Hello from wonderful Winnipeg – my favourite place to come home to. Here’s what you missed from the rest of the Renegade Release Tour (Ontario edition) with Claire Bestland.
Did I mention how great it is to have family and friends on the road? Well it begs to be mentioned again. Before we sent ourselves off to Peterborough, we were treated to a super awesome family dinner in Newmarket. Any home cooking is the best thing ever while travelling, but being in the midst of great company is luxurious.
The Garnet in Peterborough is a lovely place where flakes are welcome and folks are oh so supportive and encouraging of music and musicians. Before the show, we had an amazing dinner at Hot Belly Mama’s in our own cool private booth. The food is delicious and the people and atmosphere are just great. If you’re ever in the area, do yourself a favour and eat here!
The next morning, we headed off to play the last event of the tour at Ottawa’s Rainbow Bistro. What an awesome, historic venue with great staff and good friends. The thought of making music here with my whole band in the future makes me drool. Ottawa’s bridges over water, parks and nature were all more beautiful than I can describe.
The next day I hit my energy “reset” button by attending a Tai Chi class in Ottawa. And not just any Tai Chi class, one with a great instructor who once knew Fung Loy Kok’s founder – Master Moy. Great words were spoken and received and tremendous energy moved by some fantastic members I thoroughly enjoyed meeting. Ever wanted to try Tai Chi? There are classes all over the world; I highly recommend checking it out. (taoist.org)
That eve, we visited Ottawa’s National Art Gallery with some friends and enjoyed returning home a bit earlier than had been the norm for the rest of the tour.
Claire’s cousins (who had opened up their home to us) were so generous and kind. One of them even decided to serenade us with French folk songs late into the night while we enjoyed being audience members and having some celebratory end-of-tour beverages and big laughs.
We had a beautiful drive from Ottawa to Newmarket, staying far from Toronto traffic and choosing to instead stick to side roads and highways with a better view. It was an awesome way to say goodbye to Ontario, along with one last game of pool in Newmarket.
Overall, it has been a great year. I went on four separate musical excursions and performed in more than twenty individual locations, visiting several places multiple times! I did Tai Chi in Regina, Newmarket and Ottawa. I visited some truly gorgeous places. I shared the Renegade album and companion book with so much of Canada and could not have made it happen without the help of some truly wonderful people. The list is long, but I must at least send heaps of gratitude to my family, friends, Keith, Claire, venues, promoters, sound techs, home openers and all the amazing people I’ve met on the road. Thanks to all the community organizations I work with locally and to those I’ve met in other Cities. I would not be doing what I’m doing without all of you!
There is a Buddhist saying: “The mind is everything. What you think, you become.” I’ve lived these words for many years now, but they’ve never rang so true in my mind. This year I became more of a Renegade than ever before; assessing the tools within my own hands and choosing to create something new with them, in a world that would so often prefer I make something else. And for this tour, I was able to do so along with a fellow Renegade, Claire Bestland. (Please check out her music and videos to see a truly authentic rockstar artist in action.)
When I came home this time around, the print edition of The Manitoban had a glowing review for this new project of mine that made my heart sing. You can read it online HERE.
2015 has been a wonderful beginning to a season of sharing my art with as much of the world as possible. I can’t wait to see what awesomeness 2016 will bring!
Thanks for listening. There is so much more to come…