Wow!! Its hard to believe that July is almost over. Soon I will be returning home to Vancouver and the tour will be coming to a close. I have one last show in Regina (I’m currently staying in Regina at the moment) this Saturday night at the Cathedral Freehouse. Soon it will be time to go back to work, school and life as I know it.
I would love to share some highlights of the tour as well as somethings that were challenging. First off it has been a great experience taking the train across Canada and seeing the country. One city I really enjoyed was Toronto. Toronto has one of the best music scenes in Canada. There are several places for musicians to perform at. I got to perform at The Central, The Painted Lady and the Tranzac club. I really enjoyed sharing a show with my friend Caroline Chojnacki aka Lovely Caro. She is working really hard on her own music and getting her name out there. After our show at the Central, Caroline took me to the Painted Lady where I got to perform with a full band. I performed my songs “Free Child” and “Words Can’t Express.” Playing with the band really helped my songs to come to life. That night, between performing at the Central and the Painted Lady, I met several people in the Toronto music scene. It made me wish that I had more time to be in Toronto and get to know the scene. My five short days were only just a taste.
Another highlight of the tour was when I performed at Cafe Shaika in Montreal. I met this man who has traveled in India for 5 months. He really enjoyed the music and bought some of my merch. Making these small connections along the way is what keeps a musician going. I was able to give him one of my business cards. Also at my shows and performances I had several people come up to me and give me positive feedback. They told me I was talented and that I had a beautiful voice. They told me to keep going with music. It was these people that I need to remember when I’m having a touch day with the music journey.
Now I will share some of the tough stuff. Some of the challenges. Let me tell you that pursuing music and going on a music tour is not glamorous! There were a few times where I was playing to an almost empty room. There was the one show I did in Toronto at the Tranzac Club. I had to fight the whole time during my performance to keep my confidence up. The audience was pretty much my boyfriend Ken and the staff. During my second set a few guys came in and watched the show which helped a bit. The staff were really kind to me. Two of them had done the music thing. One guys said that him and his band were playing a tough show. They were basically playing to an empty room. Just when they felt like calling the night quits a huge crowd of about 60 people came into the venue. The night really picked up from there.
During the tour I fought with a lot self doubt. Why was I doing this music thing? What was the point of playing some shows where there were only a handful of people and I was basically playing for free. Did I really love this music thing enough to keep doing it?
Sometimes we are not going to know all of the answers or why we are doing something. Sometimes we just have to go on faith. We have to keep moving forward despite the obstacles. Success doesn’t happen overnight. When I look back on this tour I am going to remember all the people that gave me encouraging words. I am going to remember the time I got up on stage at the Painted Lady with the band and really rocked it. As my friend Chelsey likes to say “never underestimate small beginnings.” This was a humble and small little music tour but I will never forget some of the memories I’ve made.
I was just looking back at my post from February 2 of this year. I was talking about how I wanted to go on a Cross Canada Tour this summer. I wanted to combine music with travel and apply for the Via Rail “Artists on Board Program.” Well the good news is I am going on a music tour this summer. It will soon be happening in less than a month. In less than a month I will be heading to Halifax with my boyfriend. So far I have 2 shows in Montreal and 2 in Regina. I’m waiting to confirm one in Toronto on the 13th of July. Well this has been my first attempt at going on a music tour. I can’t say I’ve done it it all perfectly. It many ways is a real humble little makeshift music tour. I had this vision of traveling across Canada and sharing my music both at venues in cities along the way and on the Canadian Via Rail trains. As I wrote in my earlier post that Via Rail has an Artist on Board Program where you can ride the train for free in exchange for live performances. My vision was to get on that program so I could ride the train for free and share my music. I applied for the Artist on Board Program but unfortunately did get accepted.
Let me tell you guys when you have a vision and a calling for your life sometimes things can get hard. Sometimes the opposite of what you hope, dream and plan happens. There are road blocks along the way to your dream and your vision. But I want to tell you not to give up! Sometimes even the people closest to us don’t agree with what we are doing with our lives. Often we have to keep going no matter what is thrown against us. We have to be willing not to quit. Yeah there have been times where I’ve wanted to not go through with this tour. I’ve had some rejection, some set backs, some people not quite getting what I’m doing and the biggest thing is that I’ve struggled with my own self doubt. But I have to make a choice, I have to stay true to the vision I committed myself to this summer. I have to keep going when the pressure is on. And believe me the pressure can come on quite strong. I want to encourage you guys not to give up. Make it your goal to pursue what you love relentlessly. Your life may not look like what everyone else’s does but you are a unique individual.
So the latest with me? I will be putting on a house concert next Saturday June 13 at 7:30pm in my buildings common room. I will be taking donations at the door and will have some artwork and crafts for sale too. There will be free food and drinks with some great live music. Stephanie Ratcilff a local Vancouver musician will be there performing too. It will be a great night.
I am still going to go on my tour. You can check my “Shows” page for details. I plan to update on my blog as I go this summer. I also have a Crowd Funding Campaign that I put together. If you want to donate to my tour that would be awesome. For your donation you can claim “perks.” Click on the link above to support the tour. Happy dreaming, creating and doing what you love to do,
Here is a picture of me back from Spring 2012. I was playing the Lonsdale Spring Celebration right near where I live in North Vancouver. I thought I’d share it with you guys.
Well today I came across something really cool on the Canada Via Rail website. Via Rail, one of Canada’s railway companies let’s musicians take the train across Canada for free in exchange for live performances on the train. I thought that would be a great way to combine my passion for music and travel in one. I could go sometime this summer, play music and see the country. I think it sounds like a great deal. I would love stop in cities like Winnipeg and Montreal along the way. I’ve grown up in Canada my whole life but I’ve never gone across the country. One of the things via rail asks of the musicians performing on board is that they play some Canadian content in their musical sets. Can you just see me playing some Joni Mitchell tunes going through the prairies? So cool. Stay tuned friends!