By Tara Bursey

We have almost reached the end of Woman Abuse Prevention Month, and it’s been heartening to see initiatives and campaigns pop up around town and in cyberspace in observation of it. My friend Leah and I have our own initiative that we’re really excited about happening this Saturday, and we hope that you will attend! All proceeds will go to SACHA to mark this important month, and to honour the important work that they do for the Hamilton community.

Have you heard of Fifth Column? If not, you’re probably not alone. Fifth Column were a multi-disciplinary post-punk group– a group of women from Toronto who formed in 1981. Two members, Caroline Azar and GB Jones, remained a constant until the group disbanded in the 1990s. Continue reading


SACHA BASH for United Way


The Sexual Assault Centre of Hamilton and Area (SACHA) presents a night of music, laughs and good company, all to raise funds for this year’s United Way Campaign.

When: Wednesday, November 30th – 7pm
Where: This Ain’t Hollywood – 354 James Street North, Hamilton ON
Music by:
The Astromen
Dan Edmonds + Jason Bhattacharya
Melissa Marches
Sarah Beatty
Gillian Nicola
Jordan Koren
Danielle Beaudin
Billy Moon
and Molly Babin

Tickets available at This Ain’t Hollywood.

7PM // All Ages // $15

All proceeds to support the United Way of Burlington and Greater Hamilton.

For more info contact

Interview: #StandWithKesha Organizer Adam Bryan


Earlier this year, a judge ruled against Kesha in her case against her abuser Luckasz Gottwald (Dr. Luke), a record producer for Sony.

Kesha, a pop singer and songwriter, signed with Dr. Luke when she was 18 years old. In October 2014, she came forward about her experiences of abuse and filed a civil suit against him, hoping to end her working relationship with Dr. Luke and to be released from her contract with Sony . However, the judge’s decision means that Kesha will have to continue to work with her abuser’s record label if she wishes to continue with her music career.

We interviewed Adam Bryan who is organizing #StandWithKesha, a fundraiser for SACHA and Halton Women’s Place.

event15270How did you react to Sony forcing Kesha to work with Dr. Luke?

It was really unnerving to hear that Kesha was denied the opportunity to get out of her recording contract with Sony and Dr. Luke.  The pictures of her crying in the courtroom are what really did it for me.  She just wants something so simple, to not have to work with her abuser, but even the opportunity they presented to still work and record, Dr. Luke still has final say on everything she releases.  If being a victim of sexual abuse didn’t already make her feel trapped, this situation just feels like she’s becoming an even bigger victim.  I think the decision was totally unfair.

What inspired you to organize the fundraiser?

I woke up one morning after seeing how fans organized to project the hashtag “#FreeKesha” onto the Sony Headquarters and thought “you know what, that is actually really cool.  All the people speaking out for her are really cool.  It’d be awesome if someone organized a fundraiser for organizations that support survivors of sexual assault and women who are survivors of abuse.”  Then I posted the idea on Facebook, without even thinking I would be the one organizing the event, and all of a sudden I get dozens of “like” notifications and a venue being offered to me. Continue reading

IWD Concert and Sing-A-Long Artist Profile: Sarah Beatty


by Tara Bursey

Sarah Beatty is one impressive lady—she’s a musician and an environmental scientist! Sarah is a Hamilton- based artist who grew up with two hometowns and many addresses on both sides of the border. In 2011, she recorded the first tracks of what would become her debut solo album, Black Gramophone, released in May of 2012.

In just a few short months, the live-off-the floor recording garnered support from local and international press and radio, national audiences, and generated an invite to audition for the Mariposa Folk Festival and a Roots Recording of the Year nomination from the Hamilton Music Awards in 2012. On top of her many musical accomplishments, she is expecting to get her Ph.D. later this year.

Learn more about Sarah’s influences below, and come out and hear her in person at our IWD Concert and Sing-A-Long on March 5th from 3-5pm at the Workers Arts & Heritage Centre.

Young women are rarely encouraged to pick up a guitar. How did you first start playing one? Who were the earliest women singers/songwriters to inspire you?

Internal and external barriers are huge factors that affect when a woman will pick up an instrument and/or use their voice to express themselves and their views. I don’t know what all the drivers are, but I really like seeing more and more young women writing songs and making music – women hold court in really important cultural ways. Continue reading

Voices of Women


iwd 2016The International Women’s Day Committee, coordinated by SACHA, invites all women participate in this FREE International Women’s Day Celebration.

Stand up and support actions to advance and recognize women in Hamilton and all over the world!

WHEN: Saturday, March 5 from 10:30am to 2pm
WHERE: Hamilton City Hall – 71 Main Street West, Hamilton ON

Rally, march, light lunch, and entertainment including Spirit Bear Drummers.

FREE and child-friendly.

Bring you drums, musical instruments, poems, music, and art.

For more information, please contact Sandra – 905.525.4573 or

Members of the IWC Committee include:
The AIDS Network
City of Hamilton Status of Women Committee
Good Shepherd
Hamilton Community Legal Clinic
Neighbour to Neighbour Centre
Revolutionary Women’s Brigade
Woman Abuse Working Group
YWCA Hamilton



 By Tara Bursey

Last year, the Workers Arts & Heritage Centre held a sing-a-long and concert in our backyard and main gallery featuring the Syracuse punk-folk band, The Malvinas. I have this awesome band to thank for introducing me to the glorious music of their namesake, Malvina Reynolds.

Who is Malvina?

Malvina Reynolds was born Malvina Milder in the year 1900 in San Francisco. She began singing and writing songs later in life, after acquiring a degree in music theory and meeting folk musicians (among them Pete Seeger and Earl Robinson) when she was in her late 40s. She went on to write several popular songs, including “Little Boxes,” recorded by Pete Seeger and others, “What Have They Done to the Rain,” recorded by The Searchers and Joan Baez (about nuclear fallout), “It Isn’t Nice” (a civil rights anthem), and many others. Malvina the magnificent also appeared a number of times on Sesame Street (as a character named Kate) and was a songwriter for the series in the 1970s. Continue reading

Malvinas Bring Rebel Girls To Hamilton


malvinas posterMalvinas is an art/rock/noise/punk/riot grrrl/jamboree/feminist band from Syracuse, NY. They are based in the work of Malvina Reynolds (b. 1900, USA), a folk singer/songwriter whose intersectional approach to social, political, and environmental justice continues to provide wisdom and inspiration.

Malvinas will be playing a free concert Saturday, August 22nd from 1 – 4pm at the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre at 51 Stuart St. as part of Radiodress‘ summer-long exhibition, Mysterium Tremendum.

Check out the Facebook event –

R: What was the inspiration behind the band, and why was it important for you to participate/contribute/co-create?

LexMal: Initially, I thought connecting to Malvina Reynolds would be a way for people with various music abilities to create together. Malvina Reynolds was wicked smart and funny; her lyrics are great, she connected so many social justice issues. From our first rehearsal we’ve had an energy and collaboration that is better than almost any other creative thing I’ve done. So the group is very important to me. As an artist, I work on how art is related to political change, and I’ve found our band, and music has a stronger connection to audience and politics than I usually experience in visual arts.

DrumMal: I was initially wary about joining a group based in “folk” music as that isn’t really my deal, but I WAS interested in joining, as it was pitched, a “DIY feminist band” and getting to play my drums more often. I knew VoxMal the most, but still only a bit. However, I knew if she was involved, it was a worthy pursuit. In such a short time, the Mals have become a second family tribe. Perhaps because we all feel safe and empowered in the messages we create with each other.

LuluMal: While there were many reasons to initially join the band – simply being part of a band itself was pretty empowering and something I never thought I’d do. Beyond that, it’s fulfilling  to work within the context of talking about the issues of social, economic, labour and gender rights. Also, being a younger member of the band, I get a lot out of listening to and being around people who have seen and lived more than I have.

UkeMal: When Joanna asked me if I would like to be involved in forming a band and playing Malvina Reynolds songs, I had a vague notion of who she was. After I did some research and started playing her music, I have found Malvina Reynolds to be an inspiration for my creative life and in general. I am in my late forties which is when she started writing and singing songs. I really identify with a lot of the things she said about how women are perceived at each stage of our lives and her resistance to being defined by society. This band is a way to use my voice and be in collaboration with others who want to raise up their voices to confront injustice and to support people’s right to self-determination and creative freedom. I also come from a long line of agitators and union organizers. I grew up with union stories about my grandfathers and father. My mother was a community organizer and I have done a lot of work myself in different communities. I grew up with the folk music from my mother and the punk music of generation X, so it is natural that I would find a musical and artistic home with the Malvinas. Continue reading