Ron Halliday's Music
A Scottish born Canadian, I spent my first two years in Glasgow. My late Mother was a well-respected nurse. My Father was an ambulance driver WWII Scottish Guard, truck driver, Teamsters Union Stewart, and at age 91, he’s a going concern. I have a sister and two brothers.
In my childhood I demonstrated a strong focus on art. I won the Art award upon completing grade 8. In High School my work in pen and ink was chosen for most of the yearbook title pages. As a teenager I was employed in my first art-related jobs, such as sign painter, window display, and portrait artist.
My twenties were spent traveling extensively around the world visiting archeological sites. I funded these adventures by working seasonally as a Trainman for the Canadian National Railway. I held the highest mark in my class, and received zero demerits during my CNR career.
In my mid-twenties I became obsessed with music. It was my dream to create my own vision of music recording them one by one. I continued to fund my artistic education, attending the Victoria College of Art, BC. and various other courses and schools. I also entered myself into a government apprenticeship program and was trained as a goldsmith.
My interest in painting, sculpture, and music combined with my love of nature found a home in Alberta’s Environmental Protection. Midway into my thirties I was employed as a Lookout Tower man, climbing hundred-foot steel towers in the mountains of Alberta. My keen eyesight and diligent commitment to forest protection saved the province tens of millions of dollars that might have been lost to wildfire. I spent seven days a week, 24 hours a day, no days off, no days sick, five months a year on top of a mountain, for a full decade. One year I was also employed as Initial Attack, the crew that helicopters into a forest fire first to battle the flames.
During much of this period my winter home was Calgary. Some of what I was able to give back to this great city is as follows:
Soloist (baritone and soprano sax) Jack Singer Concert Hall, Calgary Center for the performing Arts with the Montreal Dance Troupe, “La, La, La Human Steps”. Martys Cafe Mural ” Man and Music” Swenson’s Pianos Mural, 160 feet of surrealistic piano, this mural still stands today, 35 years later. Countless clubs dates performing with some of Alberta’s great musicians.
In my early 40s, I teamed up with my beautiful and talented partner, Wendy Louise Morrison. Together through hard work, we realized our dream of becoming farmers. We purchased a large acreage of raw land in the foothills of Central Alberta, drilled a well, brought on power, gas and telephone and moved a cozy house in Calgary to put on the land, a 3 day trek. We have professionally replaced all the plumbing and wiring in this well-built 1960s house that was scheduled for demolition and redevelopment. I built a sunroom and had a huge deck built onto with west side of our house. I learned to fix and maintain our tractor, agricultural equipment and vehicles. I operated the farm equipment, direct seeding our hay fields and pasture, producing organic square bales. We educated ourselves in organic production and were successful in improving our soil through crop rotation and good management. Wendy and I were able to erect a 70 foot by 30 foot coverall building to store our hay, a grand feat for the two of us! We have also worked hard to protect the forests wetlands, and streams that make up half of our land. I have also learned to be a cowboy, being responsible for rancher’s cows during the summer months.
During our 15 years of farming, I did front several musical groups in the past few years locally in such venues as: Glennifer Lake Clubhouse, Sylvan Lake Golf and Country Club, Red Deers Mayors Luncheon two years in a row, The Arrington, Red Deer, The Biggest Christmas Tree Ever, Red Deer, Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Sylvan Lake, and Calgary’s Canada Days Celebration at Princess Island Park.
During my late forties I took up teaching Art and music through neighborhood places and schools. I found I had a talent for instruction and was employed regularly as an independent contractor to Red Deer Culture for nearly a decade. I also taught art and music in Rocky Mountain House, Innisfail and surrounding area.
The summer of 2007’s accomplishments included; selling all of our square bales, completing a reinterpretation of the twelfth century fresco of St. Francis of Assisi, including the 23 karat gold leafing and cracks in the paint. This was commissioned by the Friends of the Franciscans, now a part of the permanent collection at St. Cecelia’s Cathedral in Calgary.. Riding my bicycle solo with 50 lbs of gear from the Saskatchewan River Crossing in the ice fields to near the US boarder then west to Grand Forks B.C. in just 6 days. I did this just before my 53 birthday.
Today with five CD’s now published, where I have played all the instruments. In 2014 Wendy and I moved to Rossland BC, with no farm to look after, I am focused on the arts. My recent performances include; The Old Fire Hall, Rossland, The Muriel Griffiths Room for the Trail Jazz Society, the Artlington Bar and Grill, and the Miners Hall in Rossland. The Ron Halliday Quartet plays a wide variety of musical styles including Jazz, Blues, Folk and Rock and Roll.