Could the big events in our life all come down to a series of ‘happy accidents’?

Read Chris Cameron’s take, below. Chris is the producer of the drama and dance evenings on October 24 and 25th at the Festival of the Arts in Cobourg, Ontario. He’s also directing one play.


The important events in my life seem to have been born from a series of happy accidents.

Blog Photo - FOTA Chris Cameron

There are the careful plans I make, and then there is tripping over my own feet and landing face-first in a field of clover. I began running as a temporary way to quit smoking; thirty-five years later, I’m running farther than ever.

The three decades I worked as a professional opera singer were a career path I stumbled onto purely by chance at age 16. My memoir about those years is called Dr. Bartolo’s Umbrella and Other Tales from my Surprising Operatic Life. And naturally, writing that memoir and having it published were never part of my life plan.

Blog Photo - FOTA Chris Cameron Book

To this day I can’t say why I first became a writer. It wasn’t something I’d always dreamed of doing, as it is for so many. Over time, I just discovered how much I love the challenges and rewards of writing: to write clearly but lyrically; to put thoughts in order logically but fantastically; to communicate symbolically and be understood viscerally; to build E. M. Forster’s bridge – the one that connects prose with passion.

Through a chance meeting a couple of years ago, I discovered Spirit of the Hills, whose mandate it is to encourage and sustain art and artists in Northumberland. At the first writers meeting, I felt as if I’d walked in the front door of my own home.

Recently, I’ve taken over the task of organizing the evenings of dance and drama at the Spirit of the Hills Festival of the Arts this October 24 and 25 at St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Cobourg.

Blog Photo - FOTA Ron Mackay Rehearsal Einstein's Fridge Albert Einstein and Lisbeth Feist

We are producing four original ten-minute plays in the auditorium at St. Peter’s, interspersed with dance presentations ranging from Flamenco to belly dancing.

We’re assembling an exciting line up of actors and directors for the plays. I am very excited to be directing Katie Hoogendam’s Plan X. 

Blog Photo - FOTA Katie H.

This is a rich drama that covers a universal subject concisely and elegantly. Katie is a poet, and her words and rhythm make the dialogue fairly sing.

After having performed on stage for much of my life, the chance to interpret and shape someone else’s vision and words so that I can nurture the work of other performers is inspiring, stimulating … and a little frightening!

Blog Photo - FOTA Chris-Cameron 2

Following yet another career path, I trained as an editor several years ago, and I spend much of my time helping authors make their writing the best it can be. This summer I copy edited Hill Spirits IV, the anthology of prose and poetry by Spirit of the Hills writers, which will be launched during the Festival of the Arts.

Blog Photo - SOTH FOTA Hill Spirits IV COVER

Whether it is writing a story, running a marathon, or directing a play, to me life has always been about recognizing those opportunities that spring up when I least expect them, and then challenging myself to meet them.

Once again, several exciting opportunities have come to me through the Spirit of the Hills Festival of the Arts and I intend to enjoy every minute.


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