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Festival Diary

Globe and Mail Update

It is so hard to articulate your artistic goals as a young person.

Perhaps one doesn't have enough experience to put into words what one is even looking to come out of their art form.

However two things have always been true for me: I have always cared about art, and I have always cared about the people who seemed really troubled.

My fourth album, Ghost Stories has been out for one week. We are in the midst of that “first - week” buzz.....I have done a ton of press and promotion, and chatted to many reporters about being “away” for “four” years.

I love that part. “Away....”

I have been living!!! I have been stewing and brewing in my mind....I now have children, and people and this world mean even more to me than ever. For they will co-exist with my children, and impact their lives, and the lives of their children.

Maybe my child will be one of the people who is lost and has needs, who knows?

I want this world to be a tolerant stage for compassion and beauty.

I am 33 now, and it has taken me a long time to have that feeling of talking about something interviews that is far bigger and more important than me, my songs and how I feel about “things.”

I wrote a film called Pretty Broken while I was “away” and working on my fourth album, and now the two are feeding off of each other during the buzz of my album release, and the buzz of the Toronto International Film Festival. I had a creative vision that my film, which is a peer into the life of a woman struggling with mood disorder, that it would be completed, actually “work” and that it would be selected for TIFF when my album came out.

Contrived as that may sound, the two creative expressions, my album and Pretty Broken fed each other in the creative process. I wrote songs about the Ghosts of our society, the invisible, the people who are dispensable, dismissible seemingly invisible, many of which were inspired by the words in my short film, and the words of the short film inspired a lot of the mood/landscape of the album.

I love meditation, yoga, and any moment in life in which I feel very present, focused and alive.

I have never felt such a feeling of empowerment and satisfaction than when I was making these two creative visions come “together.”

Now, here I am....at the commencement of TIFF 06, and it is HAPPENING!!! My album is out, #2 behind Dylan (ok, it's Dylan) and I have a podium, and something worthwhile to talk about. THANK GOD. I am so happy to not have to talk about me. I am so happy to talk about something important.

In my film, I don't preach. I don't tell anyone how to feel about mood disorder. I don't even know completely how I feel. However, I do know that we need to bring EVERYTHING out of the closet and be honest, and walk in the truth. If we can do that, we can start to heal society. I truly believe it at the bottom of my heart. I feel like we have been hiding people who have true psychiatric problems, and in the film a manic comes out and is right in our face, and we cannot walk away.

With stigma fuelling up to 50 per cent of the manic cycle, just think of how much more healthy society would be if we no longer placed these people in constant judgment.

One of Canada's greatest traits is its ability to lead and influence on the level of human rights throughout the planet. Wouldn't it be amazing if we knew more and cared more about people struggling with mood disorder? We would set a new standard throughout the world, I know it.

I finally had the best creative dream of my life, and, it is the one that came true, the closest to my vision.

Pretty cool. I am so happy at this one great moment.

I must be honest....normally, the idea of a red carpet is not so appealing to me. In fact, I would rather be buried alive.

I am so excited to be out and about this Festival because of the content of my piece, Pretty Broken. My album has a similar tone of authenticity, with my husband and I having made the album together at home, and with the tone of the album being about hope and remembering the dismissed, and songs about my new family, etc.

I have been overwhelmed by the schedule, and yet I feel so fresh with excitement and hope for the future, and truly feeling the power of art and expression brings so much meaning to every interview, fitting and appearance. I am more comfortable with the idea of sharing myself, my personal life, my laugh and love with everyone than ever.

Authenticity is the key for me to feeling comfortable with the attention. I have always fought the lure of self-perpetuation that being in the media can bring on, and now I feel elated and truly at peace.

My only concern is how can I maintain this euphoric creative buzz?

As I mentioned, the schedule is a little crazy.

However, if I can FEEL great, then I can do anything! So, I will make sure to sneak in a yoga class, a swim or a run whenever possible.

My parents are coming in for TIIFF, so I am going to make sure that the children get a lot of time with their Grandparents, and we'll have a family gathering at some point, and that will balance everything out.

I like to feel like I am still a very present mother, wife and daughter event when things are out of control with the schedule, otherwise I don't feel centred.

I always allow for some time for vanity, but not that much.

I am too impatient to sit in the hair dresser's chair for long! I don't think I will get much sleep this week, but I will sure enjoy my caffeine indulgences and cold showers to wake me up! Oh gosh, it's going to be NUTS!!!! Love it.

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