Field Notes

Fishing for Reality, a self-help book by local author Paul Michael White

Gone fishing

Paul Michael White has written the first Newfoundland-centric self-help book.

Fishing for Reality is a self-published guide to self-development based on the philosophies of his grandfather and mentor, Skipper Bruce.

“Skipper Bruce said the real ship you’re leading is the ship called yourself,” White says.

The book encourages people to find their natural talents—the things they were good at as children—and gain fulfillment from them once again.

“Now’s the time to take your life into your hands and do what you want with it,” White says.

White believes in the power of motivational speaking and self-help because it worked for him. He got into the gurus like Tony Robbins during a rocky time in his life and says with some work he became a better person.

Fishing for Reality is being launched at the Inco Centre at MUN on Oct. 6 from 7:30 to 9:30 pm.

Candidates talk arts

It was supposed to be a consultation session between mayoral and deputy mayoral hopefuls and the arts community, but just two candidates showed up.

Shannie Duff and Mark Wilson (running for deputy mayor and mayor, respectively) showed up to the Rabbittown Theatre to discuss the city’s role in the arts.

Duff told the artists present, which represented various associations in theatre, writing, and visual arts, that she’s always “fighting an uphill battle” with council.

She also said the city has provided lots of support in the way of art procurement and festival support that the arts community may not be aware of. The city also provides a dollar per citizen in direct grants.

Duff said the city is especially interested in funding the artistic projects that have a larger community benefit in addition to benefiting the artist.

Wilson, who supports increasing the municipal contribution to the arts, told the crowd that their art is a great tool to speak out against a lack of funding and support for artists.

There was also discussion about finding a way to align development with growth in the arts. One possibility, in place in other cities, is to ask developers to donate a small percentage of their project budgets in support of some sort of community benefit.

Wilson suggested the formation of a citywide arts association to unite the voices of artists in lobbying the municipal government.

Local reacts to arts cut

The Canadian Music Fund got a boost last summer, but not without controversy.

An increase of $9.85 million annually for four years was announced—along with the axing of two programs some artists say are important.

The Canadian Musical Diversity program, which was administered through the Canada Council for the Arts, provided support to artists working in less commercially viable genres, like world and aboriginal music, folk, and jazz.

Local pianist Bill Brennan says the production of specialized music depends on this kind of dedicated funding.

“It’s money that helps them put out and record their original music,” he says. “Very few major labels are supporting specialized music.”

Thousands have signed a petition against the cut, which is set to come into effect in April of next year.

Government’s response to the criticism has been that the restructuring of the Canadian Music Fund was done with the input of the music industry.

Brennan says while the industry was consulted on the restructuring as a whole, he doesn’t believe government did a good job of consultation before eliminating this particular fund.

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