James Gordon bringing Climate Crisis Music to Orangeville

September 16, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

Canadian singer/songwriter James Gordon, with 40 albums to his credit and the 41st in the works because “I just can’t stop writing” will perform his one-man Emergency Climate Crisis Musical at Westminster United Church this Sunday, September 15 at 7:30 p.m. 

“Behind me,” he began in a telephone interview with the Citizen, “there are backing tracks and videos – it is actually a musical,” he declared. “A one-man musical. There are 20 songs. I wanted to keep the show as accessible as possible. I’m doing this in Barrie, in a parlour theatre and later in a big theatre and a large church. That makes it too cumbersome and expensive to take a band.”

It is about the climate emergency in which we are living. So, says Mr. Gordon, “I want to do as many shows as possible, especially before the election.”

Indeed, he did an all-out tour of Canada just before the 2015 federal election called, “Stephen Harper: The Musical.”

Back to the upcoming show this Sunday, on the Climate Emergency: “In the first half, I’m really try to lay out why this is a climate emergency and how we got there. There’s an intermission. 

“In the second half, I show there are ways we can address the crisis that we’re in, from a governmental level and personal level.

“Despite cynicism,” said he, “there can be hope.”

Scientists, experts, journalists – on the radio, on television, it is known, “the corporate pressure that keeps it going is no longer sustainable. I have a different perspective, I’m a city councillor in Guelph so that understanding from the point of view of a politician makes it broader.

“I see Maxine Bernier – he’s promoting the big likes that the public wants to hear. This is why we elected Trump and Ford. Bernier is an extreme small minority.

“Within my show, I’m also offering hope by what I say in the show. 

“If we don’t believe that working together, we can leave something to our future generations, there’s a huge problem..

“The Conservative Party talks about the sacrifice – it’s not a sacrifice.”

He talked Justin Trudeau’s purchase of a pipeline on behalf of the nation: “His mother is an oil heiress, oil billions, they are doubling down.”

He gave us some details about his background, “I actually have a song writing background. I have been profession musician and playwright all my adult life.”

Well known for his years with the exceptional Tamarack trio, from which association come a number of his 40 albums.

His songs have been featured in films; been covered by a great many other singers, world-wide, noting especially his “Frobisher Bay.” Mr. Gordon is well known for writing songs about social justice, the environment

His “full-length folk-opera ‘Hardscrabble Road’ debuted live in 2003,” his most ambitious works.

He loves to run songwriters’ workshops in his home town, Guelph. He takes his workshops into schools by which “he has facilitated over 1500 songwriting workshops.”

Mr. Gordon frequently tours with his sons, Evan and Geordie. 

“I released my 40th album as a songwriter. Being elected to Guelph Council, I’m even trying to use both these platforms to try to put people on the same side – that’s my goal.”

On the day of our speaking, “Tonight is the debut of this show. There’s been so much interest, my calendar is filling up because people are hungry for that kind of sharing. 

“There can be divisiveness in council – Mike Schreiner is Guelph’s MPP for the Green Party. I’ve been overall pleased with the way our council is going. We’ve got a pretty good bus system, an environment commitment. We can’t get people out of cars until we offer transportation. I’d say Guelph is progressive.”

The Climate Emergency Musical runs 90 minutes, with an intermission. It is filled with videos, images and stories, passion, anxiety and optimism. Clearly, Mr. Gordon is a whirlwind of energy and determination to make the dangers and the solutions of the most serious crisis of our history come to life. Come and hear how he sees the total “reboot” to our politics, society and economy, with a promise that we will highly entertained, frightened and ready to push our way forward.

On at the intensely and beautifully reimagined Westminster United Church, this Sunday, September 15, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets at BookLore, and His website is

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