2016 Artist in Residence: Week 1!

By Justin Kautz

What a week! In the last seven days I have been met with a veritable flood of beautiful, welcoming people! From the Haven front desk, to the Kids In The Spotlight Program [can’t recommend it enough for children and youth!] to the Village Food Market, to the Vegeteers, to the Gabriola Arts Council and the Haven Board of Directors, every person I meet is 100% present in conversation and so willing to make Gabriola Island feel like home to me. And it certainly does. 

Sightseeing on the island is so full of green and life! The landscape is so vastly different than my native Edmonton that everything seems to catch my eye. Beaches and ocean-eroded rock formations are fascinating! My little cabin, the Seagull, is on the waterfront affording me inspiring views from the time I wake to the time I fall asleep cozy in a soft warm bed. The food at The Haven is a a feast of healthy, tasty options put together by the guidance of a gracious and accommodating Ceilidh and her team. 

This last week I got comfy by revisiting the Ukulele, reviving some past songs on the Guitar and getting back into the feel of playing the piano (which I haven’t had available for practice over the last year). And I had the unexpected joy of joining in the Kids In the Spotlight (KITS) with Denise Goldbeck and her amazingly emotionally intelligent team of senior staff and junior interns. The kids were so much fun, the play was a blast, and who wouldn’t jump at the chance of being Cuban Pete for a night? (Video evidence of the performance is pending, but Jim Carrey does his version.) 

The week ahead will be full of skill development, song development and workshop preparation! (I can hardly wait to share the joy of body percussion with Isle of the Arts Festival Goers on Sunday April 9th)  On Tuesday, I will have the opportunity to take in local artist Tim Harrison with Gabriolan Sas Selfjord in Nanaimo. Friday, March 25th is the Haven’s Coffeehouse! Live Music and opportunities to play! 

What great opportunities and musical discoveries lie ahead? I can’t wait to find out. Thank you all for the new home! Me and my instruments will check in again soon!

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