Posted by: kbater | November 11, 2015

Music moves me

Music is big in my life again these days. I often find music on my dulcimer –  chords that work and become a song, but seldom do I put words to the song and when I do they often disappear. Recently I wrote a song, and as usual the music was there right away and the lyrics where a struggle.  I approached Local Nelson poet Zaynab for help crafting the lyrics and it was great to collaborate on a song.  I haven’t been able to do that for a number of years.  I played the song recently at the monthly poetry slam that Zaynab hosts.

Along with this I have also been to a number of concerts this fall.  My old friend Ken Hamm ( a great blues player ) played at Expressions and it was fun to listen, sing along and laugh as we remembered we were both born in Thunderbay (It was Fort William and Port Arthur then).

Ken and I laughing together

Ken and I laughing together

Then a few days later Hawksley Workman played Nelson and it was so great to listen to this poet and singer extraordinaire.  I love the way he lets his voice soar and be an instrument and not just a vehicle for lyrics.  Hawksley worked with my good friend Colin Funk on a play called History Skip with Colin using Hawksley’s music for the play.  When it came time for the performances in Banff, Hawksley showed up and played drums in the band but kept a very low profile and let it be about the kids.

Hawksley Workman

Hawksley Workman

Music feeds me and I have been so fortunate in my life to play with so many great musicians. I’m looking for more opportunities to listen (the Bahamas play Nov. 16th) and play (with local musician Max Hawk).

Playing my dulcimer with Lars and Eliz

Playing my dulcimer with Lars and Eliz

Posted by: kbater | November 11, 2015

There’s no place like home!

Well after 32 years living and working in Banff I have moved to Nelson and a fresh start.

my favorite ski near Banff - Stanley Glacier

my favorite ski near Banff – Stanley Glacier

I loved living in a National Park, hiking, skiing, running the day care, working on school board, co-founding the Banff Community Foundation and the Banff Ideas Bank.  I grew up during my time in Banff, finding myself by engaging intensely in life, friendships, adventure, challenging work. Banff became my home for 3 decades and each phase in my life in Banff I took on challenges, learned about myself and the field I was working in, make great connections with the other people involved and after a time, it was time to move on.

This winter I came to a major decision about how far to take this process.  So paying attention to this need for the next challenge, the one that came to me was the Executive Director position with the Kalein Centre in Nelson.  I found myself in a huge dilemma.  Great opportunity, building an organization from the ground up, re-connecting wtih life span development work, and how do you leave Banff, friendships and 32 years of work and connection.  I decided I had to take a leap, create a fresh start, and be an adventurer and rediscover myself and find new passions.

Here I am in Nelson.  My great buddy Colin Funk came to Banff and we loaded up a u-haul with my stuff along with some items for him to take home to Cortes and his son’s belongings going to Victoria so he could attend school.  My daughter Hana and I loaded her stuff in my car and headed to Nelson.  They helped me set-up house (just 1/2 km outside of town right on Kootenay Lake) and then I started work.  Hana hung out in Nelson for a few days hanging pictures and art and then we drove to Vancouver on the labour day weekend to get her set up for school at Emily Carr.

my early days in Nelson

my early days in Nelson

The Kalein Centre is a great place for me to use my skills and knowledge in new ways.  Nelson is an interesting combination of laid back, community focused, counter culture place and while I have to work hard to make new social networks, it is a place of promise. I have been trying out new adventures in Nelson – stand up paddleboarding, and last Sunday I performed a new song I’ve written at the Monthly Poetry Slam during the open mic,  It was hosted by Zaynab a local poet who helped me in crafting some lyrics.  I met her at the Cottonwood Market in May and she wrote me this poem about moving to Nelson. (click on the photo to get a larger version that is easier to read)


My writing in my blog will shift more towards life span development and issues with death and dying and living fully at all stages of life.

Posted by: kbater | December 30, 2014

A long and winding road

Well it’s been months since I blogged.  What a year – my father is dying of cancer and I have been adjusting to life as a separated person moving towards divorce.  Some days I go, enough already what am I supposed to be learning, and others I just deal with whatever is in front of me at the moment and apply my zen philosophies as best I can.

I actually have learned a lot:

  • People are very helpful when you do ask for help
  • Medical science is a long and winding road with many tangents and answers often come slowly
  • You have to push for answers and persist and you also have to have patience (who me?)
  • It is so important to connect with friends and have fun as well as asking for support
  • Living in the moment to grieve, to rant, to cry, and to laugh – is so important and at times so difficult
  • It is easy to let fear consume me
  • It is hard to accept that right now things are hard
  • The Buddhist philosophy of impermanence and non-attachment are very helpful and yet so difficult to maintain

I see 2015 as a chance to deepen my daily living practice around these lessons and to be thankful for life, friends, family, life experience, beauty, and the opportunity to breath in and notice and breath out and let go.

Grandpa Bater, Grandma Bater, Hana and I

Grandpa Bater, Grandma Bater, Hana and I

Hana and I in Barcelona a year ago

Hana and I in Barcelona a year ago

Posted by: kbater | May 15, 2014

Mayor Nenshi Proclaims the Year of Reconciliation

Mayor Nenshi’s words on his proclamation are a huge step forward and the sentiment that “our collective spirits generates enough for all” is a statement of hope – thanks Mayor Nenshi.

Mayor Nenshi of Calgary speaking to delegates at 2017 Starts Now

Mayor Nenshi of Calgary speaking to delegates at 2017 Starts Now

Late last month, the final national event for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada was held in Edmonton. I was proud to attend and bear witness on behalf of all Calgarians.
The history of government policies toward our Aboriginal peoples is a sad one. Through reconciliation, we will not right the wrongs of the past, but we will be able to come together to build a better future for us all.
As part of the national event, I proclaimed, on behalf of City Council and the Citizens of Calgary, The Year of Reconciliation. This is the first time The City of Calgary has made a year-long proclamation; it is a significant gesture for a significant period in our history.


Whereas: The Story of Moh’kinsstis says that before there was the place we call Calgary, the First Peoples were stewards of this land. At the confluence of two rivers, the lifeblood of our city, our cultures converged and our story began;
Whereas: The first European settlers did not honour the unique culture of our Aboriginal ancestors. Aboriginal people were isolated from their traditional and spiritual ways. This is exemplified by the many thousands of Aboriginal children who were forcibly removed from their homes and taken to residential schools, but is also evident in many other examples of disenfranchisement;
Whereas: The effects of government policies toward Aboriginal peoples have had a tremendously negative impact on our city and country. Canada has been denied the benefit of the contribution of First Nations to our collective history. Our story cannot be complete without listening to this voice;
Whereas: Reconciliation is an opportunity for us to advance with a greater understanding of the historical impacts that have shaped the experiences of Aboriginal people to date. It will not right the wrongs of the past, but is the start of our journey, together;
Whereas: The City of Calgary will use the lessons of reconciliation to continue the work we have started through the Listening Circles of the Calgary Urban Aboriginal Initiative, the Calgary Aboriginal Urban Affairs Committee, the imagineCalgary Plan, and the Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative to ensure that our Aboriginal population has a meaningful role within our community, as full and equal participants in our city’s quality of life;
Whereas: It is essential that Calgarians of every culture and tradition walk on a shared path paved with opportunity, recognizing that we are connected to each other and to this place, where our collective spirit generates enough for all.

On behalf of City Council and the citizens of Calgary,

I hereby proclaim March 27, 2014 – March 27, 2015 as:

The Year of Reconciliation

[signed] Naheed K. Nenshi Mayor
This proclamation was also supported with letters from Tourism Calgary, Calgary Stampede, and Calgary Economic Development.

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