Side Door

At ECMA in Saint John this year I met with an inspiring entrepreneur named Laura Simpson. As a creative industry professional who operates not one but three organizations, working with and getting to learn from Laura these past six months has been one of my greatest gifts.

Which leads me to Side Door.

“Side Door is a curated digital booking and ticketing platform, used to create micro-concerts in homes and other private venues. The company is a partnership between Laura and two-time JUNO Award winning Canadian artist Dan Mangan. As a website and an app, Side Door is primed to disrupt the traditional music industry’s touring model for artists, live performances, and fan experiences.”

That’s the pitch, what do you think?

To me, Side Door is this cool tech company that makes intimate shows in interesting places for audiences who really want to see artists perform – happen.

You can read all about Side Door and join their network as an artist, host or a fan here. Then you’ll get their newsletter, too! Because it’s fun to watch a company grow.

Here’s a photo of Laura and Dan. See? Fun!

Katie Goodz

This week on Tuesday I had the greatest pleasure meeting up with my friend and former colleague Katie Goodz at New Scotland Yard Emporium for a coffee. We sat outside on this particular hot, sunny day and talked about our friends and family, our work and our businesses. Katie is an incredibly talented, funny, thoughtful, bright, inspiring designer and I couldn’t get enough of catching up with her and all that she’s been up to. For brand packages, logos, website design, or if you just like looking at great creative images, be sure to look her up at

Coffee meetings are highly recommended.

Design by Katie Goodz for Planet Paws.

Exciting times

This week I re-launched my business from behind-the-scenes to a bigger audience. I’m blown away by the feedback I received, the new people who I have met, and my friends and colleagues who I’m talking to about their plans for new initiatives and business development projects. These are exciting times.

In other non-business news, I have to give a shout-out to Tanya Keough who is turning 35 today. She is one of my biggest supporters and inspirations in life and I wish her all the happiness on her birthday. Keep rockin’ it, sister!

Free Will

“The imminent future will be a favorable time for refurbished models and revived originals. They are likely to be more fun and interesting the second time around.” – Free Will Astrology, Leo horoscope for week of September 14

Photo by NASA Johnson

Here’s a tip or five

As a grant writer I often meet with people to talk about funding and investment programs. I get asked a lot of questions about what programs are available, how to apply, and everything in between. To help prepare you for funding and investment, these are my top five tips:

1. Give yourself lots of time. It can take two weeks or two months to put together a plan and the actual application process can be lengthy.

2. The right fit. Read the eligibility requirements and any other information available to make sure your project meets the program’s mandate.

3. Talk to the program officer. Contact the person in charge of administering the program to discuss your project with them, and ask for their feedback on your ideas.

4. Perspective. It may feel awkward but it is standard to write a grant from the third person point of view.

5. Be honest. Always tell the truth; be honest about where you are in your career, where you want to be, and how the funds you receive will help you get there.

These tips are meant to strengthen your plan, your project, and your potential for funding and investment. I’m always happy to talk about grant writing, contact me over email to get in touch!

Thank you, Music Nova Scotia!

Today Music Nova Scotia announced their music and industry award nominees. I received a nomination for Educator of the Year! It’s my third time being nominated for this award, I am charmed; it is especially special this year. Congratulations to all the nominees. Let the countdown to Nova Scotia Music Week begin!

Real talk

As I’m catching up on recent events, I want to thank all the friends and colleagues, former teachers and those returning, students who graduated, parents and friends of those students enrolled this year, who read, shared, and showed support for my letter to the editor in The Coast that was published on Thursday, September 7.

I was live on-air with Don Connolly for an interview on CBC Radio Information Morning today to discuss the topic of the “no paid prep time” policy enforced this year at NSCC.

I encourage anyone who feels affected by this change to email me with your thoughts on the issue. I’d like to hear from students enrolled in the Music Business program, and other programs, about their concerns for how this policy may impact the quality of education they receive this year at NSCC. Others who I mentioned at the start, I hope to continue to hear from you, too.

Click here to read the letter to the editor titled “Prep for problems” on The Coast’s website.

Click here to listen to the interview on CBC Radio Information Morning.

Click here to read the full story on

After camp

I’m back from Make.Do.Camp. and I am forever changed. Words like “unreal” and “transformational” come to mind. Before I get all pie in the sky, let me share with you a secret: to simply unplug, make time for friends and conversations, to eat regular meals, swim, craft, and to follow your heart with an open mind – these are things we can all do to Make.Do.Camp.

Here is a photo of Laura Simpson, the founder of Make.Do.Camp., that I think encapsulates the spirit of it all.

And to answer the big question – did I do the zip line?! No, but not because I was afraid, I was too busy doing all the other things!

Photo credit: Angela Susan

Before camp

This week I’m going to Make.Do.Camp and I’m excited – and nervous – but mostly excited.

On Thursday I’m boarding a bus headed to the YMCA Big Cove camp for four days to unplug and take part in the fun and inspiring activities that Laura Simpson and her excellent team have planned. I loved camp as a kid and I’m looking forward to being in nature and meeting new people.

You can watch this super cool promo video and visit the Make.Do.Camp website to see what it’s all about.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. The big question is: Am I going to do the zip line? Who knows! I’ll be sure to report back after camp to fill you in.

Make.Do.Camp video by Mirror Image Media.