Elder Melody Crowe is an Ojibway woman from the Alderville First Nation, where she has lived all her life. Melody is an Eagle Feather Carrier and for more than 25 years she has taught the Ojibway language and culture to children, youth, adults and elders. She is the recipient of many awards including the Honouring our People Award Sept 2015 from the Ogemawahj Tribal Council and a Lifetime Achievement Award for her work in the Preservation of Language and Culture from the Union of Ontario Indians in 2007. Melody holds an Honours BA in Indigenous Studies from Trent University and, as a student, was the recipient of both the Joyce Moonias Award and The K. E. Kidd Awards from the University. She has worked as the First Nation Liaison for the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board since 2001.
Last week Melody gave an absorbing and moving workshop for Northumberland Festival of the Arts on Resilience, Revitalization and Reconciliation. This episode of Word on the Hills is a repeat broadcast of a programme Melody made with us in the fall of 2021.
This week we welcome back Shane Joseph to Word on the Hills. Shane Joseph is a Canadian novelist, blogger, reviewer, short story writer, and publisher at Blue Denim Press. He is the author of seven novels and three collections of short stories. His latest novel, Empire in the Sand, will be released in the Fall of 2022. For further details visit his website at www.shanejoseph.com Shane is also the chair of the Communications committee for Northumberland Festival of the Arts, September 16th to October 2nd, 2022.
WOTH welcomes Shannon Linton and Marianne Marusic.
Shannon Linton is a Canadian singer-songwriter, classically trained vocalist, and climate activist. After narrowly avoiding a career in opera, she began performing and recording her own songs, first with Northern Hearts (2019 CBC Searchlight Top 100) and now as a solo artist. Shannon’s debut EP, In Spite of Everything, was released on May 30. When she is not writing and singing her own music, Shannon is also one of the founding directors of the SONG program, and lives on her fifth generation family farm with her husband and two kids.
Born to Slovenian and Croatian parents and raised in Toronto, Marianne Marusic is a graduate of piano performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music History and Mathematics from the University of Toronto. Marianne owns and operates Metropolitan School of the Arts and teaches piano in Toronto and Cobourg. She is an Examiner with the Royal Conservatory of Music, has written a book for young children called Cougar’s Great Adventure and has organized several concerts in Cobourg over the last few years and is a frequent church musician.
This week we interview Susan Statham. Susan is the editor for the anthology Hill Spirits V and was co-editor and contributor for the four previous Hill Spirits anthologies. A former librarian, Susan is also a trained portrait artist and her mystery novel ‘The Painter’s Craft’ was inspired by the potential poisons in paint. Her recently completed second novel, ‘True Image’, combines her experience painting portraits with her work in a psychiatric hospital and ‘Caged’, the novel she’s presently working on, is inspired by a commission from the Toronto Zoo.
This week listen in to Cynthia Reyes and Carol Shaw talk about memoirs and the workshop they are giving at Northumberland Festival of the Arts.
Cynthia Reyes is a passionate gardener and writer, and is happiest digging around in the dirt, but she also finds time to produce her very popular blog, write several bestselling books, including the richly illustrated Twigs in My Hair, A Gardening Memoir. Her series of illustrated children’s books about Myrtle the Purple Turtle which she wrote with her daughter Lauren, have received excellent reviews. She now enjoys reading them to her granddaughter. An award winning journalist and executive producer with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, more than a hundred episodes of her programs appeared on network television.
Carol Shaw lives in Warkworth and is also a passionate gardener. She and Cynthia will be giving a workshop about memoir writing, another interest they have in common, at the Northumberland Festival of the Arts on September 23rd. Carol has retired from two careers – one as an elementary school teacher, and the other as an administrator in long term care for seniors. Although Carol has written and published articles on seniors’ issues when she was working, Covid gave her the chance to finally write the memoir that she had envisioned, enabling her to share her memories with her family.
Kim Aubrey is a poet and short story writer. Kim’s stories, essays, and poems have appeared in journals and anthologies, including Best Canadian Stories, Event, Numero Cinq, Room and The New Quarterly. Her collection of stories What We Hold in Our Hands, published in 2013 by Demeter Press, received excellent reviews and she received an honorable mention for her work at the Bermuda Literary Awards. Kim is a wonderful organizer and is deeply involved in preparations for Northumberland Festival of the Arts 2022 which will run from September 16th until October 2nd in locations across the county. She heads up the committee developing the poetry programme at this festival. This year she was the recipient of a Distinguished Civic Award from her home town, Cobourg, for her volunteer work in the arts.
Felicity Sidnell Reid is the author of a book for teachers, a series of textbooks for language learners, a novel: Alone: A Winter in the Woods (Hidden Brook Press, 2015, e-book in 2020), and a poetry collection, The Yellow Magnolia (Glentula Press, 2021). Her poetry and short fiction have been published in anthologies, online journals and collections. Her new collection of poems The Many Faces will be released by Aeolus House in September. She chaired two Spirit of the Hills Arts Festivals in 2017 and 2019 and was recognized with a Distinguished Civic Award from the Town of Cobourg in 2021. She is a director and secretary of the rebranded Northumberland Festival of the Arts 2022.
This week meet Pam Royl. Pam has thrived on creativity her whole life, embracing visual art, ceramic art, and her latest passion, creative writing. Graduating from The Schulich School of Business, she began a long career in marketing and advertising working for international marketing companies and advertising agencies, besides taking a leadership position at George Brown College. In 2003, she retired from full time employment, started a consulting firm, and began pursuing her writing interests. Pam refers to herself as “a writer of Women’s Stories, Inspired by History” and began by capturing her mother-in-law’s story in a self-published memoir. While writing that memoir and delving into 19th century Canadian history, she was inspired to write her debut novel, The Last Secret. When she isn’t writing, Pam volunteers with local charities and arts associations, plays piano and guitar, and strolls the Northumberland Hills with Ian and their dogs.
This week we talk to Chris Cameron, well known to our listeners as a co-host of this programme. Chris enjoyed a successful career as a professional opera singer, retiring in 2009. A number of years ago he began a new career, as a freelance writer and editor. His first book, a memoir of his singing years, Dr. Bartolo’s Umbrella and Other Tales from my Surprising Operatic Life (Seraphim Editions) was published in 2017. In June of that year, Chris and his wife Karen moved to the banks of the Trent River in Campbellford. Now he brings his passion for the arts and his respect for the beauty and power of the written word to his editing portfolio at Watershed. He has written for and performed at Westben, produced the drama and dance evenings at the 2019 Festival of the Arts in Cobourg, and this year his one-act play Nail Polish will be performed at the Northumberland Festival of the Arts 2022. He has edited many of the interviews loaded to the festival’s website (festivalofthearts.ca) and continues to edit Word on the Hills and to co-host the series. His new book Thorneside Stories,(Iguana Publications) will be published on September 6th. He still marvels at his luck, ending up doing what he loves in beautiful Northumberland County.
This week we welcome Anne Marshall. Writing fiction is a passion for Anne, who has spent a lifetime in hospitality – networking and delivering adventure-packed experiences for others. Anne has travelled extensively as a business person, tourist and intrepid adventurer – alone and with her partner Peter Elmhirst. Her travels include walking the Camino, motorcycling across Europe and the Americas, camping and enjoying life in a homebuilt camper van; always curious about the story behind the story, the people and the customs of the land. Recently Anne was inducted into the Tourism Industry Association of Canada Hall of Fame, recognizing her career and volunteer work in the industry. The Reckless series incorporates her love of travel and characters she has encountered along the way, embracing mature relationships and romance. You are never too old to be reckless in love. Home is on the north shore of Rice Lake in the Kawarthas.
Join us to hear Michael Croucher tell us about his recent writing. Michael was part of the Toronto Police Department for 18 years, and served on The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit investigating organized crime. Following his police career, he was either self-employed, or contracted in sales or sales management. A multiple award –winning writer, he has published two novels, and is working on his third. He has steadily built a collection of short stories, many of which have been published in various anthologies. He is planning to release his collection in 2023.
When he’s not writing, Mike reads a great deal, mostly fiction. He has travelled extensively in Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, North and South America, and the Pacific. Occasionally, when he travelled he took rides on well-known trains. Among others, he has travelled on The Red Prussian in East Germany, the Flying Scotsman from London to York, and New Zealand’s Silver Fern.