With creeping case numbers and robust health restrictions, Remembrance day ceremonies across the country will look a little different this year. Nevertheless, there are individuals who are finding creative ways to honour our veterans during the global pandemic. Enter: Andrew Waite, acclaimed singer-songwriter from Prince Edward Island.
On November 9th, Andrew Waite will release an official video for his award-winning song “Cash It In”, in collaboration with director Brendan Henry. This video is a tribute to Private John Thomas Love and all veterans who sacrificed their lives for Canadian freedom.
Recipient of the 2020 Music PEI SOCAN Songwriter of the Year award, “Cash It In” is written from the perspective of Private John Thomas Love who served in the New Brunswick regiment of the Canadian Infantry in World War I. Private John Thomas Love, who is Waite’s great-great-grandfather, was killed in action in 1916. This song was written using words from his last letter sent home on October 16th, 1916.
Engaging with the past in contemporary arts is an important part of honouring history while ensuring it is not repeated, something Waite tries to express in his video. “It has been over 100 years since this letter was written by my great-great grandfather,” says Waite. “My grandmother remembers the family, but each year there are fewer and fewer veterans to share stories like this one. This letter, along with others, are important in allowing future generations to remember the sacrifices made by Canadian families, and build towards a future where this never happens again.”
“Cash It In” is included on Waite’s recently released and highly acclaimed album, Tremors. This album was the recipient of the 2019 Music PEI Rock Recording of the Year, and received a nomination for the 2020 East Coast Music Awards Rock Recording of the Year alongside Wintersleep and Adam Baldwin.
“Cash It In” offers a crystalized moment of Canadian history, one that can be used as a learning tool and point of reflection for listeners. To help kindle this critical thinking, Andrew has been developing an educational resource to accompany his video for PEI classrooms. Schools across Canada look very different from years past, and without the ability to gather and mark Remembrance Day as usual it will be increasingly important to help students reflect during November. Remembrance can be a difficult topic for young students, but art and music have long been a form of self-expression to cope during periods of sadness and unrest.