In its four year existence, the Wilderness of Manitoba has released three albums, two EPs and toured the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Estonia, Canada and the US. The highlights range from their UK live debut at the End of the Road Festival where they received a standing ovation to playing the Philadelphia Folk Festival and meeting Levon Helm; from opening for such acts as Wilco and Aimee Mann to performing the WOMAD festival in the UK with artists like Robert Plant. This year, they were nominated for two Canadian Folk Music Awards; one for the Pushing the Boundaries Award and one for Vocal Group of the Year.
The Wilderness of Manitoba is one of those bands that is constantly evolving. As it starts a new chapter in its creative life, vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Will Whitwham explains, “Every band is a collective whose body of work is defined by those involved at certain points in time. I’ve often written songs intended for specific people and their strengths.” With vocalist/violinist Amanda Balsys and bassist Wes McClintock now fully integrated into the Toronto-based band, there is more of an emphasis on Whitwham and Balsys’ duo lead vocals and the more dynamic rhythm section. Balsys also brings another songwriting voice and a wide range of influences. Drummer Sean Lancaric says, “This band always has and always will rely on inspiration to produce anything. New voices start new conversations.”