Wayne Levesque

black and white photo of Wayne Levesque partially in shadow standing next to a microphone

Wayne Levesque is an Ojibwa recording artist. A member of the Michipicoten First Nation in WaWa, Ontario, he was born and raised in B.C. Wayne’s been doing the music thing for over forty years. He has also spent a good part of his life as a Creekwalker.

“Its a job you probably haven’t heard a lot about.

Basically, a creek walker counts fish, estimates of salmon populations, help the science folk manage fisheries and monitor overall health of returning fish to their natural streams.

It pays a moderate wage for a job that requires you pack a firearm to defend yourself from wildlife. No such thing as danger pay, understandably some would leave early. Even if things don’t go sideways it is still a challenge knowing you’re three hours from any help getting to you . Always but one boat problem away from spending the night on a beach somewhere or worse, one grizzly bear encounter away from the headlines and folklore of your locality.

The job entails travel by bush plane, helicopters, jet boats and rafts. Government supplies all the food you can eat. It was my experience; you would learn to coexist with a creek walking comrade. For two months you work together, watch each others back and handle whatever comes your way.

As you walk and learn, you become as much a part of the years salmon run as the seals, eagles or the bears. A daily silent prayer for safe passage and grace …. the fun begins.

Walking on the darker grizzly trails or basking in the sun amongst the splashing of spawners, I had truly found a ringside seat to enjoy nature at its finest.

Always wishing I could share the experience with my friends… I thought I could write a book about these places or maybe an album.”

Wayne also writes his songs from a place of recovery.

“My everyday goal is to find something pretty to write about. But when you’re a recovering alcoholic/addict – everything is pretty. Songs that sound sad to you might make me quite happy.

I like the process because it’s never the same – the idea shows up & it’s time to go.

Everyone should write songs.

I am blessed to have survived a serious industrial accident back in 2000. It was long ago, so I prefer not to dwell on it, but I did lose my right arm at the wrist. Surgery renewed my musical journey & I’m most proud of my playing. I have a distinct percussive style that can only be my own, considering the limitations. So, from here it’s easy –

I have beautiful people in my life, and I thrive on their encouragement.

Performing has taught me the importance of practicing & being in the game, mentally. I want people to feel what I do…brutal honesty.

I’ve always said I don’t write it; I allow it to be written. It surprises the hell out of me how accurate my feelings can be…it’s trippy.”

Wayne is joined at MusicFest by one of the Islands top rhythm sections, Rick May on Bass and Phil Whipper on Drums.

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