Friday, August 31, 2007

The Busiest Summer Ever

I looked at the calendar today, and couldn't believe it when it said August 31st! This has been the busiest summer ever--though all good!

June: was spent finalizing our lineup of songwriters for this year's Toronto Songwriters Festival, October 13/14 at Hugh's Room. It is going to be our best festival ever! For all the latest on that, and bios of all musicians, drop by our new dedicated festival website (created by Thanou!) at

July: We sent the teachers in Laos for 2 weeks of teacher training in the big city of Vientiane (the teachers only have a grade 7 education). Everything went extremely well, and they will soon be teaching what they learned to other schools in the district.

Also in July, I took two intensive leadership programs in order to better oversee the work for Jai Dee. But more importantly, we partnered with School Alliance of Student Songwriters (SASS), to help run the Sunday (young artist) segment of our music festival this October. It was founded by two incredibly big-hearted people: Artemis Chartier (singer-songwriter and high school teacher) and Dale Russell (songwriter and lead guitarist of The Guess Who, l983-2000).

In August, an angel named Sharon Barfoot (a.k.a. Zappha) along with fellow organizers Peter J. Slack and Kiera Merriam held a music festival fundraiser for Jai Dee at Sauble Beach as part of their Brewster's Coffeehouse Tour and project. It was an amazing, magical night that ended with musicians playing drums on the beach until 3 am, and we were so grateful to be a part of it.

Thanou finished the new website for the festival: Let us know what you think!

And we have held a number of meetings with our volunteer Events Advisory Board, where lots of great ideas have been introduced and built upon, posters, cards and videos have been designed, over 100 pink heart necklaces have been made (for the auction!) and lots of good food has been shared (our meetings are potlucks!). We are so grateful for our volunteers--nothing we have done would exist without them.

And all the things we have done for the children would not have happened without you! So...we look forward to seeing you all at the festival on October 13/14!

Shawn xo