Mu­si­cal jour­ney

Ottawa Business Journal - Ottawa at Home - - LIVING STEP INSIDE - Writ­ten by VERA CODY Pho­tog­ra­phy by MARK HOLLERON Babes4breasts, Oct. 12, 2012.

Take two aspir­ing singer-song­writ­ers, add a dose of com­mu­nity spirit, mix in be­ing touched by breast cancer, and you get two fab­u­lous babes rock­ing a great fundrais­ing en­deav­our.

Ana Miura (32) and Amanda Rheaume (30) met nine years ago at an open-mike night at Grace O’Mal­ley’s restau­rant. They bonded over ad­mi­ra­tion for singer Ani DiFranco and have used their love of mu­sic on a jour­ney to raise money for Babes4Breasts. Ana founded the or­ga­ni­za­tion in 2003 when she felt she could no longer stand back and watch what this dis­ease was do­ing to her in­ner cir­cle.

As its ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor and Boss Babe, Ana started con­cert tours to pro­mote the cause, together with Amanda, who joined her a few years later, they have toured with over fifty mu­si­cians in­clud­ing Stef Lang, Leela Gil­day, Annabelle Chvostek, Tanya Ta­gaq, Ann Vriend, Tara Hol­loway. Last year, they re­leased a suc­cess­ful com­pi­la­tion CD, fea­tur­ing 17 of the tour­ing artists, who live across Canada. Now they are work­ing on a new CD which is com­ing out later this year.

The B4B man­date has al­ways been to fo­cus on the hu­man el­e­ment to help peo­ple deal with their cancer jour­neys. So far, the or­ga­ni­za­tion has raised more than $50,000 and pro­ceeds have gone to the Ottawa Re­gional Cancer Foun­da­tion’s mu­sic ther­apy pro­gram at the Maple­soft Cen­tre, the Cana­dian Breast Cancer Foun­da­tion and the Cana­dian Cancer So­ci­ety. Re­cently, the mu­si­cians cre­ated a Babes4Breasts en­dow­ment fund through the Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion of Ottawa, with some funds go­ing to the Queensway Car­leton Hos­pi­tal’s Shirley E. Green­berg Women’s Breast Health Imag­ing Suite to buy state-of-the-art ma­chines and equip­ment. Both women feel for­tu­nate to have found their path through mu­sic, while us­ing their tal­ents to give back to a cause that has touched and mo­ti­vated them to make a dif­fer­ence. OAH: Who came up with the Breast­4Babes name? ANA: I had some names and brought them to Breast Cancer Ac­tion Ottawa. They shared them with some of the women in their groups with breast cancer and they chose the name. OAH: When did you know that mu­sic would be your ca­reer? ANA: I won the best song award at the Songs From the Heart com­pe­ti­tion pro­moted by the On­tario Coun­cil of Folk Fes­ti­vals when I was 23 years old, and started be­liev­ing that some­one other than my fam­ily thought I could be a singer­song­writer.

AMANDA: I was fif­teen when I par­tic­i­pated in Lilith Fair. Watch­ing Sh­eryl Crow and Sarah McLach­lan per­form, I knew I wanted to be just like them.

OAH: Ana, de­scribe Amanda’s mu­sic. ANA: Au­then­tic. Or­ganic. In­tense. Driven. Melodic. OAH: Amanda, de­scribe Ana’s.

AMANDA: Thought­ful. Warm. Sh­moopy. Gen­uine. In­ti­mate. OAH: Who would you like to open for? ANA: Patty Grif­fin.

AMANDA: Sh­eryl Crow. OAH: Your per­fect au­di­ence? ANA: A dark­ened hall with a spot­light on me for the at­ten­tive soft seaters who sit in com­fort­able chairs, like Southam Hall at the NAC.

AMANDA: An in­ter­ac­tive show where you share sto­ries about the songs and where they come from. OAH: How has your mu­sic changed? ANA: My songs are more ma­ture now. When I was younger I put out a lot of feel­ings. It is a more thought­ful pe­riod of time now. AMANDA: I started playing acous­tic and writ­ing songs when I was 15 and moved on to writ­ing rock songs. The song and the lyrics are the most im­por­tant part. I now write more about other peo­ple’s sto­ries and in­ter­est­ing peo­ple that I meet in my trav­els. OAH: Mu­si­cian you ad­mire? ANA: Bruce Cock­burn is in­cred­i­ble – the most in­ter­est­ing per­son at the party you want to talk to. Shar­ing a stage with him in a song cir­cle is def­i­nitely one of my mu­si­cal high­lights.

AMANDA: Chan­tal Kre­vi­azuk. She is so com­fort­able on stage and can make you laugh and cry. Also, all of the inspiring tour­ing mu­si­cians I meet on the road. They get up, go to the gig, do their thing and keep be­liev­ing.

Ana Miura( left) and Amanda Rheaume.

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