View this email in your browser

Newsletter ~ February 2021

The theme for this month is walkin'... 

I just finished my daily walk.  As I walked by local musician Bryan Bayley's house I saw something in the window obscured by the bright south light ... a closer look and the sign said ... "set wide the window so I may drink the day."  Edith Wharton poetry and a moment that I would  have missed without my daily walk through my neighbourhood.

My grandfather would walk three and a half miles to work every day.  It was all uphill, much like his life ... He refused rides.  My dad was a walker as well and his favourite walk was around the big island in the middle of the Saskatchewan River.  I was never that committed ... until the bug came.  Now I walk everyday and I believe I may do so till my friends and family take that New Orleans second line walk with my ashes in a pottery jug.


Note from a Song ...


I wrote this little song a decade ago so it must have been one of my first shots at songwriting.  As usual it went into a file but a few years later I was in Vancouver and Kevin Finseth suggested we record a couple of my songs.

It has been sitting in the archive now for years and I just found it again and I kinda like it. My fine songwriter and producer friend Murray Little put together some video and I like it too ...
Gerry Greenwood covering Sasakamoose


Notes from a Practice ...

A new upcoming feature
As this brave new world continues to unfold and our workplace, organization and civic cultures continue to evolve, we may do well to explore the leadership and engagement practice side of our thinking and learning.  If you would like to learn more about these practical tools and practices in the book, drop me a line ... if you have a deeper interest, I can send you the book for a subscriber's rate of $15.00 which includes postage. 

My colleagues at Roy Group are continuing to open up their great work virtually in coaching and conflict resolution ... There are a number of great online courses coming in the new year.  Look for The Leader's Discipline, Opportunities in Conflict, and Focus on Self on the website.

I am looking forward to leading my first client centred on line Tools of Engagement course early in the New Year ... I would also be interested to know if there are any readers who might be interested if I delivered a Roy Group Engagement Monday Morning Tool Refresh online open to anyone.  Let me know.

As always, find your own leadership practice! and then find your community of practice!

Notes from a Walk ...

As a boy, I walked everywhere … till I got a red JC Higgins three speed bike.  Next came the magic age of sixteen and my beloved maroon 1953 Plymouth.  After that, walking was only necessary when I ran out of gas money.
As a young man, a worker and a father, the car was king.  I lived mainly in rural and remote parts of the country and there seemed to be a certain irony in the smaller the town, the less we walked.  People would drive their truck to the corner store for heaven’s sake.
In midlife, we took the first step into urban life.  For three years in Toronto, we had no car, just amazing public transit and Shank’s Pony.
I found my legs again.
Since then, we have lived primarily in urban centres.  I have automobiles simply because subsequent cities have not even come close to the Toronto subway and Red Rocket streetcar bliss.
As I continue to play the back nine of life, I have done a fair bit of walking, but I never really came out as a full-time walker until the pandemic.  That weekend in March 2020, when the seriousness of it all hit, was bewildering and scary.  So, Monday morning Linda and I went for a walk …
We have walked every day since.  Twenty above, twenty below, come rain, wind or snow … we walk.  I have a theory about wellness … my All Bran theory.  It's based-on, of course regularity.  You need to do your business every day, not just when you feel like it.  It is good for you … this regularity.
  • Brush your teeth every day
  • Exercise every day
  • Read every day
  • Practice your art every day
  • Say I love you every day, (not to yourself), we have seen enough of that …
Theory without practice has no chance for success and practice has to be daily.  My history with relapse is well documented.  Procrastination … I loved to wait for inspiration, a better day or I can’t find a pen.  But walking with the “Rona was different.  It seemed and still seems important to do it every day, not just when inspired.
I am lucky.
In my community, I can take an urban village walk, a residential walk, a river walk, or a bird sanctuary walk.  Like an old Labrador, I get excited about where we might go today and like a Lab, I look forward to the nap after it is over.
Here are some things I have noticed …
  • I have met neighbours that I had no idea where even there. 
  • I am getting a little insight into what ducks and geese are up to at different times of day.
  • I love the kind people who shovel their sidewalks in front of their house.
  • I say hello to strangers and amazingly they often say hello back.
  • I do fear the spandex car fearing cyclist who passes me on the shared path at car speeds.
  • I cannot pass by those darling Little Libraries.
  • I have watched a few homes go from a hole in the ground to coffee on the patio.
  • I saw an owl in a spruce tree … twice!
  • I am finely tuned to weather, not the weather channel … more like an old farmer sniffing the air, muttering and searching the sky for hints.
  • Benches are great … a snack on a bench is a good snack  
Best walk ever … got to know my neighbour Mark Dorman better and he took me for a couple of walks through Inglewood … what was unique was that he grew up here when there were 1200 kids and was a paperboy.  You have no idea how great a walk can be until you walk through your neighbourhood with an aging paperboy!
I know I am not alone with this daily walking thing … I have seen you out there as well.
Say hi …


Notes from a Poem ...

The Road Not Taken
Robert Frost - 1874-1963

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Duly Noted ...

Remember to check out ... The Music Mile Society has a number of things happening including our  Music Mile Revival Fund

Please stay tuned to the Music Mile website for the next Stakeholder Town Hall (Feb 16) and special guests ...

The Music Mile Society will be publishing a monthly newsletter stating in February 2021 and I would encourage Calgarians and anyone else with an interest to subscribe and help support live music in Calgary.  I will be doing a new column in the Music Mile Newsletter subscribe @ 

I have reprinted it here to introduce you to our new coordinator ... Susan Holzman

Milestones … with Bob Chartier, the street corner mayor of Music Mile 

As anyone who works in the social sector knows, there comes a time when you need energy, skills and leadership beyond your volunteer base. We're thrilled to announce a  Music Mile milestone - our first part-time Coordinator!  

So, we welcome Susan Holzman to the coordinator position. 

Susan brings to Music Mile two decades of broadcast journalism, media relations, and arts administration experience. She sees this new role at Music Mile as a place where her love of grassroots organizations, community engagement and music will all come out to play.  She believes her experience in the world of story, communication and arts engagement will guide her contribution. 

She looks forward to meeting the stakeholder community of the Mile including musicians, venues, businesses, youth, neighbours and Calgarians who love live music and want to contribute to its long-term sustainability.   

Susan is thrilled to be back in the grassroots world and the Music Mile is thrilled to have her… 

Say hello, give her your thoughts and feedback at 

For any readers who are missing music workshops in your life, the wonderful Foothills Acoustic Music Institute (FAMI) is moving online with a one day online music camp on Saturday, February 27, 2021.

Details are provided on the FAMI Website.

Online registration opens on  Saturday, February 6, 2021 at 9:00am MST. There will be space for 80 registrants, so register early.

Block Heater ... Feb 16-20  The Calgary Fold Festival is blasting through the pandemic with an online version of Block Heater, the lovely annual winter music festival.  Check it out at...

Music Mile to Go during Chinook Blast ... Feb 11-28 Calgary Tourism, working hard to get us into a winter spirit!!  Get more info at  The Music Mile online festival will be ...

Friday February 12, 8-10pm:

  • LOVE SONGS –  broadcast on Valentine’s Day as well
Friday February 19, 8-10pm:
  • FAM JAM – Family friendly, youth artists ...
Friday February 26, 8-10pm:
  • DANCE PARTY – Music that keeps the audience dancing the WHOLE 2 hours
find more info at music Mile...

Heather Blush ...

Great story this week from my Inglewood neighbour and Music Mile musician, Heather Blush...We have watched in awe as musicians like Matt Masters with Curbside Concerts stepped up their creativity and found an entrepreneurial door to walk through in the pandemic.  Heather has come up with the unique Songbelly idea of handcrafted teddy bears that sing lullabies by her and perhaps some other local songwriters...This link lets her explain and I hope many readers might decide to support her.


Please note … you have received this newsletter simply because at some point our paths crossed.  It might have been through my engagement practice, my pottery practice, my song writing practice or maybe I just met you on the street in my capacity as the Street Corner Mayor of the Music Mile here in Calgary. 

Please enjoy and give me feedback on how I can do better.  You can email me directly at  If this sort of thing just annoys you, please hit the unsubscribe button!  If you think someone else might enjoy it please pass it along and perhaps consider subscribing yourself.

Please have safe, home based celebrations at this time of year. 


“All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Share Share
Forward Forward

Thank you for your support and taking time to read this newsletter!
~ Bob Chartier


Copyright © 2021 Bob Chartier, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list         update your preferences
Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp