Julianna Barabas - Artist, Speaker, Educator, Change Catalyst

I have three guitars. All of them have come to me for cheap or free. The first is a Shelley Classical that was literally stripped of all dignity and left for sale without hardware or strings in a garage sale in Calgary. She had even had screws put into her deck by some heathen in the past. I bought her for $20 the weekend of the flood when house concerts popped up across the city to give the Sled Island artists somewhere to be. A couple of friends had invited me to Laurie Anne Fuhr's backyard party, we drank Boxer Watermelons on the way and declared it the ultimate Bitch Pop. It was Laurie's partner at the time who sold me the guitar, and I thank him for it, as I think I got the far better end of the deal. I am not certain, but I believe this guitar may have been made by these folks: http://www.parkguitars.com That is yet unverified, but I am working up the courage to get in touch. 


The next was a Yamaha given to me by my friend Dave when I lamented that I could not keep my reconditioned Shelley in tune (badly - sorry, Axe Calgary, but you did a shite job). It's a $65 guitar and the glue is letting go on the bridge as so I have to bring her in for repair too. 


With both these guitars, I played, though not every day, and try to learn, though not too formally. Every time I do pick up a guitar, some tight coil in my core loosens a little, and my shoulder almost always creep down out of my ears. It's worth it for that alone. 


Always save the best for last.... but it needs some a little background to bring the impact home. I recently finished my 10th speech towards my Competent Communicator designation with Toastmasters. The speech was called 'The 3rd Try' and it was about the importance of tenacity, particularly in those things that matter most to each of us, especially in times like this. So....


When I won the raffle at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival and brought home a Larrivee D40RW last weekend, I decided that my mom summed it up the best. "Did you get the message yet?" she said. 


Rod West, owner at Acoustic Music Shop that donated that guitar does not know it yet, but I intend to spend the value of the guitar on lessons over the next 2 years. When I picked up the guitar he said '3rd time's the charm'. He had no idea how particularly true that is for me. 


Looking forward to starting lessons. Last note on this chapter. We lost a young one in our family this spring. It would have been her 19th birthday today and when I picked up the guitar, it hit me like a train that all I wanted to do was show her the guitar and have her play it. She had real talent. She is sorely missed and will not be forgotten.


Dedicating these lessons, the joy of learning and the hopeful fruits of that labour to her. 

More anon - tomorrow is the Day of Action for artists in Calgary. We will be attending council and:

"Release of Open Letter & Press Avail, 11:15am in the City Hall lobby
- Arts Sector Connection Reception, 11:30am at Theatre Calgary in Arts Commons — Creative Calgary is inviting all artists and arts organizations to learn about Creative Calgary and how to sign on. A light lunch will be served."


Thanks to Creative Calgary for organizing this event. Please attend if you can.




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