Gramma Reads With Royalty!

I didn’t wake until 10!! What??? The dreams that I had in the wee hours of morning were, again, of brother, but they were earlier dreams, back three months in the weeks at hospital, so less traumatic than recent dreams. That’s good, isn’t it? I poured out of bed and clicked my heels together! I had slept!! WHOOP! Whoop! But, QUICK! QUICK! This was the day that Gramma and Steven and Steven’s Mommy and Daddy were heading for the Seton Public Library, eager to enjoy the program, “Reading With Royalty”! The program would begin at eleven and there was still Max to get out and coffee to be had!

Program Description:

Reading With Royalty

Celebrate inclusion and diversity with our new glamorous family-friendly storytime program, led by local drag queen and king performers. Supported by ATB Financial.

Audience: All Ages – Ages up to 5

Gramma was picked up on a morning that felt oppressive, wet, chilly and grey! But how to turn a frown upside down? I was so happy to see my family and especially pleased to be sitting in the back seat with Steven who was nestled under his fuzzy blanket and constantly taking in his world through the windows, through the mirror and through the eyes of his Gramma. Together, we were about to be captivated by the magic of Seton.

Upon entry, the first piece of wonder was found in the huge YMCA swimming pool. What an amazing facility. Steven was in awe!

Gramma was captivated by the sculptural elements and a sense of flight throughout the facility! While I didn’t capture very strong images because of the back light and my lack of knowledge about the camera, I recommend to my readers that they take their own field trip to the venue and enjoy. Bird lovers, be surprised and fall in love with the themes.  Christopher Collins was the talented sculptor who created the birds.  I hope you will enjoy his imagery as they are so much more specific.

As we entered the Seton Public Library, we took in the aesthetic and the excitement first, but quickly discovered the helicopter!  The helicoptor carried on with the theme of flight, as did the suspended pinwheels.  What a glorious space and what a magical investigation for children who find these amazing flying machines in stories that they read!

It wasn’t long and we began to gather for the special event, “Reading With Royalty”.  There was excitement in the air!  The Seton Public Library offers graduated seating in amphitheater style for gatherings such as this one.

Not new to the Calgary Public Library children’s programming and Rhyme Time, our family nestled into a spot sandwiched between other grandmothers and their grandchildren and people who never miss Rhyme Time with their children.  Some were talking about the Fish Creek location…others, the Quarry Park location.  If you haven’t attended one of these programs, this Grandmother highly recommends! 

Today the MC was Tara and she did an amazing job!  My daughter and I were both moved by the land acknowledgement that was done, in such a way that children might understand.  We were prompted by verse to touch the land…as the acknowledgement was given and it was very special.  Tara then balanced the program of stories read by local Drag Performers and verses that were sung and acted out by the children.  This way the children were better able to pay attention to the two stories that were presented enthusiastically by L J Nailz and Oiliver Twirl.

Sending a link, here, to the kid’s book list that honours themes of inclusivity, creativity, acceptance and pride through the program, Reading With Royalty.

Oliver Twirl: drag performer and enthusiastic reader of the book, The Princess and the Pony

The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton is a story that naturally breaks down assumptions.  It explores that sometimes warriors just need cozy sweaters.  There were laughs that came up throughout the reading of this book, especially with the use of the word, ‘fart’.  What is toughness, anyway?  What does it mean to be a warrior?

Tara, MC on behalf of the Seton Public Library

L J Nailz reads Quit Calling Me Monster

 Quit Calling Me a Monster by Jory John and illustrated by Bob Shea supports children in their identities and their unique personalities.  It presses up against the act of labeling or naming.  It encourages ‘excellent manners’.

Steven is blessed to have this woman as his Mommy.

During the conclusion of the program, the performers were asked about their favourite music and what things they enjoy doing.  Oliver Twirl shared the fun of playing around with both masculine and feminine clothing.  Their favourite music included bubbly theater pieces and punk rock.  

To end, three large Dress Up trunks were brought out and children spent the next part of the morning playing dress up and pretending.  It was a great deal of fun although Steven, at his age, was just eager to do the stairs and to make his way back to the front seat of that helicopter!

Steven is blessed to have this guy as his Dad!

I am always impressed by the variety and the quality of programs offered by our Calgary Public Libraries.  It is with gratitude that we left today’s experience at Seton, feeling a part of a wonderful and diverse community here in Calgary.  Thank you so much to those who organized the program, booked the story book readers, pulled together the resources and covered these topics with finesse.  A very wonderful experience was had at Reading With Royalty!

Now, Gramma needs a nap!

Where I Live Now by Sharon Butala

It was 1996 when I received the gift of Perfection of the Morning from a friend.  Sharyn had grown to mean so much to me over the years, having taught my children and worked along side me for the strength of Fine Arts in Education.  Her gift was a blessing and I began to list Sharon Butala as one of my favourite authors.  I felt Butala’s work really move my life forward in positive and meaningful ways.  Interesting that yesterday, when I looked over my shoulder from the front of the crowded room at the Fish Creek CPL, I should see Sharyn sitting in the back row.

The book on the program for readings and discussion was Sharon Butala’s Where I Live Now.  I was flanked on either side by two dear friends, Pat on one side and Denise on the other.  I had never met the author and was beyond excited, packing up all of my books for Sharon’s generous signing before the session began.  Because Denise knows Sharon personally, it felt as though I was sitting down next to a friend when she sat in the front row, with my stack in front of her.

This short post is a snapshot of the afternoon, not so much a personal book review, although as I’ve written on this blog since 2005, there are posts along the way that were impacted by my readings of Butala’s books…one being Wild Stone Heart and Other Matters.

Art to Adore

The Globe and Mail review, written by Alix Hawley, eloquently expresses…

For all that, Where I Live Now isn’t a map of grief’s progress in the mode of Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking, to which it refers several times. Butala’s quiet and unusual book is an excavation of the Prairies, rural life and, above all, herself. She declares: “With this memoir, I hereby claim forever my portion of that country whose many layers … still resonate in my imagination.” She also claims an archeological knowledge of her own soul, now that she is in her mid-70s, and the right to take us through it. We’re lucky to go along.

And that is how I felt yesterday…blessed…enriched…treated to a very special moment on a Sunday afternoon.  Sharon’s eyes lit up as she enthusiastically described her experiences on the ranch, her memories, transitions and disappointments. In good humoured and delightful fashion, she talked about the prizes of writing and the surprises of writing. Vulnerable, she spoke of loneliness, identity, and hope.  The topics in discussion were ones that often cross my mind as a 62 year old woman, single in the world.

I think that one of my favourite moments, related to the book, was the recollection of the special day when Sharon edged the top of a ridge, to look down and see her husband, Peter, sleeping in the grass in one of the fields…I felt as though she had let us in to a very private and pivotal moment in her experience.  I felt very touched by that.

I enjoy the company of my friends and treasured conversations with Denise, Pat and Sharyn.  What a lovely way to spend Sunday afternoon.  Thanks again, CPL.

The Illegal by Lawrence Hill

A quick review. I was pretty excited to hear that Lawrence Hill was coming again to Calgary and some time after registering to attend his talk at the John Dutton Theater,  his new book, The Illegal, won the Canada Reads competition on CBC radio.  I was pretty stoked and headed out to the book shop to pick up my hard cover and get it read before his visit.

For the record, I have been a #1 fan of Lawrence Hill’s writing.  His Book of Negroes and Any Known Blood shook me to my core.  While I haven’t read Blood: The Stuff of Life, I have heard Mr. Hill address this title in a few different book talks and have really really enjoyed those as well.


From Goodreads…a brief summary.

Lawrence Hill spellbound readers with Someone Knows My Name(made into the television mini-series, The Book of Negroes), hailed as “transporting” (Entertainment Weekly) and “completely engrossing” (Washington Post). The Illegal is the gripping story of Keita Ali, a refugee—like the many in today’s headlines—compelled to leave his homeland.

All Keita has ever wanted to do is to run. Running means respect and wealth at home. His native Zantoroland, a fictionalized country whose tyrants are eerily familiar, turns out the fastest marathoners on earth. But after his journalist father is killed for his outspoken political views, Keita must flee to the wealthy nation of Freedom State—a country engaged in a crackdown on all undocumented people.

There, Keita becomes a part of the new underground. He learns what it means to live as an illegal: surfacing to earn cash prizes by running local races and assessing whether the people he meets will be kind or turn him in. As the authorities seek to arrest Keita, he strives to elude capture and ransom his sister, who has been kidnapped.

Set in an imagined country bearing a striking resemblance to our own, this tension-filled novel casts its eye on race, human potential, and what it means to belong.

The first problem, for me, came with the ‘imagined’ setting.  I think that I would have found the story more compelling had this narrative been more closely linked to a geographical truth.  This IS a very contemporary issue and is global in nature, but I would have felt the story to be more honest without the invention of ‘place’.

The characters were believable and interesting, but I felt there were too many of them telling this particular story.  I would have appreciated a more clear perspective on this writing.

For me, the most disappointing aspect of the book was its ending.  I felt that it came quickly and was resolved too perfectly.

Goodreads feedback seemed to be in line with what I was thinking…for me, this one was a disappointment.  In the end, every one should meet this author…a smart and entertaining man who is very sincere in his craft and is inspiring for his process.

Lawrence Hill

The Illegal

Thanks to the Calgary Public Library for hosting a wonderful event!  I’m always so proud of the work that the library does to promote literacy and engagement.  I’d like to see a return to the One Book: One Calgary events that we’ve enjoyed in the past.  It was really lovely that refreshing beverages and snacks were served!  Such amazing hospitality.  It was also nice to be together with my dear Ya Yas in culture.  A great night!  Pick up The Illegal, read it and let me know your thoughts.


Lawrence Hill Comes to the City of Calgary

Last weekend was intentionally scheduled around the One Book One Calgary event and the visit of the author, Lawrence Hill, to Calgary.  I was unable to attend his final talk on his most recent book, Blood: The Stuff of Life, but have caught up via the various pod casts available on line.  I hope that my readers will take the chance to listen/view these as I think they contain some real gems, especially for those who, like me, are in a determined search for their family connections.  I seem to be a descendent of a ‘powerful’ collection of people and through the toughest of times, no matter their story’s origin, they prevailed.

Lawrence Hill’s talks are not about slavery, but about the power of the human will and its forever-digging-out of the mire, in order to experience the light.  He also reminds us that in this contemporary world, slavery continues to exist, reminding us of the vast numbers of women and children who are used as slaves the world wide, for every sort of travesty including the sex trade.

I’m providing a link to the Massey Lectures and some of the resources here.

When I asked Lawrence Hill, at one of his book signings, if he might write the story of a character in my life, he delegated me that task instead, saying clearly…”This is your story to write.”  It was a quick but very ‘loaded’ conversation and I left the library that day feeling empowered somehow.

The weekend was a rich one filled with thought provoking lectures that turned out to be both entertaining and deeply moving.  The Calgary Public Library continues to provide programming developed around The Book of Negroes throughout the month of November.  I recommend that my readers look over the possible programs here.

P1140135 P1140138 P1140139Thank you to the Calgary Public Library for the amazing program that they offer and for the lovely opening reception in particular.  We are very fortunate here in Calgary.

Heritage Weekend at Calgary Public Library

Besides LOVING ART in CALGARY, I’m also very interested in history and so managed to get over to the Central Branch for their session on Calgary Stories in the John Dutton Theater.

A most entertaining session was delivered by three local historians.  Wowsah!

First, Historian Laureate, Harry Sanders, shared archival images Z-A and brief and entertaining snippets of our local history while he went.  Harry, your website isn’t current, but looking forward to reading content after construction ends.  For now, updates can be scanned via Mr. Sander’s twitter account.  His presentation was very entertaining and the public library promises that yesterday’s session will be taped for the purpose of viewing in future on Youtube.

Directly from Harry Sander’s website…this.

An historian from an early age . .

When he was a child, Harry Sanders found an old beat-up photo of the hotel his family owned and knew he wanted to find out more. That photo inspired Harry to research and write about the Whitehouse Hotel in Drumheller, Alberta and he has been writing ever since. Harry uses historic buildings as the catalyst to an exploration of the people and events that have shaped Calgary and Alberta history. He especially likes making obscure connections that others may not have noticed and relating current events to what has happened long before most of us were even born.

Harry has published articles in several magazines and is the author of 7 books on local history. He will have two new books published in 2012. As well as being a prolific author, Harry is also a popular public speaker.

Next, Harry Sanders introduced Historian, John Gilpin.  Now, with my interest in the river as metaphor for mostly everything I think and do, this talk fascinated me.  John Gilpin has authored several books, one being The Elbow: A River in the Life of the City.  The focus of yesterday’s talk was our history with flooding and the issues surrounding decisions on historical mitigation.  I took a couple of photographs in the dark…absolutely fascinating.  Visually, the projected images and the timeline for the building of the Glenmore Dam were of particular interest to me.  

P1130926 P1130927Fascinating that our city should have such a history around flooding.  Again, once the talk has been published, I will post it here…it was absolutely ‘spilling over’ with interesting fact and narrative.  John Gilpin is often involved with tours and talks and has participated in the Jane’s Walks events, an organization I hope to tap into this coming spring.

David Finch, dressed in his early oilman ‘get up’ was the last to speak and his focus was on the oil, natural gas and other related products as the industries developed in Turner Valley.  A charming speaker, this was another very informative and packed session.

I can not speak highly enough about the programs generated at the Calgary Public Library.  As I made my way to the theater, there was Artist-in-Residence, Lea Bucknell, busy with at least fifteen people of all ages, drawing and looking at books.  What a wonderful event!

A Library, Phil, Tim, Good Snacks & Lea Bucknell, Artist in Residence

P1130185I hopped on the train after Esker and Max and stopped at City Hall.  The CPL is right there on the opposite corner and as is always the story about the library, great things were happening last night.  An Artist in Residency program is under way!

Torn directly out of the social media event description…this…

The New Gallery has partnered with the Calgary Public Library to implement a special residency program. Beginning in the fall of 2013, this collaboration encourages social practices and public engagement. Lea Bucknell, the inaugural artist-in-residence, will be building a wooden structure, Graphite Mountain, at the Library’s Central Branch (616 Macleod Trail SE) to act as a place for public gathering and a venue for cartographic and drawing-based workshops.

Both poetic and playful, Graphite Mountain resembles an idealized mountain form and provides a unique and unexpected experience for library-goers. Clad in old wooden fence boards that have been cut and arranged to mimic mountain stratigraphy, the structure’s interior cavity becomes a studio for the artist during her residency. A curiosity in the library, this mountain environment collapses notions of picturesque landscapes and retreat spaces into one stand-alone structure.

I treasured conversation with former student, Tim Belliveau and his Bee-Kingdom buddy and mine, Phillip Bandura.  I also learned some new things from Lea’s talk and look forward to learning more about ‘the follies’ and participating in the various related workshops happening with the library during her residency.

P1130176 P1130186 P1130188 P1130189 P1130192 P1130194 P1130195 P1130196 P1130199 P1130201 P1130202 P1130205


Patrick Finn shared a talk at the Central Branch of the Calgary Public Library during the wind up of the One Book/One Calgary initiative this year…a study…an experience of The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasrisha.

P1080693I was the one laughing in the dark…that is, when I wasn’t spellbound by the concepts shared in the talk.  In the end…I was weeping in the dark and that was ok.  I had taken in his lecture, deeply. Everyone needs to receive these words.

His talk was framed around two books; Daniel Gilbert’s Stumbling on Happiness and Tal Ben-Shahar’s Happier.  Generously, Patrick has offered to send out his notes for the lecture, but below, I just want to jot some notes that might cause you to think about happiness differently.

1. Who do you love?
2. How can you nurture that?3. What are you good at?
4. Can you do more of it?
5. What do you do to extend your gifts?
6. What story is your most positive?
7. Which story is your most negative?
8. How can you take control of your stories?

Who is living a tragedy in your life?

Consider this post, a post in progress.  I want to continue to add content as I read about happiness.  And…happiness IS NOT contrary to living a godly life and being connected to the DIVINE.  Happiness is what has always been intended for us…’me thinks’.

One Book One Calgary: 2012

The selection for this year’s One Book One Calgary exploration in November is The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha.  This past week, I attended the launch of the event at the downtown branch of the Calgary Public Library and once again, felt so proud of and impressed by our public library programs.  It may seem to be an odd thing to do on a Friday evening, especially since our city is cooking with great events, but it turned out that my friend and I were the last to leave, apart from the participating artists, musicians and library volunteers.  This is sort of becoming the norm.  What a celebratory event!  Champagne was served along side catered appetizers… an art wall was bursting with colour under the direction of the Art Gallery of Calgary art educators…positive and friendly people were everywhere!  It was a delight, from beginning to end.

You can find the long list of programs and events that will be available to the public, related to the book, here.  I picked up my own copy of The Book of Awesome today.

I’ve always been a person to look for the ‘magic’ in ordinary things and I think that this is what Neil Pasricha is all about, as well.  (I was influenced in this way by the book, Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury, many years ago.  The protagonist, Douglas Spaulding, kept a special journal of such observations for an entire summer, the summer of 1923.  In the front of the journal, he would note the date and itemize each event that seemed particularly ordinary.  In the back of the journal, recorded under the same date, he would note what he had discovered about that ‘ordinary’ experience or observation.  In this way, his summer became ‘magical’ and filled with rites, ceremonies and revelations.)  This way of thinking has the potential to shift the consciousness of individuals and communities because simple pleasures are elevated, not because of some miracle, but because of a keener awareness.

This past Saturday, I invited a group of amazing women to celebrate good conversation, yummy wine and all sorts of food! These are all such smart, funny and inspiring women, that I will always hold high regard for them and I’m so happy that they are in my life. It was such a ‘magical’ evening and it would be classed, for me, as one of those awesome moments I am trying to communicate here.  Several times through the evening, I was quiet and just sat back…looked around…and felt grateful as I listened to laughter and smelled such rich and interesting food.  One of the YaYas brought me a bouquet of flowers and tonight I have tried to capture some of what makes them AWESOME in my collection of photographs.  Thank you to Joni, Denise, Monica, Elena, Jen, Rita and Margy.  You are treasures to me.

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One Book One Calgary

This past November, the Calgary Public Library provided the city with a beautiful initiative, One Book One Calgary; talks, discussion groups and events around the book, The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway.  An excellent guide has been provided by the Public Library, with questions and contextual information.  I attended a couple of the events and was excited to hear, in panel; Steven Galloway, Author, Heather Slater, Director, Artistic Operations, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, and Michael Green, Curator and Creative Producer of Calgary 2012 as they explored, along with us, the role of Arts in Society.  An excellent session that ended abruptly, as if on cue, with a four-truck fire alarm. :0)

I am inspired by the story of the Cellist of Sarajevo,  Vedran Smailović.

Regarding the book, we are cautioned as readers of fiction rooted in true world events, that there is a potential for misunderstanding/misinterpretation and that for the most part, the reader needs to take responsibility to inform themselves and to read other books, both fiction and non-fiction, that might give light to historical events and the impact those events had/have upon the ‘real-time’ characters in the situation.  The Cellist of Sarajevo is another such-book.  The essay by Walter Trkla supposes that Steven Galloway does not care.  I think that this may not necessarily be true…but certainly, when writing about someone else’s history, it is a supposition that can be taken.  I’m not certain that Walter Trkla and Steven Galloway have been in conversation.

“In The Cellist of Sarajevo, the uninformed reader is not able to separate fact from fiction. One might assume Galloway does not know, nor does he care, if the reader knows the facts, since for most people in the West, including Galloway, our news is derived from media manipulation of events. As Galloway himself states, one of the people he interviewed, “Nenad Velicaovic, a Bosnian writer, shouted at him one day telling him to ‘Go home and write about Canada’. ‘You know nothing about Sarajevo.’ And he was right.” Galloway does not join the history of Sarajevo, he runs from it and in the end fabricates it. Galloway’s novel and its historical backdrop are manipulated writing that brings into question his main message on the impact of war on the individual.”

Vedran Smailović

I’m thinking of other writing based on history…closer to home, the stereotypical “Cowboy and Indian” stories.  I would not be too far off to state that, the viewpoint of the settlers of the west and those of the First Nations inhabitants of the day, would see these adventures of the west in a completely different light.  I would also guess that the writer had NO first hand experience of the west, when taking the plunge to write about it.  I think that it’s really important that we all educate ourselves about what is going on in the world so that we can be discerning readers.

Recently, I read The Wars by Timothy Findley.  I know from much of my recent research that Findley successfully coloured the events of 1916 and based his fiction on truth.

As a result of the One Book One Calgary initiative, I was prompted by a friend to enter the Art for Peace contest, with three different age categories.  Just today, I was notified that I am one of the winners, whose name was drawn for a prize,  and can’t be more thrilled!  Support your public library…it is more than a quiet place for research and silent reading…these days, a library is so much more!

PechaKucha: Reclaim

Last evening I attended my very first PechaKucha on the theme, ReclaimIt is interesting that it was also the tenth anniversary of the PechaKucha in Calgary, sponsored by Calgary Arts Development.   Pecha Kucha is described in detail here

“PechaKucha Night was devised in Tokyo in February 2003 as an event for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public.

It has turned into a massive celebration, with events happening in hundreds of cities around the world, inspiring creatives worldwide. Drawing its name from the Japanese term for the sound of conversation (“chit chat”), it rests on a presentation format that is based on a simple idea: 20 images x 20 seconds. It’s a format that makes presentations concise, and keeps things moving at a rapid pace.”

I’m going to include a short synopsis of the ten contributors to this year’s ‘chit chat’.

1. Kris Vester – Slow Food 
A speedy, but important talk about our food.  I thought about this wordpress chick as I listened and viewed the slides in the dark…she inspires me and even though I am a suburbanite in a sprawling city, I have food growing in my back yard and I am canning and I delight in all of it.  Thank you, Kris.

2. Lorna Crowshoe: Aboriginal Issues Strategist, Social Policy and Planning, City of Calgary
This presentation was the only one that left me weeping. It was a beautiful story of Lorna’s family and her people, supported by archival images from the Glenbow and other sources, of our place along the Elbow and Bow Rivers.  There was such an eloquent and powerful message delivered about the culture of our city.  I appreciated the message so much!  Here, on a shelf beside me, are books I have read about the great chiefs of our province.  As Lorna completed her talk, she dedicated her thoughts and stories to the chiefs at the signing of Treaty Seven.  She projected a black and white image of these great men.  It was at that moment, the tears flowed.

Chief Crowfoot: Blackfoot Nation

3. Gene Poole: Founder of the Calgary Cassette Preservation Society
Ok, so, visit the blogspot link above for the jist of Gene’s talk…pure entertainment…a burst of energy and something that we can all relate with, the life with our former cassette tapes.  I encourage any of my readers who are interested, to forward your cassettes to Gene.  And yes, the audience did break into a bit of a giggle at the introductions.  His name is a unique one!

4. Brian Johns: Wildlife Biologist retired from WCAA after 35 years of service.
This was the only ‘chit chat’ participant who caused me to write notes!  With my interest in endangered species, I was completely captivated by this quick introduction to the demise and struggle of the Whooping Crane.  It is to this beautiful bird, that Brian now invests his energy; intellectually, physically and spiritually.  I learned much about the recovery project, beginning with the migration of the Whooping Crane from Wood Buffalo National Park to Aransas National Park  on the Gulf Coast of Texas.  Beautiful birds, when left on their own, known for their longevity and for their connection with their mate for a lifetime.  In early May the couple’s call is made in unison and is a call, not only of the ritual of mating, but of hope for the species.  Typically, there is the possibility of two eggs for each couple of birds, with the likelihood that only one of the chicks will survive the obstacles of nature and industrial development.  Given their survival, the chicks will migrate with their parents in September.  I will continue to learn about the challenges of the whooping crane and educate myself about the captive breeding programs that are taking place.  Some of the biggest challenges to the population’s natural migration routes are overhead power lines, housing interference in Texas and of course the fact that birds bred in captivity have no natural sense of migration.

5. Ben Millen: Board of Directors of the New Gallery and the John Snow House
This talk was just revealing about another positive venue that is open to pure potential in the City of Calgary.  As Ben was speaking, I was thinking about the ‘possibility’ for my daughter of a performance piece to be performed in the John Snow House.  John Snow once held her hand as they, together, walked through the Canadian Art Galleries viewing a retrospective show.  He took the time to send her a litho print and personal letter, archives that I still hang on to for her enjoyment one day.  I think that the John Snow House is an obvious fit.  I need to speak to her about this!

6. Kathleen Bell: Depression/Eating disorders, Communication Officer Calgary Counselling Service.
This was an eloquent presentation given regarding the Break the Silence/Stop the Violence initiative in Calgary.  Imagery was used to enhance the listeners experience and to convey the message that helping one individual at a time is important.  She did this through a refreshing delivery of The Starfish Story.  Excellent!

7. Sonny Tomic: Manager, Centre City Planning and Implementation City of Calgary
While I think that Tomic’s intent was to speak of the ‘Spirit of Place’ and the Tao Principle, his narrative became slightly unhitched as he mentioned that his slide presentation was the wrong one.  Hmmm….None-the-less, he was able to think on his feet and the presentation was entertaining, at the very least.  There were some awesome slides of proposed international projects in architecture and ones that were seen through to fruition.

8. Jesse Moffatt: Manager of Collections and Artifact Care Cantos Music Foundation
Awesome!  Who would have known?  Cantos Music Foundation is doing amazing stuff! 

Cantos Music Foundation

9. Dr. Roger Saint-Fort: Associate Prof and Chair Mount Royal Environmental Science
I guess this presentation was the most disappointing.  While the focus, as introduced by Dr. Saint-Fort, was to be on water purification technologies and how they will benefit Haiti, the slides were somewhat disjointed.  This is a topic that really interests me and I would have really enjoyed more coherence and focus.

10.  Mike Morrison: Blogger and Writer
This ‘chit chat’ certainly was entertaining, and for me, as a blogger and writer, an encouraging presentation as well.  Generating fascinating posts on his blog, Mike’s Bloggity Blog, Mike had the entire auditorium in fits of laughter.  I am glad for his success and I certainly feel more ‘hopeful’ about the potential of this medium as a relevant communicator in today’s world.