Earth Day 2009 - Payback

Fundraising Reading and Concert

April 22 at the Claude Church, Caledon

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



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 latest 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.


Nonie Crete - Musician

Nonie Crete

Well-known to local concert-goers, Nonie lives many musical lives.  As a singer-songwriter she has released 8 albums to date, her newest release being Coming Home, recorded with her musical partner Eugene Rea.  As a blues musician she has performed at major festivals across Canada, and shared the stage with some of the greats.  Nonie is a member of the all-women blues band Grand Ladies of the Blues who have been creating a sensation everywhere they perform for the last couple of years.  As a Celtic performer Nonie has toured in Ireland with Clannad and Altan, and has appeared at major festivals throughout Canada.

Known as the hardest working musician in the K-W area, she and Eugene travel extensively from the East to West coasts of Canada and have appeared on TV and radio many times.  Nonie has opened for Tommy Makem, Blind Boys of Alabama, Tony McManus, just to name a few.


James B. Douglas - Reader

James B. Douglas

Belfountain resident James B. Douglas (1929-2009) was one of Canada's veteran leading players in TV, film and on the stage.  He was also a director/dramaturge/ producer, and had a varied and distinguished career in the UK, U.S and across Canada.  He spent over twenty five years developing new Canadian works.

Nominated for many awards such as Doras and Geminis, Douglas played the leading role in the Oscar nominated film After The Axe.  His Hollywood career spans Walt Disney films to Col. Merrill in the original M.A.S.H.

His early career in Canada included starring in the classic Canadian film Drylanders with Francis Hyland, and many leading roles on CBC-TV.  His over 150 major roles in the theatre in the U.K., Canada and the U.S include Bitos in Poor Bitos (Center Theatre Group, L.A.), Vershinin in The Three Sisters (St. Lawrence Theatre, Toronto), Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night (Old Globe Theatre, San Diego), Paris in Troilus and Cresida and Antipholus in Comedy of Errors (Stratford Festival) and Polo in A Hatful of Rain (Princes Theatre, London).  Douglas also toured the U.S. in Eva LeGallienne's National Repertory Theatre as Jack Absolute in The Rivals and the Sewerman in The Madwoman of Chaillot.  His favourie role has been Pvt. Bamforth in The Long and the Short and the Tall in Toronto, Montreal and New York.

Douglas guest starred on most of our regular TV series such as The PSI-Factor, Doc, Soul Food, The Associates etc.  A memorable guest star role was opposite Faye Dunnaway in Road To Avonlea - and on Bravo in a tour de force solo performance in The Hair Cut.  Douglas was also seen in major roles in such CBC mini-series as Conspiracy of Silence and Million Dollar Babies.  His most recent feature film was in the hit Canadian comedy Men With Brooms.

His significant contribution as a reader in our Earth Day 2009 - Payback event was also his final performance, and we are honoured to have shared the stage with him on last time.See his Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia entry.


Judy Maddren - Special Guest Reader

Judy Maddren

Judy Maddren's voice has begun the day for millions of Canadians with the latest news of the world and Canada.  She considered the listeners across the country to be part of her neighbourhood.  Since 1993 Maddren has been part of breaking news every morning as host of World Report, the newscast with the biggest broadcast audience in Canada.  Her voice has been heard on CBC airwaves since 1972 when she began her career as a Consumer Information reporter for CBC Radio.  Maddren also served as the Media Broadcast Advisor, providing language and pronunciation recommendations to all CBC broadcasters.

For two decades, she has been the driving force behind the public readings of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.  Through this program, which Judy founded in 1990, hundreds of CBC Radio broadcasters have helped raise millions of dollars for charities in community fundraisers right across the country.  Several readings have also taken place in the U.S. the Caribbean, and Britain!

Now however, Judy has left the CBC to work full time at recording audio memoirs with her business, Soundportraits.  She considers herself a story-teller, and she wants to help other people tell, and record their stories.  Her final CBC broadcast will be on March 27, 2009.


Jay Mowat - Producer

Jay Mowat

Jay Mowat is a retired journalist with 30 years of CBC television and radio broadcast experience.  He currently serves as station manager for Erin Community Radio FM 101.5.  Jay is also an organic market gardener, beekeeper, and maple syrup producer.  He and his wife Clare operate Willow Creek, a small 10-acre farm just outside Erin, Ontario.  They specialize in heirloom vegetables, particularly tomatoes and peppers, that they sell at farmers’ markets and to local restaurants.  As a board member of the Everdale Environmental Learning Centre, Mowat started the research that led to the formation of the Everpure Biodiesel Co-op - a group of farmers and drivers in the Guelph/Orangeville area engaged in producing and marketing B100 biodiesel manufactured from waste vegetable oil.  He currents serves as President of the Co-operative.


Eric Nagler - Musician

Eric Nagler

Since 1978 Eric has devoted his heart and soul to the art of family music, performing before live audiences and TV across the continent.  His humourous antics and down-home music combine with a superb instrumental ability to have made Eric one of North America's favourites.

A master of many instruments; from the well known (banjo, mandolin, guitar and fiddle), to the not so well known (psaltery, musical saw, spoons and bodhran), to the truly bizarre (sewerphone, nose flute), Eric has often shared the joy of music-making with kids and their parents.  Eric has a half dozen recordings to his credit, most of which have won Parent's Choice awards and Juno nominations.  He is author of three children's books.

Eric is best known as the star of ERIC'S WORLD, a sit-com for kids which has aired on a number of Canadian networks since 1991, on the KID'S TIME and TRIO networks in the United States.  In 1997 he entertained throughout Ireland, and performed in Spain.

Eric has been involved with peaceful conflict resolution throughout most of his life.  In 1966 he marched through Mississippi with Martin Luther King, encouraging people to register to vote.  In April 1999 Eric spent a month in Bosnia performing for war affected children and families.  Eric lives in Shelburne, Ontario.  Visit his web site.


David Nairn - Reader

David Nairn

David Nairn is now in his 10th season as Artistic Director of Theatre Orangeville.  Some of his most recent directing credits include the World Premiere productions of The Giant's Garden, One Moment, Little Women - The Musical, A Matter of Time, Bedtime Stories, 'Twas, Dear Santa, Could You Wait?, and Kiss the Moon, Kiss the Sun which is now back and playing in a repeat run at the theatre.  Other selected directing credits include Sexy Laundry, Mesa, Rope's End, Harvest Moon Rising, Billy Bishop Goes to War, Carol's Christmas, The Kitchen Witches, For The Pleasure of Seeing Her Again, Test Drive, Anne, A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline, and The Drawer Boy

As an actor, David is familiar to Theatre Orangeville audiences from his starring performances in The Long Weekend, The Love List, Outlaw, Miniputt, Colours in the Storm, The Shooting of Dan McGrew, and Jacob Two-Two Meets The Hooded Fang.  Toronto audiences will no doubt remember him as the cunning Master of the House, Thenardier, in Les Miserables at the Royal Alexandra Theatre.  David also starred in the long-running musical hit I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change in Toronto, Sudbury, Chicago, and Detroit.  His most recent appearance was in the Neptune Theatre World Premiere production of Skin Flick.


Tannis Slimmon - Musician

Tannis Slimmon

With musical roots firmly planted in the soil of the Canadian Prairies and the ever-burgeoning music scene in Guelph, Ontario, and with a passion for lyrical vocal harmonies, Tannis Slimmon has been singing, songwriting, recording and touring locally and internationally for over 25 years.

After working with numerous bands including the critically acclaimed female trio The Bird Sisters, her solo career was launched in 2001 with the release of ‘Oak Lake’, followed up in the summer of 2007 by ‘Lucky Blue’, a rich offering of songs and artwork influenced by recent travels to Mali, West Africa and Cuba.

You will find Tannis’ name on over 65 albums, contributing songs or singing harmonies for others including Willie P. Bennett, Valdy and Rheostatics. Tannis plays guitar and mandolin.  She performs solo as well as with the women’s collective, The Pomelos and a trio with Katherine Wheatley and Jude Vadala.  She has performed at folk clubs, festivals and community centres across Canada.  Her music can be heard on public and college radio across North America.  Visit her web site.


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.  Last year he joined Paul Kennedy (host of CBC Radio's Ideas) for yet another Christmas Carol reading in Hillsburgh, Ontario.  It was after that performance that Andrew got to talking with Kennedy and Jay Mowat (station manager of Erin Community Radio), and came up with the idea for this Earth Day event.

Andrew has over 100 theatre credits, including roles in television, film, and radio, and an extensive set and lighting design portfolio.  He now lives in Alton with his wife, Elswyth, and is currently serving as Artistic Director of the Caledon TownHall Players.

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.

Copyright © 2009 Andrew Welch
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