2023 Out Loud: Best in LGBT+ Programming

2023 Out Loud - Best in LGBT+ Programming

Congratulations –

CKDU - Something Sapphic

Nicole Keeping is a queer artist, radio host, and music teacher currently residing in Kjipuktuk (Halifax). Born and raised in Corner Brook NL, she left for university in 2017 and started the Foundation Year Program at the University of King’s College and graduated in 2021 with her Bachelor of Music at Dalhousie University’s Fountain School of Performing Arts. During her time there, she finally started to explore and embrace her sexuality and began to find her voice as an artist. In school, she met her now-fiancee Emma James, another FSPA student studying acting. Their joint artistic venture, the Spare Key Collective, recently created and produced ‘Sappho’s Garden,’ a folk opera about the ancient Greek lesbian poet Sappho, which was presented at the 2022 Halifax Fringe Festival.

Around the same time they were writing this show, Nicole started working as a radio programmer at CKDU. Since there weren’t many students to teach in the summer, Nicole started looking for a job to fill those months. It was then that she saw an ad posted searching for an LGBTQIA+ radio programmer to highlight local queer music. She had always dreamed about finding a way to make money from curating playlists, a frequent hobby of hers, and so after an interview (and a lot of manifestation) she started to work at CKDU in July 2022. That summer, she hosted the show ‘Out to Brunch’, but the station knew they wanted her to host her own show. When coming up with the name, she pulled from her in-the-work folk opera and decided on ‘Something Sapphic’. Here, every weekday, from 11:00am til noon, she gets to play queer music across all genres, and talk to different local artists and activists about being gay in Halifax.

This first part of Nicole’s reel touches on queer religious trauma. Many queer individuals, especially queer youth, suffer from queer religious trauma in many different ways, so she wanted produced a segment where this is discussed, followed by some songs that take religious elements and reclaim them to be sapphic allegories. It’s so beautiful to see queer femmes using biblical imagery to describe their love for the women in their lives, and it’s cathartic for the queer listener to hear lines like “Her Body is Bible”, so they can think of something new and positive when they hear about religion.

The second clip features Nicole’s interview with local drag queen Kristi Davidson and was integral to the development of her show. Nicole joined the CKDU team during Halifax Pride 2022 and immediately prioritized immersing myself in the local 2SLGBTQIA+ community. Speaking with Davidson on air helped Nicole and her listeners learn more about the art of drag and how it has evolved in recent decades. Additionally, they were able to unpack some behind-the-scenes intel about the drag community that casual “Drag Race” fans would never know about! Anti-drag and anti-trans rhetoric is becoming more mainstream every day, with bills being passed in the US that ban drag and drag shows. It’s important to have these conversations because drag artists, trans folks, and other gender non-conformers have historically been at the forefront of the 2SLGBTQIA+ rights movement. Nicole strongly believes that uplifting these voices is an important step in securing this communities future.

The final clip is na interview with the Halifax artist Burry, which helped Nicole establish herself in the local community, as well as the mission of “Something Sapphic.” Getting to talk to a local non-binary musician about music, gender expression, and the many jobs that modern artists must take on to find success in their careers is eye-opening and informative. It also helped make certain topics, like gender identity, more accessible to listeners who maybe wouldn’t know where to find those resources, or have these conversations, elsewhere.


Insta: nicolek19

Check out the award-winning submission:

Something Sapphic