33 Willcocks St, Toronto, ON M5S 3E8, Canada
Sound Mind: A Celebration of Mindfulness and Mental Health through Fiction, Memoir, and Music
Thursday, March 28, 7:30–9:30 PM
Room 1050, Earth Sciences Centre
33 Willcocks St., University of Toronto
Use this handy visual tool to find the venue: classfind.com/toronto/room/ES1050
Sound Mind: A Celebration of Mindfulness and Mental Health through Fiction, Memoir, and Music is
geared to helping cultural producers across a variety of fields
(including writers, editors, visual artists, and musicians) learn about
mental health challenges and adopt new strategies for wellness,
mindfulness, and creativity. Participants will have the opportunity to
engage in a mindfulness session at the beginning and end of this event.
This special event is a joint production of Editors Toronto; Canadian
Authors–Toronto; and the Creative Writing Program at the School of
Continuing Studies, University of Toronto.
Our featured guests this month are Ranjini George, Rebecca Higgins, and Erika Nielsen.
Well-known Toronto mindfulness expert Ranjini George
will open the event with an introduction to the practice of mindfulness
as a way of cultivating well-being. She’ll address the specific needs of
freelance editors and writers who are dealing with the fluctuating conditions of freelance work. Ranjini will also talk about the power of stories
as a means of healing, referencing her 2016 book,
Through My Mother’s Window: Emirati Women Tell their Stories and Recipes.
Next, we’ll hear from Toronto author Rebecca Higgins, who will speak about the intersections between her 2018 debut collection of short fiction, The Colours of Birds (Tightrope
Books), and her activities as a mental health educat
or. Rebecca will do
a reading; share insights from her mental health work; and discuss her
journey through the writing process, from first draft to a published
Lastly, we’ll hear from concert cellist and debut author Erika Nielsen
about what it was like to be diagnosed with bipolar illness just as she
was hitting her stride as a professional musician. Drawing from her
newly published memoir,
Sound Mind: My Bipolar Journey from Chaos to Composure
(Trigger Publishing, 2019), Erika will talk about the wellness strategies
and regimens she has used to walk herself back to a place of balance and
stability. She will discuss some of the obstacles and challenges she
faced in writing her memoir and why she felt she had to write her story.
In a special addition to the evening’s celebration, Erika will also
perform on cello.
All three speakers will take questions during a short Q&A. And we'll raffle off some fabulous, wellness-themed prizes, with all proceeds going to benefit emerging writers through the Creative Writing Bursary in the School of Continuing Studies at UofT.
Raffle tickets are $2 each, $5/three, or $10/seven, and can be
purchased on the event website and at the venue. Raffle winners must be
present at the event or be represented by someone who holds their ticket
to claim their prize.
This event is FREE for members of
Editors Canada, members of Canadian Authors Association, and
students, faculty, and staff in the School of Continuing Studies' Creative Writing Program. (Your
association or department will send you an ACCESS CODE by email, along
with directions for how to use it to unlock your free tickets.
$10 for non-members, and $5 for non-member students in all other programs.
This event also includes a Pay-What-You-Can
(PWYC) rate for non-members. We ask for a $2 minimum, online (by credit card) or at the door (by cash).
ALL TICKETS (FREE AND PAID) MUST BE BOOKED THROUGH THIS SITE.
How to book your ticket(s):
Click on the blue GET TICKETS button on this page.
Select your ticket type (e.g., EDITORS CANADA MEMBER or GENERAL ADMISSION, etc.) from the menu.
If you don't see your ticket type, but you have been given an
access code, click on "Have an access code?" (in light blue
letters at the bottom of the screen), and enter the code.
Click on Unlock Ticket. The correct ticket type should now be visible.
In the drop down menu to the right of the ticket type, select the
number of tickets you want.
Click on the blue CONTINUE button at the bottom of the page.
In the dialogue box that appears, enter your full name and email address.
Below that, select the option that describes you (e.g., Editors Canada member, Authors Canada member, etc.)
Follow any prompts to pay for your tickets or raffle tickets.
Click on the blue REGISTER button.
You should receive a confirmation message.
Your ticket will be sent to you by email. Please check your junk folder if you don't see your ticket in your inbox.
You may print your ticket or check in at the event by showing the ticket on your phone or other device.
Please be sure to check in
and present your print or digital ticket to a greeter at the event. This
will help us keep track of attendance in relation to ticket sales.
Problems booking? Contact Authors–Toronto co-president Lee at TOpresident1@canadianauthors.org.
Remember to bring a couple of toonies
or a fiver or two for our raffle!
Great prizes to be announced here soon!
Tickets: $2 each, $5 for three, or $10 for seven (purchase online, here, or pay cash at the event).
If you have purchased raffle tickets online: Your physical raffle ticket(s) will be waiting for you at the venue. Please bring proof of purchase to the raffle table before the event starts to receive your ticket(s).
All proceeds will go to the School of Continuing Studies' Creative Writing Bursary to assist writing students.
Raffle winners must be present at the event or be represented by someone who holds their ticket to claim their prize.
Follow us on Twitter at @Authors_Toronto, @EditorsToronto, or @UofTSCS for updates and pre-event news.
Four books donated by House of Anansi Press, split into groups of two:
Anansi prize pack #1: Authenticity: A Guide to Living in Harmony with Your True Self, by David Posen, MD, and Heroes in My Head, a memoir by Judy Rebick
Anansi prize pack #2: The Enchanted Life: Unlocking the Magic of the Everyday, by Sharon Blackie, and In-Between Days: A Memoir About Living with Cancer, by Teva Harrison
One copy of Sound Mind: My Bipolar Journey from Chaos to Composure, donated by Erika Nielsen
One copy of The Colours of Birds, donated by Rebecca Higgins
One copy of Through My Mother’s Window: Emirati Women Tell their Stories and Recipes, donated by Ranjini George
One copy of Thich Nhat Hanh's book The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation, donated by Book City
A $25 gift card to STC (Scarborough Town Centre), donated by Oxford Properties
A $25 gift card donated by Riverdale Mac
A self-care basket donated by Pulp & Paperie
A $45 gift card donated by iQliving
Two tickets to an April 4 gala event with musician Dan Hill and comedian Luba Goy, donated by High Notes Avante
A basket of books by Canadian authors, donated by Canadian Authors Association
Doors will open at 7:10 PM promptly. Please arrive early to get a good seat.
7:30 PM Introductions
7:45 PM Ranjini George leads a mindfulness session geared to writers, editors, and artists
8:00 PM Rebecca Higgins talks about her work as a mental health educator and reads from her book of short stories, The Colours of Birds
8:20 PM Concert cellist Erika Nielsen shares (through music, words, and visual art) how she walked herself back to stability and a thriving music career after a diagnosis of bipolar illness, as told in her new memoir and wellness guide, Sound Mind: My Bipolar Journey from Chaos to Composure
8:55 PM Ranjini George closes the event with a mindfulness session
9:10 PM Raffle
9:20 PM Book sales and signings
Room 1050 of the Earth Sciences Centre at UofT seats 400 people and is fully accessible. Details about the venue are available here.
Anyone with specific questions about the accessibility features of this venue is invited to email the branch programs chair at firstname.lastname@example.org
A note about privacy and media coverage
Portions of this
program will be videotaped. Please let us know ahead of time if you
wish to avoid appearing on camera, by emailing the programs chair at
Thank you for your interest! We look forward to seeing you.
More about our speakers
Ranjini George holds a PhD in English (Northern Illinois University, DeKalb), an MA in English (St. Stephen’s College, New Delhi), and an MFA in Creative Writing (University of British Columbia, Vancouver). More recently, she won first place in Canada’s inaugural Coffee Shop Author Contest for her travel memoir, a work-in-progress called Miracle of Flowers. For 13 years, she was a professor of English at Zayed University, Dubai, where she ran the Teaching with the Mind of Mindfulness series. She currently teaches a meditation and writing course and another called Pilgrimage to the Sacred Feminine in the Creative Writing Program, School of Continuing Studies, University of Toronto. Her 2016 book Through My Mother’s Window was published in Dubai. Find out more at ranjinigeorge.wordpress.com or contact her via her Facebook page at facebook.com/TheKuanYinStoryCafe.
Rebecca Higgins is a mental health educator and writer based in Toronto. She has worked in social and community services for 18 years, specializing in mental health education since 2010, after her own experiences with depression led her to change her professional focus. Rebecca designs and delivers independent workshop sessions for groups and conferences, and she facilitates workshops on behalf of the Canadian Mental Health Association. Visit mentalhealthworkshopstoronto.com for more information about her mental health work. A graduate of the University of Toronto (BA), Ottawa’s Carleton University (MSW), and Humber College’s School for Writers in Toronto, Rebecca has published short stories in such publications as The Toronto Star and The Antigonish Review. Her debut collection, The Colours of Birds, was published by Tightrope Books in 2018. Find her at rebeccahiggins.org.
Toronto-based cellist Erika Nielsen has a multi-faceted career as a chamber musician, collaborative artist, orchestral player, and educator. Her musicianship spans baroque and classical traditions to contemporary and popular genres. She has performed with artists such as Kanye West and Johnny Reid, and she is a graduate of The Glenn Gould School in Toronto and Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Erika is a blog contributor to BPhope.com and the author of the mental health blog soundmindbook.com. She published her first book, the memoir and wellness guide Sound Mind: My Bipolar Journey from Chaos to Composure, with Trigger Press in 2019. A passionate educator, Erika maintains a busy private studio and is on faculty at National Music Camp of Canada. She is also a visual artist. Learn more at celloerika.com
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