Bay Artist Connect


Thank you to Saint John artist Christine Johnson for gifting me just the word I needed. “CONNECT” it is.

As Christine put it so nicely, “connecting artists in the region to advocate local artists”
pretty much describes what I had in mind over six years ago.

It was 2014 when I first Began my project, trying to encouage the artists along Chaleur Bay to do some sort of art during May and calling this the Chaleur Bay Spring Garden of Artists. It was not to be a big splash event involving government money and corporate sponsorship. No applications for any grant ever went out.

Past experience had taught me that government grants seldom go to new, untried ideas. This was was definitely new and untried, so new and untried that almost everywhere I went for help and encouragement the answer was, “Go and see … So and So … at the local art society” which was exactly what my idea was not about. It was about freeing artists from the structures that box them in. It was not about having someone else decide how much wall space they would be allowed. It wasn’t about paying fees or memberships or voting for executive officers. It definitely wasn’t about competition. There were to be no prizes or awards or medals. This was to be purely for the love of art.

What I had in mind was that artists would be connected simply by doing art, each one in their own way in their own homes and studios and and communities.

I thought that if I could somehow plant that one seed of an idea of art along the bay perhaps others would also plant seeds and surely with enough seeds eventually something would grow out of it. I imagined also that what we developed here on the New Brunswick side of Chaleur Bay would eventually grow to meet with the already flourishing arts along the Quebec side.

I received letters of support from artists in Sackville and art groups as far away as Vancouver. My only local help at the beginning came from members of my family. I want to thank them for believing in me. I also appreciate that (our family business) Musk Enterprises Ltd. kindly agreed to let me use their mail box and street address for correspondence and provided me with studio space above Music City store on St. Andrew Bathurst. I had hoped that artists would grow good strong roots in their communities without the need for paying dues to committees and that artists would be free to do their own art in their own way. My goal was to make contact with the artists and eventually produce a map of Chaleur Bay artists. This never happened. I started working on the map but no artist ever contacted me.

As time went on the PO box became too expensive to maintain, the business closed and we were no longer able to access the Canada Post system. So, my original contact information became obsolete. Perhaps this was the reason for lack of contact. Perhaps there was no interest. I still don’t know.

Anyone interested in helping me continue this art project may contact me at or call 506-783-7944

I can no longer afford to keep open the seasonal public artspace I created at 212 St. Andrew St. in Bathurst. The building is up for sale.

Thank you again to those who still believe in me.
Margaret Sharon Olscamp


A five beat drum roll?
It is what it is
Some might say
After all
What can you expect
Along Chaleur Bay.

Expect is not quite the same as hope and artists have long ago stopped expecting anything much will happen. We know all about promises and fuzzy facts and all that silliness brought on by elections then forgotten for four years, then another four years … On and on

So will a five beat drum roll make any difference in the grand scheme of things? Possibly not. But I’m willing to try.

I guess I just might bring my bodhran to the May 11 artists meet-up and perform a series of 5-beat drum rolls. And why on earth would I do such a thing? Well that is a good question. And the answer is that I am an artist and artists do that sort of thing. It is called performance art. If other artists want to join me they are welcome to come along with their instruments.

Nothing else has managed to get us an art Centre so why not try a few five beat drum rolls?

Go to for more information on the meet-up.

2018 Chaleur Bay Arts Festival

It has now been 5 years that I’ve been running the Chaleur Bay Arts Festival. 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018.

This year I wasn’t quite as outgoing because I was busy getting ready for my July-long exhibit and art-residency at Maison Doucet-Hennessy House in Bathurst. Now that was a not-to-be-forgotten experience. Unsold paintings from Don’t Forget You’re Irish” are now on display at the 212 St. Andrew Street Studio in Bathurst, NB.

The Chaleur Bay Arts Festival will be on again during May 2019. There is no entry fee to participate. All artists, new and old are invited. If you want to sign up and work on a winter group project, please drop by the 212 St Andrew Street Studio any Thursday or Friday 1-4 pm from now until the middle of October. Or contact me by email at maggiequinn(at)

Looking for Intelligent Life in and Around Chaleur Bay – Baie de Chaleurs

Guest Author:Pedro Hennessey, prospector (without license) extraordinaire

First, let us begin with a few definitions.

Acadian Peninsula: a loosely connected group of islands that might eventually disappear due to the mining and removal of its soil, made up primarily of peat moss
(note:and who is carting away the soil … And please! don’t even mention Mr. Peabody’s Coal train. We’ve heard that same old song so many times that our memories are worn. Besides, what dowes peat moss have to do with coal?)

Bathurst:a shrinking city on the south side of Chaleur bay
(note:No no no that is all wrong … Bathurst cannot possibly just fade away. It is rock-hard. Harder than barley-toy and just as sweet … However … There have been rumours … It could just be … Do you suppose the Bathurst population is shrinking? Now there is something that will require further study … Will get right on that … As soon as we get another government grant.)

Chaleur Bay:A Canadian body of water shared by both Quebec and New Brunswick one of the Most Beautiful Bays of the world, some say
(note:and exactly who is saying this? UNESCO? Are you sure about that?)

Festival:a time when the local Chaleur Bay population is said to come out of hiding.
(note-a 2014 study*(1) makes no mention of Chaleur Bay, Bathurst, or the Acadian Peninsula, which is why this author is now writing the article Looking for Intelligent Life in and Around Chaleur Bay – Baie de Chaleurs

*1. Moranz, Gillian G. Ms. (2014) “An Anthropological Analysis of Canadian Music Festivals: Tournaments of Value, Modes of Festival Consumption, Tension, Con ict, and Struggle in the Context of Vancouver Island Music Festival,” Totem: e University of Western Ontario Journal of Anthropology: Vol. 22: Iss. 1, Article 8.
Available at: h p://

Waiting for 2017

December … A time of waiting … Hoping … Hopping? No, Easter is time for hopping. December is a time for hope … For some of us … That next year will be better.

It has been a long time since I posted anything here. There wasn’t much to post, because there didn’t seem to be much point in spending my time writing to myself.

I discovered there wasn’t much traffic here, mostly because I don’t twit, so I’ve been told. Also because the site is quite devoid of juicy tid-bits. No gossip, no sex, no trying to convince anyone that my member or God is greater than theirs. Ho-hum.

Now I wait for 2017. Mostly I hope there will be more support for artists … Yes, that includes musicians and dancers and all sorts of creative niche-seekers I’ve yet to meet.

Anyone who wants to form a local creative co-op along the shores of Chaleur Bay, please contact me at

Hey a New Year 2017

2017 is here.
A New Year
Time for change.
Time to push
All that old stuff
Into the recycling bin
The compost pile
Occasionally check it
Make sure it’s working
Turn it into whatever
Might be useful.
This the year.
Exciting events
Will happen in Chaleur.

In April 2017

………………….compost level……………………….
What happened?

I paid for this. I paid.

This is what happens when the rules are not clear. You end up paying for something you don’t get. I am talking about taxes. Ever think about where your taxes go? Do you consider arts funding a waste of your tax dollars? Sometimes I wonder too.

Supposedly artists are being supported by unlimited government grants. Not so. Some of us are really struggling. Sometimes I wonder why we even bother. Maybe there is something to that impression of an artist as a crazy person. Who else but a crazy person would work for the pure joy of art?

How much of the arts money goes to support artists and how much is actually used to further someone’s political career? I have no idea.

Still, we artists struggle on, even here in the Chaleur Region. As an artist I am desperate for a bit of culture. ” How often the past several years have I heard the words
“There is nothing here, no culture, nothing except snowmobiles”?
I’ve thought those thoughts’ perhaps voiced that opinion and have been trying to do something it, especially for those of us who are artists.

For three years I have worked hard at trying to get artists to join me in creating an “artsy Chaleur”. I asked for help from several Gov agencies, not money but moral support and the opportunity to network through their (tax supported) channels. I did my best to have my promotional material translated into both official languages. I guess my best was not good enough. Not only was I was refused their non-monetary help, I was completely ignored.

“What is wrong?” is what I kept asking myself.

Well I guess my search is over. This paper pretty well explains it all. It is the who-is-who of the Gov approved Atlantic Arts. Read it all right here:
This seems to be a Grand Scheme to reinvent the Maritime provinces as a friendly place for artists.
I did find a few people purporting to represent us who are artists, some even from the Chaleur region . However, I do not recognize any people who are actually artists from the Chaleur region. I suppose some of them might be artists from somewhere. If they were ever Chaleur artists I guess they must have moved away long ago.

Basically what it is all about is reinventing Atlantic culture along the lines of your Exclusive”old boys network”. I would not mind so much if it were not so blatently political. “Not so!” Did I hear the distant protest? “Not so!” What is the inclusive about this statement I read on page 52:

“Some of New Brunswick’s Anglophone and First Nations art- ists were invited,”
Anglophone is, I guess, the box I would be expected to occupy. But I was not invited. Who was?

Hmmmmmm …. Bit of a problem here … For me at least … I am an independent artist … And prefer not to be restricted by the language I was born into. Who knows, given a choice I might have chosen another language entirely, French, Italian, Chinese, Greek, Arabic, Russian … the list of world languages is vey long.

Yes, my language is part of my culture. Still, it is only one part. Art is a whole other world for me. It goes beyond a restricted volume of particular words sanctioned by some official “Academie” gatekeepers.

Getting back to why I was not invited, I am still wondering why. I have been a Chaleur artist for well over fifty years. Is it an ageist thing, do you suppose?

August to September 2015

Pencil drawing
Behind the counter in music store was a pencil drawing, removed in August
MSO artpiece
The invisible woman installation evolves and this one is gone before September 2015
Installation art by MSO
Some are invisible, some not so
Artspace in Bathurst sign
Sign for Artspace in downtown Bathurst along Chaleur Bay.
Invisible lady selling birdfood
Part of invisible woman installation work Outside in August, now inside.
Safety net sculpture started for basic income days September 13 to 18, 2015
Safety net sculpture started for basic income days September 13 to 18, 2015
Part of Invisible woman installation
This was to have been part of an outdoor installation for September. Adapting to Unforeseen circumstances, the invisible woman installation will now remain inside.
Adapting to circumstances is sometimes all a woman can do. It is sometimes simply a matter of perspective.
Adapting to circumstances is sometimes all a woman can do. It is sometimes simply a matter of perspective.

212 St Andrew Bathurst, NB

There is something about Bathurst … Something we need to talk about … Art?

Let's talk Art. Let's talk bilingualism.
Let’s talk Art.
Let’s talk bilingualism.


Art? Talk about Art? In Bathurst?

Yes, definitely … But we also need to talk about bilingualism.

There are some people who are fortunate enough to be perfectly bilingual.

Bathurst has been been bilingual since … Well not quite since Adam and Eve perhaps … But those of us who were born and raised here have always accepted bilingualism as part of our culture.

These last so many years have been hard on those of us who are not fortunate enough to speak fluently in both official languages. And yes … It is true … There are still people living in and around Bathurst who speak only French or only English.

So what!

Language, like Art, is one of those things … Some can, some can’t.

I am sure we’ve all heard the expression …
“I can’t draw a straight line. ”

The thing about Art? It really has nothing whatsoever to do with drawing straight lines.

Not every person has the ability to draw or paint or make music. If we accept that, then why is it so difficult to accept that not everyone has the ability to learn your language.

Ahhh yes … I hear the reply … You have to try harder! If you really try you will be able to do it! … How often have I heard those same words?

Each person has some unique gift and talent. Let’s appreciate people for themselves Let’s think before we discriminate against someone who is not exactly like we are and whose tastes are different from our tastes and whose language is not our language.

Most of all let’s talk about this …

Festival d’Artistes of Artists



212 St Andrew, Bathurst, New Brunswick

OPEN/OUVERT: Fri-Sat / Ven-Sam / 10-3

Celebrate Art & Artists of Chaleur Bay during May 2015

We are now planning our Spring Garden of Artists for 2015. Please help us grow. We are looking for individual, independent artists to join us.

Joignez-nous durant le Festival du Printemp d’Artistes et participer à des activités gratuites.

Thank you everyone who helped Chaleur Arts by voting:
Good luck to contestants who made it to the finals

Chaleur Bay Artists are Looking forward to something wonderful …
Here it is … Coming out of Balmoral New Brunswick … Next September …
Read about the upcoming Arts Symposium: