Helping people connect
Traveller from Vancouver uses music for self-discovery
Michael Averill of Vancouver has been on a journey of self-discovery and in some ways fulfilling a bit of his father’s dreams of traveling across the country on a music tour.
Since Averill was a child he wanted to make his way to the east coast and was able to make this come true through a program offered by VIA Rail Canada.
The songwriter/storyteller receives free fare and food in exchange for entertaining the passengers with his roots, folks and blues.
Averill has enjoyed these long train rides and finds them very social.
“At any given time when I’m playing in one of the activity cars, there are people from four to five different countries in the room at the same time,” said Averill. “Music is a good facilitator to bond.”
This is the third year in a row that the Vancouver native has made his way to the east coast and landed on P.E.I. soil recently.
Averill remembers coming here for the first time was really powerful.
“Seeing the potatoes and the red soil and the rows of the green so vibrant with the bright blue ocean and the almost white sand... It kind of feels like you are walking through a paint pallet.”
Averill wasn’t always out on the road. He was a certified exercise physiologist for 10 years and was also competitive hurdler for 12 years.
He started doing music full time about four-years-ago shortly after his father died.
He was also a singer and songwriter.
Part of this tour is to help encourage people to connect more with themselves and their family. Averill shares his own personal story of how he came upon a collection of his father’s work.
During his tour in western Canada, Averillmet a man in Edmonton who ended up being the son of the person who booked his father for a Yukon festival back in 1976.
This man ended up knowing others who had recorded with his father and they sent Averill 23 digitized songs, two thirds of them Averill had never heard before. So while he shares his story, he encourages a dialogue with audience and creates a comfortable space to talk about loss of a loved one.
“Some stories that people have shared with me, their stories of loss or discovery or just being reminded that maybe they should talk to their parents or call their parents again or stop putting it off.”
Averill has wrapped up his P.E.I. tour and is slowly making his way back west with shows along the way.
For more information of Averill’s journey and Canadian tour visit michaelaverill.com
Michael Averill of Vancouver plays a special song he wrote about Prince Edward Island during his recent tour to the East Coast.