Saturday January 31, 2015
West Vancouver, BC
Sunday February 01, 2015
Sidney, BC
Sunday March 01, 2015
Qualicum Beach, BC
2014-12-22// Another Year, Another Festivus

Welcome to the season of giving and procrastination!

Is it just me or does do the years seem to cycle far more quickly now than they used to? Didn't we just have Christmas a few months ago? I have SO MUCH to do still in the next 25 years, I'd really appreciate it if they'd slow down a little so I'd have time to get to it all!

I know there's many of you who are receiving my newsletter for the first time, and as promised, they don't come very often! Welcome to Shari's chatty world of the Almost Interesting; Self Serving News; and Annoying Motherly Advice.

First of all I want to send end-of-the-year sincere thank you to all the hosts and presenters who made it possible for me to come to your communities this year... and on behalf of your neighbours, for bringing music to your communities. Thank you for the providing the audience, the great food, the comfy bed, and for sharing your stories with me. It has made my life in music an endlessly fascinating adventure. Along with so many other artists, I am unfathomably grateful.

What a year!

Okay, a little shameless pride here (see points 1 and 2 above).
"Everywhere I Go" garnered the Songwriter of the Year award at this year's Canadian Folk Music Awards. I share that honour with daughter Julia (though I'm keeping the statue!) considering the album never would have been made without her push for me to write it and her engineering and production skills. It's been a mere 32 years since my work has been acknowledged in this manner - since those days of Junos and WCMA's. Back then I really hadn't yet paid my dues and didn't appreciate it like I do NOW! And I REALLY do now. The nomination for Artist of the Year was also wonderful to receive.

(I was genuinely not expecting to win and woefully unprepared to give a suitable acceptance speech (a rare moment to find me speechless). I relentlessly regretted the lost opportunity to say what I would have liked to have said so I am exploiting you to help assuage my regret by writing some of the things I WISHED I'd said!)

And now more icing with the album showing up on several top 10 lists for 2014. Wow. Way to go Jules!

On top of that, the High Bar Gang picked up the award for Vocal Ensemble of the Year. Also delightfully affirming for the band - particularly Colin Nairne whose vision made the HBG come to life.

I, plus The High Bar Gang, and BTU with Barney and Tom, will all be recording new albums next year. Being someone who seems to require a serious deadline, Julia just gave me one for April for the solo album, so, let the grinding pressure to be creative begin!

For you west coast writers, Bill Henderson and I are co-chairing the new Songwriting department at the VSO School of Music. What does that mean? Well, to start with, in the new year we will be offering one on one songwriting sessions. There is also a series of three songwriter circles next term. Learn more about those HERE. You can find out more and register for either by calling Scott Jeffrey at 604-915-9300 ext. 111.

I know there was SO much more I wanted to tell you... you're like the good friend I'm perennially on my way to visit and continually thinking...oh, I can't WAIT to tell them about that! And then once we're together it all escapes me.

Okay, on to number 3 then:
This season is so many things to everyone. Bypassing the religious significance, the irony of Holy Wars, and the frenzied consumerism... for some this will be the first Christmas without a spouse, a sibling, a parent, a grandchild, a child or a dear friend. Or for some it's the first Christmas that a loved one has lost the ability to remember a lifetime of previous holidays. Losses can make this time of year so bittersweet. Be extra kind to yourself. Or call someone you know has lost a loved one this year and let them know you're thinking of them.

It's also a season to be grateful for having food, a warm place to sleep, and a family of loved ones, no matter how complicated our relationships. So be good to each other and try not to let Aunt Doris' shrill voice drive you insane or Uncle George's repeated complaints about the turkey being too dry make you want to suggest he take his 6 pack of tube socks and go home.

I will be busy figuring out how the hell to make my classic turkey dinner without meat, butter or eggs for the vegan "kids".
Saving the world, one turkey at a time.

Thanks for spending the time reading and please stay in touch!

Very Merry to you,

Shari
Canada Council for the Arts