Voyageur returns to Parliament Hill @viraniarif @JustinTrudeau

Jowi, Justin and Arif I first met Justin Trudeau by complete accident back in 2003, back when he was a school teacher. I was trying to obtain something of his father's from the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough to go into the guitar but wasn't having any luck as the institution was in crisis at the time and there really wasn't anyone to talk to. So one day I'm waiting to get on an elevator on the second floor of the CBC building in Toronto and as the door opens, Justin steps out. So I buttonholed him and we had a chat about it and he gave me some numbers to call at the Trudeau Foundation and promised to follow up. Some months later he found one of Pierre's paddles at the family cottage and recorded some audio for us to help publicize the project on a CBC weekend radio show. By the spring of 2006 we were ready to start building but the TV deal with CBC had fallen through and we needed to do some of our own documentation so we arranged to meet Justin in Mount Royal Park in Montréal to make a little video with him about the paddle he'd contributed. That footage has never been seen - mostly because it turns out to have been out of focus! Fortunately, Deborah Smith - a producer at Newsworld - wanted to make her own documentary about the project and virtually replicated our Mount Royal interview with Justin and it can be seen in the film "A Canadian Guitar" (though I can't seem to find any evidence of that doc online - I've got a copy if you'd like to see it). Shortly before my book was published, I found myself in Ottawa for an event at the National Arts Centre and staying across the street at the Chateau Laurier. That same weekend there was a PEN Canada benefit in town with a reception at the Chateau and my publisher, Scott McIntyre, was there so I had an excuse to crash the party, guitar in hand. The place was full of Canada's literary icons. Margaret Atwood and Graeme Gibson were there, Charlotte Gray was there, and Justin was also there. He was happy to finally see the completed guitar in person and we took a photo on the very first iPhone in very poor light so I've been wanting to get proper portraits with him for a long time - whether he was a politician or not. Back in 2007, my then-MP Peggy Nash arranged for a portrait session to be held in Centre Block on Parliament Hill. We got a few of our most iconic portraits on that day - including ones with Jack Layton, Peggy, Paul Dewar and Charlie Angus, Speaker of the House Peter Milliken, then Defence Minister Peter McKay and many others. Of course, there's been a lot of changes on Parliament Hill since 2007 - including the fact that that school teacher I met is now Prime Minister - so my current MP, Arif Virani (pictured, right), agreed to set up another portrait session for us. Our room got shifted a few times and ended up being a real challenge - nowhere near as accommodating for our set up or as convenient for MPs and staff as the one we had in '07 - but we made it work. The big question, of course, was whether the PM would be able to attend. We got word just a few days from the shoot that he was in and looking forward to seeing the guitar again but we'd have to do our photos with him away from our backdrop and up by his office instead. At the appointed hour - right after doing portraits with the Usher of the Black Rod, Greg Peters, MVO - we suspended activities and headed up to the PM's office. There was a small cluster of us waiting for him to arrive. As I looked across the atrium I saw him coming up the stairs, lead by an RCMP guard ensuring a clear path. He walked briskly. When he saw the assembly near his door he held up a finger and said "I'll be with you in a moment". Then he glanced my way and a huge smile came over his face. "Jowi!", he exclaimed and he came over and gave me a big hug. I honestly had not expected that he'd remember me. He promised he'd be right back and as he headed into his office he said, "It's been a long time since we've seen each other!". "I know, what have you been up to?", I called out. "Not much", he laughed over his shoulder as the door closed behind him. He re-emerged moments later and we finally made good on the promise to get better photos than the poor one I've used in the presentation for years now. I'm glad we were finally able to get these shots. You can see ALL the photos from our moment outside the PM's office and from the portrait sessions downstairs on our Flickr gallery from the day. Thanks to Arif Virani, Michel Carpentier, Cecely Roy and Lucas Veiga for getting it all arranged and helping administer the sessions and to Herb Davis for drumming up extra attendees on the day. And thanks to all the MPs and staff who came for their portraits, including John Aldag, Will Amos, Rene Arsenault, Vance Badawey, Mike Bossio, Terry Duguid, Neil Ellis, Andy Fillmore, Peter Fonseca, Mona Fortier, Sean Fraser, Kamal Khera, David Lametti, Stephane Lauzon, Paul Lefebvre, John McKay, Michael McLeod, Greg Peters, Kyle Peterson, Yasmin Ratansi, Geoff Regan, Deb Shulte, Sonia Sidhu, Sven Spengemann and Nick Whalen. Don't see your representative's name on that list? Ask them why they weren't there!

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Making Connections @ETFOWaterloo

Darrell Kuwabara Probably the most rewarding part of my work sharing the story of Voyageur around the country is the connections I make with people. After all, the guitar is a kind of story engine - built from all these different histories and communities and characters and events that make us who we are. Invariably, these stories resonate for people when they hear them and that inspires them to tell me their stories and that's been the beginning of many conversations and correspondences and friendships. Michael Beetham - an educator in the Waterloo Region - heard my story at an educational event for the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario back in the fall and immediately connected on many levels. Within a few days he contacted me about coming out to his part of the province to speak to an ETFO family gathering at the Edelweiss Bar & Grill and helped generate the two school presentations earlier in the day.

I'd arrived the night before in order to be ready to go first thing in the morning and Michael and his wife Lori graciously invited me to their home - along with their friend and fellow educator Suzanne - for a spectacular home-cooked meal and some great conversation. We discovered a common African connection with Michael having spent several tours working on school programs in a few West African countries. The following evening at the Edelweiss, I was thrilled to see not only some teachers I'd met earlier but also Kim Gill, whom I'd met at an educator's retreat in Algonquin Park called Unplugged back in 2012 (Kim had a very interesting idea for an addition to the case or strap, which I'll reveal at a later date). But perhaps the most profound connection of the evening was with one of the players for the evening, Darrell Kuwabara (pictured). He is Japanese-Canadian with roots in Vancouver. His parents were among the thousands declared "enemy aliens" during the second world war and sent to internment camps across the country. That's what brought his family to Ontario, first to Hamilton. He said that growing up his father had told him about watching games in Vancouver played by the Asahi - the Japanese-Canadian baseball team, part of whose ca. 1930's jersey is now on Voyageur's strap. It made his beautiful performance all the more poignant seeing that piece standing out near his left shoulder.

Thanks also to Laura Dicknoether, who also played in the "performance pocket", to our portrait station volunteers Nora Davis, Deanna and Tamara Hurley and to the terrifically helpful staff at the Edelweiss. Special thanks also to Dave Worsley from Words Worth Books for handling book sales at the event and to Michael Beetham for making all those connections possible.

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Music That Really Schmecks @ednastaeblerps

Edna Staebler Players The Kitchener-Waterloo region is primarily known these days for its high tech industries but it's also known for its food - especially the Germanic and Mennonite derived foods that defined the area's rural roots and early immigration. No doubt you're familiar with J.M. Schneider's deli meats? Arguably the Blackberry of an earlier time! The person who did more than anyone to put the region on Canada's food map was author and literary journalist Edna Staebler, most famous for her cookbook of regional specialties, "Food That Really Schmecks" - still available in e-book form. Edna died just a couple of months after the birth of Voyageur back in 2006 at the age of 100 but I'm glad I got to meet her namesake school this afternoon in Waterloo. The presentation went beautifully with the help of teachers Sheila Smith-Jones (pictured left) and Summer Carter (pictured right). The students in the centre, Emma and Kyra, did a great duet of Ruth B.'s "Lost Boys" (great to hear a new Canadian tune!) to wrap up the presentation. I also have to thank the emcees for the day, Jasmine and Bayan. I have a little intro script that I send out to anyone hosting a presentation so it takes the pressure off emcees or organizers to write something and ensures they don't give too much away about the guitar before I get started with the story. Jasmine and Bayan had the script and were rehearsing it over and over as a double-barrelled delivery. Hearing it that many times made me realize a repetition in the script that I hadn't noticed before and so we changed one of the words right there and it's much better - so thanks, you two!

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A Premier Performance @WG_Davis

The William G Davis Razorbacks Players Not long after Steve Paikin's book about former Ontario Premier Bill Davis came out, Michael Beetham of the Waterloo Region office of ETFO invited me to speak to a small group of members and their families at a local restaurant. It would be an evening presentation so I asked if we might be able to tack on a couple of school presentations during the day and he had no problem generating interest. And wouldn't you know the first up to the plate was William G. Davis Public School - named for the man himself - in Cambridge. My contacts at the school were teachers Kim Stenhouse and Jeff Shapiro. Kim had her own whole set of reasons for wanting to host Voyageur at the school. A couple of years ago, she had written a robust section on Six String Nation for the "Hands On Social Studies" curriculum guide for grade 6 classes in Ontario from Portage & Main Press. Any teachers reading this - you might want to click this link and scroll to about page 149 for some ideas on how to prepare for a visit by Six String Nation to your school. Meanwhile, Jeff had his own reasons for anticipating Voyageur's visit as head of WGD's "School of Rock" program. For the finale of Bryan Adams' "Summer of '69" he had the whole group of about 30 students up but the first two songs were performed by the students in the picture above. Hannah (holding Voyageur) played "Dust in the Wind" accompanied by the two girls flanking her - Kody and Kaydence - on vocals. That was followed by Dakota (pictured right looking a lot like a young Slash, don't you think?) doing a wicked acoustic version of Hendrix' "Purple Haze" with Desiree (pictured left) handling the vocals. Dakota stayed on guitar for the finale. It was a great start to a busy day in the Waterloo region! Thanks to all the staff and students at William G. Davis P.S. Go Razorbacks!

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Destination Music at DestinationBC @HelloBC #VSConf17 @NSB_Speakers @Hanksvic

Jon Middleton 2 Destination BC We've sure been feeling the love from Victoria BC this year - with this being the third visit in 2017. I'm pretty sure they feel the love right back.
This presentation was for Destination British Columbia - the trade organization that coordinates the branding and marketing of tourism in BC with faces both toward the public and toward the industry. This particular gathering was of Visitors Services representatives from across the province. In a way, each of them is responsible for laying the groundwork for the stories that visitors will create of their travels around this beautiful and diverse province, which is perhaps why the stories of Six String Nation - especially with so many different aspects of BC history, culture and nature represented in the project - seem to resonate so well with this audience.

What was especially gratifying as we gathered for portraits after the presentation was how many people from across the Canada and beyond were there in BC working in this field - very proud of their roots in Ontario and Alberta and Quebec and Newfoundland and France and Australia but equally proud of the regions they were serving in BC. Once again I am blown away by the stories and connections that people offer as they embrace Voyageur in their portraits. It was also gratifying to be able to share the story of the Stuart McLean addition to the case for the first time in BC since the idea was launched with Alistair McLean at another BC Tourism related event in Victoria back in the spring. One delegate at this conference told me he'd worked with Alistair for years and not known he was Stuart's brother!

Speaking of family connections: I worked closely with conference coordinator Belinda Ewald-Middleton in getting together all the details for this event and in seeking to populate the "performance pocket" in the presentation with someone to play Voyageur she recruited her brother-in-law, Jon Middleton. Jon is based in Victoria and while I didn't get to see his show on a swing through Toronto at the Rivoli recently, we did have a chance to correspond and I listened to some of his music in both solo and Jon and Roy iterations online. But I'm not sure those prepared me for the lilting beauty of his solo performance with Voyageur in that room. A few attendees posted short clips on Twitter (check my feed if you want to see them for yourself) and they just make me wish we'd been recording properly as the pairing was stunning.

Thanks to Belinda and her team for all their help at the event and leading up to it and especially to Karen Tunkara for advocating to bring us back to Victoria. Special thanks to our portrait station volunteers, Erin Monaghan and Rhonda Teel and to Katherine Worsley for the hummingbird. Thanks also to my good friends at the National Speakers Bureau for handling the booking. And while I'm at it, thanks to Andrew at Hank's - Canada's tiny, perfect restaurant - for an unforgettable meal to end this trip to Victoria!

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Aging Well with @TheOACAO

Suzie Vinnick at OACAO If you know this project, you already know that Voyageur is a very unique guitar - the only one of its kind in the world made as it is from pieces of history and heritage from across Canada. But from a strictly instrumental perspective it's also unique in that it's a guitar made from a large and diverse number of unconventional materials. That means that these materials are all aging and settling into their relationships with their neighbours at different paces and times. And while I'm not sure I could articulate the way that shifting and settling plays out acoustically, seasoned musicians certainly can - especially those who encounter Voyageur at intervals. And apparently, according to them, the guitar is aging very well. As it matures it gets gets warmer and stronger and less brittle in its sound. Basically, time and experience are making it a better guitar every day.

That process is something the attendees at the Older Adult Centres Association of Ontario's Aging Well conference are no doubt familiar with. Their work in advocating on behalf of and educating within the sector of older adult centres in Ontario includes promoting things like "Active living" programs and other initiatives to enrich lives across the province. So they were a great audience for the Six String Nation presentation. In fact, I don't think I've ever had as many applause breaks for specific items that comprise the guitar ever before and the turnout at the portrait station was as colourful as it was enthusiastic and exhaustive.

I was especially thrilled that they brought in my friend Suzie Vinnick (pictured) to play in the "performance pocket" of the presentation. She is honestly one of my favourite people that I've encountered in this business and even if she wasn't I'd still be in awe of her voice and her guitar playing. She also hung out with us after the show to sell some CDs and generously helped us out running our station.

Thanks to Wendy Caceres-Speakman and her team - including Sue Hesjedahl, Julie Pennal, Sarah Martin and Bonnie Chapman - and my good friends at the National Speakers Bureau. Thanks also to portrait station volunteers Liza Franses and Lina Zita, to Richard Dussault for the kind words and the tech support and to Don Fenn for introducing me.

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A Gift for #RemembranceDay @guitars4VETSCan @daddariocanada @GHOperaHouse

Sgt. Ted Hudson (ret.) Coming as it would less than a week before Remembrance Day, Gravenhurst Opera House curator Krista Storey wondered if there might be a way to honour local veterans at our Six String Nation presentation last weekend. One thought was to put local favourite, Guitars for Vets ambassador and Great Big Sea alumnus Séan McCann on the bill but Séan would be out on tour at that moment. Instead, we thought we could contribute directly to the program right there in the community so I called up our perennial supporter, D'Addario Canada, and asked if they might have something to donate to the cause. Without a moment's hesitation, they offered up a brand new Beaver Creek Guitars dreadnought-style guitar complete with a carrying case and an extra set of strings.

Veterans Emergency Transition Services (VETS Canada)'s program is based on a simple concept: veterans and currently serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP who suffer with PTSD or other service-related injuries or disabilities will be provided with a new or gently used guitar. They will also be connected with free online lessons and – when and where available – students will have the option of working with a guitar instructor for 10 weeks of free lessons. The goal of Guitars for Vets is to get as many guitars as possible into the hands of wounded veterans to help the healing process. You can learn more about the program in this video.

Again, our timing was not great because the Guitars for Vets folks were busy preparing for today's big event in Ottawa with Séan, Joel Plaskett, Sarah Harmer and Jeremy Fisher so there would be no one on hand to receive our contribution at the show. But Ret. Sgt. Ted Hudson C.D. (pictured) was there in full colours to receive the guitar and guide it to its ultimate purpose. Ted was born in Gravenhurst and joined the Armed Forces in Canada's centennial year, 1967. He was first posted to Soest, Germany and Petawawa, ON with the Royal Canadian Regiment and, later, the Airborne Regiment. With the Special Service Force Battle School he served as an instructor for 5 years with a tour of the Middle East, Cyprus and many other areas of deployment. He retired with the rank of Sergeant after serving for 18 years.

The presence of the shoulder tile and cap badges of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (founded 1914) and the Royal Newfoundland Regiment (founded 1795!) on Voyageur's strap are a regular reminder of the contributions of Canadian service men and women who are part of the story of Canada. But on Remembrance Day especially we are reminded of the connections this project has had to members of the Canadian Armed Services - including Lt. Col Susan Beharriel, Capt. Casey Balden, Pt. Don Stewart and all the veterans and serving members we met and photographed at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto and we thank all of them again for their service and sacrifice.

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A Super Show in Sawdust City @GHOperaHouse

Grady Kelneck with Voyageur The Gravenhurst Opera House is of one of Ontario's true hidden gems. Designed by architect John Francis Brown on a commission from Mayor Charles Mickle (Miranda Mulholland's great-grandfather!), this remarkable building hosted its first theatre production in March of 1901. Over the decades it's been both used and abused but a critical renovation following the building's forced closure in 1993 has made it a cultural anchor point in the Muskoka Lakes region. Standing on the stage or in the house feels a bit like standing under a giant overturned canoe and those wooden ribs of the building make for a great acoustic experience as well as a great visual one. Curator Krista Storey and I had been talking for a few years about doing something there and this past weekend's OMEA conference up the road in Huntsville spurred us to bring some ideas to life.

And what life!
The "performance pocket" near the end of the presentation usually runs 4-10 minutes - typically giving time for 1-3 performers to bring Voyageur to life. Especially for community shows like this one, I do encourage the organizers to consider building a longer show if they want to give more local artists the opportunity to play the guitar and from that suggestion Krista built a line-up befitting the magnificent stage we'd all share:
We'd encountered Angie Nussey back in 2008 at an event in Sudbury where she got to play Voyageur privately during her photo session but to hear her in her real element on the stage was a whole other experience. She's a terrific songwriter with such an easygoing presence and is apparently - for good reason - a fan favourite at the GOH;
Sean Cotton had also played Voyageur in 2008 - passing it between him and Catherine MacLellan on stage at the Ottawa Folk Festival. For this show Sean accompanied himself with a specially mic'd empty guitar case as percussion and performed two songs - one about the mysterious disappearance of painter Tom Thomson and one written specially for the occasion called "Six Strings Strong". We must vow to either get Sean into the studio to record that or - better yet - reconvene everyone at the GOH for a live recording!
Sue Wood, whom we first met at an event in Mount Albert ON back in 2011, demonstrated a gorgeous voice reminiscent of a younger Joni Mitchell and - fittingly - started off with a beautiful rendition of Mitchell's "Stardust" (with no radical retuning!) leading into a delightfully cheeky original;
Andrew Currie's position as a go-to musician, teacher, retailer, producer and instrument collector extends beyond Gravenhurst to bands and industry folks around the province and across the country. He used his two song set to pay homage to two songwriter friends from the region, including the late Bob Dean. He also presented me on stage with some tape that adorned his vintage Elka bass pedal unit as it crossed the country with the Tragically Hip on their final tour last year. For now, I've mounted it onto the strap but its location may make it vulnerable to falling off so I'll be looking at alternative spots for it. In the meantime, it was a tremendously thoughtful gesture from an enormously talented gentleman and I'm grateful for it;
Aaron Kowalchuk is Gravenhurst's answer to Jimmy Bowskill - a tremendous blues talent at an outrageously young age. His father told me he's been playing guitar since the age of nine. He played in tribute to a local veteran (more about that later this week) and his presence was both a reminder of the depth of talent in the region and a glimpse of the future of music in the community; and finally (though he played second in the order, insisting that he wasn't up to the calibre of his onstage compadres) there was Grady Kelneck (pictured). I knew Grady was from a musical family because when we were introduced by email he let me know that his very musical parents had had their portrait taken with Voyageur in Orillia back in 2010 and sure enough there's his dad, Ike - who died unexpectedly back on April 25th - hamming it up with the guitar, playing it like a piano. But that barely scratched the surface of their musicality. Ike's father - Grady's grandfather - Henry Kelneck had been a furniture and musical instrument store owner and popular bandleader in Timmins ON when he helped launch the career of an itinerant musician passing through town and playing for beer money: Stompin' Tom Connors. So instrumental was Henry in Tom's development that Tom wrote a song about him, "Polka Playin' Henry", which you can hear here. But those of us in the GOH heard it even better, coming as it did through the keening voice of Henry's grandson carrying generations of music with it as his hands moved up and down the fretboard made from J.R.'s Bar in Charlottetown - another place that nurtured that Canadian legend. I think my favourite of Grady's stories as he played was that when Stompin' Tom asked someone to go get a guitar amplifier, what he really meant was a two-four of Moosehead beer!

Thanks again to Krista and all the musicians as well as house manager Kelly Hamilton and house tech Martyn Green. Thanks also to Bryan White and Amy Taylor, portrait station volunteers Linda Trotte and Laurie Ryan and everyone who came out to the show and to have their portraits taken. A very special thanks also to our good friends at D'Addario Canada and to Sgt. Ted Hudson C.D. (retired) - more on them later in the week.

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Musical Muskoka with @OMEAOntario #OMEAInterlude2017

Jack Gaughan with Voyageur My relationship with the Ontario Music Educators Association (OMEA) goes back many years now and I'm so glad that they invited me back for this year's conference - Interlude 2017 - at the Deerhurst Resort, not only because I got to see some of the organizers of past events and so many teachers whose schools I've visited over the years - but because it's such a great reminder of how important music education is in school and in life; and to be around people who are dedicated to that idea is very inspiring. And in addition to all the familiar faces, it was also great to meet so many new educators who were discovering Six String Nation for the first time. I'm hopeful that we'll have a chance to visit some more schools around Ontario as a result - and especially ones that have people on staff who can make sure the music students at their schools get a chance to really step up and shine during the presentation.

Speaking of stepping up and shining, there was no doubt a wealth of guitar talent among the attendees who would have been great in the "performance pocket" part of the presentation - and our pal Hawksley Workman had graced the stage the previous night - but, rightly, organizer Laura Lee Matthie wanted to focus on a student player for this opportunity and really hammer home the value of the work that everyone in attendance is doing. So she managed to recruit a 16-year old grade 12 student from nearby Huntsville High School named Jack Gaughan. Remember that name. Jack plays guitar and bass in the Senior Concert Band, Senior Stage Band and the R&B ensemble Song Project at school and is currently working with Oscar Peterson Quartet alumnus Lorne Lofsky as he prepares to audition for post-secondary jazz studies. He was cool as a cucumber and yet his fingers were like lightning!

Thanks to Laura Lee and her conference co-chair Sarah Arcand as well as volunteer coordinator Debbie Tackabury, who provided an amazing team of volunteers to help us at the portrait booth - including Esther Weatherall, Alanna Vanstone, Alan Li, Chelsea Ewing, Emily Peterman, Emily Williams, Tori Ly and Anna deGroot-Maggetti. Special thanks also to Erica Bota from ThinkLink Graphics, who did an amazing realtime doodle of the Six String Nation presentation, which I'll share on Instagram in the coming days.

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Mighty Oakville @OakvilleCentre @LeaskExpected

David Least at Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts The last time I drove down Trafalgar Road in Oakville toward the waterfront was a few years ago. Once you're on that road a little ways off the QEW the character of the city really begins to reveal itself as the road snakes along by Sixteen Mile Creek. And while the downtown - site of last night's show at the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts - is as charming as ever, there is so much development going on that it's easy to get yourself turned around down there! Many downtown heritage buildings have been lovingly restored; a slew of mid-rise condo towers across the river from the complex that holds the Arts Centre, the public library and the Centennial pool have brought a lot more people into the area; the bridge that spans the creek is closed for construction until next month; and even the Centre itself - in operation since 1977 - is undergoing a facelift for now with a much bigger redevelopment planned for a decade from now.

In any case, I was very pleased that Artistic Director Ronnie Brown invited me to be part of the Centre's In Conversation with... series, having seen an intimate showcase I did back in February. I was even more pleased that he asked songwriter David Leask to reprise his performance from that winter gathering at last night's show. You might recall a previous post about David, who had approached me more than a year ago about being inspired to write some songs based on a few of the stories baked into Voyageur. I suggested that he might compound the inspiration by writing them on the guitar itself so he took Voyageur home with him for a couple of weeks and completed four songs with at least one more continuing to gestate. We're planning on another sabbatical for the two of them soon so he can finish and - who knows - maybe even write more! I continue to be moved by the response of audiences to this presentation and hearing three of David's project-inspired songs in the "performance pocket" added a whole layer of depth to that part of the presentation for both the audience and for me.

Thanks again to Ronnie and his staff - including Robin, Shelly, Diana and Kent on this side of the booth and Sean and Andrew at the stage who made us look and sound as good as we ever have. Thanks also so Sarah Douglas-Murray and to Ian Elliot from A Different Drummer Books in Burlington, who handled both book sales in the lobby and emcee duties on the stage. And a very special thanks to Steve Paquette, the Halton District School Board's "Indigenous Knowledge Guide" who came up to say some wonderfully kind words after the show and introduce me to daughter Amber. Thanks to Gyeho Thomas from the Woodland Cultural Centre for coming out to the show. And finally, thanks to Henry Lees, who managed to get a better photo of David Leask in action that I was able to from my side-of-stage angle and permit me to use it above.

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