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Getting the Blues in Port Haney

I've always been taken by the blues. I grew up on a lake and for the most part have lived by lakes and now the Fraser River is out my front door. I even released a CD this year with Tony Rees called Everything Blue.

And so I plan on painting the house at 11630-224th Street to add some blues to the neighbourhood and help identify it as part of the City of Maple Ridge/City of Pitt Meadows Artist in Residence program.

The original colours of this funky fifties house were blue and white. As a musician I love the play on House of Blues. Blue and white are also the colours of the Finnish flag so speaks to my heritage of lakes and snow. I’ll be looking for paint over the winter - donations welcome, and we have a volunteer crew ready to help with the painting in early spring. I also just discovered milk paint - easy to make and non toxic - that has been used for centuries so I might experiement with that as well.

Over the summer I was working on the inside studio space of the house, also connecting with folks in the neighbourhood and performing at community events, from the Maple Ridge Museum’s 40th Anniversary to the City of Maple Ridge’s 140th Birthday Celebration. In addition to music, I work in photography/visual arts, eco and fibre arts, dance and theatre, with a passion for art for social change.

As for singing the blues, I'm hosting a monthly series of Songwriters Circles with my partner Tony Rees, at the CEED Centre, 11739-223rd Street, from 7-9pm the next one on December 17. The sessions are an opportunity for song-writers in all genres to get together for a relaxed evening of sharing music, inspiration, ideas and resources.

Also in collaboration with the CEED Centre, Sunday, November 23, we built a small community garden on the front lawn. Thanks to the fabulous volunteer crew of community Builders! We had a briiliant sunny day to be working outdoors.

Some of the vegetables grown will be used by the volunteers working the garden, and you are most welcome to volunteer if you like (drop me a line at and some produce will be donated to other community food programs. The AiR Community Garden has been funded in part with a Neighbourhood Matching grant from the Parks and Leisure Services Department of Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows.Please come by and see the work in progress.

I’ve also started a bit of a yarn-bombing public art project in the front yard. I had the idea to create a loom from a huge branch that fell from one of the beautiful old apple trees here and with our gang of Fibre Breathing Dragons, got it started a few weeks ago. Everyone who comes by is welcome to add to this hand weaving.

For more information on the Artist in Residence projects in Port Haney and Song-writer Circle please contact me at or . For more information on the Port Haney AiR community garden please contact the CEED Centre at 604-463-2229 or email .


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