It's late last week when I see the CBC logo in my email inbox. The message is from CBC's Isabelle Gallant. She produces the afternoon show, Radio Active. I'm not expecting this email, but it is just what I've been hoping for. Someone in the media has caught wind of Blue Christmas, and thinks it will make a unique Christmas story.
I agree, but I'm more than a little biased.
We exchange emails and set a time to meet. Tuesday afternoon I light the fireplace, start the music and tidy up for company. I open the door for the first radio interview in our new space. I give Isabelle a quick tour and then we sit down for a chat. As is the custom for this show, we've both removed our shoes.
Isabelle asks me to describe the space for those who will be listening. I'm reminded that this is radio and there are no visuals to accompany the story. Giving a description takes more effort—and time—than planned. But as I'll find out later, there is a great deal of magic in the editing room.
A couple of days later, Isabelle interviews Chynna Howard, the first participant in our Blue Christmas show. Chynna Howard with the snowman story. Chynna will share her story as part of Yule Ave tonight at 7 at the Alberta Avenue Community League.
I don't hear Chynna's part of the piece until you do—live on air. The kids and I are making our way home. We've just bought a little bookshelf for the space. I've just dropped the key off for our volunteer gallery attendants. I get in the car as the segment begins. I listen and choke back some tears. I'm moved by Chynna Howard's story. I'm also incredibly proud.
Proud of this segment. Proud of Blue Christmas and the team that has brought it to life. Proud of the Bleeding Heart Art Space. Proud that we are here, already, doing what we hoped we'd do. Making connections. Having conversations. Spreading art, faith, hope and love.
Art speaks, and for 6 and a half minutes on Thursday afternoon, Edmontonians stopped to listen.
Here is what we heard.