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question for maritimers

I have a question out there for those in the Maritimes (forgive if the
questions are stupid!).  I was just wondering if having all these bands who
receiving attention nation wide has done anything benificial for the area.
Is there still a scene with talented upcoming bands or are new bands trying
to be the next sloan?  Do many people in the area actually support the
scene, or just a limited few.  I remember meeting a girl from Lunenburg, and
I was all excited because I thought we'ed have a great conversation about
the scene out there, and the only band she knew of was Sloan! (who's the
ignorant one?)
        Also, is the Halifax Pop Explosion worth the trip.  It sounds so
good every year, but I can never get out there.
        It seems to me that the Maritimes produces a large amount of talent
in a small area.  I don't think Ontario has so many good bands! (Sonic Unyon
band rock, so does Hayden and Snailhouse, although he's from Quebec).
I mean - Sloan, Jale, Eric's Trip, Al tuck, Superfriendz, ashley MacIssac,
Thrush Hermit!
Also, one last question about Eric's Trip.  I many be reading to much into
things, but I used to be sure that Rick wrote most of his "love gone wrong
songs" about Julie.  Were they ever involved?  Just wondering!,