The Bach Music Festival of Canada team continued to do what it came to the 2012 JUNOs Awards to do – celebrate the efforts of Canadian contemporary Classical musicians and to introduce the Festival to the nation’s best. 

To say we accomplished this, may be a bit of an understatement. For sheer enthusiasm, warmth and generousity of spirit the Bach Festival  left an indelible impression with everyone we met.

Tara Rintoul and Robert Wouda, former Gerald Fagan Singers members now living in Ottawa, joined us for the day’s events introducing us to some JUNO Nominated Ottawa musicians, including Stretch Orchestra, who won in their category!

The following photos tell the story much better than I could – and as the days progress we will continue to upload with anecdotes, escapades. Below we are seen with members of the industry.

I can say without a doubt that the Bach Festival did Exeter Ontario proud, London Ontario proud, the sponsors and supporters of the Festival proud, and truly laid the groundwork for the 2013 Festival!

The next morning we met for breakfast before the Board left me to my JUNO devices (!). Some moments we agreed “What happens at the JUNOs stays at the JUNOs!” but for the rest of those moments, we look forward to sharing with you in the coming weeks!

The Bach Festival has been anticipating our participation in the Classical Music Showcase of the 2012 JUNO Awards! And now, we are here to lend our support and immense cheerleading skills to the promotion of contemporary classical music in Canada. The National Arts Centre was the perfect venue for the Showcase that featured some of the JUNO Nominees in the Classical Music categories. 

Hosted by Paul Wells from MacLean’s, a full house at the Classical Music Showcase set the tone for the weekend events at the JUNOs! The audience was treated to performances by:

Christine Petrowska Quilico piano

Derek Charke composer

Susan Hoeppner flute

Heather Schmidt piano

New Orford String Quartet

After the performances we had a chance to meet the artists as well as some of the audience members and supporters at the reception.

 

Here is Board Member Heather Moffatt with  JUNO Nominee Heather Schmidt

 

 

 

 

Nominees Susan Hoeppner & Derek Charke with Derek’s fantastic wife!

 

 

 

Friedhelm, Gerry, Susan and Paul

 

 

 

 

The New Orford String Quartet – JUNO Nominees!

 

 

 

 

 

Cathy Seip with Bach friends!

 

 

 

 

Ellen Shapiro with Melissa Nisbett from Tree Canada

 

 

Full of excitement about the success of the Showcase, we head to the Official Welcome Reception of the 2012 JUNO Awards! I think it’s fair to say, the Showcase was a warm-up and we were on our best behaviour… (Wait til you see some of the photos from this next event!)

With Oscar in Ottawa!

What an exciting time to be in Ottawa Canada for the 2012 JUNO Awards!

Artistic Director Gerald Fagan and I arrived by VIA train, the Official Train of the JUNOs, Friday evening, in time to check into the Lord Elgin Hotel, one of the Official Hotels of the JUNOs ( are you noticing a trend here?) and the JUNO excitement is everywhere. The train ride from London to Ottawa was very exciting – Gerry studied his music for the April 6th Good Friday Concert in London. The entire trip. I’m not kidding. Except for when he took a break to eat a peanut butter sandwich. Don’t believe me? Check these photos out for proof!

Here he is waiting for the Toronto connection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And once on the train again, out comes the music.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing like a peanut butter sandwich!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upon arriving in Ottawa the JUNOs were there to welcome us!

Here is a picture of Gerry! 

After taking this picture of me, saying that I should be sure to have my picture in our JUNO diary, Gerry took this one and declared ‘perfect!’. Hmmmm…. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our fantastic Board of Directors is joining the festivities as well. Board Member Paul Ciufo arrived Friday night and met us for a late dinner at the Lord Elgin, one of the official Hotels of the JUNOs. Our waiter very kindly captured this shot.

He seemed somewhat nonplussed about our Official Status at the Junos importance. Luckily, the banana bread pudding with nutmeg ice cream by Chef Michael Smith was a balm to our hurt egos. Sigh.

Not to be upstaged, a van of the Bach Music Festival of Canada Board Members left Exeter Ontario at 4:30am to arrive in Ottawa for our Classical Music Showcase, an Official event of the JUNOs! which is at 3:30pm at the National Arts Centre.

Friedhelm Hoffmann, Heather Moffatt, Cathy Seip, Ellen Shapiro and Jean Jacobe along with Paul and Wayne Deluca and Janet Heerema are the most extraordinary Board of Directors that any organization would be so proud to be associated with. What an effort for each to make, to support the Festival as well as the efforts of Canadian contemporary classical musicians! We will miss Board members Janet Heerema and  Wayne DeLuca’s presence here – but he is cheering us from away!

This is just the beginning! More posts to come today and through the weekend. Thank you for joining us on this amazing journey! Louise Fagan, Executive Producer Bach Festival

What an incredible year this is turning out to be for the Bach Music Festival of Canada. I am extremely delighted to announce that the Festival is going to the 2012 JUNO Awards in Ottawa Canada! We are delighted to be partners with the the Canadian Music Centre, the National Arts Centre, as well as the major record labels in presenting the Classical Music Showcase. Friday March 30th, the official Opening Day of the JUNO Awards, with a 3:30pm Showcase scheduled at the National Arts Centre!

  Throughout the entire weekend, I will be blogging of the experience – the Classical Music Showcase, the Official Welcoming Reception, the JUNO Gala Dinner and Awards Night, and the Scotiabank Place live Broadcast event called the Red Carpet at the JUNOS hosted by William Shatner. The blog will appear here, as well as on facebook and through numerous media outlets including the Exeter Times Advocate and the Beat Magazine.

Will you be in Ottawa? If so, please join the Bach Music Festival of Canada Board of Directors, Artistic Director Gerald Fagan and myself, as we join in the celebration of the Classical Music industry in Canada at the Classical Music Showcase.  If you are not in Ottawa this weekend, then join us through this site and others, to share the experience. See you at the JUNOS!

Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith’ (Margaret Shepherd).  Six months ago when the seemingly far off time of my children leaving home to pursue their big bold lives actually arrived, the exciting next phases of my big bold life were revealed. Work, life, relationships, travel… Following the paths of possibility meant giving up my grounding to jump into the unknown in much the same way I was encouraging my university aged kids to.

In what seemed to many an extreme series of decisions, I gave up my residence, packed my life into storage and bought  plane, train, and bus tickets that took me to locales across North America. The idea of being so free of stuff made me giddy! Keeping my laptop always within reach I was able to work from (almost) anywhere, although not always with the gracefulness I would have liked.  Truthfully, the first week was hell. I was uneasy, nervous, a tad nauseous, as I tried not to fret about how this new phase was going to unfold. The second week was incredible – lighter, clearer, slightly more trusting, it was surprising how accustomed I was becoming to the reality of being untethered.

Since I was unsure as to what my final destination was, I had absolutely no idea how I was going to find it and then get there. Sure the travel tickets meant I was constantly ‘on the go’ but was I actually headed somewhere? What I did know was that by staying where I was I wasn’t going anywhere. So, I leapt. I held tight to the thin bumper of my faith in myself, and went for it… Crazy!

Not surprising, a few realizations have surfaced along this journey.  It turns out that my leap wasn’t without many nets as encouraging friends were prepared to help me land wherever that turned out to be. I don’t know if I would have truly realized the extensive network of love I have around me, if I had not stepped out of my comfort zone. Work continues as it alway has, only richer from the advantage of looking through new perspectives. What a gift – I wish this experience for everyone.

The most unexpected result has been the new found trust in myself. Turns out that a) you can’t trust everyone, and that’s not your fault; b) you can trust yourself and that is your fault; c) if you are prepared to truly believe in yourself, to be mindful of the lessons you have learned, to acknowledge that ultimately the only control you have comes down to how you handle the moments of your life as they unfold, then having a life comprised of leaps of faith is not only viable, it may be all you need.

I am delighted and excited to share the news that Canadian author Andrea Nair has just this week, released the revised edition of her hit novel stripped down running. Andrea and I worked on this latest edition last year, and now after the tweaks, final proofs, re-vamping, this newest version is available on-line as an E-Book.  Visit Andrea’s site for a peak and an inexpensive preview download price of only $5! www.andreanair.com (The paperback version will be available in late Spring).

While doing research for her Master’s degree, Andrea felt compelled to write a real-life story of resiliency where the reader could both relate to and be inspired by the main character’s journey. The result is this story of Hannah, a woman who seemingly has everything yet finds herself on a path of self-destruction that reveals an inner turmoil that threatens to destroy all she has and is. You will be drawn into Hannah’s story as stripped down running takes the reader on a journey of self-discovery and ultimately personal acceptance.

The official Canadian Launch of the paperback and E-Book will be in April 2012; the New York Launch will be in the later spring. Check back here for more details – and I will be sure to announce on all the social media options at my disposal!

 The root of the word ‘Courage’ is the latin ‘Cor’ meaning ‘heart’. Even Dorothy, in that terrifyingly unfamiliar place somewhere over the rainbow, knew that deep in the heart of the Cowardly Lion lay courage.

I have been watching with wonder these past few weeks, as a collective energy of progress, decisions, outcomes has overtaken many of my friends and colleagues. Have you felt it? This is more than the delicious outcome of dedicated work or the begrudging realization that we are the catalysts of personal change. Each has made a courageous choice to stand and live in the truth that is their life. By doing so, by giving themselves permission to acknowledge what they want & who they are, by firmly standing in this honest place they open the possibility for their greatest potential! Writers acknowledging ‘I have something worthwhile to say’; Singers/Songwriters believing their music is going to find an even wider audience; Friends committing to decisions that will drastically alter their lives; realize indeed the best is then yet to come…

I believe that to be able to tell your story of who you are with your whole heart, is the ultimate definition of Courage. Standing in our truths can seem difficult, almost impossible, when we feel responsibilities and obligations to colleagues, friends and loved ones. It has been, at times, for me. Yet I am reminded, somewhere over the rainbow in a place that beckons which is unfamiliar, scary, exciting and irresistable, when I find enough courage to stand in my truth, I will be more rooted then ever, strong enough to face the wondrous potential ahead of me. Heart in my hand, story in my song, feet firmly planted in my truth, ready to launch into my next leap of faith!

This photo is my son Nate, courageously launching himself into an abyss of unknown, trusting that wherever he lands he will have the strength to face it!

My recent collaboration with Canadian author Susan Swan has reminded me of the importance of conversation in all stages of creativity – and frankly, in life! Susan and I sat down one snowy February afternoon, to videotape a series of scripted pod casts discussing her process as a writer; what transpired was the most delicious conversation that went ‘off book’ (as we say in this ‘business we call show’ – thank you Deb Filler for that quote!). The path we set out for ourselves, the expectations we have for how that path will unfold, the assumptions we have about where we will end up, are so much better served when tossed into the compost pile! Creativity seeded with the true intention to grow then blossom in its most natural and profound beauty should be the only expectation. Sure, this needs to be managed, with the wisdom we’ve gained from our experiences and the knowledge we bring to the choices we make along the way. But to determine early on that the end result is rooted in a fixed manner, in my experience has discounted the extraordinary possibilities that will arise. Fear of this unknown, which is also about trusting oneself, has certainly seen me holding on for dear life to a result I thought was the only positive outcome. When I released that old intention from my white knuckled grip, the most incredible things happened – experiences occured that I could not have imagined! Because what I saw down that long path, was based on a familiar conversation with myself. Talking, sharing, listening – communicating! In every aspect of my life, not just my creative pursuits, when I trust in myself and those I love; when I am brave enough to both share and listen; this is when all that I imagine for my work, my life, my future, are revealed in the most extraordinary and exhilarating ways! It never fails.  The magic of discovery is profound! Have you had a similar experience? What are your white knuckle triggers? I’d like to share in that conversation with you! And in the spirit of sharing, here is a link to the conversational pod casts with Susan Swan – 3 have been uploaded (see  Podcast #3 link below) the rest to be shared in the coming weeks. And I encourage you to visit Susan’s website at www.susanswanonline.com!

Thank you for dropping by. I am looking forward to sharing ideas, projects, and conversations that involve fantastic creativity.

The staggering amount of creative conversation that is swirling around the social media airwaves is inspiring, and I don’t want to miss out. There is alot going on with my work that I am eager to tell you about and I want to know what you’re up to. So drop me a note, spend some time perusing this site to see what I’ve been up to, and come back often, as there will be some exciting news to share in the coming weeks.

Looking forward to getting to know you better!