Sunday, March 30, 2014

O audience, where art thou?

I am beginning to worry just a little bit.  Well, truth be told, I worry a lot about any number of things, but right now I am a little worried about the arts in Niagara.

What prompted this concern on my part was a performance Friday evening hosted by the Department of Music at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine & Performing Arts at Brock University.  The evening saw the finale of the Walker Cultural Leader Series, a performance by the Toronto-based Ensemble Vivant, a small yet multi-talented group of musicians fronted by the petite dynamo Catherine Wilson.

In the Sean O'Sullivan Theatre, which seats about 500 people, I would say we were lucky if 100 people turned out for the performance, and many of them I suspect were students in the Department of Music at Brock.  That's a shame, because what those in attendance enjoyed was an exquisite evening of chamber music with a twist, ranging from Bach to Piazzolla to Gismonti and Canadian composer Rick Wilkins, among others.

In addition to Catherine on piano, we had Stephen Sitarski on violin, Norman Hathaway on viola, Sybil Shanahan on cello, all exceptional performers in their own right, and wait for it...Don Thompson on vibes and David Young on double-bass.  Hold the phone!  Don Thompson AND Dave Young, two long-standing legends of the Toronto jazz scene sharing the stage with Catherine Wilson and the rest of the crew and you were not there?  Now don't you feel silly...

The performance was exceptional, although note to Brock production people:  you might want to make sure musicians know how to operate a battery-powered microphone before sending them out on stage with one.  Small observation on my part, I know, but it is rather amusing how many times I've witnessed talented musicians being flummoxed by a portable microphone over the years.

After the concert we had a chance to chat with Catherine in the lobby, and renew a genial friendship that goes back over twenty years now when I first met her at the Guelph Spring Festival.  We talked about the audience numbers, and Catherine, quite rightly, suspected with exams looming more students were not in attendance.

That's fine; I can accept that rationale.  But what of the rest of us?  The Marilyn I. Walker performances at the Centre for the Arts have been around for many years now, encompassing drama, music and so much more, and yet every time I attend one of the performances, the general public does not generally attend.

The Drama Department performance last month of a Canadian adaptation of the story of Joan of Arc drew similarly sparse crowds, and I fear the upcoming Wind Ensemble performance fronted by Zoltan Kalman on Tuesday evening of this week, also at the Sean O'Sullivan Theatre at 7:30 might not fare much better.

It can't be the prices.  Tickets to Friday's Ensemble Vivant performance were barely more than 15 dollars; this Tuesday's Wind Ensemble performance is less than 10 dollars.  And for that pittance you get uniformly exceptional performances by local artists and those with a more national stature as well.

I don't know what the solution is, either.  It can't be the location, since Centre for the Arts performances can usually draw a crowd, as does the Niagara Symphony for both their Masters and Pops! series.  Not sellouts usually, but often pretty close.

The Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine & Performing Arts advertises the events; I saw several ads for Ensemble Vivant in The Standard the past week, in fact.  But still, people don't seem to respond.

Clearly, answers must be found before the arts school at Brock moves into their new digs downtown adjacent the new Performing Arts Centre.  We cannot have a jewel of the downtown arts scene sit nearly empty most performance nights as is the case oftentimes up at Brock.  An aggressive marketing campaign must be devised to generate more interest in the many and varied series offered right now up at Brock prior to the move downtown during 2015, which is not that far away.

But that is only one half of the equation.  The public - you and I - have to take this seriously and support the great work the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine & Performing Arts does day in and day out in our community.  It may be a case of out of sight, out of mind, but that is not sustainable in the long run.

Ask yourself:  have you ever attended one of their performances up at Brock?  If not, why not?  It is not an elitist performance series by any stretch of the imagination, and you get a lot of  value for your entertainment buck.

Go to the Brock University website,, to see what you've missed this season.  And then make a mental note to check back come the fall to see what the new season holds, and take a chance on a new entertainment experience.  It won't break the bank, and you might just find you become a fan.

Supporting the arts in Niagara is not difficult.  Bringing them back after they have vanished due to lack of support is.  Let's be proactive and show some enthusiasm for a series of performances worthy of your time and financial support.

Enjoy the Arts in Niagara!

March 30th, 2014.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Gallery Players seeking funding for new CD project

There was a time, a long, long time ago it seems, artists would be signed by record companies and would record CDs the companies would market on their behalf.  Not any more, at least not all that often for classical artists, at least.

Consider the halcyon days when Columbia (now Sony) RCA (later BMG and now part of Sony) and many other major labels had entire divisions devoted to acquiring and recording classical artists.  Even if you didn't score a deal with a major label, you could often score with a smaller, more adventurous label willing to take a chance on a group or individual not necessarily considered a major draw.

Those days are indeed gone.  With the advent of the Internet and by extension music downloading, record companies, rightly or wrongly, cut loose a lot of great classical artists who now no longer have recording contracts.  Think of Toronto-based Tafelmusik and their major deal years ago with Sony Classical's period-instrument offshoot label Vivarte.  I attended the launch of their first four CDs all at once (unheard of today!) at a splashy event in downtown Toronto about 20 years ago.  Or consider the venerable Montreal Symphony Orchestra (OSM), long a classical-music powerhouse for the British label Decca.  That was until the 90s when even the mighty OSM with Charles Dutoit lost their lucrative recording contract.

The Toronto Symphony?  They have not had a long-term recording contract in decades, it seems.  They issued lots of great recordings on EMI Classics (now gone) and of course CBC Records, but overall, the TSO has had a hit-and-miss relationship with the recording studio.

Smaller groups and individual artists fared a little better, it seems, at least for a little while, but eventually many of them too had trouble getting recording deals with labels.

Enter Naxos, the little classical music label that could, and now is a major player in the classical music recording field.  Their business model is different from other labels and they have thrived from that arrangement.  Many individual artists, small ensembles and even larger groups such as the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra have benefitted from recording deals with Naxos.  They don't make as much money, but at least they get to record and that is important.

In many cases, larger ensembles form their own labels, as has been the case with the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO Live); Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO Records) and more locally, Tafelmusik (Tafelmusik).  But what of those artists who don't have the wherewithal to form a label and market their own product like some of the bigger orchestras are doing?

In many cases, they find backers and issue their own recordings on their own small labels.  Thanks to modern recording techniques, equipment levels are not as cumbersome as they once were:  an individual artist could even set up a studio in his home if he or she really wanted to.  And some do.

But for many others, they have another option now at their disposal, and for them, crowdsourcing is the way to go.  When you talk crowdsourcing sites, you are usually referring to Indiegogo, where you can set up a campaign that invites investors to come on board and help finance a project, and they often receive perks in return.

The latest local group to go that route is Gallery Players, who launched their campaign last month and in the first 10 days had 17 funders already on board.  As of this week, the number was up to 57, bringing them to 54% of their goal.  The campaign to help fund their 20th anniversary CD project wraps up April 12th, so there is still time to jump on board and support Gallery Players should you wish to.

One of the recordings to be included on the new CD will be Robert Schumann's Dichterliebe, which they performed in January with Brett Polegato at Rodman Hall.  If you want to look further into their campaign and perhaps even become a funder yourself, go to:

There, you can find out more about their campaign and the 20th anniversary CD project currently underway.

The Gallery Players will be presenting The Vesuvius Ensemble next April 6th at 2 pm at St. Barnabas Church on Queenston Street, and the concert is appropriately entitled "In the Shadow of the Volcano."  Gallery Players Artistic Director Margaret Gay is featured on cello, along with Francesco Pellegrino, Marco Cera and Ben Grossman.  The music of sunny Naples from the Renaissance and Baroque periods will be featured.  You can be sure they will be pushing the 20th anniversary CD project as well as the final days count down to the end of the campaign.

For tickets to the concert, call The Gallery Players at 905-468-1525 or go online to

Enjoy some great music and support a great cause, too!

March 22nd, 2014

Sunday, March 16, 2014

In other news...part two: I have a new career...imagine that!

Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day, and being part Irish, I have always considered it a bit of a lucky day for me.  But this year, the luck of the Irish will be smiling through in a special way, and I couldn't be happier.

Seven long months ago, I wrote in this space I was now unemployed.  I was saddened by a sudden turn of events that saw me and several other hard-working colleagues join the ranks of those looking for work in a job market that had itself fallen on hard times.  While I tried to remain optimistic my fortunes would change, I also knew in my heart it would be a long, tough road ahead.

But I had a plan.  I knew my best option was to go full speed ahead searching for my next big adventure using every available tool in my arsenal, and refuse to give up.  Sure, there were days I began to lose hope, days I quietly despaired and wondered if I would ever find work again.  But I persevered and like a dog with a bone, I refused to give up.

For me, the first good news came just three weeks after losing my full-time position at my previous employer when I found part-time work at the Brock student radio station, CFBU-FM as Spoken Word Content Developer.  It was a contract position running through to late May, and I am grateful to Deborah and her team for believing in me and giving me a wonderful opportunity to use my skills as a communicator and interviewer to develop new programming ideas for the station, as well as host my own programme, Inquisitive Minds, which airs Wednesday mornings at 11 am.

My new position bought me some time with my job search, but it also reinforced in me just where my talents lie and how I can use them in new and exciting ways.  So basically, moving to CFBU-FM was a wise career move for me as well as providing me with much-needed income.

But I knew it wouldn't last, and May would come soon enough.  Throughout the fall I applied for positions I felt qualified for with little or no response.  Disheartened, I went into the Christmas holidays in need of a period of self-examination and broadening of my career goals.

What came out of that two-week period was a renewed desire to begin 2014 with a new game plan and increased optimism I would achieve my goals.  I broadened my career objectives, looked at ways to transfer my skill set to new areas I had not thought of before, and as the saying goes, 'think outside the box.'

In a couple of weeks I will address just how I modified and carried out my job search and what worked and didn't work for me, in case others in my position might be able to benefit from my experience.  But today, I am looking at a goal achieved, my next big adventure about to begin.

In examining my skills and what would be transferrable to a new area, I realized two things:  first, I was a communicator, able to listen and analyze information and move the conversation forward because of it.  Second, I genuinely enjoyed meeting and building relationships with people from all walks of life, each with a unique story to tell.  For me, relationships are built one at a time, face to face, and based on trust and integrity.

When I began expanding my career horizons and researching places I felt shared my vision for relationship building, I kept coming back to Meridian Credit Union.  Now, I knew some people at Meridian from my days in radio of course, but I had never stopped to discover what they were all about.

What I found was a home for me and the values we both shared.  The next step was to get to know the company better, the people who work there and nurture that relationship I wanted to build.  I began with a simple email to a trusted contact in Meridian's head office, Wade Stayzer, outlining my desire to explore career options with Meridian.

The second step was to meet with some others from the company, including Regional Director Shelley Cleversey, with whom I can further that relationship building, and that came in early February.  It took some time and persistence, but two weeks ago it paid off with a call to come in to the downtown King Street branch for a meeting that very afternoon.

At that meeting with Branch Manager Mary Margaret Murphy, my next big adventure began, and we worked together to pull all the necessary pieces together to make things happen quickly.  The most important piece of the puzzle was to be bonded, as everyone working in a financial institution needs to be.  That confirmation came this past Friday morning, just prior to my being introduced to most of the staff at the branch that afternoon.

So tomorrow, I begin not just a job, but what for me has been my goal all along:  a second career.  A second career utilizing skills acquired as a broadcast communicator as well as my desire to make a difference for people...again.

I know the learning curve in front of me is a steep one as I learn the practices and routines  of a new career as well as an entirely different corporate culture than what I had long been used to.  But with support from my colleagues and the company and an intensive training period, I know I will achieve my goals...and theirs.

Meridian was willing to, like me, think outside the box and move beyond their comfort zone, as I am doing.  But I know they might not have done that if I had not made the effort to allow them to get to know me and see what I can bring to the table.  Relationships.  It's all about building relationships.

So tomorrow morning I begin training as a Member Services Representative for the downtown branch of Meridian, where I will likely be the first person you see when you step inside the door.  Over time we hope to work together on new ways to develop the business downtown, utilizing my profile as a downtown person in order to increase Meridian's brand awareness in the the city core.

I am excited by the prospect and know I can grow within an organization that values people and knows the importance of promoting from within.  Our shared values I think will provide both Meridian and myself with new opportunities in the years ahead.

So what of my responsibilities at CFBU-FM?  They have been gracious enough to allow me to pursue this wonderful opportunity before my contract would be up in May, but I am able to adjust my work schedule there to continue doing my show until the end of the term if at all possible and continue to work at developing new ideas for programming there as time permits.

We also hope to work out some kind of arrangement in the future where I can still contribute in some small way to CFBU-FM's programming either with spoken word or music programmes as a member of the community.

I will be busy over the next two months completing my projects there and adjusting to my new career at Meridian, but if nothing else I am adaptable and will always find a way to make things work to everyone's advantage.

Although I will be leaving a career path behind I had followed for many years when I move to Meridian, I know it is the right time and the right move.  I had 40 years in my past career, only being out of work for three weeks of that time last August.  I think that record speaks for itself.  But I know all good things come to an end and so too does my time in radio.

I have had the pleasure and honour of working with a number of talented and dedicated individuals over the years and am grateful for the experiences I had with each and every one of them.  These people have enriched my life immeasurably over the years and I thank them for that.

The past seven months I have been living the bohemian lifestyle at a student radio station and loving it; now I trade in my jeans for business suits and sports jackets, and I could not be more excited.

So wish me luck in my next big adventure, and feel free to stop in some time to discover why Meridian is a good place for you to grow your future, too.  I'll be thrilled to see you!

I have a new career...imagine that!

March 16th, 2014.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

No shortage of great concerts in Niagara this week

In the first of two blog posts I am writing this weekend, I thought I would take a look at what concerts are coming up this week as we prepare to - hopefully, at least - welcome spring to Niagara.  That might be a relative term, of course this year, but we'll take what we can get during this frigid March.

Sunday afternoon, the Niagara Symphony presents their Masterworks 4 concert at the Sean O'Sullivan Theatre at the Centre for the Arts, Brock University.  Titled Celestial Serenades, Music Director Bradley Thachuk conducts a programme that includes the ever-popular Eine Kleine Nachtmusik by Mozart, the Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta by Bartok, and the Serenade for Strings in E-major by Dvorak.  So given that programme, don't expect to see a full complement of orchestra musicians for this concert.  But the music should be terrific, so let's chase the last remnants of the winter blues away as the concert begins at 2:30 in the afternoon tomorrow.

Once again I will be in the lobby before, after and at intermission with a table full of great music available for purchase, and I look forward to seeing you there.  Tickets should be available at the box office before the concert or in advance by calling 905-688-5550, ext. 3257.

There's a couple of chamber concerts on Tuesday of this week, one here in St. Catharines and the other in Buffalo.  The Department of Music at Brock University continues with their Music@Noon series recitals at the Sean O'Sullivan Theatre this week, and the Music Department Voice Students will be performing this Tuesday at noon.  These recitals are free and the public is welcome to attend, by the way.

Tuesday evening at 8 pm in the Mary Seaton Room at Kleinhans Music Hall, the Buffalo Chamber Music Society presents the Artemis Quartet, performing the String Quartet in B-flat Major by Brahms, Officium breve by Kurtag and the Schubert String Quartet No. 14 in D minor, 'Death and the Maiden'.  Tickets and more information to the Buffalo Chamber Music Society performances are available by calling 716-462-4939 or online at

Later in the week at the Centre for the Arts at Brock University, De Temps Antan, a super-group of Quebecois folk musicians will be performing in the Sean O'Sullivan Theatre Thursday evening, the a cappella vocal sextet known as Take 6 performs Friday evening, and Canadian vocalist and pianist Laila Biali takes to the stage next Saturday evening.  All concerts begin at 7:30 and tickets should still be available for all performances through the Brock box office by calling 905-688-5550, ext. 3257 or by going online to

Saturday evening, March 22nd, the St. Catharines Chamber Music Society presents their spring concert known as French Breezes at 7:30 pm at Covenant Christian Reformed Church at 278 Parnell Road in St. Catharines.  You can check out the group's Facebook page for more concert details, and tickets should be available at the door next Saturday evening.

Finally, next Sunday afternoon at 3pm, Primavera Concerts presents Jayme Stone's Room of Wonders, featuring Jayme Stone on banjo along with a host of his musical friends.  The concert takes place in the acoustically-warm and inviting St. Barnabas Church on Queenston Street.  Tickets should be available at the door or in advance by calling 905-329-9987 or going online to

So you see, spring is just around the corner, with some great music to welcome the season in!

March 15th, 2014.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Celebrating International Women's Day and Industrial Fabric

This weekend, as is the case every March, we mark International Women's Day with concerts and good intentions, although I prefer to celebrate women and their considerable achievements year round, really.

But this weekend there is an interesting concert coming up this evening, in fact, at St. Thomas Anglican Church on Ontario Street in downtown St. Catharines, and it is billed as a "Niagara Concert for International Women's Day."  It's another of the always-interesting artistic endeavours of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine & Performing Arts at Brock University.

The Brock University Women's Chorus hosts guest ensembles:  the McMaster University Women's Chorus and the Queenston Ladies Choir, in a concert showcasing the beauty and power of women's voices.

Conductors Lisa Brillon (Queenston), Harris Loewen (Brock) and Rachel Rensink-Hoff (McMaster) will each conduct their individual choirs, and then the choirs will join forces in a massed chorus of over 100 voices in a performance by three elite, treble-voice women's ensembles.

For the most part, the concert will be contemporary in flavour, with the majority of works performed either written in the 20th or 21st centuries, with a number of them published in just the last few years.  Also represented on the programme will be works by 19th-century composers Bruckner and Mendelssohn, along with traditional folk songs and spirituals in new arrangements.  I'm interested, though, Fanny Mendelssohn would not be represented on the programme along with Felix, but maybe that's just me.

One of the concert highlights will be the Canadian premiere of "She Rises", a piece for double women's chorus with music and lyrics by Catherine Dalton, dating from 2011.  Other contemporary composers represented include Eric Whitacre and Canadian songwriter Leon Dubinsky, arranged for women's chorus by Toronto's Lydia Adams.

The concert begins at 7:30 tonight, and tickets should still be available at the door.  It should be a great concert, and a fitting way to celebrate International Women's Day.

This concert, in fact, is part of the 4th annual festival of the arts known as Industrial Fabric, which runs throughout the months of March and April with several performances and exhibits both at Brock University and throughout the larger community.  I talked this week with Derek Knight, Director of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine & Performing Arts at Brock, and he was very enthusiastic about the breadth and variety of events planned this month and next.

Along with tonight's concert at St. Thomas Church, there are theatrical design exhibits, the One Acts Festival of short plays featuring student actors from Brock's Department of Dramatic Arts, and something called The Rosina Project.  This is described as an interdepartmental collaboration with MUSIC student Leanne Vida, under the direction of Professor Virginia Reh, exploring the character of Rosina in the Figaro operas of Rossini, Mozart, Milhaud and Corigliano.

For a detailed list of all events as well as locations and times, go to  You'll find literally something for everyone over the next two months, all designed to further the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine & Performing Arts mandate of building connections between the community and Brock University.

Enjoy the weekend!

March 8th, 2014.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

An update on the job search for yours truly

It's been awhile since I had written anything about my search for a new job or better yet, career, so I thought I would update the situation as it now stands for those of you who have been asking.

Following the holiday break, I knew I had to step things up even more than beforehand, as my contract term at CFBU-FM ends in late May and at that point I will have no income of my own whatsoever coming into the household.  One thing I did do over the holidays was to rethink my career path somewhat and expand my horizons, or as the hackneyed saying goes "think outside the box."

In addition to my long years of service in the radio industry, I have been lucky enough to gather many years' service in the retail sector as well, working at various retail establishments as well as with my own online music business, A Web of Fine Music, which continues to this day.  So I felt that is an area I could move into if the right opportunity came along and the future employer chooses to look beyond my age and see the experience and talent available to them.

Many resumes have gone out, both online and the hard-copy variety, but so far have met with limited response.  But there is interest out there, so I think it is only a matter of time...I hope!

There have been several job or career fairs lately and I have attended all of them.  The first, February 13th hosted by the Job Gym, had about 50 businesses set up in the auditorium of the St. Catherine Collegiate.  Many were offering summer work for students or part-time work, so I thought it best to cherry pick the best prospects first and then go visit with each of them with resumes in hand.   Overall, I felt the response was positive, but so far only one of those contacts has resulted in a job interview after the fact.  That was this week and so far I have not heard back yet if a job will be offered at the business location in Niagara Falls.

What I found a little surprising with this job interview in the Falls was they actually asked me to bring my high school diploma with me!  I confessed I had no idea where it is now and was about to quip it is likely chiselled into a stone tablet somewhere when they said they could do a back check on my behalf to retrieve it.  Whew!  I thought working steadily for as long as I have might suggest I had in fact completed high school in this day and age but you just never know.

The second job fair was earlier this week at the CAW Hall on Bunting Road, this time hosted by BEC Niagara.  Again, a good selection of businesses to talk to, but for me, rather limited choices.  I did zero in on a couple of specific businesses, with one hopefully to result in a follow up interview shortly for a fresh job posting in Welland.  I am very hopeful this one prospect from that job fair might bear positive results very soon.

In both cases, these job fairs were well attended with people from all walks of life and educational backgrounds, all sharing a common goal to find gainful employment in a job market that is to put it bluntly, bleak.

Yesterday I joined hundreds of other job hunters at the career fair held at Niagara College's Niagara-on-the-Lake campus, directly across from the new outlet mall going up and scheduled to open May 15th.  Ads for the fair indicated 1,500 jobs are available, so I knew interest would be high for yesterday's event.

I decided to wait until the afternoon before heading down, a thought reinforced by a comment I heard from someone at the St. Catharines Farmer's Market in the morning.  One lady's daughter headed down first thing in the morning and called her to say the wait to get in to the career fair was three hours.  So much for retail sector jobs having limited appeal in this part of the world where the unemployment rate is the highest in the province, eh?

I figured waiting until after lunch would be a shorter wait and I was right.   It was down to about 2 hours at that point, although if you had waited to 4 pm, the last hour, there would have been no wait at all.  I arrived at 2 pm and joined the lineup with two ladies there to find work, but not looking for anything in particular.  We all knew we were basically part of a labour cattle call, but we swallowed our collective pride and waited patiently in line.

Again, the mix was people young and old, male and female and literally from all walks of life.  Men in track pants to, like myself, in a suit and tie; women in everything from jeans to proper business attire.  All had one objective in mind:  find a job in a marketplace with more people than jobs available to them.

It was nice to see spirits were high and everyone seemed in reasonable good humour, even after seeing the long lineups snaking around the campus leading in to the gymnasium, where about 60 of the vendors were set up for the day.

You are always told at job fairs to be prepared to be interviewed on the spot, but I have yet to see that happen.  In this case certainly the sheer numbers of applicants prevented that from happening.  The best you could hope for is a good first impression and a chance to drop off your resume or fill out a job application.

What struck me as interesting was the diversity of the screening processes used.  The first booth I visited requested you fill out a detailed application on the spot, basically duplicating the information contained in your resume.  Others simply accepted your resume, while still others had you fill out a simple application card.

Once again I cherry picked from the list of vendors available, avoiding the longest lineups for obvious magnets like Bass Pro Shops Outpost and Gap Factory Store in favour of the few higher-end shops there I felt would attract a clientele I could relate to and who would appreciate someone with a few miles on the odometer.

One of these, with no lineups whatsoever, made the trip worthwhile for me and resulted in a follow up interview this coming Wednesday afternoon.  It was one of the main reasons I went yesterday, so that was great.  We'll see how things go this week.

Two vendors I visited annoyed me somewhat:  the first, with three people at the table, continued to sort through papers and talk amongst themselves for a very long time before finally granting me a moment to talk to them.   Not too enthusiastic about being here, perhaps?

The second, Nike, was just plain wrong in their approach.  You were handed a card with a site to go to for applying for a job online, which anyone else could do as well.  So these people are standing in line for up to three hours only to be rewarded with a request to go home and apply online.  How arrogant that response was!

So what do these public displays of people clamouring for jobs - any jobs - say about our economy here in Niagara?  Basically, it sucks, if you will pardon my bluntness.

Those who have the power to make positive changes in Niagara need to look at these events and ask themselves why so many people are lining up for what could be only part-time minimum wage jobs? Because that is all there is right now, and some job is better than no job.

Let's hope all these people lining up for hours on end yesterday do not get too disheartened if nothing comes of their wait in line yesterday, as will certainly be the case for many of them.  And I know many I applied for myself will not take my application seriously either.

We need jobs here in Niagara and we need them now.  With an election coming likely later this year, I hope those running for office here in Niagara pay heed to what really matters to the vast majority of people in Niagara.  The economy is the number one election issue, and it is about time they get the message:  better economy translates into better jobs which translates into better economy, and so it goes.

It is so simple, and yet so very hard to achieve.

For my part, I remain optimistic that given time and the right circumstances I will land that new job that will make it all worthwhile.  It is going to happen, and it will be through my own perseverance and desire to succeed.  Either retail or my chosen field of experience for so many years, broadcasting and communications, I am applying for them all.

But a little help right about now would be nice.  Late May is not that far off.

March 2nd, 2014.