I live and write in southwestern Nova Scotia, on the east coast of Canada. I grew up here and I am delighted to live here again. In between, I spent almost 40 years in Saskatchewan, another wonderful place. My first university degree was in Theatre Arts but I then pursued a terrifically rewarding academic career in veterinary medicine focused on human and animal health. Now, I divide my time among writing, the physical labour of household, field and forest, some happy threads retained from academia at the Universities of Saskatchewan and Guelph and Université Sainte-Anne, and music.
I began to teach myself to play the Uilleann Pipes (Irish bagpipes) when I was 45, and playing music on this instrument has been the rock I have happily pushed up hill ever since. So far, I have played in three different bands. In this photo I am playing with the quintet The Residuals of Saskatoon, which will remain the high pinnacle of my music-making. Now, I mostly play at home with my partner Aoife and at jam sessions here and there.
In January of 2022, I was named an Officer of the Order of Canada by Canada’s Governor General for my work in veterinary medicine and public health, and then in October, I was honoured again with Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Medal, presented to me by the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia. I am deeply, deeply honoured by this recognition.