Location: Saskatoon, SK
First Job: Selling Christmas trees at a local grocery store mega-chain. During one of my shifts a random dude came up to me and put a $20 in my hand and said he was taking a tree. I got freaked out and let him wander off. He came back and re-introduced himself as a store detective, and informed me that I was under arrest for theft under $5,000. It was a week before Christmas.
(FYI: The charges were later dropped after the court declared the situation “ludicrous”.)
Best Job: The jobs I have right now are the best – one is an amazing professional development network, which has allowed me insight into an interesting process: Giving government money to artists and artistic organizations.
My other job is writing and publishing daily content to an arts and culture E-zine so that’s a no-brainer. Especially because I can write about whatever I feel is being ignored by local media so it’s easy to stay one step ahead of everyone else. And I can do it after a few stiff drinks.
Greatest Professional Challenge: Under the umbrella of being a public funder, it can be an uphill battle to get certain projects recognized publicly for their value. For example, punk, hardcore and metal bands aren’t typical recipients of a significant amount of government funding even though they are an equal part of the overall arts ecology. Of course, it can be depressing when you come from a community where everyone feels as though they are being underfunded.
Which leads me to being an editor and founder of Ominocity.com: it’s been difficult to achieve a balance of something I feel so passionately about that doesn’t give much back in the way of monetary compensation.
So how did you get this awesome gig anyways? A strange combination of professional, artistic and personal experience. Along with a several degrees, government administrative duties and years of published articles, amazingly, the fact that I play in a band that tours internationally likely helped clinch my day job.
Also, I can rock a tie, which can be important.
What do you like best about what you do? I adore being a part of the creative landscape in Saskatchewan and having my thumb on the pulse of the arts. Saskatchewan has an intimate scene, but has some of the most amazing contributors to the arts that I have ever met and it’s a great feeling to be a part of something so vibrant.
Favourite experience on the job: Telling people that they are getting a cheque in the mail. As someone who has received arts grants in the past, there is no greater feeling than getting financial support for touring or recording or whatever.
Advice for people who want your awesome gig: Check the job listings. My day job is a contract position, so who knows what the future will hold. Hopefully full-time blogging/grant writing.
Favourite Canadian music venue: Amigos Cantina in Saskatoon. It also happens to be my favourite restaurant.
Favourite record at the moment: Japandroids – Celebration Rock. Feelings of jubilation and youthful reckless abandon as translated through the racket of a Big Muff guitar pedal.