Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Join us June 2nd in Sharon, Ontario for Spiritfest IV!

Exciting news! The good folk at the Sharon Temple National Historic Site are hosting the fourth inception of Spiritfest: a Festival for the Creative Soul! So on June 2nd, 2012, we will be greatly expanding the festival into the grounds of Sharon Temple, and the music will take place inside the acoustically-perfect Temple itself. More details are coming! But for now, check out the new blog and the list of people who are contributing to their talents to the day! Hope you will join us -- it's going to be the best festival yet.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

See you in Sharon! Spiritfest III on April 16, 2011

What an exciting experience this is going to be! And we never know how it is going to turn out, once the stage is set and everybody arrives...

Spiritfest presents a third adventure in creativity, in support of the York Region Food Network. We never want to forget that there are people hungry in this affluent area, and we have unlimited imagination to make sure everyone has what they need, if we have the will. The theme of the day is that when people connect via creativity, we are stronger than our individual parts, and able to be agents in our own lives instead of pawns. So -- community building, art, music, poetry and workshops will be going on all day long as part of this message!

The festival takes place in the Sharon Temperance Hall, on the grounds of the beautiful Sharon Temple. From 11am to 4pm, we present the festival; then at 7pm, David Rankine will launch his new CD of meditative music, entitled "Healing Space." Tickets are $20 and include a copy of the CD!

The schedule for the day is fairly informal, but includes things like:

a butter-making demonstration by the curatorial staff of Sharon Temple
a demonstration of heraldry by Linda Laforge of the Great Northern Medieval Fayre
a Feng Shui workshop
a Sacred Geometry and Community Building workshop
a drum circle with extra drums for beginners to try out! at NOON
a kids' folk concert at 2pm
an ongoing collaborative art project for everyone to take part in
a take-home art activity for kids
poetry performances
and music performances throughout the day!

Admission, believe it or not, is FREE from 11-4pm, so your family can enjoy a day of creative adventures. Donations to the York Region Food Network would be very much appreciated...

Many artisans, practitioners and performers have generously contributed their talents to this event. I would need ten posts to do them justice! For now, I will post some beautiful photos of the kind of handcrafted one-of-a-kind items you will find at Spiritfest... that will be posted later today.

Stay tuned! And see you This Saturday!

For now, enjoy these photos by David Draper, of previous festivals...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Spiritfest 2011 is coming April 16th! Find out more!

We are excited to announced that Spiritfest: Celebrating Creativity -- a wonderful one-day intentional community of artists, musics and creatives -- will be taking on a third incarnation in Sharon, Ontario.

Join us April 16th for an all-day free festival, ending with an evening CD launch concert of Dave Rankine's Healing Space CD.

More details coming -- watch this space!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dulcimerhead hosts Loretto Reid and Friends at "Jam for Pam! " November 14, The Grey Goat (upstairs) Newmarket Ontario

Dulcimerhead is very excited to be hosting a concert benefit THIS SATURDAY in Newmarket, Ontario -- the Jam for Pam!

Saturday evening at 7pm, join us upstairs at the Grey Goat Pub for music and fun with renowned Juno-nominated Celtic musician Loretto Reid. She has even invited some members of Glass Tiger to come and play with her! As you may know, Loretto Reid and Glass Tiger collaborated on Hawk One, music celebrating the theme of 100 years of powered flight in Canada. You can find the video on YouTube or by visiting the Glass Tiger website It sounds like Sam Reid and Al Connelly, keyboardist and guitarist with Glass Tiger, will be generously donating their talents to the cause.

The cause: to support our friend Pam during a difficult time. Anyone who has ever visited the Clean Food Connection on Main Street Newmarket has probably come away happier because of the uplifting spirit of this amazing woman. Now, we are given the opportunity to make her day a bit brighter, so we hope you will come and help out. Bring your intruments and jam with Dulcimerhead and friends, if you are inclined!

The Grey Goat Pub is located at 74 Main Street South, Newmarket. The concert begins at 7pm; tickets are a suggested donation of $25.00 for a whole evening of amazing musical entertainment. For more details, please visit!

All the proceeds of the silent auction go directly to Pam -- you can see some of the amazing items below, and there are also many contributions of creative or healing services as well. To see more of the unique items available, please visit

BIG THANK YOU to Loretto Reid, Sam Reid, and Al Connelly for their generous spirits in making this event happen. Also thank you to Dulcimerhead (David Rankine, Daniela Godina and Fernando Villalobos) for managing and hosting the event, and to Andrew for help with sound. Thank you to David Rankine for creating the web page, designing posters and facilitating the paypal donations. (Paypal donations can be received if you can't attend the event, by email to, with "For Pam" in the subject line.)

And a big thank you to Katy, Lisa Christine, Bob at the Clean Food Connection, Mary Jane, all the silent auction donors and others who have come together to spread the word and support Pam.

This is a sample of Pam's Ketaya Celtstone work, approximately 5" in diameter, painted on stone with a copper spiral hanger attached so it can be displayed on your wall. Image depicts the seasons changing around the Tree of Life.

A glowing pink Himalayan salt lamp, with wooden base and easy-to-install electrical connection. Approximately 12" high and 6" in diameter. Available at the wonderful local lapidary store, Rock of Ages.

A beautiful set of "Community" silver-plated cutlery; an almost-full set of 7 teaspoons, 8 soup spoons, 8 dessert forks, 8 dinner forks and 8 knives.

Make a bid for clean, healthy, local, organic food!

Our friends at The Clean Food Connection have donated a Veggie Pak -- maybe you didn't know you can order their food directly from their website or at any of their stores, and have it delivered! For more details, please visit The Clean Food Connection If we are very lucky, the owner and founder, Bob Burrows, will be up there onstage jamming with us on Saturday. Because guess what? He is a Canadian music legend! Betcha didn't know THAT. Bobby Kris and the Imperials

Who knows what other secret identities will be revealed at this gig??

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Spiritfest II -- the experiment continues

Hey Folks,

Spiritfest II
was our second attempt at activating the manifesto that Art feeds mind, body and soul -- and that being our creative selves allows us to build community and overcome social obstacles that would overwhelm us in isolation.

Starting from the idea that nobody can be creative when their basic subsistence needs are not met, we once again joined forces with the great people at the York Region Food Network. The message is: creativity is the ultimate renewable resource, and together we can make sure nobody gets left behind or left without adequate food, shelter and right to human dignity. So yes, we had a giant party to celebrate art, music, performance, healing practices and whatever creative acts our participants wanted to bring -- but we tried hard to focus on raising awareness and funds to help people who experience hunger and food security issues in our community.

In York Region, Canada, which is our home base, the median income hovers around $90K per year; at the same time, we have been hard hit by layoffs and whole sectors of industry closing shop. Food banks are seeing a 30% increase in user rates -- and donations have dropped as people who once gave to charity are finding they need it themselves. It is a well-known fact that the average Canadian lives only two paycheques away from homelessness -- yet people feel shame and isolation and are stigmatized when they reach out for help. With York Region rents being very high and rental housing very scarce, many people find themselves paying over 50% of their income on rent -- making food sort of a luxury item. We wanted to use our event to highlight those facts, and be a platform to build a community for a day, focussed on sharing our gifts.

We were very happy that the York Region Food Network's Executive Director, Joan Stonehocker, spoke to us about the campaign to "Do The Math" -- looking at the numbers that low-income people and social assistance recipients have to juggle in order to survive. For more information about this campaign, please visit

The York Region Food Network shows great creativity in their advocacy work: looking at the systemic causes of food insecurity on one level, and finding grassroots-level options to bring healthy fresh food to people who are relying on food banks. They help operate food banks; they offer school backpacks full of school supplies to families whose last dollar is not enough for their food bills; they offer community gardens to people who want to grow their own food in urban areas, and who send their extra produce to the food bank. They provide opportunity spaces for people to use human ingenuity to solve problems locally. That is why we love to support their work and spread the word about their organization.

More about Spiritfest coming soon!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Dulcimerhead T-shirts are here!

Dulcimerhead T-shirts arrived today -- and they look fabulous!

These black T-shirts feature the design work of David Rankine, and cost CDN $25.00 each. Sizes: Large and Extra-large. Wear them to support the band at concerts! OR just hang them on your chair and trip on the dizzying "surface shimmer" at work in them.

Available at Dulcimerhead gigs (concert details), by calling (705) 435-9695 or by email at

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dulcimerhead workshop -- "Sound Shamans" -- at Words Alive Festival, September 20, 2009

Dulcimerhead is back at Sharon Temple!

They are offering an "Open Space Spoken Word Creativity Workshop" at 2pm in the Sharon Temperance Hall, as part of the wonderful Words Alive Literary Festival. This festival is entering its third year, continuing the dream of founder Vali Stone to create a space where you can hear established writers, poets, and storytellers share their art and knowledge in performance and workshop. If you want to learn how to pitch a story idea, find a literary agent, or write non-fiction, this is the place! There is a very full schedule designed to engage anyone who is interested in "putting themselves out there" -- including an all-day Open Mike under the Maple Tree. Admission is only $5.00 per person. The Festival and Temple are located at the corner of Leslie Street and Mount Albert Sideroad in Sharon, Ontario.

Dulcimerhead's workshop showcases the rhythmic talents of Fernando Villalobos and the dulcimer melodies of Dave Rankine -- but unleashes their new secret weapon in the form of powerhouse poet and vocalist Daniela Godina. The combination of sound shapes and spoken word will recharge and open up your creative mojo! Her recent Sonic Journey performance in Nobleton gave her audience an absolutely indescribable experience of sound as vehicle for consciousness.

The Sharon Temple is a wonderful venue for the Words Alive Festival, and worth a trip in its own right. It is a jewel of history and spirituality -- the entire design of the building -- every window, every door -- is an expression of the values of the Children of Peace, an originally Quaker sect lead by a charismatic mystic named David Willson. They practised ideals of social justice, equality, unity and democracy long before those terms were part of Canadians' daily life. In the Illumination Ceremony, every window has a candle lit: a truly awesome sight.

When Dulcimerhead played the 2008 Illumination Ceremony, they created original music just for the occasion, and recorded a CD called "Sacred Sound: the Illumination of the Sharon Temple 2008" which is still available in the Temple's gift shop.

The Sharon Temple is an important landmark in the local history of the area -- and thanks to Words Alive, also a site for cultural community! Now you have TWO excellent reasons to be there this Sunday.