I’ve taken a moment to reflect on the culture, leadership and connections in 2022 that I am most grateful for and have experienced in 2022. This is a good palette cleanser to the previous article on Post-Pandemic Blues: Life is short, this condition is temporary. Thank you folks.
- Alvvays. Blue Rev was even better in concert. Just incredible.
- Steve Reich. I’ve been listening to Steve Reich since about 1995, and will never tire of him.
- Cate Le Bon is a unique talent.
- Japanese Breakfast. Be Sweet is a banger.
- Big Thief are underrated.
- Dry Cleaning. I’ve been slow to get into Stumpwork but New Long Leg has a spot in the 6-disc CD changer in the car.
- Stereolab are back!
- Just Mustard bring something new to the dreampop/shoegaze genre.
- Beach House. It’s the arpeggios. Sad songs say so much.
- Zoon is seriously underrated.
- Kikagaku Moyo’s track Monaka is a total banger in a kind of CAN-esque psychedelic way.
- Chihei Hatakeyama will never fail to disappoint my need for ambient jams.
- Fontaines DC. Their 2020 A Hero’s Death is still in rotation as I get into Skiny Fia.
- The soundtrack for Andor.
- Psychic Weapons. There’s no album yet, but the video is stunning.
- Wendy Coburn show at Onsite Gallery OCAD U was a tremendous tribute to her life and work.
- General Idea, Rashid Johnson, John Akomfrah, Andy Warhol, Louise Bourgeois at the National Gallery.
- Transformations, Robert Houle and Barbara Astman at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre.
- I Am Here: Home Movies And Everyday Masterpieces at the AGO. I didn’t expect much from this exhibition as I was just passing some time with my friend Sunny Kerr, but it turned out to be a sleeper.
- Jordan Bennett at OCAD U.
- Gradex at OCAD U. First time since 2019. An exciting celebration of new creative talent.
- Life of the Record: The Making of VS. by Mission of Burma
- Any Night of the Week, Toronto International Festival of Authors
- Darknet Diaries
- Bandsplain: Cocteau Twins
- Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums: Public Enemy’s “It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back”
- First Person Plural
We live in a remarkable time, when series television is almost better than films.
- Kanopy: if your local library or school subscribes, start making your watchlist.
- Theatres of War (2022) documents the American military industrial complex influence on major motion pictures
- Žižek’s The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology. Not new, but hilarious and insightful with ideas relevant to today.
- Shut Up and Play the Hits. Not new, but the document of LCD Soundsystem’s Madison Square Garden show is still inspiring.
- Shetland: Douglas Henshall’s performance along with the dark murdery Scottish countryside told some stories with character. I would totally watch an Alison O’Donnell spinoff.
- Better Call Saul rivals and exceeds the high bar that Breaking Bad set.
- The Star Wars series The Book of Boba Fett was fun, and Obi-Wan was eminently watchable for Ewan MacGregor, but Andor one of the best things I saw this year. I watched the final episode twice back to back.
- Stranger Things continues to tell a story about friendship, love and what matters on the backdrop of saving the world from scary telekinetic monsters from another dimension. And, Kate Bush.
- All Quiet on the Western Front shows the horrific experience of war, from the pride of soldiers and leaders to the empty losses.
- The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. A slow burn but visually stunning and watch it for Morfydd Clark’s performance alone.
- Everything Everywhere All At Once. Again, a story about love with family and trying to make connections, and save the universe at the same time.
As an English and History graduate, I am consequently a very slow reader.
- Any Night of the Week: A D.I️ Y. History of Toronto Music (1957-2001) by Jonny Dovercourt. Along with the podcast a compelling story of live music in Toronto.
- Music is History by Questlove. A passionate look at interweaving of music history, politics and culture
- Madly, Deeply by Alan Rickman. Love that man.
- The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity by David Graeber & David Wengrow.
- The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity and the Renewal of Civilization by Thomas Homer-Dixon. Not new, and more downside than upside, but interesting.
- Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. Not new, but you should read it.
This year, I was lucky enough to take a Leadership Development Program offered by CUCCIO and led by Bob Cook and Gayleen Gray who myself and Tracy Evans from UFV interviewed about Emotional Intelligence: they both deserve and entry under Leadership as well. Thank you to Tracy for being a great peer to work with. Shoutout to Lori MacMullen who supported this as the Executive Director and who retired this year.
It’s worth pointing to people who are continuing to inspire us.
- Volodymyr Zelenskyy
- Greta Thunberg
- Frances Haugen: I’ll agree with Time here. But I think David Carroll has been out there consistently raising alarms about the same issues.
- In the tech world, Tim Cook and team are still amazing, and with some minor reservations, Shantanu Narayen at Adobe and Satya Nadella at Microsoft are two leaders who continue to inspire. Gratitude to the 1Password team for their great product (made in Toronto).
- Justin Trudeau and the team deserve a lot of credit for making good decisions during the pandemic. Again, I hope the Grits keep focused on the stuff that matters most to Canadians and learn from their expensive flops.
- The hard working doctors, nurses, support staff, public health officials and epidemiologists keeping everyone healthy.
Friends, Colleagues, Loved ones
Thank you to everyone who listened, brought joy and I learned from this year.
- Greg, Lisa and Paul of Away Forward.
- Greg, Chad, Marco of Please the Ponies.
- Dave, Jonny, Minesh and the music community in Toronto.
- The delightful and thoughtful Sunny Kerr.
- My peers from my Goldsmiths MA Class of 2003: this year marks 20 years since graduation.
- The eLearning folks with OUCEL: our Friday lunch chats.
- My colleagues with Adobe and the Adobe Education Leader community.
- The IT Team at OCAD U, my boss Alastair, the managers, my staff, my colleagues in the Faculty Curriculum Development Centre, and all the colleagues I work with at OCAD U. You make working fun and interesting.
- My parents who manage to continue thriving despite their individual challenges.
- Stella, who was co-valedictorian at middle-school and is slaying and serving at an arts-focused high school.
- Of course, Sabina.