The soul moving voice of Steph Macpherson makes it hard to imagine she had anxiety or was shy about being on stage. Yet, after nearly fourteen years of voice lessons, her love of playing guitar and Sarah Harmer finally took over and in high school she simply stopped worrying about it. Originally Macpherson wrote songs about the people around her where she found herself as the observer, watching the challenging and often emotionally fragile, even dark moments, friends struggled through. To her credit Steph listened to herself and realized she had fewer issues and plenty of support, and asked herself “ why wasn’t (she) doing more?” After a trip to New Zealand in 2006 she wrote her first EP, followed by an LP. Macpherson then went on to win cash awards, and open for many famous musicians (Lilith Fair 2010; Sarah McLachlan, Sheryl Crow, and at Canadian Music Week 2012 in Toronto.) Macpherson’s Indie, Country-Canadiana sound is creating serious buzz. Her new LP is due out spring 2015.
Life has a way of working itself out, but if you ask Alice Bracegirdle it has a way of “moving” into place. During a dark time in her life as a single mom on welfare she woke up one day, said “enough” and jumped up dancing. Bracegirdle wanted a better life for her daughter and to be a happy mother. She called on past dance experience and a lifetime of Yoga practice, which resulted in moving everyone around her. Today, her loving relationship with husband DJ Rowan is a partnership where he mixes a fusion of ethno-electronica music and ambient soundscapes and she creates the holistic dance/fitness components known as Bellyfit®. She has now trained over 400 instructors worldwide offering women a soul inspiring stress release workout no matter their age or physical ability. Alice knows the value of getting “to know yourself.” Every person has room to let in more love and share it and that’s exactly what Bracegirdle is doing.
Rarely is cycling the Velodrome at 60km without brakes the first thing that comes to mind when you think about youth sports. Yet, a growing number of young people in Victoria like John Willcox are doing just that. Inspired after a bike tour in Europe, Willcox switched from mountain biking to street cycling and the Velodrome. Later a friend mentioned an academy sport program for youth where applications are accepted after reaching a certain level in a chosen sport and obtaining a Canadian Sport Institute card. Now fifteen, Willcox is showing impressive numbers in the U17 (under seventeen) category; what’s more impressive is that it’s only a year after he had open-heart surgery. “The more people involved and watching it, the more exciting it becomes,” expressed Willcox. He encourages more people to try it out and learn about the mental strategy involved in the wide range of racing types (i.e. Team, Sprint, Madison and Omnium, of which he ranks in the top 10). Next, Willcox intends to win at the Nationals, the highest competitive level for his age category.
Out to show that beauty is more about self-appreciation, self-love and confidence Melodie Reynolds shares her own journey to acceptance with other women in a unique way. Reynolds’ past career with a big name cosmetics company as National Director of Education is where she became fascinated by product contents. In 2008, she moved to London, England and explored the production of handmade cosmetics; the chemistry, the ingredients and array of natural options excited her. She saw an opportunity. To understand the industry further she joined Aveda. Then in August 2013 her family moved west to Victoria and she created “make your own” workshops where she could encourage and educate women. The class popularity indicated to Reynolds she was on the right path. Self-funded, Fall 2014, she launches a “completely chemical free” line of eco-beauty cosmetics giving women a clean choice, safe to use in their personal beauty routines which this busy mom describes as “moments to cherish for yourself and feel good.”