Celebrating a strong, creative, resilient Lunenburg County
NOW, MORE THAN EVER...
BY MARGARET HOEGG
The pace of his work hasn’t changed, but the view from Paul Aucoin’s desk is completely different. From his basement office in Toronto he would see people’s legs go by; now, from his studio office in rural Lunenburg county, he watches foxes and deer across a meadow.
It’s a quality of life that he “could have never afforded in Toronto,” Aucoin said. “To have that window - that’s something that’s only available here.” Aucoin and his young family recently moved from Queen Street West in Toronto to Petite Rivière, a village on the coast of Lunenburg County with a steadily growing population of full time and seasonal residents.
“Petite Rivière is so incredible as is the whole area,” said Aucoin. “The community lived up to all expectations...It was everything it was advertised to be and more.” He appreciates that his two young sons will grow up in a strong, vibrant rural community. “I’m so excited for my son for the Fall. The school’s got a chicken coop!” he said. “[The kids here] are so spoiled in a good way.”
Aucoin grew up in Halifax and began studying music in Nova Scotia, which, he boasted, “has a world-renowned music education system batting way above its average.” He moved to Toronto in his twenties and spent the next fifteen years touring and recording with bands such as the Sadies and the Hylozoists. He went on to perform on recordings with everyone from the Constantines and Feist to Blue Rodeo and produced records for the likes of John K Samson of the Weakerthans and Ron Sexsmith.
Aucoin’s music made way to television and film by way of the National Parks Project, for which he worked as Musical Director and Music Producer. Then his career took a surprising turn. Aucoin’s years spent writing grants in the music industry led him to small business bookkeeping and production accounting in film and television. Today, he runs an accounting business with 100 clients and several employees.
The transition from Toronto to rural Nova Scotia was, he said, “shockingly seamless.” It helped to have a job on the right side of supply and demand. He also switched to a paperless system, which made remote work not only possible but more enjoyable. “I would hope there’s a renaissance of all of those skill bases that don’t take being in the same spot,” said Aucoin. But there is still more work to be done on rural internet. It surprises Aucoin that more people don’t take advantage of it.
“Why not move somewhere that has so much space and such great community?” he said. “The space is what I enjoy most. There is so much space for life.