Rosie & The Riveters Embrace Roles As Advocates For Women

Photo by Crystal Skupski

For Rosie & The Riveters, girl power isn’t just a catch phrase. It’s a way of life.

And nowhere is that better exemplified than on Ms. Behave, the second full-length effort from the Canadian trio. The album is a stunning collection of gritty, vintage-inspire folk that aims to paint a portrait of a woman’s voice in a man’s world.

This is a band that puts its money where its mouth is: Upholding their collective belief that women are among the world’s greatest untapped resource, they invest 20% of their merchandise sales in microfinance initiatives through KIVA.org. To date, they’ve contributed more than $9,600 to over 200 projects around the world.

Although Rosie & The Riveters began a Maritime tour on April 7, you’ve still got a few chances to catch them live – dates are listed at the bottom of the piece. Band member Allyson Reigh recently took the time to talk with us from one of the group’s many tour stops.

Tell me a bit about how the three of you came to make music together. 

It was actually Farideh [Olsen] that came up with the idea for the group. She wanted to create a space for women who had solo careers to come together in order to create something unique, where all members had the opportunity to contribute without there being any one person “leading.”


You’ve got some timely, powerful words and themes running throughout 
the band’s new record. At a time in history where it’s getting increasingly difficult to cut through the noise, how did you go about writing these songs?

When we sat down to write the album, we wanted to create a narrative that was close to the heart that we could also share with friends and fans, while still reaching new people. We’re looking to connect with people and it’s our hope that our music somehow moves them and inspires them to do better.

These last few years, the band has very generously donated a sizeable amount of its merch sales to women-led initiatives found on KIVA.org. It’s such a wonderful thing for you to be doing and really just a thoughtful way for you to give something back to people in an effort to help improve someone’s life. 

We wanted to provide support for women in underfunded areas. Studies from various women’s organizations and other research shows that empowering women actually benefits the entire community at large. We’ve seen how underfunded the arts can be in different corners of the globe and began to wonder why shouldn’t we be helping fight for arts and culture? We try to focus on education- and art-based initiatives to help ensure they can sustain operations and not adversely affected by the tides of tourism.

While the tide is beginning to turn for the better in some respects for women, a lot of folks could rightly argue the changes are long overdue. Why do you feel the wheels have been so slow to turn?

I think there are some people in the world that still feel very threatened by change, and a lot of these large corporations and conglomerates are no exception. We’re in the middle of a cultural revolution and it’s important to recognize the contributions of women that either haven’t been acknowledged or simply prevented from flourishing. It’s my hope we continue to see this change happening.

Catch Rosie & The Riveters live:
April 11 — Fredericton, NB — The Playhouse
April 13 — Summerside, PEI — Harbourfront Theatre
April 14 — Windsor, NS — Mermaid Imperial Performing Arts

 

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