I was completely surprised to be presented with this award and bursary from The Derek Bachman Foundation. This was my acceptance speech on social media the next day:
“So at the Saskatchewan Music Awards presented by @saskmusic this past Thursday, I got completely surprised by receiving the Breaking Borders award and bursary from the @derekbachmanfdn. It meant the world to have it presented to me by my friend and role model @megannashmusic, who I’ve looked up to as both a touring artist and amazingly funny human being for many years. I never got to meet Derek, but I know that the work he did and belief he had for SK artists created the foundation for the opportunities artists like me have to travel and share our music abroad. Hopefully without dishonouring his memory, I’d like to expand on what it means to me to be Breaking Borders.
All borders are fake, including this rectangle we call Saskatchewan. All borders are created by the powerful and are used to control, exclude, separate, and break up communities. We also have borders around ideas, ideology, societal structures. We have borders around gender, bodies, class, and race. Borders limit our thoughts and imaginations. Borders are barriers. They’re maintained by convincing us to believe they are real and accepting them as natural. By buying into the idea of borders we enable, justify, and perpetuate the divisive violence enacted on marginalized communities and cut off our abilities to dream of how things can be different.
I need to clarify that I am Not describing some naive Colour-Blind-We-Are-One-World. We can live in all our complexities without homogenizing ourselves. Freedom of movement already exists, it’s just only available to the rich and powerful.
I’m not one for awards, but I’m definitely receiving this one in the spirit of DESTROYING ALL BORDERS. Whether they’re fake lines on a map or fake lines in our minds, we do not have to accept things as they are.”