Occupation: Community Support Worker for the Stella Burry Centre
Bio: Michael was born in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia and his family moved to CBS when he was nine. He went to MUN and completed a BA in Sociology, graduating in 2003. In 2004 he was given a rare opportunity to put that BA to work and was hired on at the Stella Burry Centre. He’s been there ever since. An ex-“Blatch House” resident, he lived at the now legendary house of anarchy and communal rock n’ roll for four years. He was also the singer for local hardcore bands Taxi Driver, Not Enough Bullets and Judge Dread and is currently plotting his next musical venture.
This month marks the anniversary of the Blatch house coming to an end. Any reflections on how it contributed to the local scene?: “I feel like my perspective on it is a little skewed from living there so long, so I can’t really romanticize. In ways it was a hub. There were so many people for whom that was their connection to an entire scene or an entire group of people. And we had a lot of fun shows there. There were so many times when I’d be planning a show and a venue flaked out and we would just say ‘okay, let’s just do it at the house.’ ”
How did you get involved with Stella Bury Center?: “A friend of mine mentioned that they were looking for people with a background in sociology, so I applied and kind of beat down the door a little bit and they hired me.”
What does being a Community Support Worker entail?: “Most of my job is just working with people in the community, maybe people who have spent a lot of in the justice system or the hospital system, and providing support where they need it. Things like going to appointments and the like…just helping out when things aren’t going too well.”
Is that pretty rewarding for you?: Michael doesn’t really like to get on like that. “I feel like everybody is kind of contributing in their own way.”
Musical preferences: “Mostly punk and hardcore…some stoner rock.”
— Sarah Smellie