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Newsletter ~ December 2020

          The theme for me this month is Christmas  and the New Year 2021

I  dedicate this issue to all my friends, colleagues and co-conspirators over the years and especially public servants like Garry Wouters who gave me so many chances to do good work and future leaders like Ernie Bussidore and Bev Toews (Ginn), who showed up every day and made a difference in their communities.  The rest of you out there are so on my grateful list for your support and friendship over the years.  You all know who you are, thank you.

As 2020 pulls up short and we feel the second wave breaking over us, it starts to dawn on us that this Christmas in 2020 is part Dickens and part John Prine (when I get to heaven gonna smoke a cigarette nine miles long)  For those who see the world as individuals and their own issues, 2020 is often about finding someone to blame.   For those who see the world through a community lens of being in this together it will be a time to reflect, learn and express gratitude for those who have had to exercise some tough leadership questions this year.

I am grateful for so much right now and I hope you might be feeling some good spirit as well.  Please let someone you care about know that your Christmas gift to them is your concern, your love and good wishes ...

And as always ... please shop local, eat local and listen local.


Note from a Song ...


I suppose every amateur songwriter wants to write a work song, a train song and for some even a Christmas song.  This little song completes that trilogy for me and ironically the song and story touch on all three... My first serious workplace was a school in Churchill, Manitoba.  Our little family took the iconic train, the Muskeg Special, up there in the summer of 1969.  One of the most memorable Christmas mornings was in a trapper's shack out on the tundra that year.  The whole story of the incredible year for us is in Notes from a Life further on ...
Christmas in Churchill Manitoba, 1969


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 ...

A New Upcoming feature...Question Period...I am shamelessly stealing the title from CBC but I want to initiate a new feature in this space in the coming year.  It isa spot where readers and especially practitioners can ask a question about leadership practice in general or anything specific to their practice.  Love to hear from you!

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!

A Leadership Practice Christmas Note...

I had a very interesting early Christmas gift this year.  There is a wonderful conference held in Calgary every year called The Soul of the New Economy.  One of the very energetic and passionate leaders is Phil Lazono whose challenge this year was to do a five day conference virtually.  He and I used a moment in last years live conference to bring a song into a panel discussion.  It went well and this year Phil asked me to create a "soul moment" every virtual morning with a song and some thoughts on bringing soul into the workplace.  So I was virtually an "artist in residence " for five days and I believe it has some important learnings for leadership practice.

I will be writing a more fulsome piece on the concept in the new year

Thanks so much Phil!!


Notes from a Life ...

The song was an amazing moment from an amazing year ... follow this link for the whole story of Churchill 1969.
Read / Listen to the whole story ...


Notes from a Ritual ...

We all are going to be carrying on, really missing or creating new rituals this year.  One ritual I love is our family walk to the Lantern Church for the candlelight service and Front Porch Stories.  The Lantern as of this printing, is not certain if there will be a modified evening this year but stay tuned at

Thanks Ed!


Duly Noted ...

C'Remember to check out ... The amazing Esker Art Gallery in Inglewood has some amazing fall programs ... check the out here ... Fall Exhibitions Brochure 

Check out a new Stakeholder on the Music Mile... our new Art Gallery  Its like our own New York art gallery!

The Music Mile Society has a number of things happening including our  Music Mile Revival Fund

We held a great virtual open Stakeholder Town Hall called "We're still Standing!" with guests from New Orleans and Nashville.  We heard about strategies and ideas for keeping the music alive including... some deeper engagement strategies, niche marketing, artists as entrepreneurs and going beyond the tourism base to creating bigger local bases.

Please stay tuned to the Music Mile website for the next Town Hall and special guests...

The Music Mile has also raised enough to give us an opportunity to hire a part time employee ... very exciting.

Most Music Mile venues are still open so if you are heading out please consider heading down there ... We are hoping for some holiday music based festivities to be available this year.

Please keep me informed of anything I may have missed ... 
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.  I look forward to a masked Santa!

"Christmas, my child, is love in action"

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


Copyright © 2020 Bob Chartier, All rights reserved.

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