CANMORE – For one night only, Toronto-based folk artist Kate Reid will be performing in Canmore.
As an educator and a musician, Reid writes music around themes of gender and sexual identity, but with a light and sometimes self-deprecating type of humour.
“I sometimes feel like that opens people up in a way to hear about issues that they may not necessarily feel comfortable thinking or talking about," Reid said. "So that’s one of my strategies. In terms of the social justice piece about helping people to open up to that stuff."
Reid found that she didn’t have very many queer role models in her life, so she turned to music where she found some of her influences from artists such as Ani DiFranco, Tracy Chapman and Indigo Girls.
“I did turn to those kinds of artists to just sort of help me figure out who I was, because their music spoke to me in a way that other kinds of music written by straight and cis folks did not,” Reid said.
In particular, Reid found inspiration from American singer-songwriter DiFranco, specifically from her song “Pick Yer Nose.”
“I can’t think of the lyrics off the top of my head , but it’s something about – we have to live light enough to see the humour and long enough to see the change – and I really love that lyric. I think that it’s kind of informed some of my work for sure as a songwriter and that it’s important to have some light as you work for certain kinds of social change,” Reid said.
"Co-op Girls," "Captain Cupcake" and the "Cambie Hotel" are among some of the songs where Reid uses humour to address social justice issues around gender and sexual identity.
With the single, "Co-op Girls," the song is based on Reid’s own life experience from when she first came out as a queer woman and how she was trying to navigate dating in a small town. "Captain Cupcake" and the "Cambie Hotel" tell the story of when she met a man who enjoys wearing women’s clothing, but identifies as a heterosexual man.
“What that encounter with him did for me was that it really challenged my own assumptions about people’s gender identity and people’s gender expression and who engages in sort of different kind of non-normative gender expression,” Reid said.
Reid’s music continues to challenge the status quo of gender expression, giving listeners, whether they identify as queer or straight, a new perspective on the human perspective.
“They’re not just about queerness and gender and sexual orientation ... it is about our stories as human beings and sort of the vast array of who we are as individuals in the world,” Reid said.
Catch Reid at the Creekside Villa on Thursday (Aug. 8) for a "one-night only" dinner and show where she’ll be playing original songs from her repertoire and some cover songs.