Earth Day 2010 - Payback

Fundraising Reading and Concert

April 18 at the Port Nelson United Church, Burlington, Ontario

"A fabulous evening of humour, music, and timely words
to benefit the planet, starting with our own green corner in Burlington."



Margaret Atwood - Author

Payback book cover Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood is one of the world's preeminent writers - winner of the Booker Prize, the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and the Governor General's Literary Award, among many other honours.  She is the bestselling author of more than thirty-five books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, including the The Handmaid's Tale, Alias Grace, The Blind Assassin, and Oryx and Crake. She and her spouse, writer Graeme Gibson, are the Joint Honourary Presidents of the Rare Bird Club within Birdlife International.  She is an International Vice President of PEN.

Our reading comes from her recent book, Payback, which comprises her 2008 Massey Lectures - a surprising look at the timely topic of debt.  We thank her for her enthusiastic support of this event.  See her Canadian Encyclopedia entry.


Laura Bird - Musician

Laura Bird

Laura Bird draws inspiration from a mosaic of musical influences beginning with early folk roots and bluegrass to old jazz standards.  Her songs tug at the familiar; contemporary set against the backdrop of a traditional musical panorama.  Through the keen eye of the observer her songs are sensitive, compassionate, and heartfelt, often drawing visual references from a childhood spent growing up in small town Ontario along the St. Lawrence River.  With her warm, relaxed stage presence, finely honed guitar work, a painters' eye for lush images, and sultry, smoky voice, you'll want to close your eyes and watch the mind movies inspired by Laura’s soundtrack.

The Water in Between, Laura Bird’s latest recording has been receiving well-deserved praise since its release in November 2008.  Included in Penguin Eggs Magazine’s DJ top ten favourites of 2008, it enjoyed top ten spins for three consecutive months (March-May 2009), ultimately listing among Galaxie Folk-Roots satellite radio 'top high rotation album releases of 2009'.  Bird’s recent performances include the Red Roof Women’s Music Festival, Blue Skies Festival, and the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival, a variety of successful solo concerts including performances for the Haliburton, Orillia, and Kitchener Folk Societies and a return visit to Nova Scotia to tour with fellow songwriter Darren Arsenault.  Visit her web site.


Paul Kennedy - Special Guest Reader

Paul Kennedy

Paul Kennedy is a veteran broadcaster and award-winning documentarist who has hosted CBC Radio's Ideas program since 1999.  His long association with Ideas actually began more than 20 years earlier with his documentary The Fur Trade Revisited, and he has presented about 200 more documentaries for the show since then.  It was Ideas that first broadcast the Massey lecture series that featured Atwood's Payback, and Paul has been a powerful supporter behind bringing this work to our stage.

Paul Kennedy’s interests encompass the environment, sport, travel, food, music, art and biography.  His work engages what he describes as “the core curriculum of contemporary culture”.  He has won national and international recognition for his work, including an ACTRA award for best Canadian radio documentary for a program called War on the Home Front, co-authored with Timothy Findley; the B’nai Brith Media Human Rights Award for a series called Nuremberg on Trial; and an Armstrong Award presented by Columbia University.  In 2005, he was awarded the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Special Citation for Excellence in Ocean Science Journalism for his eight-part series Learning from the Oceans.


Mary Long - Reader

Mary Long

Mary Long has had an extensive and varied career in the theatre, film, radio, and television.  Recent credits include two roles for Theatre Orangeville (Sexy Laundry and Separate Beds, and the world premiere of Norm Foster's Looking.  Norm's plays have been favourites for her, having played in Affections of May, Motor Trade, The Long Weekend, and Sinners.

Mary has graced virtually every stage on the Canadian scene, including Travesties at Manitoba Theatre Centre, The Diary of Anne Frank at Young People's Theatre, Carmela's Table at Centaur in Montreal, Open Marriage Wide Open at Persephone in Saskatoon, The Passion of Narcisse Mondeaux at the Blyth Festival, and Charlie's Aunt at the Shaw Festival as well as the Annenbrg Centre in Philadelphia and the Globe in Boston.  She studied at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York, starred in a CBC series, has been the voice of innumerable characters in cartoons, and done many commercials over the years.


Jory Nash - Musician

Jory Nash

Jory Nash is a Toronto-based independent singer-songwriter, blending elements of folk, jazz, pop, country, soul, and blues.  He is very active on the Ontario folk festival circuit, and is a past recipient of the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals' Songs from the Heart songwriting award.  Jory has also crisscrossed North America several times and has loyal fans all over the continent.  He is also known for co-founding a Gordon Lightfoot Tribute concert which has been held annually since 2003.

Jory's music has been played on over 200 music programs/stations around the world, including the BBC, National Public Radio, XM Satellite, and frequently on CBC.  He recently released his sixth solo CD, titled New Blue Day.  Outside of music, Nash has a Bachelor of Science in Biogeography from the University of Toronto, and also has environmental activism tendencies (as evidenced by his ongoing campaign to teach major fast food chains about reusable travel mugs - one of the countless stories he often relates from his many travels and tours).  Visit his web site.


Tyrone Savage - Reader

Tyrone Savage

Tyrone Savage is a young Toronto actor with an impressive screen and stage resume.  His stage of late has often been outdoors, appearing as Jerry in The Zoo Story and in two seasons with the Canopy Theatre (as Romeo in Romeo and Juliet and Orlando in As You Like It).  Other theatre credits include Arcadia, The Warrior Bard, Yerma, Picasso at Lapin Agile, Six Characters in Search of an Author, and the title role in A Musical called Robin Hood.

Tyrone is perhaps best known for his portrayal of Henry (Fat) Bailey in six seasons of the CBC TV series Wind At My Back.  Other screen credits include American Pie: Beta House, Instant Star, Dresden Files, and Goosebumps.  He has also done voice work for episodes of Stoked, Redwall, Franklin, and Magic School Bus.


Andrew Welch - Reader/Producer

Andrew Welch

Andrew Welch is an actor, writer, and (increasingly) champion of the environment.  His favourite performance medium is voice work, having recorded audio books and characters for animation, as well as participating in staged readings around Ontario.  For many years he has performed solo readings of Dickens' A Christmas Carol in both Canada and the U.S.

Andrew has over 100 theatre credits, including roles in television, film, and radio, and an extensive set and lighting design portfolio, and is past Artistic Director of the Caledon TownHall Players.  He now lives in Alton with his wife, Elswyth, and continues to serve on a number of local volunteer service boards.

In other fields, Welch is most widely known for WattPlot, a software suite that he created for monitoring the performance of small renewable-energy systems, which is now sold and installed around the world.  He is also in the final stages of getting his first book published: The Value Crisis - an Exploration of the Un-human Power of Numbers, which is very much related to environmental issues.  Visit his web site.


Katherine Wheatley - Musician

Katherine Wheatley

Katherine graduated from Queen's with a geology degree and spent five seasons roughing it in the bush, gathering not only rock samples but material for her songs.  It was only a matter of time before she recorded her first CD, Straight Line, which spent 17 weeks on Sam's Top Ten Independent Charts.  Her second, Habits and Heroes, garnered praise from fans and critics alike, and helped launch a strong touring career.  She is a regular at folk festivals, concerts, and clubs across Canada, and is also a member of the Toronto band Betty and the Bobs, a guitarist in Wendell Ferguson’s trio The Smoking Section, and presents songwriting and other workshops at venues across Canada.

Katherine's music has been used for documentaries, TV series, and films.  She has been a featured vocalist on Stuart McLean's Vinyl Cafe, as well as a musical guest on Morningside with Peter Gzowski, This Morning with Bernard St. Laurent, and the Vicki Gabareau Show.  She performed her song On A Beach In France on CTV's Canada AM and Good Morning Canada to commemorate the anniversary of Dieppe.  Visit her web site.

Copyright © 2009-10 Andrew Welch
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