TWILLINGATE, N.L. — From May to September, Mike Sixonate performs six nights a week at the Captain’s Pub at The Anchor Inn in Twillingate.
His job is to entertain tourists and locals with songs, stories and anecdotes, but his role is far broader than that — Sixonate sees himself as a cultural ambassador.
“I feel the role I play is connecting travellers with a window into our culture,” Sixonate said. “My show is a mix of comedy, story, and song. It has no script, it has no concrete set list. It just has a performer and an audience.”
While he didn’t necessarily set out to do Newfoundland-themed material, Sixonate says he came to it quite naturally.
“I didn't really choose to perform NL material per se, my writing kind of evolved in that direction over the last five or six years,” Sixonate said. “I love Newfoundland and our history and people. I am proud to be a Newfoundlander and I think that my song writing in recent years reflects that.”
Sixonate, who has been performing and touring for well over 10 years, started taking the stage at the Anchor Inn last summer after Glenda Tulk from Music NL introduced him to the owners, Deborah Bourden and Wilma Hartmann.
“We met a few times and discussed the possibilities of me building and creating a show that was not only a true representation of Newfoundland and our heritage, but also a good representation of my music and stories,” he said.
Shortly after those meetings, Sixonate began performing six nights a week at the pub, engaging tourists from across the world.
“We are a welcoming people and I think people travelling here feel that,” Sixonate said. “I have emails from people who have been moved by the honesty of the show. They leave with a feeling of making a genuine connection with a home-grown Newfoundlander.”
Sixonate believes that the arts are one of the key strengths of the tourism industry.
“I think every major tourism destination in our province needs a strong representation of artists from all kinds of disciplines,” he said. “We have undeniable talent all over the province and I believe that we as Newfoundlanders aren't afraid to express ourselves in whatever way we can.”
Mike Sixonate performs six nights a week at the Captain’s Pub at the Anchor Inn in Twillingate. His album ‘Rant and Rave’ will launch on June 18 and will be available at his shows as well as via his website and all digital platforms. For more information about Sixonate, his work, and his upcoming shows, please visit his website.