A big welcome to those of you who have just joined the newsletter. Things have been busy around here...like, beyond busy! Plus, we just moved off Bowen Island and back to Vancouver and are very glad to be living a couple blocks off the beach in beautiful Kitsilano. Life feels much easier not having to do the ferry commute anymore, I must say! Here is an update of what I have been working on since my last newsletter:
University of British Columbia – Masters Program:
I was full-on immersed in applying to grad school at the University of British Columbia for much of January. I got this idea in my head just before winter hit that I should get a Masters degree. And I do what I usually do when ideas like that come into my head: I follow them and see what opens up. I started looking into programs and talking with friends who had done grad school. I found a program I liked with the Institute of Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice at UBC. I applied (which isn't as quick and easy as it sounds) and I just found out a couple of weeks ago that I got accepted! I am thrilled and will be starting grad school in September. A friend of mine asked me what I am planning to study and I said, “queer activism, folk music and education”. She said, “So, basically, you'll be studying yourself.”....haha, she is pretty much correct!
Anyway, I'm looking forward to the learning process, being able to talk at length about these topics that I am passionate about as well as noticing what doors begin to open up. Sometimes, I think back across my life and I am amazed at where I was five, ten years ago and where I am now. Words just don't describe the feelings I get when I think of how my life has unfolded over the past few years. I guess what it comes down to is that I truly believe in listening to that voice inside me and “following the golden thread”, as a friend of mine calls it.
Queer Across Canada:
Queer Across Canada is almost in production! We are just making a few finishing touches on the final song masters and the artwork for the cover. It's been a long haul for this project since I conceptualized the idea back in the summer of 2009 and we have finally booked a cd release party date here in Vancouver for Saturday, June 8th at the Rogue Folk Club! We are planning on doing release dates in Alberta and Ontario in the fall.
And, we are still receiving donations to help with this project..in fact, a Vancouver man just purchased one of the Kate Reid Fan Packs yesterday because he read about the cd release party date in the Rogue Folk Club newsletter and wanted to support the project! If you would like to donate, I would be thrilled! Here is the link to the options...lots of cool stuff here: (www.katereid.net/shop). The Queer Across Canada education kit is in progress and starting to take shape. It will be ready for sale and distribution by September. I have had some great teachers helping me with content of the kit; I am so grateful for their input and feedback.
Calendar – School appearances and more:
A few dedicated educators at the Trillium-Lakelands District School Board submitted a grant proposal to the Ontario Ministry of Education to have me visit their school board and four of their neigbouring school districts this spring: Bluewater District School Board, Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board, Durham District School Board and Simcoe County District School Board. The grant proposal was successful and so for six weeks starting April 12th, I will be facilitating workshops and giving concerts for the secondary students and staff of these five school districts. Check out the schools and dates on my calendar (www.katereid.net/calendar). If you are interested in having me visit your school, please contact me for more information. I do have a page on my website that outlines the workshops I provide (www.katereid.net/schools).
As well, you will see on my calendar that I have been asked to be the Artist-in-Residence with Camp fYrefly again this summer, this time in Saskatoon (www.usask.ca/education/fyrefly) ...yaay! I love fYrefly! It's such an amazing and inspring four days of queer youth, energy, art and fun. I have also been invited to be a part of National Women's Music Festival this summer in Wisconsin (www.wiaonline.org) which is an honour as it's one of the longest running women's festivals in North America. Road trip to Middleton, WI anyone?
Besides interviewing people who have been inspired by my songs, Carla and her right-hand-camera- man, Colin, have been following me around with a camera (or should I say, many cameras) for much of this year and sporadically over the past 7 ½ years spanning my career in music. Carla is the creative force behind Heal Myself, a documentary about how music saved my life and inspired her work as a filmmaker. Carla and Colin own and operate Empty Cup Media, an independent film and media company (www.emptycupmedia.ca).They have received accolades and awards for their photography and documentary film work. Heal Myself is now in production and is set for release in 2014. Carla will be submitting Heal Myself to a variety of documentary film challenges and festivals including Hot Docs, Canada's international documentary film festival held annually in Toronto. Check out the Facebook page and "like" the page, if you feel inclined: www.facebook.com/HealMyselfDocumentary?fref=ts. If you are interested in screening Heal Myself at your school, film festival or Pride Festival, contact Carla at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Facebook and Twitter:
Come and find me on Facebook and Twitter! One of these days, I will organize a Tumblr page but until then, I'm hanging around Facebook and Twitter: adding pictures, conversing with people and posting various anecdotes, comments and general goings-on of my life, in case you are interested. A funny story: a few weeks back, I was lamenting on Facebook the fact that there are many other “Kate Reids” in the world, not to mention a jazz musician in the USA! So, I held a random contest challenge to my Facebook friends to see who could come up with a new name for me (and in the process, make me laugh the loudest). There were a ton of responses, many of them quite hilarious. But in the end, Brenda Tacik of Regina, SK beat out everyone with her suggestion of =:-) , which is the little signature I sometimes put after my name when I post something on Facebook (“the dash” represents my sticky-up hair). Anyway, remember when Prince changed his name to the male-female sign and then would provide the addendum, “....the artist formerly known as Prince”? Well, Brenda's suggestion made me laugh out loud. She won a copy of Doing it for the Chicks and a copy of Queer Across Canada.
That's it from here. I hope all is well in your respective worlds. Thank-you for reading my newsletter. I am grateful for your interest in my music and for joining me on this musical journey. Enjoy spring...the Robins and the Red-Winged Blackbirds singing for us out there. The world is coming alive again.
Over and out,
(The artist formerly known as Kate Reid)