Wildwood is a grassroots community of musicians and makers, and everyone who listens, appreciates and supports, all working together to make the arts sustainable. Wildwood isn’t just a record label, or a market, or a music venue, or a studio, or an artist retreat, but are all of these things and much more.
Everyone searches for authentic human connection, especially in the arts, and when artists are working so hard just to make a living with their craft, sometimes the element of working together gets lost. Wildwood is seeking to build a community of musicians and creators who are eager to collaborate and see each other succeed.
The idea of Wildwood was birthed over a decade ago when Zoltan Szoges began working with his first band in Orillia, ON, helping them book shows and build a loyal following. In 2010, Zoltan and his wife, singer-songwriter Lauren Mann began touring full time, playing an extensive number of dates across North America and Europe. During their travels, they dreamed about one day owning a coffee shop, serving homemade treats, and hosting live music. They thought about a record label and how they could help bands navigate the music industry. They thought about hosting people in their home and living sustainably. But the rigours of the road took their toll. By the end of 2014 they found themselves burnt out and not sure if they even wanted to do music anymore.
A year off was all they needed to refocus and part of that journey included putting down roots through buying a home on Pender Island, BC. The inspiring artistic community and tranquility of the island proved to be the fertile ground from which Wildwood could grow and all their dreams and ideas could be realized.
Their home has become the hub of Wildwood. The 500 sq/ft loft studio space is used for recording, live video sessions, community jams, and workshops, and the living room is often transformed into a house concert listening room. There are also accommodations for artists who want a writing retreat, and for those weary travellers just passing through. But Wildwood is more than just a place.
They focus on artist development and sustainability and seek to see musicians and makers collaborate and share their artistic mediums with each other. Artists may not be able to do their craft full time, but Wildwood wants them to have a way to share their art with the community.