Govfest 2018

Helping the World Through the Power of MUSIC.

Last updated on January 24th, 2021 at 11:56 am

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.

There to Care—A Spotlight on Father Figures by Dove Men+Care—Paul Burns

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!)

Govfest 2018—Helping the World Through the Power of MUSIC.—Casey Palmer on Stage in a Sak's suit

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:

Certifiably Strung


Eternal Return

Download | Website

2 Men Y Girls


The Secondments

Download | Facebook

Flaming Decision




Civil Unrest



Download | Website

The Pigeons


Minor Normal


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 and its social media channels—battle rounds usually start up in October!

Be well, rock on, and until the next, I remain,

The second logo for Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad

By Casey E. Palmer

Calling the Great White North his home, Casey‘s spent the last few decades in pursuit of creating killer content. From novels as a kid, comics as a teen, to blogs and photos once he could grow a beard, he’ll use whatever’s around him to create amazing stuff.

When he’s not creating, he’s parenting, exploring and trying to make life as awesome as possible for everyone around him.

Because a boring life’s not a life worth living!

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