Poet Laureate

I am almost without words (I’m sure that’s temporary). I am very fortunate and deeply appreciative of the opportunity to be Owen Sound’s next Poet Laureate.

I am honoured, I am humbled, and I am so happy to have this opportunity.

I’m excited. I’m excited for every little bit that adds up to more poetry in the lives of children, that provides another layer of understanding or unlearning, that creates inter-modal experiences of poetry for people of all ages. I hope and dream of catalyzing active creative exploration, participation, and learning by people of all ages- and for the littlest hearts and minds especially.

I’m grateful for the existence of this program, and for the strong and inspiring team of advisors, and for the poets that came before me.

It’s been quite the month for me- I also relaunched my professional practice. I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to serve my community through song, through arts, through poetry, through learning, through music, through creativity, through words- while growing.

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Return To Online Orbit

Ohh, it’s good to be back. If my digital life was a film, this would cue a long and ceremonious return back to town, with a solemn yet feisty backing track and sunrise glinting on the dust I stirred with my journey as a changed individual returning to beloved lands. At least, that’s how I prefer to imagine it. I could slink back into a former position with a haze of ethereal noisy ambience, but I want to envision a moment in which I hold my head high and declare the value of a time away from being a real-live-online-person, you know, the posting regularly and being present in a significant way in online media.

I’ve had a sabbatical from digital life as a performing arts person, it’s true. My return has been staggered. It was intensely personal at first, friends-only posts of family moments I couldn’t help but share. There were a variety of reasons for why I needed to take a break from the intensity of “existence” online. I consumed media without interaction required. I felt the pressure and chatter fade from my immediate aura, from my required-daily-output-of-adulting. I felt a blissful bubble of privacy and muted echos. I had the ability to focus on determining priorities, and the making-things-happen of working and living and the again-and-again of engaging as a professional and as a person in the real-life of everyday.

Meanwhile, I moved to the end-of-the-train-line in the city. I worked more until I worked less and reclaimed myself. I moved out of the city, back to where they tore out the train tracks even though the boats and silos persevere. I got a dog. I birthed a son. I finally grew a garden. The digital realm literally transformed, radically transformed, while I was more or less absent or observing.

And so, I am ready to step back into the slipstream. I want to beam and brim with ways to make both tiny and larger positive differences in the world. I want to be able to engage in the process and change that arts can be an instrumental part of, for individuals and for our culture to shift in ways of betterment and positive action towards the planet and those on it. Digital and not, communication can create and here I am.

I have been excited to contribute to my community with organizations such as Sheatre and Sandcastle Theatre. I will be continuing to live and work in the area and continue my professional practice as a music and interdisciplinary arts facilitator, educator, coach, consultant, and administrator… yeah yeah, and performer/creator too. I’ll be posting links to more information about this but mostly, using this space for information about performances, words, and music. There have been some new lyrics added to the Lyrics section of the website, and more will be appearing in the coming weeks. For now, the recent additions are: See Shell, Dead of Winter for the Spring and Smotion Waltz. Which would you most like to hear posted as an audio recording?

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Teaching Studio

I’ve been on a break from the blogosphere and to a certain extent, the internet and promotional landscape in general. I’ve had a bunch of wonderful performances including with the Element Choir. I’ve been teaching extensively over the past year with Rainbow Songs, as well as The Royal Conservatory of Music’s Learning Through The Arts program (in partnership with The Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest). As well I have continued with a variety of private music instruction to people of all ages. I’m beginning an exciting evolution in my teaching career as I begin to share a studio space with Sue Crowe Connolly as a fellow “Voice Builder”. Over the past year, Sue has been an important mentor to me while apprenticing under her expertise in teaching healthy and effective vocal technique. I will be teaching voice and piano in the heart of downtown Toronto at the beautiful studio in Church of the Holy Trinity (Yonge/Dundas). To inquire about lessons please contact me at lauren AT laurenbest DOT com

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Cheatin’, Piano Show, and Tranzac Late-Night

I’ve been cheating on music. It’s happened before, it will happen again. I’ve been enjoying teaching piano and voice to a variety of inspiring children and adults. I’ve been doing exciting work with Sheatre.

But, cheatin’ or none, there’s still music makin’ going on.
I am playing on Wednesday, March 7th at The Tranzac with the lovely Kira Shepard, from 10 pm till midnight.

I’m also playing an all-piano songs show on Friday, March 16 at Habits Gastropub (928 College St. @ Dovercourt) with fellow songwriters and pianists Melba Mercer and Bethany Geddes. Music starts at 8 pm, $5 admission. Check out the Facebook event and share with your friends!

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Free Show July 31st for Artisans at The Distillery

It’s summer in the city, oh is it ever. Toronto is hot and everyone has fully given themselves over to the throes of summer.

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Sylas, 20 Months, New Fan

I am very lucky to have 20 month-old Sylas as a new fan, sporting a sweet sticker at “Community to Stop the Quarry” in Orangeville this afternoon!

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Health on Three: One, Two…

Not only did I haul my ass out of bed to go for a morning run, AND bike 21k along Toronto’s waterfront… I also made this!

Super Salad, featuring:
Chickpeas, green lentils, quinoa, green pepper, carrots, celery, radishes, green beans, flaxseed meal, hemp seeds, poppy seeds, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and herbs/spices.

I would have added more vegetables, but that’s all I had in the fridge. Still, a formidably filling salad. To be eaten alone or served over fresh spinach.

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Full-band Videos From CD Release at Supermarket!

Videos from my CD release show at the Supermarket are now up! It was a fantastic show and I’m so glad it was filmed so I can share it with y’all.

Both these videos feature special guest Colleen Allen (saxophone). My fabulous band on that evening also included Will Bustin (drums), Kevin Barrett (guitar), Chris Adriaanse (bass), Edwin Sheard (saxophone/flute), Lauren Barnett (saxophone) and Julian Brindley (trumpet).

You can also check out more videos and subscribe by visiting my YouTube channel!

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Sticker Collection - 12 Song Album by Lauren BestBuy Sticker Collection - 12 Song Album by Lauren Best