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  Natalie MacMaster and Bonnie Ste. Croix record in Peterborough
By ELIZABETH BOWER, Examiner Staff Writer

She sure fits the bill for an all-Canadian girl: Polite, sweet, intelligent, gracious and incredibly laid back.

Bonnie Ste. Croix knows this country well. She has trekked back and forth between the east and west Canadian coasts so many times that she's intimately acquainted with the underground tunnels of Moose Jaw, Sask. and a funky little venue called Lady of the Lake in Brandon, Man.

Ste. Croix says no matter where she is in Canada — whether it's surrounded by wheat fields in the Prairies, mountains in B.C. or industrial skyscrapers in Toronto — she always feels at home.

"The whole country is my home," Ste. Croix says.

So it may be no surprise that the folk/roots musician is making the ultimate Canadian album called, rather appropriately, Canadian Girl.

Ste. Croix was in Peterborough on Wednesday at Haggarty Sound Studios recording the title track of the album with fiddling sensation Natalie MacMaster.

The album, due out in late spring, is to feature 13 tracks — one for each of the provinces and territories.


Each song will also feature a musician from that province or territory.

The song devoted to Ontario, Front Porch Song, has already been recorded with musician Stephen Fearing who's playing the Six String Nation Guitar — an instrument so Canadian that it's made with pieces of one of Wayne Gretzky's hockey sticks and one of Pierre Elliott Trudeau's canoes.

Meanwhile, Ste. Croix was in Peterborough to help record the song devoted to Nova Scotia.

She explains she came here to record with MacMaster, who lives in Lakefield but is an East Coast icon.

"I couldn't think of anyone who better epitomizes Nova Scotia," Ste. Croix said. "I'm so thrilled to be working with Natalie."

Ste. Croix is originally from Gaspe, Que.

She went to school in Montreal, lived in Banff for a while and then settled down in Vancouver, although she was constantly traveling cross-country for music gigs.

The mother-of-one decided to move to Halifax last summer to be closer to family.



While driving east, she says she decided to stop and record songs in each province for this upcoming album.

She headed north to Nunavut and the North West Territories in January and is heading to the Yukon next week to finish the final track with singer-songwriter Kim Beggs.

She says she's not aware of any other album that has been recorded in each of the provinces and territories and she's having fun creating her own little piece of Canadiana.

"It's just amazing," Ste. Croix says. "It's the experience of a lifetime."

NOTE: If you want to learn more about each of Bonnie Ste. Croix's recording sessions in each province and territory, you can visit http://bonniestecroix.wordpress.com and read her blog entries and see photos from each session.

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