Oh 2012, you pretty little thing. You haven’t been good to many people I know, but you’ve been pretty good to me, with a few notable exceptions.
In fact, 2012 started off pretty badly. My sassy, flirty, funny Nana Cynthia died in January. I’ve been trying to write about it in all of the intervening months, and haven’t been able to get anything meaningful down, but it’s a loss that our whole family is feeling, still, very deeply. Mum’s spent a lot of this year scanning Nana’s WWII diaries and posting them, with photos and transcripts, on her website, which are really interesting reading.
Nothing in the early months of the year seems terribly clear to me, as I look back; I’ve got few memories, and it all seems like a bit of a haze.
We also lost the fight to Save PCVS, despite a huge level of community support and against all arguments – financial, educational, city planning, business. I’m pretty certain that we haven’t heard the end of this, and also pretty certain that PCVS will be re-opened as a fully-functioning high school in the future.
You can read about my experiences as a student of the Integrated Arts Program here.
Something about the sadness early in the year made me really look at a lot of things I’d been quietly, tiredly questioning as I tried to put the hectic pace of 2011 behind me, and so 2012 has been shaped primarily by my shedding of things that take more than they give.
Onward to the good stuff!
It was, actually, a great year. I acted in Pride and Prejudice, Grimwell, and the 24 Hour Project. I travelled to Paris with my sister Cassie, and made it to several festivals – Blue Skies, Home County, Shelter Valley, and Hillside. I re-established my old business, Secret Frequency, and have been kept busy and fed by those clients. I was AD for (what I thought was the last time) my 6th year for the 23rd Peterborough Folk Festival ((Submissions open now! Visit the website for details!)), and Director for Artsweek Peterborough ((Applications for Artsweek 2013 are open as of January 1! And you don’t have to be from or living in Ptbo to apply!)). I had a great time at the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals conference, and have been asked to sit on the Live Music Action Plan Committee with the Ministry of Tourism Culture and Sport for 2013. And I was asked to reprise my role as AD for the Peterborough Folk Festival for 2013; Victory lap!
I made some new friends, and saw more of some old friends, and have been accused of having opinions on Twitter more times than I can count. I started taking vocal lessons. I began a period of recovery and re-focusing that’s still going on right now. I’ve cut my commitments down to almost nothing in preparation for – well, I don’t know exactly. But if something comes along and I need to leap, I’ve got nothing tying me to where I am. I could go tomorrow. And I want to.
I’m not one to really recommend music to people ((Despite generally holding jobs where my role is mostly to program music for other people to listen to, I’m kind-of shy about saying that anyone should or even might like what I’ve been loving.)), but here’s what I’ve been listening to on repeat this year: Elbow, Thomas Dybdahl, The Boswell Sisters, Bahamas, and a lot of random Dubstep. My favourite live shows were definitely Joel Plaskett ((who seemed to be everywhere I went)), Bahamas, The 24th Street Wailers ((who are playing Ptbo on Jan 5, and you should all come with me to see them!)), Rich Aucoin and the Ptbo Folk Festival’s show with Jos. Fortin, Nick Ferrio and His Feelings, and Evening Hymns ((What a gorgeous night!)). Oh, and Tin Vespers, and Lemon Bucket Orkestra, and – well, I saw a lot of good shows this year.
I had the time to write a lot more this year, and I’ve got a lot of ideas percolating. My most popular articles in 2012 were Lift Up Your Heart and Let Out Your Voice: Peterborough Needs PCVS and On Being Nice to Jerks, both of which I’m pretty proud of.
Is that all?
It’s funny to look back at what was, by any account, a pretty full year and think “Wow, so much more relaxed than previous years!” Here’s to the persistence of a busy-but-not-crazy-making pace in the future.
What’s the plan for 2013?
I’m pretty excited about the Folk Alliance International conference coming up in February, getting going with the Ontario Music Tourism Industry Working Group, my final hurrah as Artistic Director for the Peterborough Folk Festival, getting ever-more-organized with Artsweek, shooting Grimwell Season 2, and developing my business, Secret Frequency.
I’m also hoping to get to do some more radio, theatre, and hosting gigs this year, and I won’t be quiet about them when they come along, so don’t worry – you won’t miss them!
Is that all?
Of course not. I want to keep re-focusing, I want to move to Toronto or some other bigger city for a while, I want to write grants for every deadline I can hit. I want to get the grant I submitted to the OAC this Autumn. I want to spend a couple of weeks at The Banff Centre. I want to write articles, see great music, hang out with terrific people, eat good food. I want to ski down snow-covered tracks and bike down shady paths. I want to travel to Turkey. I want to hit some new festivals this Summer, as well as the old standbys.
Looking forward to 2013, I’ve got a lot of hope, and a lot of optimism; I see fun work and exciting projects in the future, as well as lots of good people. I’m a pretty lucky person, and I know it – I’ve got a supportive family and friends, and I’m surrounded by opportunities to challenge myself.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Chief Spence and the #idlenomore movement taking place in Canada and around the world; as I type, I know there are demonstrations and actions taking place that are raising awareness about Aboriginal issues in Canada and internationally, and I’m relieved to see Canadians in particular being roused to action. We have few heroes, but Chief Spence is one to me, and I hope this results in some meaningful work on the part of our government towards addressing – with more than words – some of the disrespect and damage that’s been visited upon both the Aboriginal peoples of this country and the settlers; we’re all in this together.
That’s a little more heavy than I meant to end this, but it’s important stuff. We live in interesting times; let’s help each other, and lift each other, so that 2013 is a good year – a better year – for all of us.