That was two days ago: Thursday, October 18th. It began with a package in the mail from Amy Quarry, in Quesnel, BC, which contained this:

That’s the roll of 25 1$ Canadian Tire coins I told you about in the last post. There was also a large stack of CT bills in the packet, some of which you can see here, but I threw ’em all into the air at The Cameron House (I can still hear upright bass-player Brian Kobayakawa behind me saying, ‘Do it… do it…’) and they got all mixed up with everything else that was handed to me over the course of the night, so I don’t know how much it was. But it was a bunch.

Add that to the grimy dimes and dog-cornered nickels handed to me by Emma Jane (with bills from Peter Katz, and eight-year old Montrealer Jayla, who I told you about so many months ago), Ian McKiernon, Ian’s mother, Val Foster, Quinlan Lee Arima-Shaw, Tamara Kater, Bronwen from New Brunswick (second NB contribution in two days– see last post) and Pearl Rachinsky (got at the Canadian Tire in Yellowknife), and it was more than I could put in two pockets. There were other miscellaneous bills throughout the night but in the waltz of pints between The Cameron House and The Dakota Tavern, I can’t remember them all.

What I do know is that after it was all picked up off The Cameron House floor, carried around in my guitar case all night and finally dumped on the kitchen table by the light of day, like ‘the plunder of the world’ in that old A.E. Houseman poem (which ‘the ship pours shining on the quay’), the Caper had jumped $111.60 in a single evening. Which is a record-breaker for a night out in Toronto. Even nine months in, The Great Canadian Tire Money Caper of 2012 is breaking new ground.

And so, a mere forty-eight hours after my last post, the new total is FIVE THOUSAND, FOUR HUNDRED, TWENTY-TWO DOLLARS, AND EIGHTY CENTS.


If I could make those numbers bigger I would. If I could send them shrieking over our heads like a roman candle, I’d do that too. I’m less than eighty bucks away from Fifty-Five Hundred Dollars in Canadian Tire Money. My madcap goal is still Ten Thousand, which I know is ridiculous. But then, imagining I could put together five hundred was ridiculous. Everything that happens from here on in is impossible, and we’re doing it together. I can feel Don Quixote smiling on us all. This is world-record stuff, and Canadian folklore. I’ll be collecting right up until the CD Release dates in January (tickets available at Paradise Bound and The Cameron House).

Fifteen cents at a time,


ps. It turns out that there was just over a hundred dollars in the package Amy Quarry sent from Quesnel, which she had spent weeks gathering from her friends– amazing. Thank you, Amy!!

pps. It’s Canadian Library Month. I’m performing my one-man show BOOKWORM at the London Public Library in London, Ontario, on Tuesday, October 23rd, and I’ll be following that with a short set of songs (and accompanied by Joe Phillips on upright bass, it doesn’t get better than that). Tickets are on sale now, available at Community Outreach & Program Services, Central Library. 519-661-5122. $5.

I can’t remember the last time I performed a show (in this case, two shows) for $5.

Which is as good a reason as any, Londoners, to bring your Canadian Tire Money to the library on Tuesday night. I was last in London for the Fringe in June, and I broke $4,000 on the final day of the festival. Look at me now, Ma! Fourteen Hundred Dollars in Paper Nickels later. Come catch the Bookworm/music combo at the library and bring any spare portraits of Sandy McTyre, which is allowing me to finish this album:

ppps. The end of that same week, on Friday, October 26th, I’m bringing BOOKWORM to Guelph, to The Magnolia Cafe, and I’ll be followed by a set of music by David Ross Macdonald.

pppps. A warning: if you’re intending to be at the Paper Nickels CD Release nights in Toronto in January, I can tell you right now that they WILL sell out, so get your tickets. We’ll be performing the first album the first night, the second the second, with surprises and treats aplenty. All the money’s gonna be there, for one.

Oh, and see where it says, under the Tuesday date, ‘Special Guest TBA’? Well, it’s being announced right now: The special guest is Kim Beggs, who’s not only one of my favourite Canadian artists, she also happens to be who I was touring with when I received the very first dollar of the GCTMC of 2012.

Kim is coming all the way from Whitehorse to open the show. More soon, CR.