Publisher, photojournalist, writer, video journalist, dishwasher
I have been writing about things that matter, and issues I am passionate about since I was in university. In the 1980s I wrote the first national magazine column about the wireless digital computer communications systems that Canadian radio amateurs (“hams”) were pioneering - decades before smartphones existed. In the 1990s I moved to writing articles for, and editing, newsletters about improving cycling in Ottawa. In 1997, I published my first website. I was writing reports and recommendations for a citizen's advisory committee of Ottawa City Council in 2001. (A city councillor once complained that my report to City Council was “too professional.” What could I have done? Write less clearly?)
In 2006, I ran as a candidate for Ottawa City Council. For the six intense weeks of my campaign, I frantically wrote policy documents, website updates and voter appeals. At the end of all that, residents got to grade me on my job application. It was fun. Everybody who loves democracy should run for office once.
The positive response from musicians and listeners to my first jazz writing as editor of Ottawa Jazz Happenings in 2008-09 encouraged me to go further. So I started OttawaJazzScene.ca in July, 2009.
My interests, whether pioneering radio communications or cycling or democratic elections share commonalities with jazz: freedom, improvisation, and cooperation.
I started photography when I was ten and my father was brave enough to loan me his SLR camera and lenses. Coincidently, it's been about ten years now since I have photographed jazz in Ottawa, starting with the Lisgar Collegiate students' performance on the Ottawa Jazz Festival's main stage. I was the photographer for the Impressions in Jazz Orchestra's for four years, and I have photographed at the Toronto, Montreal, Art of Jazz, Guelph, and Merrickville jazz festivals. I've presented several photographic print exhibits: at the National Press Club, “Ottawa Jazz Seen” at the Ottawa Main Library, and “Asphalt Scene” as GigSpace ART Gallery in March 2012. Most recently, I showed "Jazz Scene: Jazz Heard" for OttawaJazzScene.ca's 5th Anniversary.
1988 was when I first got involved in Ottawa jazz. I became a Charter member of the Ottawa International Jazz Festival and member of Jazz Ottawa. Then I volunteered for the Jazz Festival for 19 years: coordinating the Sparks Street noon stage, selling T shirts, and coordinating the wonderful volunteers manning the gates, and keeping Confederation Park clean. I heard and enjoyed a lot of music. But I missed even more and didn't even know what I was missing in our local jazz scene.
As I look back over the past twenty-five years, I am thankful for the great local live jazz performances that I heard and the people who introduced me to it. I regret what I missed too. Looking to 2032, I hope that others will be able to look back with pleasure on twenty years of local jazz and improvised music performances and related events that they have enjoyed and that OttawaJazzScene.ca helped make them aware of.
In my work on OttawaJazzScene.ca, I am continually trying to improve the quality of the news and other content we publish. In that regard, I'm a professional member of the Canadian Association of Journalists.
As always, I welcome your suggestions and feedback at any time.