Now and for the foreseeable future I tell stories and write in Northern Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, Canada. This blog will have a lot to say about walking and talking, as well the complementary arts of looking, listening, reading, and thinking. The topic will often be the politics of Canada: federal, provincial and municipal. I care deeply about what happens in those arenas, although I am not a party man.
I walk primarily through our own place, which is 100 acres of bush growing on limestone-dolomite bedrock with a variable but always thin, sometimes non-existent, soil mantle. This kind of terrain is called “alvar”. I have laced the place with trails, some 18 kilometres of them; otherwise we leave the management of the land to Nature. Creatures animal and vegetable abound in great variety, as is typically the case on Bruce Peninsula.
I talk primarily in Country Supper Storytelling Concerts which my wife and I host each summer in our home. They are fully, perhaps even too fully, described at www.voyageurstorytelling.ca. We both cook for them too, and are therefore Canada’s, and perhaps even the world’s only professional chef-storytellers.
I was born and raised in Ontario, lived for many years in Alberta where I raised my family, lived for a few years in the Northwest Territories, and have worked in or visited most of the provinces and territories. When our aging parents needed us we returned to Ontario.
I came out of operations research and econometrics into the field of economic statistics, then into wider fields of economic and social research, especially in what used to be called the “mid-North”. For many years I practised a set of methods that I called “community research” with wide applicability to questions of economic and social development and service in northern and rural areas. This led into the management of not-for-profit service agencies. I completed that part of my career as Executive Director of NWT Family Services in Yellowknife.
Along the way I engaged in a second part-time career as a performer in and producer of opera and operetta which led after sundry adventures into storytelling, to which I brought an operatic approach. If you want to hear how that works you must come to one of our concerts, although you can find the outline on the web site linked above.
I began writing for performance not long after I began performing. The kind of writing that you will find in this blog, and in http://www.paulwconway.ca as it evolves, is not entirely new to me however. When I was engaged in community research my job was to express the values, ideas, opinions, hopes and fears of my respondents. Now I express my own. What those are will be revealed as the blog unfolds.