IWD Concert and Sing-A-Long Artist Profile: Piper Hayes

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By Tara Bursey

 Our IWD artist profiles continue with this moving interview with Toronto-based singer/songwriter Piper Hayes. Learn about how Piper came to be a musician, and how music for her is an important agent for personal change, self-empowerment and transcendence.

 Come see Piper perform at this Saturday’s International Women’s Day Sing-A-Long at Worker’s Arts and 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?

IMG_9198-559x372I started playing guitar when I was 12 and 13. It was one of the instruments offered up for us to learn at my alternative middle school in downtown Toronto. I remember learning the basic chords and tons of songs from my parent’s generation. The first song I learned in fact was “Leaving On a Jet Plane.” Once high school hit, I didn’t pick up the guitar again really until I was 23.

I had taken violin as a kid and studied music theory on and off throughout my life and always sang, so my understanding of music was more solid than I realized. When I brought my guitar down to Manhattan, I was completing my last semester of a two-year musical theatre program. I had trouble learning other people’s songs as I only remembered how to play a few chords, so I took it upon myself to write my own. I still had no intention of being a singer-songwriter much less a musician at that point. I had no idea that I might actually be good. For me, at the time, it was therapy.  Continue reading

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IWD Concert and Sing-A-Long Artist Profile: Janice Jo Lee

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by Tara Bursey

Here is the next in our series of artist profiles in advance of SACHA and the Workers Arts & Heritage Centre’s sing-a-long event on Saturday featuring Janice Jo Lee!

Janice Jo Lee is a singer-songwriter, poet, storyteller and community organizer from Kitchener. She sings, speaks and shares stories about love, struggle, and community. She is disarmingly hilarious, off-the-cuff and fearlessly honest. Lee’s new album Sing Hey is a vocal and acoustic showcase with songs themed on feminism, poverty and friendship.

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?

I’ve always been a singer, before I could talk I was singing. It’s difficult to get gigs as a solo vocalist, so out of necessity really I picked up the guitar. My friend taught me the basics and I taught myself from there, having had a background in piano and trumpet. The first women musicians who inspired me were Lauryn Hill, Mariah Carey, TLC. I definitely listened to Mariah’s Daydream album on repeat. Continue reading

Voices of Women

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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 sandra@sacha.ca.

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
SACHA
Woman Abuse Working Group
YWCA Hamilton

LABOUR SONG PIONEER: MALVINA REYNOLDS

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 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

A Lot to Sing About

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We’ve got a lot so celebrate, a lot to struggle against, and a lot to sing about!

We are proud to present a International Women’s Day Concert and Labour Song Sing-A-Long in Worker’s Arts and Heritage Centre’s Main Gallery. We will be lead in song (some that we’ll recognize and some new) by some powerfully talented women.

Featuring:
Sarah Beatty (Hamilton)
Janice Jo Lee (Kitchener)
Piper Hayes (Toronto) 
Mimi Shaw (Hamilton) and more! 

Come out and celebrate IWD 2016’s theme, Pledge for Parity, while honouring the important contributions of women to social movements, labour and song!

WHERE: Worker’s Arts and Heritage Centre, Main Gallery – 51 Stuart Street, Hamilton ON
COST: Free!
All genders and ages invited.

Presented by Workers Arts & Heritage Centre and SACHA.
Check out SACHA’s annual International Women’s Day event at City Hall earlier in the day.

International Women’s Day! Equality for Women – Let’s Make it Happen

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The International Women’s Day Committee, coordinated by SACHA, invites women from all walks of life to participate in our International Women’s Day Celebration.

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

When: Sunday, March 8th from 11am to 2pm
Where: Hamilton City Hall Council Chambers – 71 Main Street West, Hamilton ON

Light lunch will be provided at this child-friendly, FREE event.

FREE parking in City Hall’s parking lot.

Check back to find out who will be speaking and performing at this amazing event.

For more information, please contact Sandra – 905.525.4573 or sandra@sacha.ca.

Members of the IWC Committee include: