Newfoundland and Labrador

  • population: 526,977
  • capital city: St. John’s
  • musical facts: MusicNL has 700 members, of which 200 are in the business sector
  • Just over one-third (181,000) of Newfoundlanders live in and around the capital city of St. John’s
  • A “screech-in” is performed by visitors involving a shot of screech (rum), a short recitation, and the kissing of a cod fish

Newfoundland and Labrador has a thriving music scene filled with a diverse range of music, including reggae, world, jazz, blues, rock, classical, and pop. It’s also a hotbed of emerging artists, such as the critically acclaimed Hey Rosetta!, rockers The Novaks, folk trio The Once and Juno award-winning singer/songwriter Amelia Curran.

MusicNL - Serving the Newfoundland & Labrador music industry


MusicNL is a non-profit, membership-based organization that promotes, develops and advocates for musicians and music industry stakeholders residing in the province of Newfoundland & Labrador.

We are run by a nine member volunteer board of directors, with three staff members, and 700 members, of which 200 are in the business sector. Our office is in downtown St. John’s.

Our mandate is to address the challenges and issues affecting the province’s music industry, to achieve growth in our membership, to be transparent, and remain compliant with government policy.

This includes:

  • Creating provincial outreach and educational opportunities for our membership to stimulate growth in the infrastructure and the business side of our industry. This includes workshops, info sessions, professional development and mentorships programs.
  • Developing funding programs that address our members’ ongoing needs and reflect the current industry environment.
  • Conducting ourselves in a manner that is accountable, transparent, and sustainable, while delivering maximum benefit to the membership we serve.

MusicNL is a supporting industry partner of the East Coast Music Association.


Explore the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador

George Street Festival

Newfoundland and Labrador is located on the eastern edge of North America. Our capital city shares the same latitude as Paris, France, and Seattle, Washington. And by plane, we’re just three hours from Toronto, four from New York, and five and a half from London.

Our landscape is as vast as it is varied. Here, you’ll find Arctic tundra, ancient mountain ranges, lush boreal forest, and rugged coastline. When it comes to the weather, you’ll never be stuck for conversation. Folks here love to talk about the weather, and for good reason. Ranging from mildly surprising to downright unpredictable, it can be as spontaneous as the people you’ll meet along the way.

And Newfoundland and Labrador is known for its friendly people. Real and genuine, warm and welcoming, fun-loving and funny to the core. We’re also known for our natural creativity, unique language, and knack for storytelling.


Around here, music is part of the natural and cultural landscape. You can find it practically everywhere you go – from kitchens and pubs to concert halls and festivals in every corner of the province.

The traditional music of Newfoundland and Labrador is rooted in Irish, Scottish, English, and French music. Thanks to bands like Figgy Duff, Great Big Sea, and musicians like Ron Hynes, and legendary fiddlers like Rufus Guinchard and Emile Benoit, it’s known throughout the world.

Spend an afternoon or an entire weekend sampling live traditional music at one of the many music and folk festivals hosted by communities across the province in celebration of everything from blueberries to squid to mussel beds.

On any given day of the week, you’ll come across live music playing in one of our iconic bars or clubs – particularly down on George Street, and be sure to visit the Ship Pub, St. John’s most popular live music venue.

Newfoundland artist

For more general information about the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, please visit:

Key Regions in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador

St. John’s population 196,966

Key venues/clubs: Arts and Culture Centre, LSPU Hall, Mile One Stadium, Holy Heart Theatre, The Ship Pub, The Rockhouse

George Street: 23 bars are located in the heart of downtown St. John’s, boasting the most bars and pubs per square foot of any street in North America. Known as “the biggest little street in the world,” George Street is the predominant home of St. John’s nightlife, and includes some of the most popular award-winning pubs, restaurants, and live music venues in Newfoundland.

Key Radio: VOCM 590AM (news/talk/country), CBN 640AM (CBC Radio One), VOWR 800AM (Christian radio), CJYQ 930AM (Newfoundland music), CHMR-FM 93.5FM (Memorial University Radio campus radio), OZ-FM 94.7FM (hot adult contemporary), CKIJ-FM 95.7FM (community radio – French), VOCM-FM 97.5FM (classic rock), CKIX-FM 99.1FM (hot adult contemporary), CKSJ-FM 101.1FM (classic hits), CBAX-FM-2  101.9FM (classical/jazz – French), CBAF-FM-17  105.9FM (public news/talk – French), CBN-FM 106.9FM (public music)

Post-Secondary: Memorial University of Newfoundland, College of the North Atlantic; Academy Canada

Corner Brook population 27,202

Key venues/clubs: Arts and Culture Centre, Nightsounds Dance Club, Jennifer’s Bar Room Lounge

Key Radio: CFCB 570AM (news/talk/country), CBY 990AM (public news/talk), CBN-FM-2  91.1FM (public music), CKOZ-FM 92.3FM (hot adult contemporary), CKXX-FM 103.9FM (classic rock), VOAR-9-FM 105.7FM (Christian radio)

Post-Secondary: Memorial University Grenfell Campus; College of the North Atlantic Corner Brook

Gander population 11,054

Key venues/clubs: Arts and Culture Centre, Legends, Oasis

Key Radio: CKGA 650AM (news/talk/country), CBG 1400AM (public news/talk), VOAR-4-FM  89.7 FM (Christian radio), CKXD-FM 98.7FM (classic rock)

Post-Secondary: Memorial University Grenfell Campus; College of the North Atlantic Corner Brook

NL's major festivals

Gros Morne Summer Music

http://gmsm.caGros Morne, NL

This festival, founded in 2002, is an experiment obsessed with one basic question: what good are the arts? Over the years it has evolved way beyond the limits of classical concerts into a multi-arts, multi-season, multi-community organization.

Gros Morne Summer Music features young and established artists from around the globe in the unique and majestic setting of Gros Morne National Park and Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Heard cross the country on CBC Radio, this innovative, eclectic festival includes classical, jazz, blues, traditional, choral music, musical theatre, rock shows, dance, outdoor spectacles and more.

Sound Symposium John’s, NL

Sound Symposium is as much about sharing and exploring for the participating artist as it is about performing.

With daytime workshops, evening concerts and outdoor happenings, late night jam sessions, remarkable sound/art installations and daily Harbour Symphonies, every day of Sound Symposium is brimming with sound activities — both planned and impromptu.

Once every two years, in even-numbered years, the Symposium offers both artists and audiences the chance to participate in a community of innovation and creativity.

Throughout the year we also produce Sound Symposium Presents concert series, Night Music improve at the Ship Pub and Harbour Symphonies.

Exploits Valley Salmon Festival Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland

Held in July, this annual festival that dates back to 1985, includes several evening’s of great entertainment over a five-day period – including a salmon dinner and a dance at the local Joe Byrne Memorial stadium!

The concert portion of the festival is an outdoor event featuring several high-profile acts from the classic rock, country, and 90s alternative rock eras.

Past lineups have included Maroon5, Aerosmith, Kiss, and AC/DC, Collective Soul, Johnny Reid, Tom Cochrane, and Tragically Hip.

Wreckhouse Jazz and Blues Festival John’s, NL

Wreckhouse speaks to the undeniable force of nature – the wind. St. John’s’ awe-inspiring landscape and hurricane force winds are truly legendary. Like jazz and blues, Wreckhouse has a fierce, powerful energy. It is strong and tough and distinct. It’s genuine and authentic.

The Wreckhouse International Jazz & Blues Festival (formerly the St. John’s Jazz Festival) was formed in April 2003 and features over 100 jazz, blues and world music performers for five days in multiple venues around St. John’s.

Recent performers include: Adonis Puentes, Elizabeth Shepherd, Shuffle Demons, Holly Cole, Matt Andersen, and Brianna Gosse.

George Street Festival

http://www.georgestreetlive.caVarious locations, St. John’s, NL

Located in the center of historic downtown St. John’s, George Street is one of the premier entertainment districts in North America.

Amongst the 25 pubs, clubs and bars on George Street, you will find all types of music to listen to – Irish, blues, country, dance, rock n’ roll and traditional music will keep the party going until 3am on weekends.

No matter what you are in the mood for, you are sure to find entertainment that strikes your fancy.

The 2015 lineup featured: City and Colour, Blue Rodeo, Gin Blossoms, and The World’s Largest Screech-In Ceremony!

Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Music Festival Park, St. John’s, NL

The Newfoundland & Labrador Folk Festival is the coming together of community, province and culture – our province is renowned for its contributions to the musical fabric of Canada and we do all we can to wave that flag high and proud.

Operated by The Newfoundland & Labrador Folk Arts Society with a host of volunteers, sponsors and partners, the Festival is a summertime tradition that has been shared by thousands.

Our Folk Festival not only showcases great performers, but gives our audiences a chance to take part by playing along in open jam sessions, learn traditional dances, arts and crafts.

The upcoming 40th anniversary of the NL Folk Festival August 5-7, 2016 promises to be one for the ages!

Mardi Gras John’s, NL

The annual George Street Mardi Gras is a popular event with the citizens of St. John’s, Newfoundland. Evoking the same fun spirit as the infamous New Orleans Mardi Gras, George Street’s event happens yearly around Halloween, transforming the entire street into the largest costume party in the country.

Live entertainment is, of course, one of the main components of the George Street Mardi Gras. Recent acts have included Big Sugar, Honeymoon Suite, The Shining Wizards, Scientists of Sound and more, as well as favourite local acts and popular tribute bands. Ticket price includes entry to all 25 bars on George Street.

A major highlight of each Mardi Gras is the Costume Boonanza. The best costumes of the night are judged onstage and the winners can walk away with big prizes. Last year’s Costume Boonanza included $10,000 in prize money ($5000 for 1st place). Entry details are posted prior to the event and all Mardi Gras attendees are invited to enter (must be 19+).

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