Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Singer Gives Up City to Be Artist-in-Residence at Her Own P.E.I. Microbrewery

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Singer Gives Up City to Be Artist-in-Residence at Her Own P.E.I. Microbrewery

Article excerpt

Singer-songwriter brews up new album, beer

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MONTAGUE, P.E.I. - Ashley Condon spent years in Toronto, a singer-songwriter contemplating more years of wearily heading to her next road gig.

"At the end of the day I just thought: What am I going to have to show for that besides bloodshot eyes and being exhausted?" said Condon.

The native East Coaster saw a better future in Prince Edward Island, where she is now brewing up a novel approach to her music career -- let the world come to her.

Condon recently released her third full-length album, "Can You Hear Me," as she was also preparing to launch a new microbrewery with her husband in the small town of Montague, P.E.I.

Being co-founder of Copper Bottom Brewing -- in an historic building on Main Street, overlooking the picturesque Montague River -- wasn't always the plan.

"I was just going to be the sort of cheerleader on the side," said Condon of her husband Ken Spears' dream of opening a microbrewery.

"But as we started to dive deeper into the project, we started to see that it was something we wanted to do together for our community of Montague. Me being an artist and singer-songwriter, I saw it as an opportunity to build and expand on the arts community here.

"It started to unfold as this beautiful marriage of the two of our passions."

Condon -- who lives in Sturgeon just outside Montague in eastern P.E.I. -- saw a need for more music venues on the Island, particularly ones that could host artists in the off-season.

"There's so many amazingly talented artists and we're all walking around trying to get the same two gigs," said Condon, adding the Copper Bottom Brewing will make three beers to start: a blonde, red and pale ale.

"I really love the idea of giving artists a place to come and play in P.E.I., and to curate the art and music that I've been seeing all over the world and bring it here. …

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