Saturday, October 22, 2005

From The Ridiculous to the Sublime: Stories at the Sugar Bush

As part of the multi-site Quebec Intercultural Storytelling Festival, there will be storytelling sessions in both English and French on October 22, 23, 28, 29 and 30 at l’Erablière Claude Laplante, 53 chemin Val du Lac / corner of Hwy 307, St-Pierre de Wakefield, Quebec (about a 45-minute drive north of Ottawa). Storytellers include Denise Markhame, Louise Profeit Leblanc, Louis Racine, and Joël Smets. Tom Lips and Denise Markhame will share the final session on Sunday afternoon, October 30, at 1:30 p.m. Entitled "From the Ridiculous to the Sublime," this will be a couple of hours of Halloween-flavoured stories and songs for a family audience (including children aged 7 and up). Admission is $5.00 for children and $7.00 for adults. For information and reservations call Denise at (819) 457-9223. More details about the program are available at

Thursday, October 20, 2005

October 30 and Beyond

I don’t have all the details yet, but I want to let you know about some upcoming engagements; I’ll fill in the details as soon as I can.

On Sunday October 30th, at a "sugar bush" in St-Pierre-de-Wakefield (about 40 minutes from downtown Ottawa), I will be joining storyteller Denise Markhame for an afternoon of stories and songs "From the Ridiculous to the Sublime." Given the proximity to Halloween, you can expect a few goblins or ghosts to crop up, but (in the words of Tom’s song) "Screaming Is Good For You!". This is a family show, so don’t worry–it won’t get TOO blood-curdling. Besides, we want to leave some room for the Sublime... Watch this space for more details about how to get there, etc.

Autumn is an exciting time. The first week of November brings the annual Ottawa Storytelling Festival (click here for details). On Saturday afternoon (November – ) I will be joining forces with storyteller Ellis Lynn Duschenes for a session called "Stories of Song and Songs of Story," which features Ellis Lynn’s masterful telling of Thomas Raddall’s tale, "Blind McNair."

December 3 brings the third annual Festive Goose concert sponsored by the Gaggle of Ottawa-Outaouais Songwriters Exposed (G.O.O.S.E.), of which I am proud to be a charter member! The call for festive winter songs went out in the spring of 2005, and one of my submissions got the nod. The songwriters whose songs were chosen will each perform two numbers at the concert, which will take place at the National Arts Centre’s Fourth Stage.

The January 21 concert of Kingston’s "Open Voices" choir features yours truly as Guest Performer. This exciting community choir will perform three of my songs as part of their repertoire for the evening, and I’ll do some songs and stories on my own. More details to follow.

Hope you are well and enjoying the changing of the seasons. Thanks for touching base!


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

October 14 Benefit for Riverglen Farm!

Dear Friends and Matrons/Patrons of the Arts:

Normally I only use these occasional announcements for shameless SELF-promotion, i.e. when I am performing somewhere as a singer or storyteller. I make an exception in this case to shamelessly promote a benefit concert by a wonderful classical pianist, in support of a project dear to my heart, namely Riverglen Biodynamic Farm, a small non-profit organization devoted to earth-friendly, humane, community-supported agriculture:

Friday October 14, 8:00 p.m. Pianist Zabel Manoukian presents "Mostly Dances" (Benefit for Riverglen Farm), at the National Arts Centre Fourth Stage

Now, I happen to live at the farm, and my wife is the farmer, so I see firsthand both the joys and the struggles of raising plants and animals with devotion instead of chemicals. The farm (which last year received its official "organic" certification – Hooray!) regularly provides classes of schoolchildren with their first opportunity to learn where vegetables come from, to help grow real food, to look a cow in the eye, and to chase or be chased by chickens.

The farm has made considerable progress in the past three years, but is still in its infancy. Despite generous support (in labour and money) from a small but dedicated membership, Riverglen needs to raise funds annually to cover its basic expenses, to respond to unforeseen demands (e.g. "item: repair fence to keep bull in"), and to continue to develop. There is an easy and extremely pleasant way you can help!

Buy tickets now for the Farm’s most important fundraiser of the year, a concert of light classical music by pianist Zabel Manoukian. Ms. Manoukian's concert last year was absolutely phenomenal; if you were there you'll want to hear her again (and if you missed it, you won't want to miss this one!). She has a new CD in the works and has prepared a beautiful selection for this rare performance. In the intimate setting of the NAC's Fourth Stage you will get the authentic, up-close experience of the beauties of Chopin, Kabalevsky and other composers less familiar but equally entrancing.

Summer is over and the pace is picking up at work and school. Now is the time to treat yourself to an evening of fine music at the National Arts Centre’s Fourth Stage.

Friday October 14, 8:00 p.m. "Mostly Dances" (Benefit for Riverglen Farm)
Music by Chopin, Hovhaness, Kabalevsky, Gomidas, Saygun & others
with pianist Zabel Manoukian
National Arts Centre Fourth Stage

Tickets are $25 through Ticketmaster (service charge applies) or in person from NAC Box Office.