Rehtaeh’s name will be on it. It’s her tune now,” she said.

Milne also reached out to Rehateh’s father, Glen Canning, who will be the guest of honour at the CD launch at Big Leagues on June 1.

     Rehtaeh took her own life in early April, two years after being allegedly gang-raped and then bullied by classmates when a photo of the incident was distributed via social media.

Police are currently investigating the allegations.

The project coordinator for Compassion Action says the double CD features tracks donated by Sarah McLachlan, Shawn Hebb, Patrick Murray, Heather Green, Pretty Archie, Jon Mullane and several others.

     “We were really moved by how many people wanted to be involved, wanted to do something positive,” said Tylluan O’Shannon.

     O’Shannon said the CD was in the works before Rehtaeh’s death, but the tragedy has drawn additional attention to the issues of teen suicide and child sex abuse.

She said she hopes that results in more positive action among members of the public.

“The bottom line is, we want to educate people and we want people to say, instead of getting upset after a tragic event, let’s prevent it from happening in the first place,” said O’Shannon. “This CD can literally save lives, it can fund us to go anywhere where people are willing to accept the training and … learn how to be a life saver.”


Pat Healey

May 2013

“WELLINGTON: Rock/roots pop music fans in the Fall River area you’re in luck, two musicians who perform those genre of music are coming to the area—and both are can’t miss acts. Patrick Murray and The Contenders will perform their hit Folk Rock/Roots Pop music during what they hope is the first of many visits to the Wellington/Fletcher’s Lake Fire Hall on May 11, beginning at 9 p.m. Rock/Blues guitarist ‘Rockin Dan’ will hit the stage first as the opening act.”

CD pick: Patrick Murray


April 3, 2013 – 3:38pm
April 3, 2013 – 5:14pm

Losing Sight Booklet Page 1.jpg

Patrick Murray


The Wax isn’t the only local act with a new CD this weekend; roots-pop songwriter Patrick Murray launches his Losing Sight of Shore EP with his band the Contenders on Friday night at Rockbottom Brew Pub.

The Saint John native and Royal Canadian Navy member comes by his title’s seagoing metaphor honestly, and there’s a Maritime air in the title track’s bagpipe and Goodbye My Friend’s tin whistle. But Celtic is just a fraction of his sound, as he contrasts his love of the sea and his home and native land with more personal stories sung with direct emotional clarity.

You can also see Murray and the Contenders this morning on CTV Morning Live, with more dates coming in May at the Wellington-Fletchers Lake Fire Hall (near Fall River) on May 11, Trellis Cafe in Hubbards on May 18 and Dartmouth’s Cafe Bree on May 28. For more details visit