TORONTO—“I practiced a lot to get it together. And you know, over the years there was a lot of sweat equity that went into this; it didn’t happen overnight. I want to be singin’ til I’m eighty.” (Society for Disability Arts and Culture, 2002)
Award-winning jazz singer Joe Coughlin lives by this philosophy. He can croon with the legendary pop vocalists, and people who have heard him sing often compare him with the likes of Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett.
He has released five CDs, and has sung professionally for nearly 30 years. Coughlin, who was born with a disability, has also hosted TV programs Challenge Journal and The Disability Network. He has been involved in issues concerning people with disabilities since the 1970s.
On Saturday, October 29, from 2:15 to 3:30 PM, Coughlin will share with other panellists the lessons he has learned as an independent living advocate and consumer with a disability, as part of the Abilities Festival. The panel will be held at the Atrium in the Columbus Centre, 901 Lawrence Avenue West (Lawrence & Dufferin).
Other panellists include: comedian David Roche, visual artist Sandy Brand, actor Rick Howland and author Jean Little. Toronto journalist and researcher Barbara Turnbull will moderate the discussion. People who have attended David Roche’s writing workshop in the morning will want to hear how Barbara Turnbull and Jean Little have applied their writing talents to two very different professions.
Abilities Festival: A Celebration of Disability Arts and Culture is an international artistic and cultural event showcasing excellence and the talent, vision and passion of artists with disabilities.
Workshops and panels are free.
For more information, or to order tickets to Gala performances, please contact the Canadian Abilities Foundation at 416-966-0393 or Fireweed Media Productions at 416-410-2491 x3.