Season of Change

I don’t know about you, but it’s been a whirlwind of a year so far. It started off a little slow, but picked up the kind of speed that I imagine a ‘whirling dervish’ would.

I feel so very different than I ever used to. I don’t know how I shook it, but I have so much less guilt over things these days. It’s become easier to accept the things I can’t change, nor control and to just let them be. it’s also become easier to recognise them which is really nice. I also care a heck of a lot less about pleasing people, and as cliche as it sounds, I feel so much lighter for it.

Sunsets are one of my favourite things

There are some things missing from my life1… but I have faith that everything will come in time. There are relationships in my life that began to make me feel a little bit of pressure to find what I’m looking for, romantically, and it was very tempting to get frustrated that it’s not materialising sooner but then I just look at my never-ending-to-do-list and forget all about that. Thank goodness for priorities. Thank goodness for work.

I’m excited2 for the change of season that’s around the corner. Partially because one of my favourite events of year will be happening around that time, but also because it means I can hopefully have a yard sale and get rid of some a lot of the clutter around this house.

I know it might seem silly to wait to get rid of it all but I can’t afford to just give everything away. I need to try to make some money back. I won’t make much, but I will make more than I would if I were to give everything away for free. I had been using the Bunz app to try to trade the things I no longer need for other things but life, and work got too busy and scheduling and flakers get exhausting.

Last year, I sent out an open invitation to joy and it helped me get through a very difficult time. This year, I’m sending an open invitation out to romance. I’m ready. I’m also done chasing it for myself. I know what I’m looking for; I know what I want. I also know what it looks like and what it feels like. I’m also not afraid to say no anymore. So, let’s see what this new season and this year brings. Of course, the invitation for joy remains open; that’s why it’s so much easier to come by these days.

Footnotes:
  1. not just in the romance department, though that is definitely included[]
  2. and slightly terrified – hello global warming![]

A belated recap: My Canadian Music Week 2016

I was able to catch quite a lot of live music during the week, and I’m sure I could write about a lot more than I have here, but these truly were the performances that really touched me – or that I was able to stay for long enough to have been touched by them. I know it’s not the first time I’ve admitted that it’s a highlight of my life working for the festival, but it isn’t always awesome shows: I do actually get work done!

My favourites this year:

Lights at Danforth Music Hall

Lights at the Danforth Music Hall | Monday, May 2nd

At this point, I hadn’t been to a show in ages. Ages. I’ve been to small shows, and they have been lovely and intimate but there’s something about attending a show by someone who has been through it all, and has continued to hold on the thing that makes them magical.

It was an acoustic set for almost 1500 people, and you could feel the intimacy in the room all the way at the back of the balcony where I was seated. I am ashamed to admit I haven’t listened to any of her latest stuff but that didn’t stop me from enjoying her incredible talent.

What a delightful way to start my Canadian Music Week experience.

Royal Canoe at Mod Club Theatre

Royal Canoe at Mod Club Theatre | Wednesday, May 4th

I hadn’t planned on staying long, but the route I chose to check-in on my venues for the night made me quite late for my check-in at this venue. I’m so glad it did. I ended up being able to catch Royal Canoe‘s entire set, which was so much fun. I wasn’t that familiar with their music, but it was easy to enjoy.

Definitely a highlight of my week.

The People The Poet at Cameron House | Thursday, May 5th

I tried so hard to make it back to the area from the east end of the city to catch some friends, The Cat & The Queen, playing at The Hideout but I didn’t quite make it. So I thought I would check out The People The Poet at Cameron House. I discovered this band from Ireland while I was investigating international bands, and our potential transformer needs and had penciled in a few of their showcases in case I could catch them.

As a lover of Mumford and Sons, the Head in The Heart and of Monsters and Men, these guys were right up my alley. Would definitely go to see them again if they made their way back to Canada.

Demi Louise at Drake 150

Demi Louise at Drake 150 | Friday, May 6th

I wasn’t able to catch her whole set as i had to get started on my schedule of venue-checks for the evening, but I managed to stay for a couple of songs performed by this gentle-woman. I first met her last year when I advanced the shows at the same venue. She reminds me a lot of Rory from the GIlmore Girls, except that she actually has musical talent1. With a buttery voice, tunes that are funny and serious at the same time it’s hard not to swoon when she starts playing.

Very glad I was able to catch her set, ever-so-briefly.

Motel Raphael at Lee's Palace

Motel Raphaël at Lee’s Palace | Saturday, May 7th

Three years ago, my life was very different, and meeting and working with this band was one memorable experience. I was still Stage Managing. They were gracious, humble, and they rocked. I’m very happy to report that they still rock, and I can only assume they’re every bit as gracious and humble (I wasn’t able to stick around to stay hello – duty called).

I can only hope they keep coming back so I can continue to catch their live shows. So much love for these gals (and their band).

Who did you get to see at Canadian Music Week 2016?

Footnotes:
  1. where Rory did not[]

It’s All Happening: Canadian Music Week 2016

When I first signed up to volunteer for Canadian Music Week, I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into. I had gone through the biggest – at the time – breakup of my life. I can’t possibly be ashamed to say that most of the best things in my life have come about because I was trying to continue finding the light while my heart was broken. I can’t be ashamed because I’ve had years of evidence that this is just how I am; just how my life plays out. I need to own it1.

I remember filling out the form online, and not really expecting to hear back from them. While I had been on many committees and organized many events for school2, I had never been involved with something on this scale. To my delight they wrote back and offered me a Stage Manager position. In my first year, A Stage Manager. ME!

At least those were the thoughts going through my head at the time. Looking back, it of course makes sense. I have a knack for logistics, and I had plenty of experience organizing events. I’m so grateful that he saw that in me.

Year after year, I would look forward to this time of year – up until a few years ago this would have been in March – because when I was doing work for Canadian Music Week3 was the best time of my life. I remember a boyfriend-at-the-time asking me why I loved doing it, and what I get out of it. He tried to figure out if I was doing it for the contacts, or if I was doing it to get a job, to get into free gigs, or to find hot musicians to date4.

And truth be told, sure, I would like all of those things but the fact is that whenever I am doing something for Canadian Music Week – or any event I love – nothing else matters. I have stage fright, but I have to present to a room full of people? No problem5. My heart hurts for reasons I’m not willing to divulge at this time? Definitely no problem!

I don’t actually get to see that many gigs since I started as a Crew Chief though6 but I’m hoping this year will be different. I plan to make the most of this year, both by attending the conference and checking out some shows that I know will kick-ass7.

I love the people I get to work with, and I can’t wait to rock out8 this week.

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 9.40.23

Footnotes:
  1. Maybe that’s why none of my relationships ever work out… but I’m going to save that topic for another blog post[]
  2. both high school and university[]
  3. whether I was getting paid or not[]
  4. I know better now of course: Musicians and I, just don’t mix[]
  5. except for when there is a problem, but you can’t win them all[]
  6. We manage the Stage Managers, it’s a whole lotta managing[]
  7. because let’s face it, the line-up is always stellar[]
  8. in every sense of the word[]

Nothing to see here, except that It’s All Happening

I had a lot of people asking me if everything was okay after my last post. The most genuine answer I can give you is that it’s nothing I can’t handle. A million different song lyrics are flying through my head right now, but I will refrain from using them.

In keeping with my open invitation to Joy for 2016, I’m going to focus on thinking and writing about the things that make me happy. Like the fact Canadian Music Week is almost 2 months away. Insert internal squealing. Okay, maybe a little external squealing as well.

I spent this past Saturday meeting many of the new volunteers who will be joining our existing team of super-star volunteers who love music as much as1 I do. It was a long day of repeated speeches for our side of the room, but I wouldn’t have been anywhere else.

I’ve had many great years working on music festivals, and they’re a part of my life that continually bring me joy. They are one of the main reasons I gave up full-time work, and I fight every day to make sure I can be a part of the productions that bring unforgettable experiences to so many. I think back on the days before I was on this side of production, and I have the most fond memories of being in a room with electric energy, looking over at a friend, and just smiling – without a word – knowing that you’re both having the best time; yes because you were there together but also because the show was amazing.

Lakes of Canada at the Garrison in 2013

When I was first accepted as a Stage Manager in 2010, I never thought I would be joining the team 6 years later as an Assistant Volunteer Co-orindator/Crew Chief but here I am. Ok, that may not be entirely true. I always hoped it would happen, but I didn’t it would. I thought that maybe I’d need to go back to full-time work and/or I would be out of the country. I’ve almost moved somewhere else at least 3 times in the last 6 years2.

I’ve never felt so ready to take on a role in my life. I’m nervous, but also incredibly excited. I will not sleep very much for a few weeks leading up to the festival, and especially during the festival but it will be amazing. Who needs sleep anyway?

Just in case you’re interested, I wrote a list of lessons I learned from volunteering for the last 10 festivals I’ve been a part of.

Footnotes:
  1. or more than[]
  2. let’s not talk about all the reasons that have kept me here though[]