HAMILTON, ON, November 14th – If you make the trip to the Casbah Lounge at Queen Street and King on the 2nd Tuesday of each month this year, you’ll be treated to Vocalist and Guitar player Mary Simon performing original music backed by her band “Mississippi Bends”. And if you happen to be there on Tuesday November 14th you will also be treated to the premiere of the official Music Video for her latest single “Heart Sing”.

Mary, born in Burlington, ON, is back in town after spending 4 years touring the Caribbean and beyond on cruise ships. During her time sailing the seven seas Mary visited over 35 countries from the Mediterranean to Dubai to Thailand and from Newfoundland to the Caribbean to Panama Canal to Alaska. Performing 6 nights a week to cruisers from all around the world and making many friends and new fans in the process, Mary, who has a vast repertoire of music to draw on, even performed “Women Who Rock” tribute nights which turned into a crowd-pleasing staple for the many music fans aboard.

Now that Mary has returned to the Hamilton area, she has thrown herself back into the local music and recording scene and is now releasing her first professionally produced music video shot over the course of the summer by local production company White Dwarf Pictures headed by Hamilton filmmaker Scott C. Newman. The video was shot at Hamilton Film Studios and on the rooftop of a cement factory in Simcoe, ON. Featuring a freshly built “rockabilly apartment” set and a slate of funky Rock Star outfits (she has a real flair for fashion), Mary will be wowing audiences with her new solo video where she delivers an eye-popping performance which is nuanced, sexy, and intensely entertaining.

Filmmaker Scott Newman says of the video “I had just been to an Amanda Marshall concert at Hamilton Place, and I watched some of her videos afterwards. One of them was shot on a building rooftop. When I told Mary about how cool it looked she said she had access to the rooftop of her building in Simcoe …the rest is history”

The music video was shot for Mary’s newly released single titled “Heart Sing” which is a Rock and Roll love song that has all the punch, grit, and energy reminiscent of Joan Jet or the band Heart. This tune is a qualified hit with anyone who listens to it, and it is now streaming on Spotify and SoundCloud. “Gritty roots rock from Hamilton’s hidden treasure, Mary Simon. Have a listen. She’ll make your heart sing.” — Graham Rockingham, Hamilton Spectator

“Heart Sing” was written as part of a collaboration between Mary and Canadian rock and soul singer Laura Cole. During the COVID pandemic Mary and Laura collaborated on many songs with a group of Hamilton musicians who used the time away from performing in front of live audiences to sit outside around a campfire and write some new material. After their mutual stroke of inspiration for the lyrics and melody, internationally renowned guitar player Matty Simpson added a brilliant guitar riff and after a visit to Boxcar studios with bass player Justine Fischer and drummer Robin Pirson “Heart Sing” was born. Mary attributes the songs solid sound to music producer Matt Montour.

Mary helped produce the video herself “It was summer, and I was trying to get my band mates to come and be in the video, but everyone was booked doing festivals. Luckily the solo performance worked perfectly and allows the viewer to really get into the story of the song.”

About Mary Simon

Mary has been creating original music since she was a young teen, even appearing on the now defunct Mike Bullard Show in 2001, wowing television audiences along with her band with a more “pop music” version of herself that has evolved into her more traditional rock and roll mainstay of present day. Her music is everywhere; she has released six albums and has had songs on Television Networks ABC and Lifetime.

Comfortable performing solo or with a group Mary likes to mix things up. Who and where she performs with is as varied as the styles of Rock and Roll she is comfortable with. She has been a member of multiple bands including her main group “Mississippi Bends” – a nod to her evolving southern rock sensibilities. She was also in an all-girl rockabilly group aptly named the “Pistolette’s” for all the members’ spunky attitudes and gritty rock n’ roll song writing. Both of her bands have played shows and festivals all over Canada and were the house performers at the original Cat and Fiddle where they played to dozens of adoring fans every week.

Having made a big splash in the world of music from the start and received many accolades, Mary is not only an established core performer in the Hamilton and Haldimand music scene but also an up-and-coming song writer who is on track to becoming a female Canadian music Icon alongside trailer blazers like Alannah Myles and Sass Jordon.

Awards and TV Placements

“Lost We Are” in General Hospital, ABC October 2011. Nominated for Hamilton Music Awards Female Artist of the Year 2010. Nominated for Hamilton Music Awards Female Adult Alternative Recording of the Year 2010 for “Lost We Are”. ABC December 2009 “She Needs Faith” in the TV Movie “To Be Fat Like Me” on the Lifetime Network 2007. Nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year and Song of the Year, Vibe Awards 2002. Nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year, Hamilton Music Awards 2004. John Lennon Song writing Contest -Top 10 of Pop, 2002. Nominated for Canadian Music Week Indie Award 2002 Toronto’s 99.9 FM Song writing Contest 2nd Place, 2001 ASCAP Lilith Fair Song writing Contest -Top 10 2000.

You can visit her band website at or find her on insta @marysimonsings Learn more about Mary Simon at


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Sci-fi thriller by Hamilton filmmaker lands on Fantasy Network

Sci-fi thriller by Hamilton filmmaker lands on Fantasy Network

A Hamilton filmmaker who says he sort of stumbled into making a sci-fi thriller has had it picked up by an online network that would do J.R.R. Tolkien proud.

The Fantasy Network has picked up “Hell or Tide Water,” which was made by Scott Newman, a former CBC editor and Global TV documentary worker.

The Seattle-based network, launched in 2018, is a privately-owned independent film and TV distribution company for the fantasy genre. It has been called a global hub for independent fantasy films and series. The movie was made available Dec. 13.

“I was kind of looking at Crave or Netflix but this just seems to fit,” said Newman, 44. “It’s going to be big. They have a crowdfunding aspect to the site. They are looking at series, I think it’s perfect.”

He describes his independently-financed movie, which has no big stars but features local talent, as a cross between “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Under Siege” and “The Hunt for Red October.”

The plot is about a Norwegian energy company bringing oil through a British Columbia fjord in a giant submarine. There’s spies, action scenes, time travel and killer robots. The tag line on the movie poster says “Spirits Run Deep.”

The film was worked on by Amin Taghipour, a special effects technician from Iran who worked on such films as “Blade Runner 2049.”

“It was amazing,” said Newman. “I just bumped into him in Toronto. He was unemployed.”

Left to right: Actors Tony Bifano, Victor Bohm, Julia Kollek, Richard Newsome, and gaffer Jordan Heguy.

Left to right: Actors Tony Bifano, Victor Bohm, Julia Kollek, Richard Newsome, and gaffer Jordan Heguy.SCOTT NEWMAN

The film was shot over 20 days in the summer of 2019 and Newman said it took him six months to edit. He filmed it at a welding firm on Frid Street — owned by his business partner Victor Bohm, who has a role in the movie — as well as on the Burlington Bay, at the Binbrook Conservation Area and at Digital Canaries Film Studios, which has more than 50 film sets at its Burlington Street East location.

Newman was inspired to write and make the movie after a visit to Chedoke Hospital to see its soon-to-be demolished buildings, medical machines and boiler rooms. It made him think of submarines and some of his favourite movies like “Ice Station Zebra.”

“I didn’t intend to make a movie,” said Newman. “I intended to do something safer, but, obviously, art is dangerous.”

Actor Victor Bohm provided an electrifying performance.

Actor Victor Bohm provided an electrifying performance. SCOTT NEWMAN

His movie has been shown on CHCH-TV twice this year. There is a two-and-a-half hour version — which Newman calls his “director’s cut” — and a 90-minute version.

Newman attended Mountview Public School and Hill Park Secondary School. He took drama and English for one year at McMaster University and then graduated in 2001 from the media arts program at Sheridan College in Oakville.

He worked as a continuity editor on “The Red Green Show” and “Train 48” before he landed at the CBC and worked as an editor with such people as Peter Mansbridge and Wendy Mesley.

Newman is thinking about a sequel to “Hell or Tide Water.”

“The time travel at the end of the first film gives me lots of options,” he said. “I’m thinking of setting the next one 150 years in the future, so look out for more sci-fi, industrial espionage and, of course, killer robots.”