How musician Tegan Quin spends her money

A vocal coach, seaplane ride and Thai food are all part of the budget for the Tegan and Sara pop star

Isabel B. Slone
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(Illustration by Selman Hosgör)

Tegan Quin and her sister, Sara, have been belting out indie-pop gold since the mid-’90s. Two decades and 10 albums later, the duo is prepping for a fall tour—their first after a three-year hiatus—in support of their latest effort, Crybaby, out on October 21. This week, Tegan invested in singing lessons and disappointing deck tile, and split Thai food with her twin.


Sara and I decided to work with a vocal coach to get us ready for tour. I’ve only done it once before and I hated it. I kind of hated today’s 30-minute lesson ($225), too. I learned that I use a lot of my neck muscles to sing, when you’re only supposed to use your voice box. I hope that’s a problem I can fix in the next two months.


My partner, Sofia, and I recently bought a ’70s-era cabin on one of the Gulf Islands. There’s some grody vinyl tile on the back deck, but we’re not allowed to power-wash it because of water restrictions. Our compromise was putting white recycled-plastic tile ($792) over the top. The day after installation, it bubbled in the sun. It looked like a ruffled carpet. I got a full refund.


We had a date night at the Port Browning Marina Pub ($109) and brought our dog, Georgia, a border collie–German shepherd mix. I ordered a meat lover’s pizza, Sofia had a vegan pizza and we shared a green goddess salad (with no egg). We ate it all on a deck overlooking the water.


My 92-year-old great aunt just moved from Saskatoon to Vancouver, and I planned a visit to help her get settled. Normally, I’d take the ferry to Vancouver, but I don’t have a driver’s licence, so I hopped on a seaplane ($148) instead. Before her move, my aunt hadn’t been on a plane since 1958.


Sara and her partner came over and we ordered Thai food ($67). We made it almost all the way through the evening without talking about work, but then we ended up in a fight about it. I always say we’re like a divorced couple: we have our own interests and families, but we still spend 100 hours a week co-parenting our child­—our music career.


If I’m going to promote something, I need to invest in it first. Crybaby is the first full-length album we’ve released in five years, and we had our long-time creative director, Emy Storey, design a special-edition box set. I ordered one ($197). It felt like putting my money where my mouth is.


My stepdad was in town and he’d never been on the SkyTrain before, so I bought a ticket ($3) and we rode it together. The next morning, I flew back to the island. My Vancouver apartment is lovely, but it’s hot like a greenhouse. It’s far more pleasant to be at the cabin when I have to practise music for three hours a day.

—As told to Isabel B. Slone

This article appears in print in the October 2022 issue of Maclean’s magazine. Buy the issue for $8.99 or better yet, subscribe to the monthly print magazine for just $29.99.