The Tom Fun Orchestra is embarking on a “Canada World Tour” in support of their sophomore release, Earthworm Heart, the follow-up to 2008’s You Will Land With A Thud. But you already knew all that.
What you might not know is that when lead singer Ian MacDougall plays solo/acoustic at Wentworth Perk, my kids sing back up. Or that the lyrics to Animal Mask (“Running out of methadone/get me to the clinic”) become “Running out of cookie dough, get me to the Sobey’s.”
The website I made for them is based on the new album’s cover art — a 75-year old photograph of Ian’s great-uncle fishing in Margaree River (or something like that). Find tour dates, get free downloads, and pre-order the new album at tomfun.ca.
Company House Records is home to some of Cape Breton’s most well-known artists: Slowcoaster, Carmen Townsend, and The Tom Fun Orchestra. The new website is part of the indie label’s rebranding effort.
The label is named after the iconic houses built between 1850 and 1920 by mining and steel companies to house their workers. They now represent one of the most potent connections to industrial Cape Breton’s identity: labour movements, cooperatives, multiculturalism, community. Many miners and steelworkers were later able to purchase the homes.
Heritage Canada Foundation recently added the Cape Breton company house to its list of Top Ten Most Endangered Places. The list raises awareness about historically significant sites that are threatened with demolition, the goal being to prevent sites on the endangered list from making it onto the list of the worst heritage losses in Canada.
With coal mining and the steel plant gone, many company houses have fallen into disrepair from neglect or abandonment. But they may be saved, according to the Heritage Canada report, as advocates for the preservation of company houses work with advocates for affordable and assisted housing, for example through HomeMatch. Rebranding, indeed.