Nfld. & Labrador

Labrador's Leander Baikie shoots music video in North West River

Labrador musician Leander Baikie chose North West River as the site to shoot a music video for the song, Trappers Wife, from his newly-released album.

Leander Baikie sets music video in North West River

6 years ago
3:15
Labrador musician Leander Baikie chose North West River as the site to shoot a music video for the song, Trappers Wife, from his newly-released album. 3:15

North West River is about as scenic a place as you can find in Labrador: It's located on the edge of the water, with a clear view of the Mealy Mountains in the distance. 

Some might suggest it would be a an ideal setting for a movie. Labrador musician Leander Baikie in fact, chose it as the site to shoot a music video for a song from his new album, which was released earlier this year.  

Baikie said the song, Trappers Wife, was written in memory of his grandmother, Flora Baikie.  

"It seems to be one of the most popular songs on my album. In this day and age, you almost need a video to go along with a song," he told Matt McCann of Labrador Morning.

"She was a trapper's wife, and took care of the family homestead while my grandfather would have been off on the traplines," he said.

Survival of the fittest

Trapping excursions often lasted for up to eight months of the year. While the men were gone, the women would stay behind and tend to the homestead and children. 

"I'm a fifth-generation Labradorian, if you will. All my grandmothers lived off the land until they moved into the community of North West River in 1961," said Baikie.

"It was a nomadic life, hunting and trapping for a living, and to feed the family. So with that concept in mind, we're trying to go back to that period and re-create what they would have worn, and actions they would have been performing in their daily lives."
Leander Baikie's music video is a tribute to his grandmother, Flora Baikie. (Matt McCann/CBC)

Baikie said when thinking of the concept for the video, he reflected upon how his ancestors would have lived their lives a hundred years ago.

"Hunting and gathering, foraging and creating an economy, so that the children had clothes to wear. It's harder in the sense that it was it was more existence back in those days," he said.

"And more about survival, survival of the fittest. Trying not to get sick, if you will. A lot of the family homesteads were a ways away from the nearest medical community."

A 'big learning experience'

Roger Maunder is an independent filmmaker from St. John's, and is producing Baikie's video.

He calls it a "big learning experience."

"All I know about trappers is what I learned in school years ago, whatever I read in books. It's amazing," said Maunder.

"In the stories he's [Baikie] told me about his history, and his culture, and trying to re-create that here. I usually have a big crew with me when I'm in town, and where it's just myself and Leander and a few other actors, it's kind of bare bones — which I think makes it a little more authentic."

Colin Baikie, Leander's son, appears in the music video.  

He told CBC it was a lot of fun to work on the video with his father. 

"It's like a family thing, we get to come together and share something from his song. It's different, for sure — but it's nothing I haven't seen before. It's something different," he said.

'All my grandmothers lived off the land until they moved into the community of North West River in 1961.'  

Maunder said he and the Baikies have had tremendous help from the community to pull the project together.

"Just being able to use what we're using around the town ... and everyone has been really helping us out a lot. Having his son play him as a younger trapper that grows into an older trapper throughout this love story, makes it kind of special," said Maunder.

Leander Baikie said in trying to re-create the setting for the music video, he had to first remove his rings, and one of the actors had to take off her nail polish.

"I don't think trappers were wearing too many rings back then ... maybe a wedding band," he said.

"So, it's just little things like that. They wouldn't have had nail polish or sparkly rings back then. Oh yeah — we're trying to go back a hundred years here."

With files from Matt McCann

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