Greetings Friends, Fans, and Compadres-
I hope this newsletter finds you healthy and well in your lives and following your own heart’s rhythms and desires. It’s been since January 2017 since I sent out a newsletter and so I wanted to update you with what’s been happening in my world of music and studies since then. As most of you know, I have transplanted myself back to my homeland of Ontario,and have found myself coming full circle in my life. Even though the stunning land of British Columbia will always have a special place deep in my bones and memory, it feels like home here in beautiful Ontario—the land of apples and maple syrup—two of my favourite things! And while I am living in downtown Toronto—which is so surprisingly fun and even quiet in my little bachelor pad with a large east-facing balcony that looks out on to tree tops—I am able to get to the country often, which I love dearly. Living back here, I realized Ontario is also deeply embedded in my body: the lakes, the beaches, the familiar bird songs, the friendliness of the people, the farmer’s markets, the rolling fields, and deciduous forests (the mosquitoes??). I often find myself feeling awestruck and so lucky that I get the privilege of living on such beautiful and vast land, and am also very aware of the violence of colonialism through which I and those who came before me came to be here, our home on Native land. I try to remember and carry this knowledge with me as I travel on this land and give thanks for the animals, trees, plants, rocks, and soil that provide us companionship, joy, and life.
OISE University of Toronto - Graduate Studies
I’ve successfully completed year one of my PhD at OISE, University of Toronto, which is so thrilling. I love how the learning, reading, and thinking continue to challenge me to consider and come up with new, exciting ideas, especially as these ideas relate to my ideas about songwriting and singing. I have joined an incredible research team under the direction of Dr. Tara Goldstein, who does research in the area of performed ethnography, which is an arts-based, theatrical research approach to organizing, analyzing, and disseminating research data. As a member of Tara’s team, I have been commissioned to compose songs based on interviews she and her team have been conducting on actual, lived experiences of LGBTQ families in schools. This research is important because not only does it document these experiences (in theatre performance and song), it also brings awareness to the range of experiences, both positive and difficult, that people in LGBTQ families experience in schools in Ontario, and is used in the university classroom to train pre-service teachers to better support LGBTQ families in schools. Tara’s research also aims for policy and curricular changes in public schools and post-secondary institutions, articulates the moves towards inclusion we have made thus far, and reminds us how much work still needs to be done in terms of inclusion in values, curriculum, policy, and language. Using Tara’s interview data and several theatre scripts, I have written a song entitled “Pushing the Envelope” and have performed it several times at various academic conference presentations with Tara and her team. At the end of August, Tara is providing funds for me to go into the studio with Toronto producer Stew Crookes (http://stewcrookes.com) to record the song for her. We will be working in Blue Rodeo’s recording studio (so cool, right?) called The Woodshed, check in out here, it’s a great space: http://www.thewoodshedstudio.com.
Once the song is done, it will be posted to her research website as a downloadable mp3. Then, in September, I will be working on another new song based on new theatre scripts she and her team are developing. It’s all very exciting and right up my alley!
As well, I have two more courses to complete this coming semester and then I will be done my coursework. Following that, I will move on to writing my comprehensive exams and a research proposal for my own research. Finally, for this next school year, I get the opportunity to work with an Indigenous scholar at OISE named Dr. Sandra Styres. I took a course with Dr. Styres this last semester and she invited me to work with her for the next year as a research assistant where I will be conducting and writing a literature review for her on Indigenous land-based education. I am very excited about this work and about the school year to come.
Camp fYrefly Ontario
This was my fourth time as the Artist-in-Residence for Camp fYrefly. This time, I worked at the first ever Camp fYrefly in Ontario based on the beautiful Trent University campus in Peterborough. As always, it was an incredible experience. I was astounded by the fierce, intelligent, radical, and passionate youth who attended the camp. I am always blown away by how much queer and transgender youth teach me about the ever-evolving ideas we have about gender and sexuality. As well, using the camper’s input and ideas written on scraps of paper which I collected from them throughout the camp, I wrote a song about Camp fYrefly Ontario called “Close to Magic.” I performed it for the camp on the last day, during my closing address and it was so fun and heart-warming to witness their excited responses upon hearing their ideas set to music. If you or anyone you know would like to attend camp as a camper, youth leader, or adult volunteer, please direct them to the Camp fYrefly Ontario webpage: https://www.ualberta.ca/camp-fyrefly/locations/ontario
Upcoming Performances and Workshops
I’ve got some new songs to share with you and of course, some old faves—so, if you are in the area, here are my upcoming performances in case you and your compadres wish to attend (except the school one, that’s just for the students!):
Skylight Festival – Paris, ON
July 28 -30
Paris Fairgrounds, Paris, ON
Tix and info at www.skylight.ca
I will be performing a set on Friday night at 9pm, giving a writing workshops over the weekend, leading a campfire songcircle on Saturday night, and participating in a songwriters-in-the-round on Sunday afternoon.
Vancouver House Concert – East Vancouver, BC
Sunday, August 13th: doors 7pm, show 7:30pm
Limited seating, tix $20
Julie and Tam’s house
To reserve a seat and obtain the house address, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Names will be held at the door.
The Notional Space – Vancouver, BC
Sounds & Furies proudly presents:
KATE REID - Queer Singer/Songwriter/Activist/Academic
Friday August 18th: doors 7:30 pm, show 8pm
1523 E. Pender, Vancouver, BC*
Suggested Door Donation: $10 - $20
Here’s the link to Sounds and Furies’ website: http://www.soundsandfuries.com/concerts.html
*Due to limited seating, please rsvp Pat at email@example.com if you plan to attend. Names will be held at door.
Victoria Folk Music Society – Victoria, BC
August 20th: open stage from 7:30-8:45pm, Kate Reid: 9pm
Norway House - 1110 Hillside Ave, Victoria, BC
$7/adults, free admission for youth under 16/VFMS volunteers, staff
Here’s the link to the VFMS website: http://www.victoriafolkmusic.ca
Humbercrest Elementary – Toronto District School Board
September 29th: workshop: LGBTQ: What’s with the Acronym?
14 St. Marks Rd., York, ON
Keynotes, concerts, workshops!
If you or anyone you know is doing equity work in your schools, I give keynotes for GSA/QSA youth conferences as well as concerts and workshops at secondary and post-secondary levels and at community agencies. Please email me for more details! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Our Lives in Song
Finally, some of you may know that I do collaborative songwriting work with people who wish to document some aspect of their lives in song. Some of the songwriting projects I have worked on so far are: “Breast Cancer Pink,” “Phoenix,” “fYreflies,” which have been recorded and added to my website as free downloads. I have also completed two other song projects with other folks called “The Fuck You Song,” “Body Matters,” and “No Place Like Home” which are unrecorded to date but “Body Matters” will be on an upcoming album. If you or anyone you know would like to collaborate with me on a song, please check out this page on my website for more information about options, fees, and the process! http://www.katereid.net/our_lives_in_song
That is it from here. I am pet-sitting a very large, friendly dog and two quirky kitties at my sister’s little stone cottage for the next few days so I must go and entertain them for a bit.
Thank you for reading my newsletter and for your interest in my musical pursuits…it means more than you know. Here’s to a relaxing and fun-filled rest of the summer for all of us.