Last Updated: October 15, 2020
I think it’s possible to have fun with just about anything we do.
Govfest — Because We Do More Than Just Sit Behind Our Desks.
Back in 2009, after jumping from the Ontario Public Service’s internship program to a contract opportunity that didn’t end so well, I started working for someone who wound up profoundly changing my life.
A Night Thirteen Years in the Making
If you’ve never met Paul Burns, I promise that you’re missing out.
As a guy I’ve worked for three times now, I can tell you some stories about this guy. Like how the question right after my introduction at our first team meeting was what instrument I played. Or that even as a white guy from the depth of Winnipeg, Manitoba, he’d routinely have some of the most diverse teams known to the organisation. He’s a special kind of guy, and it’s that kind of guy who you need to run something like Govfest—the annual battle of the bands in support of the United Way and Ryan’s Well, running more than a dozen years now!
The Abridged Story of the Band Called the Calamities…
There was once a band called The Calamities, with whom I sang a bunch of songs. We actually took Govfest’s People’s Choice Award home a few years running, because with twelve or thirteen bandmates with friends who wanted to see them, how could you not?
But after life came along and changed things up for the lot of us, we all went our separate ways, and I thought that’d be that.
Yeah… Govfest had other plans.
As the show got bigger and bigger each year, they wanted a flashier finale that’d keep the audience living in the moment.
And that, friends, is how I became the annual MC for the Govfest finale.
If You’re Looking for a Battle of the Bands in Toronto, You’ve Come to the Right Place! (Bad Jokes at No Extra Charge!)
I know I’m all about the speaking gigs, but 2018’s the first year I started recording myself performing. And in Govfest 2018 at The Opera House, that meant plugging my Zoom H6 into the soundboard to get the cleanest recording of the night possible.
Which essentially also meant that I captured everything else in the night, too. And so, I figured—why not share the wealth?
So here for your listening pleasure are the bands from 2018’s Govfest finale, with links so you can check out more of their stuff! It was a great event that continued the excellent work of raising funds to help so many… who knows? Maybe we’ll see you there in 2019!
Sets from the Govfest 2018 Grand Finale:
2 Men Y Girls
And there you have it—a taste of an event that put a little more good into the world than it had before, and show many of us sides of our colleagues we’d never see otherwise!
If you want to check it out in 2019, keep an eye on govfest.ca and its social media channels—battle rounds usually start up in October!
Be well, rock on, and until the next, I remain,