Choc'LaCure 2014 by alec vanderboom

I can’t believe a year has passed already. Or, maybe more to the point, I can’t believe what’s happened in the last year.

I was going through my YouTube channel the other night and came across a video that I posted just over a year ago. It was the end of October, and I was raising money for the Choc’LaCure Gala—an annual event that raises money for the Saskatoon Cancer Centre. It was going to be my second time playing at the event, and I was honoured to be asked back to perform. If you’ve never attended the event, you’ll have to take my word that Choc’LaCure warms the attendees’ souls with the generosity of the people of Saskatoon. Last year turned out to be no exception. I played a set with Meagan Bzowy; made a donation thanks to those who bought my music; teared up a bit hearing the stories of survivors; and I soaked up the spirit of the evening.

I had no idea that I’d be a Cancer Centre patient in less than four months.

I’ve said it before: the Saskatoon Cancer Centre is an amazing place. Coming from someone who hates hospitals, I hope you can understand what that statement means to me. Despite the tasks at hand in the building, there is always hope and a sense of welcoming and care that many people might not think possible with all of the grim stories that we hear about our medical system. It’s the people that make that place amazing, and it’s the Choc’LaCure event that helps those people to help everyone who walks through the Centre’s doors.

I’m proud to be playing again this year on November 7th. I’m honoured to have friends like Brett Balon and Meagan joining me on stage. Even though this will be my third year performing, I’ve got a case of butterflies from the anticipation of how the night will feel now that I’ve got a completely new perspective.

If you’d like to donate, I’m not running my own fundraiser this year, but please check out Choc’LaCure’s site. Trust me—it means so much.

My "Baby" is 1 Today! (Gratitude on Aanalog's 1st Birthday) by alec vanderboom

Scenes from the Aanalog Release
It’s been a crazy year to say the least: getting my Master’s, traveling to Croatia, helping students and staff members be successful, constantly trying to be a better teacher, and—most recently—my ongoing (& successful!) treatment for thyroid cancer.

Also, my first solo album, Aanalog, was released a year ago today—hence the reflective tone of today’s blog. My life has changed exponentially recently, so I’m even more grateful for all of the experiences that I’ve accumulated.

I’m thankful for everything that I learned from the successes and the challenges of creating, producing, releasing, and promoting the album, and I’m extremely thankful for all of my friends and family who helped, inspired, taught, and supported me along the way.

Now’s a good time to (re)acknowledge the people who had a direct impact on the record:

Scenes from the Production of Aanalog
Dave Anderson- bass, trumpet, flugelhorn
Hal Schrenk- Drums
Meagan Bzowy- Vocals
Sarah Anderson- Trombone
Brennan Risling- Sax
Sam Mitchell- Flute
Ryan Unger- Guitar
Charly Hustle- Percussion
Roger Mercier- Percussion & some live drums!

Recording Engineer- Dan Canfield
Mixing Engineer- Jared Kuemper
Mastering Engineer- Phil Demetro
Marriage Engineer- Jenn Hamon-Adair :)

Album Photography- Karyn Kimberley
Album Design- Derek Bachman
Web Design- Rick Hazell

And the live band: Brett Balon (keys), Kyle Krysa (Drums)

Of course, there are many more people I’d like to acknowledge. I’m thankful for:
·      everyone who gave the record a listen
·      anyone who purchased a song or the entire record!
·      People who grooved along at a live show (ticketed or not!)...especially those who traveled to see a show!
·      Those who booked the shows and/or did live sound
·      Chef Jenni for our fun collaborations
·      Anyone who “Liked” my Facebook page, or even liked a photo or status
·      Anyone who “Favo(u)rited” or Retweeted a really does help a lot!
·      Zoe Vassos and the Choc La Cure crew for having me back for their amazing event
·      SaskMusic and the Western Canadian Music Alliance/Break Out West
·      Cam Fuller, CFCR, CBC, Chrix Morix (, and Bryn Becker (@ for some great local press
·      International press, like
·      Ryan Hall (aka. Soulier) for the remix of “Helpless”
·      Curtis Olson for inviting me into the Two Twenty community
·      And YOU, for reading this!

 Cheers everybody!