What about the Music Fans?

silhouettes of people enjoying a concertWith the discussion of COVID-19 Stage 3 re-openings in Ontario and the related timelines, I decided to look through the list of businesses and services myself, to see what York Region might be able to expect in the coming weeks. And for those people who feel ready to participate in these re-openings, there’s a wide range of businesses for us to start patronizing again. But there is one significant hobby that is necessarily being left out by the closures… and probably for a long time. It’s the music fans! Some of the few remaining restrictions present in Phase 3 include “dancing at restaurants and bars” and “private karaoke rooms”. Concerts and live shows have gathering limits, and large outdoor events such as concerts are not permitted. And when you think about what these kinds of events entail, it makes complete sense that they won’t be permitted just yet. Some of my absolute favourite music-related memories are a complete nightmare in the COVID-19 age.

Music appreciation, music enjoyment, is such a communal experience. When you’re at a concert – the reverent hush of the crowd while the band plays a deep cut b-side it. Or the intensifying buzz and cheers as the crowd begins to recognize the opening chords of a hit single. It’s magic and there’s nothing like it. And for those of you who may disagree with my inclusion of “private karaoke rooms” in a live music appreciation post – there’s no greater compliment than choosing a song for karaoke! Pick a song that you’ve listened to a song so many times that you know the lyrics by heart, and then choose to share that love with your friends (or strangers).  When you plan a karaoke evening with friends, you know it’s going to be about celebrating your favourite songs, or guilty pleasures, looking to impress your friends with your next song pick. Continue reading

Canada Reads 2020

Canada Reads 2020 panelists


Every March, the CBC hosts a uniquely Canadian program called Canada Reads, wherein five personalities from various fields (media, music, acting, etc.) choose one book written by a Canadian author to defend in a Battle of the Books style tournament. Dubbed a “literary Survivor” (this competition dates back to 2002, which explains the reference), each participant presents their arguments on why their chosen book is the most important to Canadian readers at a given time. Then, like its reality show model, participants vote a book off the island—I mean, out of the competition—until there is only one standing. The winner is deemed the book all Canadians should read. This year, due to pandemic-related disruptions, Canada Reads will take place from July 20 – 23, and will be broadcast on CBC Radio, CBC television, CBC GemCBC BooksYouTube, and Facebook. 

The participants this year fit the described profile of “celebrities who [are] avid readers but not the “usual suspects” when it [comes] to talking about books on the CBC.” This isn’t the Giller Prize or the Governor General’s Award; these books are chosen by Canadian citizens outside of the usual literary circle—a democratization of book awards, if you will. Meet the participants and their selections below! 

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Finding Reliable Health Information

We have all Googled “Covid-19” to find the latest results of what is happening in our neighbourhood and around the world. Rather than reading a fiction dystopia or a non-fiction war piece, we are reading about the daily war against this pandemic. The onslaught of information–“information overload,” as we information professional call it–makes it especially difficult to parse fact from fiction as new revelations comes to light (often information that contradicts past wisdom). The sheer abundance and efficacy of information are always tenuous factors when searching for health information, and this is especially true as events remain dizzyingly fluid. Even during a pandemic, however, people still get sick (non-Covid-19 related) and continue to cope with chronic diseases. Maladies of all sorts have dissipated from our collective consciousness (Covid-19 is taking up all of our bandwidth, understandably), but you might have found yourself at a lost finding reliable health information among the dislocating rabble. This post will briefly outline 3 free online health resources that you can turn to for updated and reliable health information.

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