Emily Triggs is a singer-songwriter from Hemmingford who has found great success in the world of folk-rock music. But even with the success she has had across the country, Triggs remains extremely attached to her Valley home. She says, “I started strumming my guitar when I was maybe 11 years old, and the first time I ever got on stage was Old Home Week in Hemmingford, which used to be called the Apple Festival.” Since then, her music career has blown up, and she has been recognized by a variety of Canadian music awards. However, this summer, she has been back playing gigs around the Valley.
Over the past few years Triggs had to change her expectations of what her career was going to look like. She had just released a new album in 2019 (Middletown) and was about to start touring when COVID hit. “We were ready to go and play, and then everything kind of fell out from under us. So, we had to really wrap our heads around being online, which was new to many of us.” As the world shut down, she had to do many shows online. Missing the immediate feedback of an audience can be discouraging for a performing artist; Triggs says, “It was discouraging, and it was a loss of momentum.”
Though COVID put a damper on things, something that helped keep her motivated was the 2021 award season. “I was lucky, because the nominations for the awards came [out] in 2021. And so that was something that helped carry me through,” she explains. That year, she was nominated for the Up-and-Coming Artist award at the Canadian Folk Music Awards, and Roots Artist of the Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards. She says that receiving these nominations was proof that she was “on the right track.”
Artistic goals are attainable
The concept of a “local music scene” in communities across Canada is of huge importance to Triggs. She explains, “I think it’s really, really important to have access to art, so that people [who] are interested in the arts, or communities, understand that artistic goals are attainable –and that it’s not just what you hear on the radio; not just ‘stardom.’” Success, for an artist, doesn’t just have to be fame, or being on TV. “It’s something that is a part of our communities, and that anybody could be a part of, if they want to try to do that.” She hopes to see other young people from the area following their passion for music. “When I see opportunities for young people to get on stage within the Valley, it’s really meaningful to me.”
Though Triggs is based in Calgary, she now plans on returning home to the Valley a few times each year and performing for local crowds. “I feel very much ‘myself’ when I’m here,” she says. Recently, she performed at the Chateauguay Valley Antique Association’ antique show and antique tractor pull. If you missed that show, you can catch her at Havelock Fair on September 10. Her music is also available on all streaming services, and albums are available for purchase on her website.