Small Town Songs: Three Ottawa Girls connect with Sackville

Three Mt. A students, all originally from Ottawa, are working on a project that seeks to engage the Sackville community. The trio of second year students are Canadian studies major Ainsley Skelly, biology major Maya Williams, and Annie Leffler, who is majoring in both Canadian studies and sociology. They are currently enrolled in Community Narratives, a course in the Community Engaged Learning program that centres around engaging and connecting with communities. As part of the course, students were tasked with creating a project that would, following the ideas of the course, engage and connect with the community. Skelly, Williams, and Leffler decided to work together to produce a radio show with the input of the Sackville community, asking what songs remind them of their life in the town. 


Skelly said that they decided to do a radio show because it was a way to engage with the community in a way that was already grounded in Sackville’s existing arts scene. It will also make use of Mt. A’s campus radio, CHMA, further connecting the project to local groups. Williams explained that they chose to use music for their project because of the way people use it to create their own narratives.


For their show, which they plan to air in the coming weeks, they are collecting song suggestions through a Google Form that they are sharing with the community. The form asks for the submitter’s name, the song they chose, and the way the song connects to them emotionally and to their time in Sackville. 


They have found the project to be a way to connect with the community. Skelly in particular noted that it is a way to get out there and connect with people, referring to music as the “universal language.” She said that they have heard from people about their happiest and lowest moments. For example, one person submitted the nostalgic song they were listening to when they first moved to Sackville years ago. 


Skelly, Williams, and Leffler are happy with the responses they have received so far, but they are, as of now, still looking for responses. During the show, songs will be played in sets of three with explanations of who suggested each one and why. 


If you are looking to contribute to the project, you can contact Ainsley Skelly at [email protected] or follow this link to the form:


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