Archive for June, 2013

Inspired Imagery / Beauty in ugliness, beauty in emptiness

Published by cctadmin on June 25th, 2013

CC CHRONiCLES: This Man’s Life; Considering My Father

Published by cctadmin on June 24th, 2013

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Tiger father begets tiger son.

Chinese Proverb

Most times I’m an open book about life:  ask me how much I loved my family  childhood, I will tell you stories of warm summer nights in Saskatchewan where my grandparents lived, of laugher in my home and scrapes and bruises along the way.  I’ll share that joy, that curiosity, that wonderment.  Ask me how secluded and perplexed I found myself in adolescents, I’ll hold nothing back; for I’ve found liberation in that ‘letting go’.  Ask me to open up about my shortcomings, mistakes, regrets, my dreams and schemes; again, I will share these experiences and not once hesitate for the words come easy and certain clarity exists.

Ask me to talk about my father …I feel tightness in my throat; a heaviness in my chest like a weight pushing down; a blockage of all words or thoughts that could sum up or reveal the depths of that vast ocean.

The past, the present and the future of my father – and my love for him are far too complex to break down into concise manner; and believe me I have tried.  I have tried for the purposes of letting go; celebrating; honouring; I’ve written many songs, trying to do just that – only to crumple each one up into a ball of disappointing letters and visuals that fail to expose what that love holds for me in my heart.  Its because of this I have often chosen to avoid any sharing of it, with anyone.  What else can you do when the words don’t come easy?  Perhaps its a Universal thing for a lot of people; to love your father very deeply yet never quite know how to share what that love means to you because it becomes the norm to keep it concealed, hidden away just for you.   It doesn’t mean they don’t have meaning; rather it somehow means they hold so much significance there is a need to protect and preserve those feelings.

This will only sound vague and perhaps this is all for me to accept.  I do know this; I am my father’s son.  He is deeply rooted in me; he is a foundation, for better or for worse – for better and for worse.  He is where I have derived any of my creativeness or skill; he encouraged me, showing pride in this reflection of himself.  He is also at the root of some of the deepest cracks of my surface; breaks I have spent my life thus far trying to make concrete.

My father’s life  story is one  I honour.  I love him and I always will.



CC CHRONiCLES: Five Easy Pieces @ Johnny’s Social Club / Flin Flon, MB / 2013

Published by cctadmin on June 16th, 2013

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Good times last night at Johnny’s Social Club; where Five Easy Pieces sang for a Relay for Life Fundraiser.  Thanks very much to folks for coming out & supporting the Camp Maraiche Girls & Friends Relay for Life Team as well as us in Five Easy Pieces; the evening was a success thanks to their hard work & planning, & a slew of delicious cupcakes they made for the crowd.

As always, I enjoy getting up to play with my Five Easy Pieces friends, tho we rarely get the chance to jam & rehearse like we did over the winter, it always seems to come together ‘easy’ when its time to plug in the amps & sing.  Thanks to Doug, Ann, Chad & Derek for the musical times.  Very talented group.

Coming up next I’ll be playing a solo set at Pioneer Square for Flin Flon’s 80th Birthday, June 28th; as Flin Flon’s Trout Festival begins.  The following Saturday, June 29th I’ll be joining a line up of talented locals at NorVA Centre for an open mic night of music.  Mark Kolt will generously be accompanying me on piano for both these solo shows; & what a treat that is for me personally.

Here’s a few snaps from Johnny’s Social Club last night.


CC CHRONiCLES: ‘Prairie Rebirth’ After a few years in the big city, CC Trubiak barely recognizes his tiny Manitoban hometown / by Kaj Hasselriis / Xtra! National / Thursday May 9, 2013

Published by cctadmin on June 2nd, 2013

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When CC Trubiak sat behind his assigned table at the Living Books event in Flin Flon, Manitoba, his mind raced about the questions he might get that night and whether or not he was ready to open up. As an “open book,” that was his job for the evening, to talk about his life as a gay man to anyone who cared to sit down and listen. But considering Trubiak had just moved from Ottawa to Flin Flon three weeks earlier, he had no idea what might come his way. 

“I was floored at the response,” says Trubiak, a short, slight, scruffy 34-year-old with wide, welcoming eyes.All night long, townspeople old and young flocked to his table, sat down across from him, and quizzed Trubiak about coming out. “In some ways it felt like I was getting the red-carpet treatment,” he says. “People kept saying, ‘We’re so happy to have you here. Flin Flon needs you.’”Trubiak was shocked to hear such welcoming words, especially considering his painful history in the small prairie town, a day-long drive north of Winnipeg. He was born and raised in Flin Flon, and if anyone had ever said he would return as an adult, he would have called them crazy. “Familiar with the expression ‘When hell freezes over’?” he jokes. “For years that was my initial thought on ever returning to Flin Flon to live and work.”

When Trubiak was growing up, he says, his hometown revolved around three things — mining, hockey and fishing — and he could have cared less about any of them. He was small and unathletic, an obvious sissy, and that made him the target of taunts from other boys. Every day, he feared they would turn violent on him, so he stayed as invisible as he could. “I wanted to connect and be accepted,” he says, but when he realized he was gay, he felt he had to hide even more. During the summer between grades 7 and 8, he decided to kill himself rather than face another year at the only high school in town. “In my 12-year-old head, life was better in another realm,” he says. “I was taking my ticket out of there.”

When Trubiak woke up in the hospital he found out he had support, after all. His family recognized his suicide attempt as a cry for help. He returned to school in the fall, got permission to skip gym class and eventually started seeing the guidance counsellor. Every week, she let him use her phone to call a social worker at Winnipeg’s Rainbow Resource Centre. Trubiak also started sending letters to his mother’s gay brother, Sterling, who had escaped Flin Flon years earlier and settled in Ottawa. Sterling responded with envelopes full of gay-themed DVDs, books and magazines.

“That’s when the dreamer in me was born,” Trubiak says. He started writing songs and performing them alone in his bedroom. He didn’t dare sing in public, though.

For the next few years, he endured high school knowing that as soon as it was over, he would get the hell out.And so he did — first to Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, then to Winnipeg, then finally to Ottawa, where he earned a bachelor’s in social work from Carleton University. Trubiak started singing in clubs and cafés and, in 2011, put out an indie-folk album called They Say I’m Different. One of the songs is called “Prairie Boy,” and it doesn’t paint a pretty picture: “Head hung down in shame, it’s plain and clear you ain’t welcome here.” Trubiak found a boyfriend in Ottawa, and they settled into an apartment together, but he couldn’t land a position in his field. Then one day his sister called from Flin Flon to say there was a job opening for a social worker. His mother got on the line and said, “You can have your old room back.”Trubiak’s first response was resistance. “The thought made me physically sick,” he says. But after weeks of sleepless, sweaty nights, he started seeing a return to Flin Flon as an opportunity to gain work experience, go off the grid, and get to know his family better. Trubiak scored the job, promised to stay for a year, and assumed he would keep a low profile. That lasted for exactly a week, until someone from the new Flin Flon Arts Council asked him to perform at a music festival called Flonstock. There, one night on the prairie, Trubiak met a gay guy in his early 20s who shocked him with how out he was. “He was unabashedly, overtly gay,” Trubiak says. “The hair, the clothes, the short shorts, the total sense of style, owning who he is. I could never have been that brave.”

Since then, Trubiak has met other Flin Flon gays he could have never imagined meeting as a teenager — and he started singing with a folk band called Five Easy Pieces. Flin Flon has shrunk, he says, thanks to a declining economy, but he doesn’t see that as a bad thing. “Now it’s embracing an arts culture,” he says. “Even though it’s become smaller, it’s strangely more inclusive.”

Opening up at Living Books and performing at festivals and cafés isn’t the only way Trubiak has been a positive queer influence on his hometown. Working as a mental-health worker, he turns over his office every week to a young client so she can call the same Rainbow Resource Centre that helped him two decades ago. And just the other day, his old guidance counsellor invited him back to his high school to speak out against bullying.

“I have the feeling of being a valued member of the community,” he says. “Professionally, I have never been more invigorated. Creatively, I have never been more alive.” He still plans to leave again this fall, to return to his boyfriend and (hopefully) a social-work job in Ottawa. In the meantime, his music is being inspired more than ever by prairie sunsets he once looked at and thought he would never see again.