Saturday, March 28, 2009

McRock skool for TEENS.

This link will take you to the Vancouver Courier, where I am featured in an article that describes a FREE McRockSkool seminar for TEENS, taking place THIS Tuesday March 31st.

McRockSkool, is a band bootcamp for teens, and I am so excited to see this thing finally taking off because I have been dreaming about something like this happening in Marpole, since 2007, when the area was plagued by a rash of mini garbage can fires which were started by bored teenagers.

It all started to take shape with the creation of a very cool "clubhouse" which was customized especially for teenagers, by designer Ami McKay from the Makeover Wish television show on HGTV. Back in the Fall of 2007, Ami Mckay and host Erin Cebula (and crew), spent several days transforming a drab classroom portable, into a cool hang out for youths, complete with a stage full of gear and music equipment.

It is truly an amazing place to hang out (even without the stage, guitars and drum-kit) and it also boasts an air hockey/pool table, books, games/game tables, an ipod dock, and even big comfy couches surrounding a large flat screen with a Wii video game.

The space is called Safe Base, and it belongs to the Spare Time Fun Centre, a 35 year, non-profit, out of school care organization which I have been a part of ever since its doors opened.

I was enrolled in STFC when I was 5, and now, 35 years later, my children go there today. I have been teaching dance classes, skits, and musical numbers to the children who attend the centre, on and off, ever since I turned 12 and was too old to be enrolled in the centre myself.

So here we are today, and we have Safe Base, which is something we are all very proud of. The 120 plus children in the daycare respect it, and they take care of it, it is simply gorgeous, and we are all extremely protective of it.

Which is why it took me nearly a year and a half to invite someone to use the space. Not only did I want to find an excellent program that would engage teens and distract them away from trouble, I wanted a self contained program (which the McRock Skool is), facilitated by an instructor whom I felt comfortable trusting with the space. Someone who would lead by example, and require the kids to respect the space and the opportunity to be there. Someone who would make the teens cognizant of the fact that using the facility and its equipment is a privilege, not a right.

Enter Mick Dalla Vee, who is the man behind the McRock Skool, Mick is an excellent multi- instrumentalist, performer and producer who is extremely well respected in this city. He is a long time member of Randy Bachman's band, and when Mick is not on the road rocking out to sold out shows with Randy, he is likely playing with one of his incredible corporate bands (Cease and Desist/Atlantic Crossing) which tour worldwide.

In studio sessions one day at Mick's, I learned that he had been spending most of his time staying in Richmond where his lovely better half lives. As he told me this, I think I heard a "PING" go off in my head, because Richmond, is a mere hop skip away from Safe Base. Knowing that Mick had a McRock Skool ( which was previously run in Abbotsford ) I ventured to ask if he would be willing to offer his course in Marpole, and I invited Mick to come and have a look at Safe Base. Immediately Mick saw the value in it. In fact, he must have had his own "Ping" moment because as soon as he saw the facility, he started talking about also using the space for a different music program he is involved with, which is geared towards enriching the life of people with Down Syndrome.
I knew at that point, I had asked the right guy.

Anyhow, back to it, I see great value in a music program like the McRock Skool, where a professional artist draws from his life experiences on the road, and shares what he has learned from working in and putting together bands over a lifetime career. No questions in my mind this is win, win.

Mick and the McRock Skool, is just the first of a few professional working artists I will eventually be inviting to use the space. Once the Rock School is going, dance classes will be the next addition to the centre.
Next door to the Safe Base, we have another fabulously decked out portable, complete with dance floor, small stages, lights, and a wall of mirrors.
It is an incredible dance room and I already know an amazing professional dancer whom I hope will be able to teach some classes in between her regular schedule of live shows (wink, wink Alecia). She performs with and choreographs for Mooncoin Productions ( the company who produces the Abba show I sub for).

I still have to learn songs, perform, write, play guitar, shoot and edit videos, as well as work online and hang out in blogland in a basic workday, so everything does take time. But for now, I introduce and welcome you to the McRock Skool, its just starting to nudge itself off the ground and now is really the time to get in, because I know it will eventually get to waiting list status. If you would like to know more about it, please come down to the Seminar on Tuesday night (March 31st), its free, and parents are encouraged to come and see the space and meet Mick for themselves. If you are reading this after March 31st please do visit the website to find out more, and contact Mick for enrollment info.

I will leave you with this request folks, If any one of you reading, knows a family with a musical teen (singer/guitar player/bassist/drummer) who lives in/near the Vancouver/Richmond area. I would sure love for you to pass on the link and information.

Warmly, I thank you, Rach.

(PHOTO of Mick/Rachael courtesy- Dan Toulgoet Vancouver Courier)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

well I did it bloggers!! my first solo acoustic gig.........see how it went......

You all know that I have been gearing up to add a solo gig into my bag of trix right?

Well, on Friday night I played a solo gig on a Paddlewheel boat for a private party..................

The full video, showing the Paddleboat, singalongs and more of the party can be viewed here!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

my 10 Tshirts video...... on Breakfast Television today....

Recently, I was challenged to make a video, where I was supposed to film myself wearing random T-shirts. It looked like a great idea and I decided quite immediately that I would do one, however, I was not content to just wear random T-shirts and be done with it.....

I have so many great shirts that represent some of my favorite things and/or mark memories from the cool experiences I have had! So, to make the most of this little project, I made good use of them..............

One of my favorite morning shows is Breakfast Television, so I just had to include a BT Tshirt in my video, however, I couldn't track one down. So, I sent an email to BT host Dawn Chubai, who kindly messaged me back, suggesting I try to make one, which I did ( actually my 9 year old son made it with me ).

When the video was finished, I sent it to BT, and they showed it on air today. I was thrilled, and also thrilled to find that Dawn posted the video to her BT blog!

Also represented, my home team the Vancouver Canucks! And speaking of favorites, and the Canucks, check out Rebecca Bollwitt's Crazy Canucks Podcast.

Our football team, the B.C. Lions!

Of course I am a big fan of Larry and Willy and the fine folks at Jack FM ! If you haven't seen their commercial yet, please watch it, you will understand why I did what I did with the Jack FM Tshirt..... ; )

If you have been reading my blog, then you will recall I sang background vocals on the Mainstage at the Merrit Mountain Music Festival for Kelly Brock last year! This year, we have managed to arrange a full media pass, which will grant me permission to wander around and capture all the behind the scenes fun, All Access Pass style. So if you are going to Merrit this year, watch for me to be filming in front of the stage, and make sure to come and say hi! I'll probably do a video of the fans too, so let me know if you want to be in it and I will film you, it'll be fun!

Coming out soon, is the new CD by the Other Side of Five. I love their rock n roll style, the have great songs, and they are all really nice fellows. I was honored that they asked me to lend some background harmonies to one of their tracks! So do stay tuned on that news story, as I'll be sure to post about their CD when it is finished and available for purchase.

And of course, who can forget Blondie, one of the highlights of my year so far......Did I ever come back and tell you all that the band added my picture, and added my blog link, to their official website? Check out the NEWS page, on the official BLONDIE site.....

Love you all, enjoy the video......

Sunday, March 15, 2009

taken too early.........Schrader Heizer

Yesterday I was at a Memorial for an old High School chum, Schrader Heizer, who passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on Feb 21, 2009.

It was a strange day. He was too young, too full of life, nothing about this sits well with me, it doesn't feel right. How does someone so vibrant and healthy, leave us so early? He would have been 40 in April. This summer I will be turning 40. It hit close to home.

The event took place at the Jericho Sailing Club, in the Rugby room. Schrader was passionate about rugby and much of the day was spent remembering his skill and determination on the field, reminiscing about rugby wins and honors, as well as sharing stories about his love of the sport. Shred ( as he was affectionately known by many), was also a a World Cup speed skier, and in Vars, France, 21 Jan 2009, at the Speed Skiing, World Ski Championships he clocked 175.781KPH, his personal best.

It was a powerful day, the second of three memorials planned in and around BC. I made two videos for his family and friends who were not able to be there. Part one is a video of the speeches given by his dear close friends, and part two (below) was a snapshot of the music and mingle afterwords, led by yours truly. I was delighted that fellow Byng student Chris Frye made the trip over from the islands. (like most everyone from Byng, I had not seen Chris in over 20 years, but I had heard he would be there, and knew he was a player, so I brought an extra guitar, hopeful I could get him up to jam....... and here is what happened...)

Chris, you rock my friend! Thanks for letting me twist your arm. I listened to your music, Let Go, had me within a few bars, bravo!

I need to digress here for a moment, because I don't do a solo gig very often, and part of the reason I am sharing this story here, is because if you read my blog, you will know that it has been one of my New Years goals, to continue to work towards being capable of doing a solo gig (if the need arises), and yesterday, was a pivotal day for me, because I managed to sort of, well, pull it off. :)

I don't really do this gig alone, er, ever, really, and I am motivated to keep working on completing a full night of music, solo, and being comfortable while doing it. As it happened, after their games, the rugby teams wandered into the clubhouse we had taken over from them ( which they so graciously shared in honor of their past member), and the room was filled to capacity. I wound up doing my whole set again. I have already been asked back to play after another home game, so something must have worked. I have to say that playing for a room full of big strong boys is quite a lovely thing for a lady, hehe, and as an added bonus, my gear and music equipment ( which I usually lug around myself), magically transported itself to my car when I was finished and ready to go. I could get terrifically spoiled .

I found it flattering and charming that both teams enjoyed the music enough to want me to come back and be the 'home game' girl, I jokingly wondered aloud if I should pick a side, however they assure me they are all good buddies and that I can be shared.....ha! is a snapshot of me with Rick Bourne (UBCOB Ravens RFC) and Spence McTavish (UBC Thunderbirds RFC). Spence, was my old PE teacher, and Lord Byng's rugby coach (my old high school). Spence McTavish was an enormous influence on Schrader's life and rugby career. I remember watching our HS team winning no less than 3 rugby championships back in the day, many of those boys went on to long and successful rugby careers. I personally did not follow their rugby adventures after grad year, but those boys were hero's to us when they wandered the school halls.

Which brings us right back to high school, and Schrader, and yesterday. It was Erica and Jody who really put the memorial together, along with Danny Nikas doing the lions share of the promotions. There were lots of helpers, and people who came from all over the province, but Jody, Erica, and Danny (seen in the speeches video) were really the core group, and they really deserve a shout out for their efforts. Surely Shred was there, smiling down on them, and I'll bet he was laughing along with all of us as we celebrated his life.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

My Life in song........a game for you.......

My Life In Song

Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, answer these questions.
This was fun, so please do participate if it looks like a decent waste of time, and let me know when you have posted yours please, so I can go and read it!!!!

Pick Your Artist: Pink Floyd

Are you male or female: Mother

Describe yourself: Learning to Fly

How do you feel about yourself: Comfortably Numb

Describe where you currently live: Crumbling Land

If you could go anywhere, where would you go: Point me at the Sky

Your best friend is: One of the Few

Your favorite color is: Any Color you Like

You know that: The show must go on

What's the weather like?: Goodbye Blue Sky

If your life was a TV show, what would it be called?: Shine on You Crazy Diamond

What is life to you?: Give birth to a smile

What is the best advice you have to give?: Let there be more Light

If you could change your name, what would it be?: Hey You

Your favorite food is: Young Lust

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sherry St Germain at the farm studios

The latest from Kelly & Rachaels All Access Pass channel on You Tube..... this was so much fun, SO much fun, I spent the evening chilling at the Farm Studios, with Sherry St Germain last week, while she and producer Ben Kaplan worked on the final mix of Starving Artist, a single on her soon to be released CD. I love the song, I love the girl..........I captured some of the evening, and I share it with you.......

On March 28th Sherry will be performing in Vancouver BC, at 'the Royal', on Granville Street, for the 2009 Junofest

From the Junofest website:

**Produced in association with Vancouver-based Donnelly & Associates Event Marketing Inc., JunoFest is a two-night music extravaganza that showcases the talents of over 100 local, regional and national artists representing the diverse spectrum of Canadian music.

Nearly half of the participating line-up has been chosen locally to highlight Vancouver’s rich and diverse music scene, in addition to performances from 2009 JUNO Award nominees and some of Canada’s national touring acts.***

For more info on Junofest, please click underlined link.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

my new F*ck Cancer bracelet

Imagine for me are a young, dynamic, world travelling, independent, creative jewellery designer. Now, try to also imagine, that you have just been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, told that you are basically incurable.

What would you do?

Would you lay down and die? Or would you fight?

Would you follow every order your doctor gave you unquestioningly, or would you demand second opinions and seek alternative healing options?

What if you found a place that addressed every aspect of healing, a place where the people helped your soul as much as they helped your body? What if you found a place that helped you beat the odds and recover?

Do you think you would be inspired by that experience, to design a thing of beauty in order to share / show your support and appreciation towards the people who helped you to become a survivor rather than a statistic?

Susan Fiedler was inspired by her experience, and she was moved to take action. Susan (from Soul Flower, a socially conscious jewelry company ), designed a stunning sterling silver bracelet, and with it she speaks for anyone who's life has been touched by the dreaded 'C' word, she speaks to anyone who feels like saying, Fuck Cancer.

I am not going to write much about this today, because the story about Susan Fiedler has been well documented already by people far more eloquent than I.

So instead, I ask you to please go visit the websites linked here, to read this story of healing, hope and survival. And because you care, because you are so stylish ( no rubber bracelets for you), I want to let you all know how you can get your own Fuck Cancer bracelet .

$50 of the sale of each F* Cancer bracelet is donated directly to InspireHealth, Canada’s foremost not-for-profit integrative cancer care centre. You will receive a charitable tax receipt for your donation in the mail. On behalf of the patients, staff and volunteers of InspireHealth, thank you!

With love................... Rachael Chatoor:

(Rach is an admirer of Susan Fiedler and an ambassador for the F*ck Cancer bracelet.)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

LOVERBOY fan videos, behind the scenes at Live Nation concert

As many of you know, one of my hobbies is shooting/editing home videos and sharing them on You Tube. I do have the opportunity to attend some exciting events behind the scenes quite frequently, and last fall, I took some footage of my pal Kelly Brock while she was at the rehearsals for the BCCMA awards show, which I then edited into a video for her.

To be honest, I was inspired and also grateful to have something more interesting than myself to film and edit for a change. And as I was chatting to Kelly about it one day, we started to consider how lucky we are that we get to do the things we do. That is when we got the notion that it would be fun to do more behind the scenes videos (lol, with all of our free time.......), which is how the idea for a second You Tube channel was born, and how Kelly became my co-host.

So, here you go, welcome to my second home on You Tube [Kelly & Rachael's All Access Pass]

LOVERBOY-PART 1: Backstage at LOVERBOY with the Lovergirls (featuring local songbird, Catherine St Germain)

LOVERBOY- PART 2: Behind the scenes with LOVERBOY music video.

A quick congratulations to the band, who will be inducted into the Canadian Hall of Fame this year at the 2009 Juno awards show, to be held in Vancouver B.C. at the end of March.

LOVERBOY- PART 3: After the show w/ LOVERBOY Mike Reno

Mike is a monster talent, with vocals that will knock your socks off. He is also a very funny, and down to earth guy. For more in depth info on Mike, check out this link to Much Music's where are you at baby? with Mike Reno. (link to Much Music's Where are you at?)

My apologies for the sound crapping out, my camera is the size of a deck of cards, the little built in mic didn't like the monster sound system at the House of Blues/Commodore Ballroom.

Thanks as always to Dee Lippingwell for providing pictures that I could use for running the closing credits over. I love her work, some of my best ever onstage photos come from Dee. It was a pleasure to be on this side of the stage with you Dee, and thanks especially for taking this shot and sending it to me!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What would you do if you only had ONE WEEK? opens MARCH 6th.

One Week ago, I played for the advanced screening of a Canadian Feature film called ONE WEEK. Coincidence? No, I am just cheesy, and wanted to blog about this today so that I could say that.

Anyhow, I was invited by the people who hosted the screening, the First Weekend Club, to play some songs during the wine reception, prior to the showing of the Movie. I was delighted to be asked and was happy to participate.
It was a gorgeous location, in a private screening theatre called District 319, one of the most beautiful venues I have had the pleasure to visit. The reception room was very sparse and clean with natural stone, wood, and earth tones mixed with a modern and sleek styling. It featured a sitting area and bar with a glass wall overlooking the theatre. The theatre itself was everything you would expect from an exclusive screening room (see pic). (BTW, here is the Canada Screens review of the night, including a review of moi! )

The reason we all were there, was to help promote the film ONE WEEK. The main character, Ben Tyler (Joshua Jackson from Dawsons Creek) was just diagnosed with a terminal illness. He should be in a hospital. He should be with his doting fiancee (Liane Balaban) and family. He should be dealing with the news. But instead, all he wants, is to go on a road trip - on a motorcycle no less. In search of a profound experience, he rides from Toronto to Tofino, stopping at landmarks that are both iconic and idiosyncratic on his quest to find meaning in his life and for a chance to really live, even for just "One Week".

I was lucky enough to catch the film. I wish to tell you all.......this is an excellent, touching, thoughtful, funny, engaging movie. I truly hope you will go and see it THIS weekend.
One Week is a Canadian film that deserves to be seen and recognized, but in order to do that, it needs support, here is why..........................


( this is from the First Weekend Club mission statement )

What you may not know, is that the current system makes it very difficult for Canadian films to succeed. The bottom line counts. Theatre owners will extend a film's release only if the first weekend box office is strong.

In other words a film simply won’t last through to its second weekend if it doesn’t have a strong enough audience on opening weekend. No matter how great a film may be it will get kicked out of the theatre if people don’t show up to see it within those first three critical days.

Now think about the films you’ve seen. Either there has been so much advertising you just HAD to see it, or it is the film that people have been talking about for weeks… In other words, there has been time for word-of-mouth to travel…

Imagine this scenario: You see a great film on a Friday, a Canadian film, you tell your friends and they get excited to see it the next weekend, and it has vanished… This happens all the time because the ‘first-weekend’ wasn’t strong. You wonder how that can happen as it was such a great film. Canadian films struggle to find screen space, and when they finally do, their may only be two or three weeks to promote it.

And with marginal marketing dollars, Canadian films just don’t stand out next to all the noise made by our American friends. Think about the latest Spiderman movie. We heard about that movie on the radio, on TV, saw trailers (that probably cost more to make the most Canadian films) saw bill boards and bus shelters and interviews and on and on all dedicated to promoting the film several months in advance of its release.

Even the release date (May 4th) was known by everyone well before it opened. How can Canadian films compete? The answer is through word of mouth and by getting as many people as possible to see a film on its opening weekend.
This is why we are called First Weekend Club.


Does it seem wrong to you that Canadian films get pulled so easily?
It seems wrong to me, and obviously so, to the First Weekend Club, who work tirelessly to promote Canadian films and keep them in the theaters.

I am assured by FWC Executive director, the stunningly lovely Anita Adams , that the FWC only promotes what they deem to be worthy films. The FWC do not promote every single Canadian show that is released, they can't possibly, but they do work endlessly to bring attention to the films that are truly deserving of a wide audience, and having seen this film, I understand why they wish to promote it.
Please don't let this one fall through the cracks people. Your attendance can make a difference!

Canadians, we need to support our film community, we need to go see this film, I ask you to tell your friends to go see this film, before it gets pulled from the theatres.
And here is the film trailer............. to entice you..........;)

Also, many thanks as well to Dean Busher, who did photography for the event. Dean is a great photographer in this city, if you are looking for a professional photographer I invite you to visit his website.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The PUPPIES are here, the PUPPIES are here!

Sunday dinner at Moms, we spent the whole time with the new puppies. The decision has still not been made on which dog the family will keep.

All six puppies are spoken for and all are male. They all are going to families with children, families whom we know well. We are not breeders, so don't be asking me for puppies, our bitch will be fixed after this one litter. We let all of our bitches have a single litter, and then we spay them. For my entire life, we have lived with dogs and the experience of raising a litter of baby animals is something I am thrilled to share with my children, and with you.