The Arts in a Pandemic

Well. Wow. Yep. Things are sure different now! This time last year it would have been the happy chaos of planning and packing for all the camps, workshops, festivals and shows that would be just about to ramp into high gear. This year, in fact, would have been the most busy work schedule of my life to date, and then the covid hits, and every single one of those jobs no longer exists. I will miss all those wonderful people who also are out of those jobs. As musicians and event organizers, we all find ourselves looking for ways to keep the arts going somehow, and many of us are finding new ways to function creatively (even if sources of funding are difficult to figure out) One bright spot is that we seem to be creating! I’ve finally had some time to write music, working on my teaching books, learning more tech so I can create music videos, making friends with Zoom, experimenting in our recording studio…..and having a blast cooking complicated recipes with my kid in the kitchen! My next plan is to see how many pop-up, covid friendly outdoor gigs I can find…my first gig in three months was at Tractorgrease in Chilliwack, MAN it felt amazing to play again! Jeff Bonner at Tractorgrease is doing a marvelous job with his outdoor stage, several 20 X 20 tents, limited spaced seating, and is doing two separate shows a night so that after the first show, those folks head home, they sanitize the tables and chairs, and then the second show starts an hour later with a different audience. Innovative, and it keeps live music going responsibly. Good job Jeff! Just starting to put feelers out for other outdoor work now, will see how it goes! Some updates on the bands include a name change for Tony O’Hara’s and my duo, formerly known as “Boilie’s Goat” …we are now called “Strong Bow & Wry” after a Facebook contest to rename us. Head to Facebook and check out our new page, and see a couple of new live videos of our tunes! We are available for duo and trio work (the fabulous John Welsh can join in too!) for outdoor shows! There’s also Ari Neufeld, Roads Unknown, Murphy’s Lagh, Pat Chessel, Boris Sichon available for outdoor gigs too, I’m privileged to work with them as their fiddle player! Also check out my new video “Pacing Momentum” on Youtube…I composed it to create a moment of calm for anyone needing a small break from the stresses of our world. We have to take it all a day at a time, my friends!

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