August Newsletter: new website - Our Lives in Song + upcoming shows!

Hello Everyone! 
Welcome to the end-of-August 2015 version of my newsletter. I hope you are all finding some time to be outside before autumn rolls around in a mere month!

Me, I’m still working on my MA thesis and trying to wrap that up in the next few weeks in between other life things: marking student papers for a course at UBC, launching a new songwriting service and website (which I will tell you about in a sec!), booking concerts for the mid-late autumn months, and hanging out with loved ones where possible. As you are reading this, I am actually in Oakland, California after having driven a U-Haul (umm….lesbian joke s aside!) down the Interstate #5 from Vancouver. I offered to drive my friend’s furniture and belongings down here for her because she and her husband, their new twin babies and 2 cats have just moved back to Oakland from Vancouver. And, after having been in grad school for the past two years, this road warrior needed a road trip! So, I get to spend a couple of days in the Bay area before they put me on a plane back to Vancouver. Then, it's back to eat-sleep-breathe my thesis until that sucker is done....that's my life right now. 

But in the mean time, I have some cool stuff to tell you about…first, a new and really exciting collaborative songwriting service that I am rolling out called Our Lives in Song; and second, some workshop and performance dates coming up this fall. But first, this.....

 Our Lives in Song:
As many of you know, I have collaborated on a two songs with two different people over the past year: I wrote “fYreflies” with Chase McKee – a youth from Alberta who I met at Camp fYrefly, and “Breast Cancer Pink” Dr. Chelsey Hauge – a woman I met at UBC, both of whom are dear friends of mine. Both songs are based on their own experiences and as I worked with Chase and Chelsey in co-writing these songs, I was reminded over and over of the power of songwriting to celebrate and heal. It is so important for us express ourselves and tell our stories, and for me, songwriting has been instrumental in helping me learn how to navigate the world and my place in it. I know from talking with many people that listening to songs that resonate with them in some way is very validating: music makes our lives more livable and more rich.

So...I developed a collaborative songwriting service and over the past month, I put together a website, and I am so excited to launch it today! I have already begun a songwriting project with my first client and thus far, our process has been very touching and productive. Please check out my new website – Our Lives in Song - and share it with as many people as you wish…via email, word-of-mouth, and social media! Thank-you in advance for sharing it. Here is the link, let me know what you think about it! 

Update - Breast Cancer Pink - the music video:
Back in June, Chelsey and I rounded up a bunch of enthusiastic folks to be in the video along with us, and then Colin Burwell and Carla Sinclair shot a bunch of footage for the video. Next, she and I did a little "guerilla shoot" of our own in a Victoria’s Secret store in Vancouver and now we are in the middle of the editing process. Since Chelsey’s twin babies were born 3 weeks ago and she and her husband moved back to California (yes, that was her U-Haul I was driving), the editing process has been slow-going. However, we are plugging along and hope to have it ready to go this fall.  So, stay tuned…I will keep you updated on the release of  “Breast Cancer Pink” – the music video!

Upcoming shows this fall:
I’m currently booking some fall dates in Ontario, including an interesting day in Ajax where I will be doing a workshop for the Ajax Youth Centre, a “sensitivity training” session with the Durham Regional Police Service, and a public concert that evening at the St. Francis Centre in Ajax. If you or anyone you know would like to talk with me about the musical-educational workshops I offer around how to support LGBTQ clients, staff, and/or colleagues in the workplace, or would like to have me do a workshop or concert for your classroom or school, contact me! As well, if you live in Ontario and would like to host a house concert in October, let’s talk. Send me an email: I would love to figure something out with you. Below, you will find my dates so far. For more details, here is a link to my calendar: 

Saturday, September 10
BOLD Fest, Coast Plaza Hotel
Vancouver, BC  
Presentation on “Breast Cancer Pink” – with Dr. Chelsey Hauge
See for more details about our presentation and this fun conference for lesbians and dykes 

Wednesday, October 14

The Pearl Company 

Hamilton, ON 

Friday, October 16
St. Francis Centre
Ajax, Ontario
Workshop for Durham Regional Police Force, Workshop for Ajax Youth Centre + Public Concert

For tickets, email Amy Nagel at: 

Saturday, October 17
Public House Concert –Women’s Night at Nancie and Kim’s

Prince Edward County, Ontario

To reserve seats and receive the house address, email    

Friday, October 23

Public House Concert – Deb and Donna’s
Russell, Ontario

To reserve seats and receive the house address, email 

Monday, October 26-Friday, October 30
Santa Fe University of Art and Design
Santa Fe, New Mexico

I will be facilitating in-class workshops and giving concerts for the students of SFUAD for this week.

I think that's it from here in this little cafe in Oakland, CA…I’m off to take a break from working to do a hike or a couple of hours at the beach with Chelsey and her cute, yummy, little twins. I wish you all a lovely and radical rest of the week. Please don’t forget to check out my cool new website… Can you tell I’m excited about it? Listening to people’s stories, writing and recording songs that are important and meaningful to them…what could be better than that? In my books...nothin’.

Yours in music, 

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