CHRISTINE'S BLOG

Welcome! I love to write, and I love sharing what I write with my readers. I vary my style as much as I can-posting events, creative non-fiction, prose and poetry and the occasional video. Enjoy!

Miigwetch

Christine

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Review: Cloudwalker by Roy Henry Vickers and Robert Budd


Review: Cloudwalker
By: Christine Smith McFarlane

Cloudwalker, is a beautiful book that describes the creation of the rivers on British Columbia’s northwest coast. It is the second in a series of Northwest Coast legends by Roy Henry Vickers and Robert Budd.

On British Columbia’s northwest coast, there lies the Sacred Headwaters—the source of three of British Columbia’s largest salmon-bearing rivers. Cloudwalker tells the ancient story of a strong young Gitxsan hunter, who is intent on catching a group of swans with his bare hands.


Astace, the hunter dives under the waters to try and capture the swans but when the swans figure out what he is doing, they start to fly away, lifting Astace up with them into the air and dropping him into the clouds.

With only a cedar box of water Astace wanders the clouds, growing weaker, stumbling and spilling the contents. When he finally returns to earth he discovers lakes, creeks, and rivers where there were none before. The Gitxsan rejoice at having him home. they name the new river they live alongside Ksien—“juice from the clouds.”

Roy Henry Vicker’ artwork is vibrant and 18 new prints, accompany this new retelling of an ancient story—readers of all ages will be captivated.

Cloudwalker is published by Harbour Publishing Co Ltd and is 40 pages. ISBN 978-1-55017-619-3

Monday, December 15, 2014

Weekly Events

Weekly Events:

Monday December 15, 2014-8pm-FUNdraiser Concert for Thunder Woman Healing Lodge-There’s a great upcoming concert benefiting for Thunder Woman Healing Lodge Research Project on Monday December 15, 2014 at 8:00pm at Lee’s Palace. The feature artists are Digging Roots and we are excited that they will be headlining our fundraiser. The opening acts are Gary LaRocca and J-Rez. Tickets are only $15 available on EventBrite or $20 at the door. Please join us for a night of fabulous Aboriginal musical artists and a worthy cause

This is a fundraising event by the Doctor’s Lions Club of Toronto and the Toronto Aboriginal Social Services Council. There are far too many Aboriginal women incarcerated in this country and far too many federally sentenced Aboriginal women. The Research Project supports the creation of a s.81 Healing Lodge in Toronto or the GTA where Aboriginal women can heal, grow and integrate back into the community. The partners involved are leaders in the Aboriginal community in Toronto, along with health care professionals that believe that the vision can become a reality.

December 18, 2014- Sisters of the Soil Community Feast -We are very excited for our upcoming final Feast! The location will be 246 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario, Room 702 (beside Tim Hortons on the Bedford side of St. George station).
Join a dinner with the participants and community members who helped make Sisters of the Soil come to life! Email info@sistersofthesoil.com
See you December 18th!


December 18, 2014-8:30pm- BASEMENT REVUE-The Basement Revue breaks tradition to reveal a star-studded fundraiser to raise support for missing and murdered aboriginal women.

On December 18, 2014 at the Opera House in Toronto’s East End, Joseph Boyden, A Tribe Called Red, Jennifer Castle, Lee Maracle, Naomi Klein, Leanne Simpson, Tara Williamson, Shary Boyle, Emily Vey Duke, Cris Derkson, and special guests will come together to celebrate community.

In the Basement Revue’s seven-year history, we have always kept the line-up of these shows a secret, but we’ve decided to break tradition this year given the circumstances and what the objective of this show has become — an opportunity for the Canadian arts community to come together in solidarity and support.


December 21, 2014-FUNDRAISER: 25th Annual Kensington Market Winter Solstice Festival
Help raise funds for the 25th Annual Kensington Market Winter Solstice Festival by going to our fundraising campaign with the link below!


This event beckons the return to light on the eve of the winter solstice, every December 21st. On this longest night thousands of decorated revelers take part, with hand-made emblematic lanterns, encountering on route, tented-theatrical scenarios of shadow play, rooftop masking antics, roving giant puppets and stilted dancers with eclectic musical accompaniment. All are illuminated by the glow of fire breathers, spinners and Fire Finale in Alexandra Park.

Are you unable to attend the event but would still love to be involved? You can help by donating to our fundraising efforts or by purchasing a hand-made/ hand-printed item!

For Sale:
Red Pepper Spectacle Arts T-shirts (small or large logo placement) - $20
Festival T-shirts (large logo, middle placement) - $20
Hand-made Lanterns (various designs) - $10

Items are available for pick-up at Red Pepper Spectacle Arts in Kensington Market or a shipping cost can be added and items can be mailed. Cash or email money transfers accepted.

For more information or for other ways to get involved please contact:

redpepper@bellnet.ca

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Book Review: Celia's Song By Lee Maracle

Review: Celia’s Song
By: Christine Smith McFarlane

Celia’s Song is a complex but richly woven story that involves a Mink who is a shape shifter and serves as a witness to Celia and her family. Mink chronicles the experiences of Celia’s family on Nuu’chahlnuth territory over the course of several generations.

Celia’s Song brings to life the destructive legacy of colonial times and shows a community’s capacity to heal. The characters are vivid, especially the main character Celia, who is a seer, unconvinced of her abilities. In several scenes readers can feel the torment that Celia encounters in her ability as a seer when at one point she is cleaning her house and stops to “pull the curtain down, turns down the volume of voices off, and lets herself drift into her private world of scattered moving pictures, disconnected from current time.”

I love how Celia’s memory is explained. “Her memories have no order. They roll forward of their own volition in a series of scenes that slip and slide across the floor of her mind,” because while reading you can literally feel Celia’s thoughts and what she is going through.

Lee Maracle, is a master at weaving the stories of Celia and her family and the mink. I also find it intriguing the role of the sea serpent and how it dislodges itself from a longhouse and the chaos it brings to the village Celia resides in.

Celia’s Song is a read you will not easily forget. It sticks with you long after you put it down. It makes you think of the power of ceremony and how it can get you through the toughest of times



Celia’s Song is published by Cormorant Books and is 269 pages. ISBN: 9 781770 864 160

Monday, December 8, 2014

Weekly Events

Events:


Wednesday Dec 10, 2014-1:15pm-1:45pm Idle No More Toronto Round Dance.
It’s Round Dance Time! Please join us at Yonge & Dundas Square, Toronto at the blue tree. Its INM"s 2nd anniversary and lets show this city we're still here. Calling all hand drummers and those who want to round dance! To celebrate INM 2nd anniversary we want to remember the homeless who will struggle to survive through a cold winter. Toronto Grassroots Outreach activists(GO) will be there to say a few words about their outreach work to the Toronto homeless. Idle No More Toronto is calling for donations of male & female items of socks, gloves, hats and scarves that will be handed out to the homeless this winter by the Grassroots Outreach activists. See you there!

Saturday Dec 13, 2014—12pm-5pm- Kaha:wi Dance Theatre presents
Powwow Boot Camp
Shake & shape up for the holidays KDT style

Kaha:wi Dance Theatre (KDT) is pleased to offer a high-energy Powwow/dance training class. This is an intensive as well as fun boot camp style workout for people interested in maximizing their physical fitness led by Artistic Director Santee Smith and KDT instructors. KDT will be hosting a Holiday Open House & Potluck after Powwow Boot Camp where all participants are welcome.

Registration: 12:00pm
Class: 12:30-5:00pm
Holiday Open House & Potluck: 5:30-8:30pm

Dancemakers Studio - 15 Case Goods Lane, studio #313, M5A 3C4, Toronto, ON

Powwow Boot Camp is designed for people ages 16 & up. Please wear workout clothing, no shoes are required and make sure to bring plenty of water for hydration.

Cost?
$20 dollars at the door/$15 dollars if you are on our mailing list –

Sunday December 14, 2014-10am-4pm  Holiday Market Sale, Stan Wadlow Park, 373 Cedarvale Ave


Monday December 15, 2014-8pm-FUNdraiser Concert for Thunder Woman Healing Lodge-There’s a great upcoming concert benefiting for Thunder Woman Healing Lodge Research Project on Monday December 15, 2014 at 8:00pm at Lee’s Palace. The feature artists are Digging Roots and we are excited that they will be headlining our fundraiser. The opening acts are Gary LaRocca and J-Rez. Tickets are only $15 available on EventBrite or $20 at the door. Please join us for a night of fabulous Aboriginal musical artists and a worthy cause

This is a fundraising event by the Doctor’s Lions Club of Toronto and the Toronto Aboriginal Social Services Council. There are far too many Aboriginal women incarcerated in this country and far too many federally sentenced Aboriginal women. The Research Project supports the creation of a s.81 Healing Lodge in Toronto or the GTA where Aboriginal women can heal, grow and integrate back into the community. The partners involved are leaders in the Aboriginal community in Toronto, along with health care professionals that believe that the vision can become a reality.


December 18, 2014-8:30pm- BASEMENT REVUE-The Basement Revue breaks tradition to reveal a star-studded fundraiser to raise support for missing and murdered aboriginal women.

On December 18, 2014 at the Opera House in Toronto’s East End, Joseph Boyden, A Tribe Called Red, Jennifer Castle, Lee Maracle, Naomi Klein, Leanne Simpson, Tara Williamson, Shary Boyle, Emily Vey Duke, Cris Derkson, and special guests will come together to celebrate community.


In the Basement Revue’s seven-year history, we have always kept the line-up of these shows a secret, but we’ve decided to break tradition this year given the circumstances and what the objective of this show has become — an opportunity for the Canadian arts community to come together in solidarity and support.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Book Review: Rock and Roll Highway: The Robbie Robertson Story


Review: Rock and Roll Highway: The Robbie Robertson Story
By: Christine Smith McFarlane


“Rock and Roll Highway: The Robbie Robertson story” with its bright and colourful pictures is a non-fiction book geared to young pre-teens. It’s a story that is inspired by Robertson’s path to fame as portrayed by his son Sebastian Robertson, who is a musician himself.

Robertson, who was born in Toronto, Ontario, and an only child of a Mohawk mother and Jewish father grew up spending summers, holidays and many weekends at the Six Nation reserve where his mother had been born and raised.  It was here “that it all began; it was here where the rhythm, melodies and storytelling of Robbie’s First Nations captured his imagination,” and drew him into wanting to be a storyteller one day too.

With family encouragement, Robertson picked up his guitar and by the age of 12 surpassed the adults on his reserve as the ‘best guitarist.’ He soon begins his own group Robbie and the Rhythm Chords and takes off from there.

Sebastian Robertson chronicles his father’s musical journey in a way that is light and fun to read. At the end of the book, there is a chronological timeline of Robbie Robertson’s life and a q and a of Sebastian interviewing his father about his career. This is a book that will inspire you to go after your dreams.

“Rock and Roll Highway” is doing very well on Amazon.ca-the book nabbed #1 spots in three children’s books categories and an interview with Sebastian was published by the Rolling Stones Magazine.

Sebastian has a forthcoming book ‘Legendary Chiefs,’ that will be published by Tundra Books next year and he and his father are working together on another project, ‘Hiawatha and the Peacemaker for Abrams.’

Rock and Roll Highway: The Robbie Robertson Story is published by Raincoast Books

Sunday, November 30, 2014

POETRY

Panic arises
My heart is pounding
As fast
As horses hooves
Pound around the racetrack

I take a pill
Hoping it will calm me down
I gulp
Like a fish out of water

I take another pill
Wanting calm to surround me
Once and for all

Tears spill
My head pounds

I lay down
Too tired to do or say
Anything

The pills take effect
I fall asleep
At last

With one last thought
Before my eyes close

What will tomorrow
Bring?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Events

Events:

Thursday November 20, 2014-Bundle Teaching with Amy Desjarlais! This THURSDAY, 2pm-4pm . The teaching will be followed with an activity and sharing circle to learn about what you carry in your own bundle.@ the Native Women’s Resource Centre. Everyone welcome!


Thursday November 20, 2014-3pm- Transgender Day of Remembrance Flag Raising@ Toronto City HallThis year the trans flag will be raised at Toronto City Hall for the first time. Join the community at Toronto City Hall for the proclamation and ceremony.

Thursday November 20, 2014-Explore the challenge with us in a discussion of This Changes Everything, by Naomi Klein. Please come even if you haven't had a chance to look at the book.

Thursday, November 20, 6:45-8:45 p.m. (Please be prompt.)
Community Centre 55, 97 Main St. (south of Gerrard)

TTC tokens available upon request.
If you plan to come, write info@eastendnotar.org to receive a short introductory text.
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** At the meeting, connect with our subcommittee on municipal work against Line 9.


Meet us on Facebook: Toronto East End Against Line 9 and our blog www.eastendnotar.org

Saturday, November 22, WORN Fashion Journal will get your inner kitten out of the alley and onto the dance floor with our BLACK CAT BALL. Dovercourt House
805 Dovercourt Rd, Toronto
Scratch at the door: 9:00 PM
Meow for a taxi: 2 AM
Black and White Dress desired but not required.

ADMISSION PRICE - $15
Includes admission and a dangerously delicious copy of WORN Issue 19/20.

ADVANCE TICKETS $15 – AVAILABLE HERE

A limited amount of tickets will be available at the door - orders yours now.

THIS IS A LICENSED EVENT.
For more information on this and other WORN events, contact events@wornjournal.com.

Saturday November 29, 2014- 6pm- Speak For Tears: A Vigil for Missing and Murdered  Women, Men and Children. Join Us as we hold a Candle Light Vigil for Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women, Men, and Children on Saturday, November 29th @ Dufferin Grove Park in Toronto.

Speakers Include Jenn Mt. Pleasant, Leighann Ford, actress Tantoo Cardinal and More.


Stay tuned for more details.