Category Archives: inspiration
After reading all the post Connect posts on my Facebook and on the Connect Tribe facebook page, I’ve felt compelled to write out my thoughts that have been flooding my brain the past few days. I know I’ve already written about it this year, but this post will be about the years, the memories of Connect past.
I began going to parties here in Winnipeg back in 2001, but I had heard about the old Warehouse parties since the late-nineties. Not having any friends who would have gone with me (as they weren’t the “electronic dance music” types), I never went. I remember listening to 91.1 on Saturday nights and wondering what that kind of life was like. Fast forward to 2000 and I was supposed to go to the first Tranceformers party, about an hour south of the city, but the people I was supposed to go with ditched me and left me without a ride there. Honestly, I think had I gone to that party, it would have been the only one I would have gone to. I didn’t know anyone in the scene at the time and my friends never went back to another one after that time.
I met people in the scene at a local bar and became friends with a few of them, they convinced me to go with them to my first party, “Chemical Attractions”, it was a sweaty mess, but oh so much fun. I met many new people that night who became my friends for the next several years. They also introduced me to #p-raves and #popup, both were online IRC channels that were for the Winnipeg and Saskatchewan rave scenes. There, I met a whole world of new people whom I was and am happy to call my friends. We had the same backgrounds of loving the “underground” music, loved going to “raves” which was frowned upon in regular society.
My first Connect was in 2002, the last year at MacLean’s. I had been convinced by Dan and Randal that I should go, that I would love it. And boy I did. I don’t remember much about that year, but I do remember meeting lots of new Saskatchewan people, getting “lost” with Dan on an evening wander, and dancing under the stars with new and trusted friends. I made sure that I would return the following year. That year was the first year at Besant and I met so many more new people, hung out with the No-Town crew and added so many more memories to the already growing list of memories. The year it rained all weekend and it we only got maybe an hour of sun all weekend (I can’t remember which year that was), dancing in mud to Romeo Kardec at 5am, watching friends dance on the speakers and just about fall off because they were slippery. From tie-dye shirts, to field hangouts with good friends, lots of laughs and hiding in tents from the rain. Being blindsided and tackled by someone from NoTown while sitting on a camping chair and breaking it countless times over the years, to watching Rob wrestle with one of the random guys from NoTown ending up with a goose egg in the middle of his forehead. There are so many more memories that were made and countless number of laughs. 2004 was the year of the megaphones from both Craig and Mich, and a lot of us wanting to scream from our tents at 6am as Mich and Craig asked if “the robots wanted to party?” and that the garbage cans were “made for percussion” as we were all trying to sleep.
I only missed 2006 and 2008, and both of those years, I felt like something out of my summer was “missing” because I wasn’t going home. I haven’t missed since 2009 and would always make sure that I would be able to attend.
I met my current group of friends in 2009, through a couple of people on the now defunct online message board Mixhard. These guys created so many more new memories and Camp Hail Damage was born a few years later. After a couple of years of hanging out with them at Connect, I knew I was supposed to be with them. That this was part of my chosen family. Their weirdness meshed well with mine, although they’re much more weird than I am 😉 The loyalty and love shows through and through with them. Yes, we’re loud and can be overly obnoxious but it wouldn’t be us if we weren’t.
Hanging out at NoTown Bar the past few years was always a highlight of the weekend (“Fuck you Greg Eversoul” will always make me laugh), along with the 7 years of Beer Pong Tournaments and having Kayla as my partner for 6 of the 7. Getting to see countless number of amazingly, talented DJ’s both international and local, dancing until my knees, feet and ankles are so sore and getting to meet some of the best people I’ve ever met and this year meeting so many more new people, I’m happy to call friends. The wanderings between the Temple stage & the Garden and almost always running into someone you knew, trying to see DJ’s who played at the same time but you don’t want to leave one set because you can’t stop dancing.
All of these things I wrote about will forever be engraved in my brain and the pictures I’ve taken over the years will be cherished. Connect has helped shape me into the person I am today, it was my “home away from home” and it always grounded me, I would turn off my phone for 4 days to be able to disconnect from the real world. I would always return home feeling refreshed and ready to face the rest of the summer head on before the “real world” of the regular day to day job (aka the school year) would begin.
Thank you to Jeff and all of the Connect Tribe, (including those people gained and lost over the years) you made a festival worth returning to year after year. It became more of a family reunion for me than a music festival. I would look forward to the weekend where I could see my friends from Saskatchewan and Alberta that I only see once, maybe twice a year. All of your hard work and dedication over 22 years is definitely an accomplishment. To NoTown and Hail Damage for the countless number of laughs and memories, and all the other people I’ve met over the years. Thank you.
Next summer will be different without making that 7 hour drive to go “home” to Connect. There is a new festival in the works called Emotion Arts & Music festival (that I’m more than happy to be helping out with) and I’m really hoping that people come our way this time, to create new and long lasting memories. Because we all have to stick together, and create a new “home”.
Connect has come and gone, but this time for the final time. The festival that has become my “home away from home” for the past 15 out of 17 years has called it quits after 22 years. I know all good things eventually do come to an end, but I know lots of us Connect veterans are sad of it’s termination.
There have been so many memories made, people that I’ve met and some I can call part of my chosen family, countless number of laughs and awesome times over the years. And not to mention, listening to all the amazing acts that the Connect Tribe has brought in year after year. The people who have gone every year are like minded, non judgmental people. We all are there for a good time, to forget about the real world for a few days and I know for me, I come back home a bit more grounded after the weekend.
This year was no different. I’ve had better years there, but it was still lots of fun. It all started Friday on literally no sleep and leaving the city at the ungodly hour of 4:30am to arrive at Besant at around noon. We set up our camp with our group and the chaos began. I have no voice to prove it from yell-talking all weekend. I hid from the rain for most of the night on Friday, thankfully was able to somewhat catch up on the lack of sleep.
Some of the highlights of the weekend:
- Fancy Friday — our group danced around in the most fanciest (aka ugly) shirts that we could find, it was entertaining.
- Beer pong tournament on Saturday. Minus the fact that it was raining, we were still able to play down by the main stage under one of the canopies.
- Best of three against Adam and Erin in the beer pong tournament; Erin and I kept on going after the rebounds, getting super competitive. She even full on body checked me at one point, knocking me to the ground. Couldn’t stop laughing about it.
- Getting to see old friends whom I hadn’t seen in years, meeting their kids and having their youngest daughter ask me if I was “okay” as I was about to go shower. She made my Sunday morning.
- Getting to hang out with lots of great people that I usually only get to see at Connect.
- Some of the best sets of the weekend for me: US Marshall’s sunrise set on Saturday morning (which I was always asleep for in previous years), Deko-ze, Freestylers, JFB, MonkeyTwerk, Kytami, J.A.DJ, Chaos Theory.
Thank you Connect tribe for everything you’ve ever done for us. It’ll never be forgotten and always be appreciated. You’ve helped shaped me into the person I am today ❤ It’s bittersweet that it’s over.
98. When you see that number, what do you think? A number close to 100 right? What about if you hear “98 years old”? I think when I hear “98 years old”, I think of someone who has lived a long life, someone who has a lot of history, someone who has a lot of stories to tell.
Tomorrow, my Grandmère turns that magic number. 98. She’s an amazing woman who raised 6 kids (my mom and her siblings) with my Grandpère, taught for who knows how many years in their small town. She was the head of the choir in the church for as long as I can remember, she played piano until arthritis made constant playing too hard to do. I remember going out to their house for Christmas as a kid, even though her and my grandpère would be away, they would go south in their RV for the winter, but their home was always open for us. After my grandpère passed away in ’91, she continued to live in the house where my mom spent most of her life in, she lived there until recently, maybe the past year or so. More recently, having my aunts/uncles/parents helping her out with all the yard and house work. It was hard for her to leave the house where there were so many memories, so many stories.
The times of me sitting on the coffee table with my grandparents playing guitar & piano and singing with everyone, or me sitting at the piano playing whatever tune was there, my grandmère has definitely been a musical inspiration for me. She still sings when the family gets together, her voice carrying over everyone else. I don’t have my piano at my house (due to lack of space) but if I did, I would definitely be back to playing it more. I sing, but mostly at home, when I do sing in front of people (other than family), it usually surprises them because it’s something I keep quiet.
This is a video from four years ago, of her singing an old French song.
Honestly, she doesn’t look like she’s 98. Nor does she act like it. Last Christmas, it was around midnight and I was about to leave my parents house for the evening. My grandmère looked at me and asked me why I was leaving, she stated, “it’s still early!” This caused my aunts and mom to laugh and poke fun at me saying that she’s “outlasting” a 33 year old. It’s not every day you can say that you have a relative who has reached that age, who has seen so many trying times, the depression and the effects Canada had from the world wars.
I know she’ll never read this, but Happy birthday Grandmère! 6 kids, 14 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren, and 98 years of stories, you’re a true inspiration to everyone you meet. We love you.