Govfest 2018

Last updated on April 29th, 2021 at 10:51 pm

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.

The 2017 100

Last updated on April 1st, 2021 at 01:08 am

Unless my life sees some major changes this year, 2017 may mark the last list of 100!

It’s January 13th—I’ve spent nearly two weeks of my new year agonising over 100 items that matter enough to hit a list of goals and aspirations for the year ahead. And that’s a key difference from the lists that came before it.

Before it was a task list—I’d look around at everything that needed doing and jot it down, because my life would obviously be better with them out of the way.

But task lists aren’t inspiring. They’re not motivational. As a creative, that’s like dropping a pile of 100 things I dread on my lap and nagging myself to get ’em done by the year’s end.

Once I realised what I was doing to myself, so much so that I just went through my least successful year yet for my list, I knew I needed to make a change for 2017.

The 2017 100—It's Not WHAT You Do, It's How You DO It.—New Year, New Perspective

I’m particularly proud of the list I’ve put together for The 2017 100. I didn’t take any shortcuts—I wrote out 100 things that’d help me live the life I’d like to lead and prove instrumental along the path there. Rather than hurriedly scrawl out a list I’d likely ignore ’til December, I wrote one that I’d happily check off, knowing that each accomplishment would take me a step closer to a far better 2018. I feel like I’m finally getting it right this time, and I hope that shines through as you give it a look for yourself!

But that’s enough of my chatter—I’ve already made you wait long enough. Here for your consideration is The 2017 100—because it’s not what you do… it’s how you do it!

Junia-T | Eye See You Review

Last updated on April 26th, 2021 at 12:30 am

“A brova too smoove
Old soul living in this new school…”
— Junia-T, “Too Smoove”, Eye See You (2014)

Except for a notable few like Kardinal Offishall, Maestro Fresh Wes, and of course, Drake, Toronto’s hip-hop scene has been trouble for a while. Despite its share of local hits getting heavy club rotation in the 90s and early-naughts (who can forget how deep we lived the riddim culture for a while?), it’s been steady underground for all these years.

You can tell a Toronto beat from a mile away—slightly unpolished, simple, sound like it’s a throwback from decades ago… we’re unable to keep up with the times, breeding a crop of rappers who just can’t make the grade.

Fortunately, that’s not true for everyone.

Junia-T | The We & We Free

Last updated on April 3rd, 2021 at 07:46 pm

In a time before blogging was my extracurricular activity of choice, I used to draw like a fiend. On break at work. Zipping around on buses between home, school and work. I’d fall asleep with pens and markers in hand as I tried to draw just a little more (my Mom has the ink-stained sheets to prove it!)

It was in one of these scribbling sessions where I first crossed paths with Junia-T.

The We & We Free—Junia-T—Street Shot

Hailing from Sauga’s southwest, Junia’s been in the rap game since before most people knew what Internet radio was. Back in 2003, after we met and exchanged info while riding the city’s notoriously unreliable Mississauga Transit #26, you’d find me with Junia and his 3-5 Playa crew in their basement sessions while sketching out the cover work for Up to Par… Da Mixtape.

Over a decade later, and the Sauga City cat’s still at it, as one of the artists performing at the free upcoming The We & We Free concert on Friday, May 9th at the Izakaya Sushi House!

My 10 Most Played Songs & What They Say About Me

Last updated on May 18th, 2021 at 02:42 pm

WARNING: PARENTAL DISCRETION ADVISED!

This isn’t 1998 where I used to play DMX’s It’s Dark and Hell is Hot on low volume so my parents wouldn’t hear all the cussing—I’ve been consuming hip-hop for a very long time, and if you’re easily offended, I’ve refrain from playing the YouTube videos in this post.

But now that that’s out of the way, please enjoy!


One thing you’ll rarely see me without is my iPod (well, except that one time I forgot to pack it for a week-long stay in Vegas). I grew up with music as a core part of my life with my Dad loving his soul and reggae, and investing in solid stereo systems to listen to it all. I dabbled in piano, viola and choir, and tried my hand at rap for a good while.

Music keeps me going. Music keeps me sane. And I find that the more we explore our musical tastes, the more patterns emerge, and the more our collections speak to who we are. Our tastes will always evolve, but there will always be foundational cues that draw us to one song over another.

In today’s post, I wanted to give you a little insight into what music has stuck with me the most, and maybe give some points where we can relate to each other.

I hope you enjoy it!