Archive for August, 2015

CC CHRONICLES: Throwback Thursday / With Colleen circa 1999

Published by cctadmin on August 27th, 2015

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This Throwback Thursday I’m thinking of one very special person in particular; and a time that seems long ago but is certainly not forgotten by me.

I lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba from about 1998-2002. I have a lot of fond memories of past friends and of all the places I worked and became familiar with socially. One of the people I’ll cherish forever was my friend Colleen, whom I had a special connection to and still think of to this day. I worked for a spell in Osbourne Village’s Blockbuster Video and originally met Colleen as a customer who frequented our location and was very well loved by all the staff there. What I recall most about those initial contacts was that she was a big fan of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (particularly Angel) and we’d talk at length about it and all sorts of other programs we shared in common. She was kind.

Ironically enough, I eventually moved into an apartment that was not only in the same building as Colleen, but the same floor as well. We took that initial connection at the video store and built on it; Colleen would invite me over to her apartment and we’d watch recorded episodes of Buffy and she’d cook me nice meals. She was gracious and I can’t tell you how much those times meant to me. Her company was appreciated, and she was a soft and gentle person with quick wit and generous soul.

Later on I ended up residing in Ottawa, and while we did keep up sporadically, eventually we did come to having less and less of these communications. I learned later on that Colleen had passed away, far too young, and this news hit hard. Every now and then her memory will return to me and I’ll be reminded how life is such a precious thing. If I’d known she wouldn’t ‘always’ be there maybe I would have shown her more love, commitment as a friend and maybe …. Who knows. There are just so many things I would want her to know; like that I loved and valued her for who she was and for the kindness she showed me in our brief time. I would hug her and I would tell her what a beautiful human being she is/was.

Here’s to friends like Colleen; and here’s to the memories we’ll cherish.

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CC CHRONICLES: Throwback Thursday / Mutagenic Studios in 2012

Published by cctadmin on August 6th, 2015

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Once upon a time CC Trubiak appeared as a character in a graphic novel.  The year: 2012.  The graphic novel: Ascension by Ottawa’s very own Mutagenic Studios Interactive.

Mutagenic Studios Interactive was originally formed in 2006 by Timothy Bacon and Paul Green, two talented guys who had worked as writers and creative directors for almost three decades in broadcast media, interactive media and advertising.  They optioned numerous screenplays and original television series also served as lead writers at Fuel Industries, an advanced interactive agency (not to mention one of the worlds largest advergame developers) where they developed their skills and creativity.

At the time they formed Mutagenic Studios Interactive, they wanted to explore photography and art that would allow them to go beyond the written word  and push the boundaries of their storytelling.Their work had appeared in various publications however they embarked on this vision and continue to do so today with great success. Currently they are in production on a number of original properties for digital, print and film that combine their unique brand of writing, photography and art.

I met Timothy and Paul through mutual friends of ours in Ottawa, where I’d been living and working at the time; these friends had appeared as characters in their graphic novel project Babylon Smith. They recommended we collaborate ourselves and being the curious adventurer I am I thought it would be an interesting creative experience. I was also craving opportunities to collaborate with folks who think outside the box and these guys certainly fit the bill.

We set up time for me to come over to the studio and shoot – they’d communicated to me that they wanted someone to play the main character of Ascension, a “dystopian tale of horror and revenge”. That was all I needed to know – the rest I figured I would learn as I went along!  My recollection of the shoot itself makes me smile – the studio’s wall-to-wall art impressed me a lot.  As a kid who grew up loving comics (both Marvel and Archie) and horror movies (Friday the 13th, Alien, Carrie etc) as well as making up my own drawings/comics I was couldn’t help but marvel (there’s that word again!) at their talent, creativity and their tenacity.  Their photography impressed me with its grit, colour; a bit provocative and certainly striking. I took notice of all the characters and the models representing these creations – each person was unique and I couldn’t help but want to be up there on that wall with them.  A part of that brilliant world.

The shoot came and went; I completely trusted their vision and eventually Ascension was released to the public.  It was the kind of experience I would have been open to exploring even more had I not left Ottawa however, that said I still follow their work and remain in touch with Timothy from time to time.  Thank you guys so much for the experience; proud to keep this little memory tucked away in the vaults of my mind.  Rock on and keep  entertaining and inspiring the world!

Here’s the link to Ascension on the Blog: http://mutagenicinteractive.blogspot.ca/p/comic-ascension.html

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CC CHRONICLES: Re-Reading ‘In Search of April Raintree’

Published by cctadmin on August 3rd, 2015

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In general I’m not a huge reader; I’ve got a short-list of beloved books I re-read from time to time the way I do with movies I can watch over. Most of the time I’m too busy writing and singing however on that short-list of books I love is the Beatrice Mosionier tale of two Metis sisters, called In Search of April Raintree.  I had a hankering to return to this story after only having read it once in high school.  For anyone who’s familiar with this heart-rending story, perhaps its resonated with you too. I know Beatrice Mosionier was born in St. Boniface, Manitoba, and as her bio shares, she is the youngest of four children and she grew up in foster homes.  In 1983 In Search of April Raintree was published and it has become a Canadian classic – again I can see why.

There’s a lot one could focus on in terms of the many themes and questions this tale offers: the question of parental rights with regard to their children’s health and well-being; identity and self-image; racism and violence; addiction, stability and healing.  Some might even say its about triumph and reclamation.  Mosionier is a writer of considerable craft who writes with an open style that I personally find effective in eliciting strong emotional responses.

In reading April Raintree again, I became intrigued by the complex relationship between two sisters, April and Cheryl.  In the opening sections, the author crafts a close and supportive relationship between them, and this relationship forms the  dramatic tension through which other events in the story are explored.  These other events often come in the form of barriers and obstacles to them being fully at peace with their identities.  Being apprehended by Children’s Aid, separated from their mother and father (and baby sister Anna) and put into various foster care homes both made April and Cheryl’s relationship even stronger and even more vulnerable at times.  Their intimacy as sisters is reflected poignantly through  letters that they found a way to share back and forth over years, and the brief yet often intense time periods they would get to spend together, first as little girls in the system and then later on in life once they were independent and ‘free’.

April and Cheryl shared similarities and differences in terms of their questioning, acceptance and understanding of indigenous issues, history and their own identity.  Each had enormous strength of spirit, as well as hardship; making their ways  in a society that is, at times, indifferent, hostile, and violent; one sister embraces her Metis identity and the other tries to leave it behind.  For anyone who hasn’t read it I’ll spare the explicit and even tragic details however, I will say that its in their journey I found myself gripped, personally touched and often inspired to think about identity, cultural pride, and resilience as it applies to myself or the many folks I’ve met in my life who remind me somehow of April or Cheryl.

For anyone looking for a good read I do suggest you get a copy of In Search of April Raintree.  Available online!

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