Dear Diary: October 30, 2011

Sunday October 30
Dear Diary:

What a great day! Oh boy. Had an amazing rehearsal with His Honour Steven Point, learning one of his songs which we will perform together at the Carnegie Volunteer Christmas Supper in December. Then had our Carnegie Jazz Band gig to a full packed house of jazz fans.  This is my church.

And if that wasn’t enough. The artists at the Aboriginal Artist Showcase blew me away. Such depth. Power. Commitment. Spoken from the heart.  So great to see our DTES own Muriel ‘X’ Williams up there with her powerful poem: I love the Downtown Eastside community because of its beauty and its strength, its refusal to SHUT UP and its insistence upon justice.”

~ Terry

    Dear Diary: October 29, 2011

    Saturday October 29
    Dear Diary:

    What a screwy wonderful day. Had a completely wacky morning complete with miscommunication. Missed the Carnegie Jazz Band rehearsal as I had understood it started at 12:30. Alas it was 11:30. A little hair raising as tomorrow we play our big gig – with guest Dal Richards – for His Honour Steven Point.

    Then off to the Aboriginal Friendship Centre to see the film The Squaw Hall Project: A Community Remembers (urban ink/Twin Fish) and to meet the three young native (Chilcotin) woman who worked with these two wonderful companies to produce this film. So inspiring to see the work that Rosemary Georgeson, Nicola Harwood and the other artists from these two companies did together with the folks with Williams Lake area. And such a pleasure to help out to bring these three young woman – and their supporter Sage Birchwater – to Vancouver to show their work.  Youth learning from elders. Elders passing on knowledge, history and wisdom.

    Exhausted at the end of the day. Slept nine hours.

    ~ Terry

      Dear Diary: October 28, 2011

      Friday October 28
      Dear Diary:

      Another stressful morning.  Up dark and early to prepare for the day, especially an afternoon rehearsal of songs from We Are the People, which we are presenting on Monday night at the CUPE national convention.  Too much on my plate, including preparing all the contracts for the folks in the CUPE gig. But saved by Savannah Tennessee who kindly took over hosting a walk I was supposed to do.

      Got to the 2pm rehearsal at the Canadian Memorial Church with a very talented group of 10 DTES and pro musicians we have brought together to do the gig, led by the amazing Neil Weisensel.  It was so great to listen to the group rehearse, to relax,  and to do some yoga while the group practiced. They sounded fantastic. I was blown away, yet again, by the depth and power of the songs that are coming out of our community. And the talent of people from our community: Mike Richter, Gena Thompson, Robyn Livingstone, Andy Kostynuik and Rosanne Gervais. Really looking forward to this gig.

      Despite my trepidations about doing this gig in the middle of our festival, I am now very glad to have made the choice to take it on.

      ~ Terry

       

        Dear Diary: October 27, 2011

        Thursday October 27

        Dear Diary:

        A day without a single meeting on my plate (stunning surprise) except to meet with Khari McLelland and Savannah at the Ovaltine at 8am and to go over some ideas for internship with Khari. We are cooking up with Khari some great ideas around community, food, youth and rap. Really looking forward to seeing what arises from these seeds we will be planting with Khari.

        Boy, did the pressure cooker head up the afternoon when I realized I had a ton of things that needed to get ready for Friday and the weekend’s Carnegie Jazz Band and Aboriginal Artist Showcase. Also tomorrow we start rehearsals on songs from We Are the People which we will present at the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) national convention on Monday night in front of hundreds of folks at the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre. It was totally crazy to take on this event in the middle of the festival, but it was too great an opportunity to pass up: to share – on a national stage – the extraordinary music and lyrics that are coming out of our community through the works of folks like Leith Harris, Wendy Chew, Patrick Foley, Earle Peach, Jason Logan, Mike Richter and others. Boy these people inspire me.  A good thing, as I can feel a cold coming on. Breathe.

        ~ Terry