Today I’ve got no prairie stories or adventures to recall yet I do have a reason to recollect a certain Ottawa adventure, pertaining to my friends & collaborators back in that particular home.
Leading up to my flight home to Manitoba, I was in a mad rush. I had to work hard & fast on wrapping up several very fun projects, of my own as well as of my counterparts in TORRiD PRODUCTiONS. For those of you unfamiliar, TORRiD PRODUCTiONS is an Ottawa-based multi-diciplinary artist collective I am still a part of, along with amazing artists like AiLEEN MARTELLA, OLEXANDRA PRUCHNiCKY, BONNiE FINDLEY, & of course TORRiD’S co-founder DANNiEL OiCKLE. Although I am adjusting very well to the small-town life after years in the Nations capital, I think of these friends often; it was in their company I found a lot of fun & welcomness. I miss them.
Speaking of – as I was mentioning earlier, leading up to my departure from Ottawa I had to tie up some big projects that we at TORRiD had on the go; one of them being the filming of a music video for DANNiEL OiCKLE’S song ‘Caring & Hate’ (from THE CORRUPTiON OF FLESH, TORRiD PRODUCTiONS, 2011). Filming took place in two locations: one at Ottawa’s MERCURY LOUNGE, a bar located in the Byward Market, the other in a downtown apartment where we shot additional footage. BONNiE FiNDLEY & DAN ZiEMKiEWiCZ lent their cinematography/production skills & although I have yet to see the finished results I can promise you they will look nothing short of sharp & amazing. Through out shooting, FiNDLEY, a photographer of the highest calibre, shot some additional images which she released publicly today. Below I have shared a few with you -
It’s also worth noting that DANNiEL’S hard work has recently landed him on the cover of Xtra!, Ottawa’s Gay & Lesbian News Publication. I received my own personal copy right from DANNiEL myself – & I’m not only thrilled he continues to be true to himself on this journey, but blessed to meet him, & be a part of TORRiD PRODUCTiONS. Way to go DANNiEL! Here’s to friends left behind but most certainly still in the heart. Love you all -
This here is a photograph I took of my friend Ted, while we were swimming out in Chelsea…those times out in nature with him are some of my favorite memories of this area….and of our friendship!
My pal Olex s no stranger to camping it up and posing for the camera; she has a million characters in her; I find this shot that I took randomly at a BBQ at her home so special… it somehow reminds me that behind all the make-up, hair, dresses – is a young woman of depth and dimension, few really get to be close to. It also reminds me of the 1980 Robert Redford directed film ORDiNARY PEOPLE somehow…..as such here is Ordinary Oley!
Here are a couple of outtakes from a shoot I did in 2011 with fellow collaborator Danniel Oicke – this shoot was called TWiSTED SiSTERS….
Of course I have some lovely shots of my kitties… ever ready for the camera at home!
And finally just for good measure, here are a couple of shots I like to think of as DOLL ART; I’ve always had a fixation with dolls and as such they serve as my muses a lot of the time… in fact I have an entire folder of random doll art…. perhaps a future feature?
Where to begin? It is a whirl-wind these days for me, as change is on the horizon. In short, I will be packing up and shipping off to Flin Flon, Manitoba near the end of July, for a new and exciting job that starts August 1st. I will be a Mental Health Clinician for the Youth and Women’s Team in Primary Health Care.
The reason I don’t know where to begin is that in truth, my heart & mind are all over the place these days. On one hand, I find myself here in Ottawa, for all intensive purposes still a part of this city & the various projects I’m involved in. On the other hand, as I enjoy these last days here, my mind simultaneously races with thoughts on how to best prepare for what I’m about to embark on back in the Flin Flon community. As I straddle both worlds – I’m both sad and excited; it’s difficult for someone like me, who struggles with fear & anxieties to express exactly what it is I’m feeling, because it is a combination of things both logical & illogical, & sometimes the line between each is hard to decipher.
I will say that I’m extremely happy with the life I’ve made in Ottawa up till now; 10 years ago when I first sauntered into this town I really had nothing but my back-pack & that was all. No particular goals or plans – I was rather aimless. Years later I’ve seen myself go to college and University; I’ve met so many wonderful people along the way – conquered a few demons here and there too. I’ve seen romantic relationships come & go, & have been more than blessed to be with my partner Alain for almost 6 years now.
To the outsider looking in at what the life of CC TRUBiAK is all about; one might see a bright & confident guy with tons going on. I’ve grown to understand that perception is all so relative; yes it’s true that I’m extremely lucky & blessed but make no mistake – there is so much more to everyone than meets the eye. For all of my gifts & shine, I’m incredibly flawed but ever-striving to understand life & my part in it; how I can above all, love & laugh. At 33 years old I still search for answers to questions about who I am & how I can get the most joy out of life.
One thing I’m committed to is getting somewhere with my social work career. Career & finances have been an area of life that I have yet to conquer – & having graduated with my degree a few years ago now, it feels time to face my fears of job search in that area, which is why this opportunity to move away and focus on career couldn’t have come at a better time. The universe is obviously listening to me.
Some may wonder – well, what’s up with your arts/photography/music? As the arts were in my youth, they will remain an integral part of me, even as I make my way back to Manitoba. I’ve been so incredibly fortunate over the past two years in terms of the public’s reception to my art. I used to keep that part of me very hidden & so to be so welcomed into the Ottawa art scene at all has given this small-town guy a great deal of encouragement, to say the least. I’ve published a book of self-portrait photography (Hail The Narcissist, 2010), released an independent CD (They Say I’m Different, 2011 – also nominated by Xpress for Best Album, Best New Musical Act), played gigs around Ottawa (City Hall, Elmdale House Tavern, Mercury Lounge, Club Saw Gallery, The Rainbow etc), and collaborated with a multitude of talented folks whom have influenced me immensely, by virtue of embracing me creatively.
Yet – as successful as I have been in this area & as much as I will continue to create music & art, I have also spent the past two years grappling with how I feel about the music/art industry, as well as my place in it. In all of the fun & excitement that comes with ‘being seen’ (& one has to remember its usually more in my nature to be reclusive & close to home than it ever was to be out & about in any scene), I found myself becoming conflicted at times, unsure of how to proceed next within this industry (or if in fact I wanted to). I would ask myself: what is my desire here? Let me put it this way; what I love & want most – is to express & connect – but more and more I find myself wrestling with the industry & the appearance of it all. Sometimes I’m just compelled to run away, find some log cabin somewhere I could avoid thinking about self-promotion or managing. Somewhere I don’t feel so affected by image or what the general public might think or perceive.
I’m not terribly interested in certain aspects that clearly come along with attaining success in the music industry; I’m a terrible schmoozer, I can’t stand to be in environments with so many competitive egos, & I have a lot to learn about selling myself. If the art scene is likened to the schoolyard at recess, I often feel like the quiet kid who will see all the children playing on the jungle gym or swing sets….wanting to connect & play – but finding it difficult to penetrate through a lot of BiG personalities. At least for this point in my life…. In most cases these ‘kids’ are just as insecure as I might be – but who just wear it differently. I might ask them: “Can I play too?” I both admire them as well as feel apprehensive. I might see them role play and posture, wanting a turn at it myself, often finding that PRiNCESS over there playing QUEEN of the CASTLE just can’t stand to let anyone else wear the crown for a bit! It feels to me, less about connecting and more about who you know, & where you stand in terms of status within the rest of the playground. Oh, I always find a way to connect or make friends, & I have met a great deal of like-minded folks – but I guess it goes to show that now-a-days I’m not so interested in playing the games that come along with recess as much as I am about focusing on creating something that speaks to who I am. Period.
On that particular note, after all the fantastic projects I have & continue to work on are said & done – the one that I’m most attached to at this point is the collection of recordings I’m doing with DARREN HOLMES. Together we’ve been slowly working on another album of music, and I’ve spoken about this several times throughout the year as we’ve recorded. There are many creative hands coming in on this album (as both songwriters, musicians) as we continue work on it; and to go back to what I just previously said about the industry side of things; I couldn’t be more proud of the results thus far, & further more I have taken away any previous pressures for this to come out at any particular time, or for it to achieve any specific kind of success. I do know that whenever this album sees the light of day – its contents will speak to who I am intrinsically, better than anything I have released previously as an artist. I’m not sure where this confidence comes from per se, but I do know that all I’ve ever really wanted to get out of releasing my work to the public, is a chance to say something deeper about the person I am, for aren’t we all just trying to be heard in the end? I will never make any claims that what I have to say is particularly any wiser or better than what my neighbor has to say – but I do still think we all strive to be heard, in whatever way we can. This is my ultimate goal as an artist – & as a social worker I suppose – inspire people to share their voice.
Flin Flon is just around the corner for me & as it approaches, understand that life as I know it, is about to change. As scary as it is for me to face the unknown, I do so with the hope that I can somehow make a positive difference there, and for my own journey. One thing I promise to do while I am away is document Flin Flon in whatever ways I can. This community is filled with riches; people have stories there I want to share somehow, as a photographer, writer and humanitarian. I will do my best to share with you all the goings-on there. In the meantime – I’m choosing to spend the remainder of time I have in Ottawa, surrounded by my friends & loved ones who have made my time here so beautiful.
p.s. Special thanks DANNiEL OiCKLE, OLEXANDRA PRUCHNiCKY, BONNiE FiNDLEY, DAN ZiEMKiEWiCZ & SARA AiNSLiE for the amazingly fun video shoot we all took part in last night at MERCURY LOUNGE. Can’t wait to see the results for Dan’s video ‘Caring & Hate’. ZiEMKiEWiCZ also touched me with this thoughtful gift he and GUiLLAUME picked up for me on their travels – ‘Hushabye Baby: Lullaby Renditions of DOLLY PARTON’. I’ve got it on now & it’s inspiring! <3
Last week or weekend (time flies so its a tad difficult to keep up with the details!) DANNiEL, OLEX and I met up in preparation for our show at SAW GALLERY for H’ART OTTAWA’S 10th Anniversary Gala Event. Working on a low-key, more acoustic set with these two, I’ve got a short little video of us doing AFTER THE GLiTTER FADES, a STEViE NiCKS tune that I covered on my CD THEY SAY i’M DiFFERENT (2011, Torrid Productions). It’s always a joy to sing this tune with my friends. Check it out here – and be sure to come check us out on May 25th.
Further info on the gala (called Ten pl+s Ten – you can also find it on Facebook):
H’Art of Ottawa is celebrating their tenth anniversary and you’re invited to join us for an exciting evening of art and entertainment !
The folks at SAW Gallery have thrown open their doors and generous friends of H’Art have organized a party on May 25th from 7-10pm. T…he evening will feature live entertainment, a silent and a live auction, some great treats to nibble on, and a cash bar.
But at the center of the event will be the art work that H’Art of Ottawa’s artists have created as a result of workshops put on by 10 of Ottawa’s professional artists. Come and see how their inspiring time at the H’Art Studio has been interpreted in our talented artists’ work….and meet some of the artists who have donated their time and talent to help H’Art of Ottawa build a broader network into the arts community !
Drop in and rub shoulders with Centretown Ward Counselor Diane Holmes, Mayor Jim Watson, and Ottawa-Centre MPP Yassir Naqvi who will be in attendance that evening to wish H’Art of Ottawa success as we unveil our ambitious plans for the next ten years. All proceeds from the evening will go support the programming at H’Art of Ottawa.
Don’t miss a moment of what promises to be an exciting evening of entertainment, fun, friends, and great art.
Please feel free to share this invitation with friends and family…we look forward to welcoming you all!
Lin Rowsell, Executive Director and Jennifer McKay, President of the Board H’Art of Ottawa The Bronson Centre 211 Bronson Ave, Rm 304 Ottawa, ON K1R 6H5
Things are picking up again for us at TORRiD PRODUCTiONS – so let me catch you up on the latest and greatest!
First – I had a meeting with fellow members DANNiEL OiCKLE and OLEXANDRA PRUCHNiCKY – as the three of us will be performing at SAW GALLERY on Friday, May 25th as a part of H’ART’ 10th Anniversary Gala: 10 Plus 10. They are celebrating their past 10 years as well as well as their next 10 years – and as such H’ART has collaborated with 10 Ottawa artists – so I encourage you all to come out and see the results, which will include paintings, a fundraiser auction and raffle, a slide-show, live music (that would be us!) and of course, food and a bar!
H’ART is a non-profit organization that does a lot of amazing work by connecting artists/teachers with children who have disabilities and I’m very excited to be a part of this at all. That night we will perform an acoustic set as a trio, taking turns at playing an assortment of tunes from DANNiEL’S CORRUPTiON of FLESH and my album THEY SAY i’M DiFFERENT. It might sound strange as we too wondered how we could combine folk/country with DAN’S electro-pop sound, but worry not, as we’ve stripped things down and have found a way to combine both worlds ! Last night was fun to work on these tunes in preparation. It’s going to be a low key show – so don’t be expecting us to wear our fur shorts and horns! We do promise however, to entertain.
For more information on H’ART: www.hartofottawa.ca
Also – as part of another fun side project, the three of us are collaborating with DR. SKETCHY’S ANTi-ART SCHOOL (www.drsketchy.com), and for those unfamiliar with DR. SKETCHY, it is the brainchild of artist MOLLY CRABAPPLE, and is essentially an alternative to the old-fashioned way of sketch-drawing models. Since 2005 they have brought artists a “rule-breaking cocktail dames, drinking and drawing” – and subsequently they have branches all over the place, including Ottawa’s very own CLUB SAW GALLERY. At MERCURY LOUNGE next Monday night, (April 30th) DAN, OLEX and I for this we will don our CORRUPTiON of FLESH attire (horns, fur shorts and fuck-me boots included) all in the name of art – where a group of sketch artists will spend the night doing just that, sketching us. Call it an alternative to the average nude sketch session – which I think is fun and interesting to be involved with. Special thanks to DR. SKETCHY and all involved in inviting us to partake in any way. I also encourage people to check out their website to see the other various exciting and titillating things going on with them all over the place.
To keep you updated on both DAN and OLEX respectively – here are some additional things they are currently up to these days:
OLEX, of Ottawa’s very own THE PEPTiDES (www.thepeptides.com) have had one helluva great year so far. With THE PEPTiDES OLEX gets to shine in her own very special way – & if you have never been to one of their shows I encourage you – they are a fierce act and put on a funky show. Check out their website for updates on their summer tour but I can also tell you that they are set to release their new album in the fall, and in the meantime will be performing this summer on the main stage at BLUESFEST! Also, THE PEPTiDES will be partaking in LiVE 88.5fm’s THE BiG MONEY SHOT competition. For more on it please check out this link: http://www.live885.com/index.asp?mn=10. OLEX I’m wishing you guys the best of luck!!!! Go get em‘!!!!!
This goes to show how the three of us (as well as fellow TORRiD PRODUCTiON members AiLEEN MARTELLA and BONNiE FiNDLEY) are symbiotic yet we have individual outside projects at the same time.
Speaking of which, the multifaceted DANNiELOiCKLE is working on releasing a book of poetry called MY HEART HAS TEETH and on August 18th he will officially be launching the book at La Petite Mort (www.lapetitemoregallery.com) with an exhibit as well as a performance so be sure to come out and enjoy the night. Als0 – wearing his producer hat, on May 20th he will be releasing the official music video to my song LONELY BLUE WAVES (i WANT YOU) which is a project we’ve been working on over the past several months to say the least. Like I said – DANNiEL is a whiz at many things – so just as I hope he is, I’m very eager and excited about getting to release this video to the public.
For now I’ll wrap this up but I thank you for taking the time to stay abreast of such things!
Last Friday, my friend and fellow Torrid Productions member AiLEEN MARTELLA got together for some much needed bonding and creative time.
Some of you might recognize MARTELLA’s name; her work as a painter, poet and singer/songwriter are admirable and she has been a great source of personal and creative support and inspiration for me over the past two years as I share more of my arts and music with the public. For anyone who happened to catch my set at THE RAiNBOW a few months back, you might recall I performed a MARTELLA original for the first time live – that song being OPEN UP MY HEART (YOU’LL SEE A TiNY ARMY). It’s a beautiful number that she wrote for and inspired by me – resulting in what I believe is a truly poetic song with every potential to blossom into an even more amazing recording. Hence why I am currently toiling away with it as we speak in the recording studio with other collaborator DARREN HOLMES.
More to come on OPEN UP MY HEART but in the meantime, MARTELLA and I hooked up in effort to put our heads together for some song-writing and general fun times. Together we jammed in my living room, in and out of conversation and song; MARTELLA is also working on new material, both song and poetry so I also had the wonderful opportunity to get a taste of it myself. Not one to be too familiar with collaborating on music, I enjoy the time spent with her, and I usually find myself inspired to create and push myself even more. These jam sessions, if you will are encouraging as well as important to the collective process. Check out the youtube video below of my RAiNBOW performance of OPEN UP MY HEART and be sure to stay tuned for more from MARTELLA.
In other news, while there no future dates set to perform THE CORRUPTiON of FLESH with DANNiEL OiCKLE and OLEXANDRA PRUCHNiCKY, we at TORRiD PRODUCTiONS are nevertheless always toiling away on something special. Right now TORRiD PRODUCTiONS is currently putting together my very first official music video. The video is set for release at the end of May, and will feature my original song LONELY BLUE WAVES (i WANT YOU) from the 2011 album THEY SAY i’M DiFFERENT. Filming the video has been a fun process, and I look forward to seeing the final outcome so stay tuned! If you want to check out my album, be sure to visit iTunes (http://bit.ly/zQFwDg) or Reverbnation, where I currently rank at #6 on the Ottawa Folk Charts (http://bit.ly/HHwuXy). These are just some of the creative things going on that I’m particularly excited about.
I’m also continuing my work as an artist/facilitator for ARTSWELL, where we are about half way through the 10 week workshop MOTiONS AND POTiONS. I’ve tried to blog about as many of the sessions as possible, sharing photos of the work going on by myself, as well as the other facilitars and participants. I value this work very much – and this Saturday ARTSWELL will continue with a workshop on PASSAGES . For more information on ARSTWELL and MOTiONS AND POTiONS, please visit www.artswell.ca.
In other random news, I was featured recently in THE KiT Magazine, (which also has an online blog – check it out here www.thekit.ca). In a feature on clothing and fashion – I was mentioned among others as having the best street fashion across Canada. Inside I’m laughing – although on the outside I feel nothing but gratitude for the mention. I’ve always loved fashion and style and although I would not say they are among my priorities in life, I have always appreciated the value of self-expression through style. I’m just lucky they caught me on a day I wasn’t running to the grocery store in my sweatpants! Thank you to JUSTYNA for stopping me and giving me a featured spot. Check out the image below.
Finally, I’d like to make a comment for anyone interested in hearing something a little more confessional. I say this as someone who continually strives to make the best of life, but admittedly contends with a lot of anxieties, most of which are socially based.
I’ve never been officially diagnosed with any disorders, although I have been in and out of counseling for years. When the chips are down I’ve never been too ashamed to ask for help yet I recognize as much as I have pushed through a lot of said anxieties, I have also seen opportunities to advance in life, pass me by as a direct result of not knowing how to ask for help in facing the fears. Feeling ALONE in life’s journey can be a paralyzing experience for anyone familiar.
That said, lately I’ve been at a cross roads in my life and without meaning too sound vague I have been re-evaluating not only where I have come from, but where I am and where it is I wish to go moving forward. At times this commitment to making these changes and advancements in life can feel unsettling, as to embark on change can bring on many anxieties – yet I’m also invigorated right now because I have never felt more serious about finding my place and making that mark.
For years I believe a part of me has been afraid to shine – but for now I’M READY TO SURRENDER to the VULNERABiLiTY – and I admit that for me to be supported and connected to loving and positive people is a key ingredient to my survival. I thank those who are committed to me in any way and for any reason -