• International Women's Day

    Some ideas for women and allies on International Women’s Day

    For International Women’s Day, I’d like to ask that you choose some of the following things from this list and try them on for size: – Never use the words ‘selfless’ or ‘tireless’ to describe any person ever again – If you’re on stage as an emcee introducing a woman-identified person, never use the words ‘lovely’ or ‘beautiful’ (Edited for clarity) – say to yourself “trans women are women.” If it’s a phrase that feels weird to say, think on that for a while. – If you’re an employer, take a look at what you pay your employees and recognize where the women are being paid less for their work.…

  • NXNE Presents a sausage fest - Electric City Magazine


    From a piece I wrote for Electric City Magazine: “The Canadian music industry is a diverse, varied place, but you wouldn’t know it from the endless parade of white guys with guitars wanking across the festival stages and conference panels of the nation. Over the past month, NXNE have been releasing the lineup for their Portlands festival, and the list, while appearing more racially diverse with the most recent release, is still very dude-heavy. With three women-fronted bands and one genderqueer artist out of 16 total acts released so far, I have to ask: where the fuck are the women, NorthBy?”   Read the rest at Electric City Magazine.

  • Articles

    14 tools for dealing with Depression

    NOTE: There are a few links to things you can purchase in this article, but I don’t make any profit if you click those links or buy those products. These are things I use and find useful, and I don’t profit or benefit in any way if you buy them or use them. I was diagnosed with Clinical Depression about 10 years ago; these are some of the tools I use to make living with mental illness a strength rather than a liability.  There are fourteen things on this list, most of them cheap or free; you don’t have to do all of them.  Just pick one or two, and…

  • Climbing in the Fairy Glen on Skye!
    Articles,  Travel,  Year-End Thoughts

    Sparkle and Shine, 2016

    The year opened stressfully but closed fairly peacefully.  Along the way, it was packed full with projects, music, friends, and good hard work. At the beginning of the year, I had no thought of joining the Board of Directors for the Shelter Valley Folk Festival, nevermind becoming the Chair, but as things unfolded, it was clear that if we didn’t all jump in and pull together, the festival was done.  So we did, and I couldn’t be more proud of the amazing people, both on the Board and in the community generally, who worked so hard and with such a good will to keep this beloved small festival running. Work…

  • 2014 - A new day!
    Articles,  Year-End Thoughts

    Not too shabby, 2014!

    Not a bad year, not an amazing year.  A good, solid year without major setbacks,  2014 has been pretty good to me.   The biggest achievement of my year, without a doubt, was achieving my long-held goal of paying off my student loans.  It happened in October.  After a decade of confusion, ((To this day, I’m not quite certain what my total amount loaned was – the system changed several times during my undergrad, leading to Federal and Provincial  loans all over the place.)) getting the run-around from various banks and student loan services, and low-paying contract work in Peterborough, I finally had the kind of dependable income that allowed me…

  • Articles,  Year-End Thoughts

    2014: Shining like a National Guitar

    In my year-end wrap-up for 2012, I wrote the following: 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. Less than a month later, I was scrambling to find somewhere to live in Toronto, and scrambling to wrap up my remaining commitments in Peterborough,  as I leapt into a new job and a new life in a new city. Despite my belief that I was ready to go, I wasn’t – it was hard.  Leaving…

  • Articles

    How I got into this mess in the first place

    As a kid growing up in a village of about 500 people, pre-Internet, I was a dedicated patriot with a great faith in Canada but almost no exposure to Canadian ideas.  Sure, there was CBC, and maybe TVO, but when you’re 13, you want to watch The Fresh Prince of Bell Air, not Adrienne Clarkson Presents. ((I applaud the CBC’s attempt, at the time, to give us more Canadian arts, but I’m sorry to say that they went about it the wrong way, in my opinion.)) I wished that there were Canadian artists to like, but as far as I knew, there weren’t. We, as a nation, had a smattering…

  • Articles,  Year-End Thoughts

    Beauty On, 2012

    It’s become a tradition of sorts for me to write something here on December 31, a sort of summing-up and looking forward I would have scoffed at myself for doing a few years ago. But, as arbitrary as it is to do this on a particular date, it feels useful for me to say to myself ‘this is what I’ve accomplished, and this is what I hope to do now.’ This has easily been one of the busiest years of my life, and I’m thankful to have come through it with relative equanimity. A busy year at the museum meant that I’ve run more discrete events this year than I’ve…