Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Vancouver's corporate party band! ~HitZone!~

Looking for a stellar party band for your holiday party, wedding or corporate event?
HitZone  (formerly called the Hitmen) are one of Vancouver’s most unique musical acts. Playing hits from the 50’s to the present, The Hitmen will apply their vast knowledge of pop music to your special event and truly make it a night to remember. With their strong musicianship, soaring vocal harmonies and playful sense of humour, the band will entertain you , rock you, and generally make you wanna move ‘n’ groove!

You can see us live at the River Rock, Boulevard and Starlight casinos this Holiday season or watch the video!
Click this link for more info on how to book the band!

with hearts xo

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

a parenting question for the experts.....

Question:   As a parent, if I hear outrageous laughter coming from the back seat along with comments like "the moon is out early today" and then turn around and see this.........
.......am I supposed to be mad or proud?

Rach xo

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Songwriters should be leading the charge......

This is a bonus post in follow up to my Road Trip post/video's at the VIMBC.

Kelly and I were chatting with Bill Henderson and it occured to me that  part of our conversation contained an important message for songwriters so I don't want this footage to just sit on the cutting room floor. It relates back to one of the many seminars I went to at the VIMBC  which was about monetizing digital downloads, Bill Henderson and Ralph Murphy were the panelists. Basically, file sharing is here to stay, and so it should be, it is a fantastic tool. At the same time, artists who should be compensated for their work, are not being compensated. 

This is serious for all songwriters and music professionals, the current stats are staggering.

An estimated 1.6 billion music files are shared online in Canada  each year.
* The total number of purchased downloads in Canada was 38 million in 2005.2
* The proportion between these two is 98/2 – 98% sharing, 2% purchasing.

There are people who will argue  that you can't monetize file sharing because grandmother Betsy would never download a file in her life  and she just plays Bingo on Facebook so she shouldn't be charged and so on and so on.........of course...... this is why there is disucssion going on. I'm not sure that everyone knows this, but there is an unobtrusive way to monetize file sharing and music downloading which is fair to both the artist as well as the consumer, or non-consumer if such is the case.  There is a proposal being discussed right now online at SAC and as a songwriter you should be a part of this discussion. The more songwriters who join in and lead the charge towards the inevitable, the more likely the change will be positive and productive and beneficial to all.


Canada has given the world some of the greatest music ever produced. We believe that implementing a fair way of compensating Canada’s music creators for the online sharing of their music will usher in a new Golden Age of creativity. (from the SAC website)

For more info, and to lend your voice to the conversation, please go HERE~

And speaking of songwriting, here are a few clips from my showcase at the VIMBC.....

Keep writing and rocking friends.
Rach xo

ON the Road with Kelly and Rachael's All Access Pass! VIMBC

Welcome to my virtual scrapbook video of some highlights of our trip to the 2010 Vancouver Island Music Business conference (I would like to say thanks to Kelly Brock my All Access Pass co-host, for giving me her song to use. Thanks Kel!)  And also I must send huge thanks and hugs to Steve and Carolyn at Two Eagles Lodge in Union Bay for putting up with us putting us up! After staying there for a weekend I can see there is excellent reason that the Two Eagles Lodge has been awarded top honors for Bed and Breakfast's on Vancouver Island, it is a beautiful warm home in a stunning setting, where guests are treated like family.

In fact we felt so much like family that when Kelly and I arrived home from the wrap party at the Whistlestop and spotted headlights from a running car that was sitting over at the barn,  so, we donned our Thelma and Louise dresses and drove down to the barn to find out who the intruders were (because when we left the party earlier, we were pretty sure everyone else was still there). It turned out however, that it was just Steve and Carolyn  checking on the horses (which was really lucky because I'm not at all sure that Kelly and I had any inkling of an idea of what we were going to do if there really were robbers in the barn).

Ah but I digress, for those of you reading who are musicians, composers, songwriters, performers, bands or artists who are interested in working in music and getting the most out of the industry then the VIMBC is a great weekend to plan to attend for next year.

Something of note about this conference is that is does not anticpate growth in size. The VIMBC is limited to 500 people because realistically, space only allows for 500 people.  It's perfect if you ask me. With no pressure to expand on  the size of the conference, Susie and Andy  have been able to focus on the quality of the content and make the most out of the intimacy of the setting. 

Small and intimate means that the panelists are more accessable and the opportunities for relationship building are more realistic. Something about the small size of this conference seems to encourage people (panelists included) to let their guard down and become more approachable.  It's an exclusive event but by the end of the weekend we all seemed to act like we are in this thing together, certainly moreso  than you might get from an event that is larger, crowded and in a widespread more bustling setting.

And speaking of settings, could there be anywhere more beautiful than on an island looking out over the water? It was just so relaxing, and music focused. Music, music, music. If you love it, don't miss it.

For even more of an idea of the conference I invite you to watch Kelly  and Rachael's All Access Pass feature which will take you to a couple of the seminars, talks to some of the panelists, and puts you right there in the audience during the concerts.

What a weekend. There were just SO many friends I had the great pleasure of seeing again, so many of us, we are so busy that our paths just do not cross often enough, but I am always so delighted when they do. I wish I could say hi to you all individually and thank you all for being a part of our fab weekend, this video celebrating the event will have to do!  Enjoy!



Dan Hill
singer/songwriter, Recording artist, Producer, Author
Patricia Conroy
Award-winning singer/songwriter, recording artist -CCMA “Album of the Year” (1993) “Female Vocalist of the Year” (1994)
Bill Henderson
Chilliwack Lead Singer/Guitarist, Songwriter, Canadian Music Icon
Sue Medley
Juno, SOCAN award-winning recording artist and songwriter
Kevin Churko
Producer, Engineer (Shania Twain, Ozzy Osbourne, Ringo Starr, Robert Downey Jr., Lisa Marie Presley, Britney Spears, The Corrs)
Ralph Murphy
Vice President, ASCAP Nashville. Producer, songwriter and music publisher.
Brian Heatherman
President and CEO, FACTOR
Angela Kelman
"Farmer’s Daughter" lead vocalist
Tom McKillip
Producer (Lisa Brokop, Aaron Pritchett, One More Girl, Kenny Hess, Ian Tyson)
John Dexter
Songwriter, Publisher, Label Owner, Producer (Melissa Etheridge, David Foster, Cheap Trick, Bif Naked, West End Girls, Alias, Mel Torme, Starship, Quarterflash
Ron Proulx
Music Supervisor, Arpix Media International
Jamie Warren
Singer/songwriter, Recording artist - the most awarded independent male artist in the Canadian country music industry
Ron Irving
Internationally-acclaimed award winning songwriter, producer, publisher
Steven McClintock
President, 37 Records. Award-winning songwriter, publisher and producer based in Long Beach Ca.
Bob Funk
Producer (Patricia Conroy) Studio and Touring Musician
Sue Irving
Music Publisher, Director, BC Country Music Association.
Jerry Adolphe
Studio and Tour Drummer (Chilliwack, Lisa Brokop, Jim Byrnes, Roberta Flack, Meliissa Manchester, Sass Jordan, Seal)
Bob D'eith
Music Lawyer, Executive Director, MUSIC BC, Peak Performance Project Faculty
Don Adams
Artist Management (Donpaul Entertainment), Promoter (Merritt Mountain Festival)
Gene Daniel
Live Music Promoter, Radio Group mogul
Ted Moseman
President, Horizon International Talent Agency
Douglas Romanow
Toronto-based producer and owner of boutique studio Fire Escape Recording
Ed Harris
Marketing Director, Royalty Records, Calgary Stampede
Kelly Brock
Independent Recording Artist and songwriter
Terry O'Brien
SOCAN Education and Outreach Manager
Joanna Maratta
Executive Director, BC Touring Council
Jim Norris
President, Norris-Whitney Communications Inc.
R Harlan Smith
President of Royalty Records, songwriter, producer,
publisher, CCMA Hall Of Famer
Ed Henderson
Composer, arranger-orchestrator, guitarist, musical director and music producer in theatre, film and the concert stage
Doug Edwards
Studio and Touring musician
Phil Kallsen
Program Director, Country 105 FM, Calgary
Bill Miller
Radio Promoter, Pitbull Promotions
Ryan Mennie
Music Director, 97.3 The Eagle, Courtenay
Michael Behm
Songwriter, Producer, Publisher, Label Owner
Sean Hogan
Songwriter, award-winning independent Canadian Roots/Country Artist
Scott James
Music Director, 100.3 The Q, Victoria
Music Director, 91.3 The Zone, Victoria
Rob Bye
Regional Program Director, Island Radio Group
Susie McGregor
singer, songwriter, VIMBC Event Coordinator
Barry Stecyk
Province Playlist, President, HevyD Music
Catherine Miller
Music Lawyer
Vig Schulman
Concert Promoter, Cumberland Village Works

See you next year!
Rach xo

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Grown Up Movie Star, growing up.... period.

First Weekend Club invited me to play for their screening of Grown Up Movie Star  at District 319
a couple of weeks ago and once again it was a wonderful event that I was delighted to give my time to. For this gig I asked the super sweet  Angie Faith to join me because I always dig the opportunity to  sing with another  female vocalist/songwriter/musician, and so musically the night was a blast. I  love these gigs, the crowd as always has a warm, dynamic, artistic, energy flowing through it and the atmosphere is a pleasure to be immersed in.

I would like to take a moment to make a special thank you to Murielle Fréoa who took all of these gorgeous photos, I could not do this blog without her help, so thank you Murielle for your dedication to helping out the FWC, they are gorgeous shots. You can find her link below~

I've had to think about this post for a while before writing it because this was a powerful movie and there were moments where I found myself crying in the theatre as I watched the film. I can't even draw parallels because her story and mine are nothing alike in almost every way, yet somehow I still  found myself mourning for something I've never had and not yet given myself real permission to see. 
At the same time I was grateful for what it never cost me, even though it meant missing out on something meaningful that people say is supposed to be precious.

Becoming aware but resisting it, I think I know what is waiting to emerge from within me yet I am afraid, afraid to let anything good happen for fear of losing it all. Being afraid. It does sound so weak doesn't it?. I read these words and I am not even sure I will post them. Most of the time I have no fear, so why would I ever show weakness or engage in self pity when I inherently know it is unattractive and unappealing?  Who knows why.  Maybe it's to prove that I am unworthy so that I can hold onto my fears and blame them when I fail. Or, maybe someone will see this and see themselves and be grateful, maybe it'll help them to not feel alone. Or, maybe it's a way for me to admit that there is a soft place inside me that just doesn't know anything but is open to everything, and that in itself is the scariest thing of all.....especially  without having a safe place to fall. And how do we even know what is safe, is there such a thing? It's all so..... big... isn't it?  

I am trying to process and understand a lot of old things lately and it seems as if there is always something of a synchronicity in the way I get asked to do these movie events  for  they have encouraged me to look where I don't want to, right when I need to.  Mothers and Daughters,  One WeekYear of the Carnivore  all had something that  resonated within me and found me walking away thinking. That is the real beauty of the arts don't you think?  I love the way a  painting, play, sculpture, movie or song can speak to us...or say things for us.

This movie  also reminded  me that we all find our way in our own way and I can't keep beating myself up for looking to find it, or shouldn't. And in fact, in watching the way some people go about it (like this film suggests), I feel grateful in a way for my instinctive caution for it keeps me safe in body at least, even if not always in spirit. We are all works in progress in any case. Really, I can only be grateful when I look at the big picture for I still feel overly-blessed.

What is so synchronistic about all of this is that while the folks at FWC  say they usually try to line up musicians with the films, I have for the last two events been a last minute replacement agreeing to help them out with a weeks notice because the bands they had originally asked could not make the gig. So, it's not as if the event producers decided to ask me to play this one because I am all twisted up about this kind of crap, it was just coincindence, yet, it kinda fits.   In any case after each of the last two movie nights I played for, I walked away so ripped up that I just think that I was somehow supposed to see these films. They brought me another perspective, on many perspectives.

There were so many different 'story lines' and 'dives to the depths' in this film  that I don't think anyone walked away unaffected.  There even appeared to be a moment after the film ended where it felt as if the whole audience collectively sighed  and thought "Wow, did I just watch that?" How in the world am  I  to absorb it all?  You can imagine there were a lot of questions for the director   Adriana Maggs who logged in on Skype for a conversation with the audience.

For more on the movie, this is taken from the First Weekend Club website;


Canada Screens on July 22 witnessed another amazing turnout with a near full house (despite the great summer weather). The evening kicked off with live music by Rachael Chatoor and Angie Faith during the one hour wine reception. Following the screening of the film which received an enthusiastic response, the director Adrianna Maggs joined us by live video Skype for a Q&A with the audience. We are already looking forward to our next Canada Screens August 19.


..."A performance that leads ‘Grown Up Movie Star” to be one of the boldest and ballsiest coming of age films in a while and certainly one of best films of the (Sundance) festival." - Alan Bacchus

..."Maslany is magnificent as the worldly Ruby." - Toronto Star

..."Grown Up Movie Star’ sends a grenade into the coming-of-age subgenre of cinema." - Daily Film Dose

..."It all comes together so dazzlingly....A tight package that never feels weighed down by its themes." - Susan G. Cole, NOW Toronto

On July 22nd, First Weekend Club will bring you the Canadian Film that turned Sundance upside down, "Grown Up Movie Star".
This festival-haunting hit has won (or broken) the hearts of critics and reviewers, and thrown the dramatic coming-of-age genre upside down with a one-two punch of hard to face themes of family, sexuality and homosexuality, intermingled with snappy dialogue and the all too real beauty of teenage angst. But this is no case of a tragedy-overloaded Canadian film; levity and pacing is provided by the kind of comedy and dialogue that could only come from our far eastern province, or what Newfoundlanders like to call, "The Rock". This film is raw. It is gritty and is an unapologetically close and personal look at coming of age. Simply put, this film has blown away festival indie audiences and we are thrilled to bring something of this calibre to Canada Screens as our July red carpet event, and to use the event to premiere it as our DVD Club pick, with an online interactive component.
"Grown Up Movie Star", shot in Newfoundland and directed and written by Adriana Maggs, is a riveting tale of confused love, family and discovery of identity. This coming of age film is relevant to many ages due to the poignant, multi-layered and absolutely grounded portrayal of characters by a cast which features Shawn Doyle, Tatiana Maslany, Jonny Harris, Mark O'Brien, Andy Jones, Julia Kennedy and Sherry White. And a cameo by Canadian comedy and Maritime icon, Mary Walsh.


So watch for it, watch it, and please do support great Canadian filmmaking by checking in often with First Weekend Club to see what they are screening. Many thanks again to Murielle Fréoa for all the wonderful photographs, and to Paul Armstrong and Anita Adams and all the people at First Weekend Club who make all of this happen. I am proud to be a part of it.