A Day To Celebrate Queens (Victoria Day)

This post is filler. I didn’t know what to write about on Thursday, so I decided to do some research and learn about a Canadian national holiday – Victoria Day.

It’s a statutory holiday for us Canucks, but not too many of us know what it’s about. So here is a list of twelve things I bet you didn’t know about Victoria Day, and then a brief summary on what I plan to do about it myself. Savvy? And here we go.

Victoria Day Fun Facts

I’m going to keep these facts, short, topical and entertaining, but if you think of any better ones, be sure to let us know, after all, we try to keep it classy here at timotheories.

  1. Victoria Day is a Canadian holiday celebrated on the last Monday preceding May 25, in honour of Queen Victoria’s birthday. As such, it is the Monday between the 18th to the 24th inclusive, and thus is always the second to last Monday of May.
  2. The date is simultaneously that on which the current royal Queen’s official birthday is recognized (for instance Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday is April 21st). We also sometimes consider this an informal start to summer season in Canada.
  3. Queen Victoria was one of the longest sitting monarchs in all of British history, and inspired an entire era to be named after her…
  4. Canadians have been celebrating the date of her birthday since we became a country in 1845, and it legally became a day off when she died in 1901.
  5. Victoria Day is most definitely a Canadian festivity and is not widely celebrated in the British Isles, though the Scottish and some English do partake.
  6. For one reason or another, likely old hurts, the Quebecois do not celebrate Victoria Day, and for years chose to celebrate Fete de Dollard, after the French hero Adam Dollard des Ormeaux who won a battle with French soldiers against Iroquois in 1660. Now they celebrate National Patriots Day instead.
  7. The original celebrations of the holiday took place annually on May 24th, no matter what day of the week that was, excepting Sunday. In which case the holiday was moved to the 25th of May. And this changed to the current structure in 1952.
  8. Political figures and hip hop artists of today could take some queues from Victoria as she was able to stave off more than six assassination attempts on her life.
  9. Famous for wearing black before Johnny Cash. Victoria went into seclusion in 1961 after her husband Albert died, and was in mourning for a very long time, not getting back into the public until the early 1870s. There has been great speculation that she later privately married her Scottish butler John Brown.
  10. Before they were abolished in 1968, 21 gun salutes were commonly fired in Ottawa and the provincial capitals on Victoria Day AND and a number of other important Queen days – actual birthday, accession day, and coronation day, for instance.
  11. An important mark in fashion, summer clothing is traditionally worn from Victoria Day through until Labour Day… Hence the expression, don’t wear white after Labour Day.
  12. Canadian band Rush, British band The Kinks, and British musician Paul McCartney of Beatles fame have all written songs about the queen Victoria. Which hasn’t been done officially since that time.

theories Summarized

A day for all Canadians, Victoria Day is often celebrated as May Long in the common vernacular, and that’s okay in my books. But we should of course be aware of our history, and do our best to consider it as we each move forward in our own endeavours.

I, for instance, will be spending the May long weekend working on interviews, editing episodes of Cross Talk, Watch Culture and Just n Time Games, watching movies, and making art.

And so should you creative cuties, and so should you. Thank Victoria for the true north, strong and free, because she was instrumental in helping to shape this great nation of ours, at least that’s my theory.

Tim!

Meet the Family (Easter)

I’ve written about Easter traditions before AND even included some perspective as it relates to the history of the arts… but today I decided to write about Easter as an influencer on life. My life in particular.  Because I was born in the spring and Easter is a movable holiday, sometimes it falls before my birthday, sometimes it falls after, and very rarely it happens on my actual birthday (read: two times) and I suspect won’t happen again in my lifetime.

This is because according to Catholic traditions, Easter follows the first full moon of the vernal equinox. A pattern unbroken.

Certain events are like that though. Even though they don’t happen on the same day of the week each year, they happen on the same calendar month or in some fashion which guides their timing on a yearly basis.

Secondhand Firsts

But not this weekend.

This Easter season I’m visiting my girlfriends family for the first time. Yay! I’m supposed to meet a lot of the family all at once, cousins, aunts and uncles, and close family friends. But not her immediate family.

You see dear readers, my girlfriend is a planner with a system for introducing partners to her family. She does this because she has a young son and doesn’t want to create too many waves for him in her personal life. Now, as for meeting the whole family. My girlfriend had an unconventional childhood, because for most of her childhood, her parents didn’t raise her. Shock. Gasp. Well at least not ever at the same time, and it was not them alone that did it.

Mysticque was also predominantly raised by her aunt for quite a few years. And so her aunt has served as a surrogate mother along with her aunt’s three children who affectionately become her younger brother and two younger sisters.

No big deal right? I’ve meet parents before, and I’m a fairly charming, clean cut guy who likes to bring flowers, give a big greeting, and make a great first impression. In fact, I think it’s because I’m so secure in my own identity that I can assure the men in the room of my good intentions, plus I dress sharply and get to know the family, which goes over well with the female family members.

But I’m nervous, because I love her. I want to get along with them and make sure she gets the approval, because I know in my heart of hearts I’m going to be with her. And that’s the first time I’ve written that down, and shared it with world.

Whew.

timotheories Summarized

I think this is a good time to meet her family. Because Easter is supposed to represent a time of Christ’s rebirth, the time of my own birth, and a time to begin again. Cause you know sins are forgiven if we accept Jesus as our Saviour. I’ll just say for now that I’m glad that I met Mysticque Moore. I love her, and no it’s not theoretical – she’s the muse of my life.

Tim!

Building Bridges, Forging Families (Community)

A new year, a new theme.

And while I’m not going to unleash that theme on you just yet, mostly because I’m saving it for the timotheories January post that’ll be released tomorrow, let’s just agree that this first Wisdom Wednesday post of the year is significant. Heck, I’ve even layered this post into an existing series on health and wellness, and influenced by The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Let’s consider that statement one more time “new year, new theme.” We could pretty easily replace the words “year” and “theme” with almost anything really.

It’s one of those catch-all-modify-it-as-you-like phrases that I often like to say, and which many of us are guilty of sharing too. It’s such a North American thing to embrace newness. Except that you can’t hear me saying it, so looking at it through the lens of my writing will have to do, dear readers. And if you really want to see me speak you can always head over to the YouTube channel. Lots of theories over there.

You know what else? It’s been an excellent Christmas break. For me especially.

Break In The New Year

An opportunity for both reflection and decompression with a strong mix of socialization thrown in for good measure. As is the tradition, but odd for me to written as a staunch non-traditionalist, we had our typical Christmas eve Secret Santa gift exchange, then a full day of Christmas activities, Boxing Day shopping and movie watching, my annual Fast and Furious marathon, a roommate holiday party, New Years Eve, and New Years Day dinner. It was a full docket to be sure.

If you haven’t guessed it yet, I insist on taking the last week of the year off because Christmas and New Years are big holidays in my family. We always seem to have at least three or four days dedicated to the holiday season and so the preceding weeks and afterglow take both a physical and emotional toll on me. It ain’t easy being green, as the once Kermit the Frog once said.

kermit

Communication Breakdown

The feedback I often get from more vocal friends who only want a cursory view of my break is “why do you even take holidays if you aren’t going anywhere?” Well my friends, I think it’s important to spend time with family and friends and I want to be in the best state possible to partake in these festivities. But honestly it’s just not simple drop in and drop out situation. I have to absorb it all and then filter the experiences. That, and I often catch some sort of seasonal illness around this time of year.

Now granted, I have been told on more than one occasion that I push myself to the limit at this time of year, but recognizing  the deadline oriented nature of the holiday and my own needs working retail (which doesn’t matter if at a store or head office), have led me towards this solution.

This is important to realize. Community is vital for a creative person, so we each need to find a way to inject it into our set of priorities.

You see creative cuties, community and communication often go hand in hand. The people who attend these events with me all bring their own unique perspective to each party, but the desire to be there and connect is important to each of us. Whether it’s bonding over a film series. the act of handmade gifts or sharing in a homemade meal that celebrates culture, there requirements for participating in these events are clear.

Advanced Community Studies

But is this really the life we should be living?

Of course, I have this theory that it all comes back to values. In fact, I call it the campfire theory. Which I’ll likely elaborate upon int’s own post sometime this year…

We all need to be in alignment with the people we spend time with, and a great shared valued is much like a campfire, we gather around it for warmth, share stories around it hours, and struggle to leave it in the wee hours of morning, even when we know we could be sleeping. This is passionate living, and one of the most important things we can do in life is find community with like-minded individuals. The world challenges us to do it on our own, but this is a fallacy, because studies have proven time and time again that giving back to others is good for us and after a certain point of success we want to give away what we have.

We need to make the time for community. Life lessons and experiences are often reverberated through the friends and family in our lives.

Once each of us realizes that we must actively work with a community, then we can begin to determine how often we engage with our communities (daily, weekly, monthly) and the best way to structure said community. It could be a Facebook group, a What’sApp groupchat, a dinner party or a campfire. But knowing what you want to offer the group(s) and receive back is essential.

I’m ecstatic to see what 2017 brings for you creative cuties, so hit me up with your own learnings and let me know what you thought of this wisdom. I’m out of theories for now, but I’ll share some more tomorrow.

Tim!

But The Fire Is So Delightful (Michael Bublé, Christmas review)

In my family it’s pretty common to listen to the same three or four Christmas albums over and over and over again. Bing Crosby’s Merry Christmas, Burl Ives Have A Holly Jolly Christmas, Christmas with The Chipmunks featuring Alvin and the Chipmunks, and Christmas with Boney M.

It’s like clockwork. But every so often, my parents slip and let one of us take the helm, and that’s when I get to put on my favourite Christmas album.

Michael Bublé – Christmas
released October 24, 2011
******** 8/10

christmas-cover-art-extralarge_1313541716823

Michael Bublé is a Canadian well known for his abilities as singer, songwriter, actor and record producer. In fact, he has won several awards and honours, multiple Juno Awards, and four Grammy Awards.

His first album BaBalu charted the top ten in both Canada and the UK, but it wasn’t until his fourth album, It’s Time, that Bublé found a worldwide audience. Then his 2007 album Call Me Irresponsible did even betters – it was able to reach number one in Canada, the UK, the US Billboard 200, Australia and several European charts.

Bublé’s 2009 album Crazy Love debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 after just three days of sales… It was also his fourth number one album on Billboard’s Top Jazz Albums chart. But His 2011 holiday album, Christmas, did the best yet as it was in first place on the Billboard 200 for the final four weeks of 2011 and then for first week of 2012, totalling five weeks atop the chart.

Christmas is a big deal for Bublé, and no I’m not talking about the holiday, I’m referring to the album. In fact, I’d say his album is a big deal to a lot of people. It was the first holiday album to win a Juno award for album of the year.

I was reading reviews of the top holiday albums ever and Michael Bublé really is in good company with this record. You often see artists like Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Elvis, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Mariah Carey, and The Beach Boys on those kinds of lists, but there is something special about this Canadian crooner that allows him to fit right in with both the old and the new Christmas jams. He does a great job reimagining Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You, has some fun on his duet with the Puppini Sisters for Jingle Bells, and really gets into the big band mode with It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas.

Silent Night is hauntingly beautfiul and simple in it’s delivery, and the gender twist on Santa Baby is pretty cute, sparking a few laughs from me each time I listen to it. Also the duet with Shania Twain on White Christmas is something special for fans of both artists.

If you like Michael Bublé this album will suit you just fine. If you like classic Christmas music, this album will suit you fine too. If you don’t typically like either Michael Bublé or Christmas music, then I caution you to avoid this, because it’s a lot of fun and maybe you don’t like fun, so why are you even reading this post in the first place.

 

 

 

This is hands down my favourite holiday themed album, and there are some excellent ones out there to be sure. Why I enjoy this over other is because it offers an excellent mix of old and new, and it’s length is perfect for unwrapping presents, take a short trip out of town to visit the in-laws or while you are lounging with brandy and wine after Christmas dinner. This really will get you in the holiday spirit friends, and I hope you have a holly, jolly Christmas. This is my last album review of the year, check back on January 2nd for something new. And come back tomorrow for my favourite Christmas movie, reviewed just for you!

Tim!

Fa La La La La, La La, La La (The Singing Christmas Tree)

This Christmas season dear readers, I decided to start a NEW positive tradition for myself. And so far, it’s gone over pretty well.

Now, I realize I can’t really call it a tradition until I’ve been doing it for a few years in sequence at the very least, but the event I was originally going to embrace was the holiday spirit.

Yeah, that looks weird upon second viewing.

I’m gonna run with it though. So gaining holiday spirit and participating more fully in all of the things going on in the city is important to me to foster community. With the intent of relaying more value on Christmas and showcasing the creative talents so many people throw into supporting a holiday of peace and goodwill I think I found the perfect event that demonstrates these ideas. But given the new state of affairs, I may or may not have ramped up my efforts INFINITELY MORESO because I met a special someone recently.

buddy-the-elf-activities

That’s right folks, my new girlfriend is a lover of all things Christmas. So I said to myself, I said “Tim, you need to buck up and enjoy Christmas more than before,” and so far, sooooo good friends.

As a for instance, we decided this week to check out The 47th Annual Singing Christmas Tree at the Jubilee Auditorium. Believe it or not, I’ve never been to this event in all of my years – I’ve lived in Edmonton my whole life folks and I’ve never been to this event before. I think it helps that my girl is bffs with one of the Singing Christmas Tree singers, Candice Ryan. And Candice has a solo performance in the show too. What this means is that I have to pay special attention to one spot of the 35 foot tall Christmas tree to ensure I give proper feedback on her performance and then I can somewhat relax when she is on stage by herself, well, because it’ll be easier for my ears to jusge and less of a visual distraction for my eyes.

Candice is also the new morning disc jockey at CFWE Radio, which is pretty cool, but that’s more of an aside then particularly relevant to this post. Just a thing a good boyfriend should remember.

Now, if you’re like me and you don’t know very much about The Singing Christmas Tree, I’ll fill you in. As previously mentioned, The Singing Christmas Tree has been around for quite a long time and features a choir of over 150 singers, a live orchestra, incredible sets and costumes, and an assortment of performances that include dancing, acrobatics and solo singing performances. All of these is themed around Christmas classics, and taking place between December 15-18 at the Northern Jubilee Auditorium (11455 87 Ave Edmonton, AB T6G 2T2), this is one of those family friendly events that always generates a ton of excitement.

Even better, all of the net proceeds go to the Edmonton Singing Christmas Tree Foundation, which is set up to give music education, food and gifts to children in need. It’s pretty neat.

As I share this with you, I am in the midst of the first performance, so keep your voices down, I’m trying to enjoy the show.

Tim!