Meet the Faces Behind NFOTA: Kim Aubrey

Kim serves on the NFOTA Steering and Communications Committees and helps with the website and social media.

Kim inside Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors at the AGO

Who are you?

I was born and grew up in Bermuda, married a Canadian and moved to Toronto, where we raised our kids, and I began writing short stories. After our younger daughter finished university, my husband and I lived for a few years in Saskatoon, where I had the opportunity to work part-time as fiction and nonfiction editor for Grain Magazine and to attend a portion of the TRC hearings. Seven years ago, we returned to Ontario, settling in Cobourg.  

Why do you believe in the Northumberland Festival of the Arts?

The arts enrich our lives, open our hearts, and help us to connect with what’s best in ourselves and in our communities. The Festival aims to celebrate Northumberland artists, bringing them together to share talents and stories with one another and with people across the region. I’m grateful to take part in planning the festival as we explore possibilities, learn, build, and collaborate with local artists and organizations.

Any passions and talents you want to share?

My first loves as a child were dancing, drawing and communing with nature. I still  enjoy all of those activities as well as writing poems, memoir, and stories, and teaching writing workshops and Nia dance classes.

I’m also passionate about my homeland Bermuda. Since 2009, I’ve led an annual writers’ retreat there as a way to reconnect with the island and with Bermudian writers and artists. The retreat has also given me a chance to discover more about my family history, to find out that my great great great grandfather emigrated from Madeira, Portugal, as a labourer, and that my great grandparents had to marry in New York because of Bermuda’s segregation laws. He was white, and she was black.

What are your roots or groups – connections in the community?

I love living near Lake Ontario. On bright days, the turquoise lake reminds me of the ocean around Bermuda. In Cobourg, I teach Nia classes, and am a member of Spirit of the Hills writers’ group and the Northumberland branch of the Canadian Federation of University Women. I also enjoy attending local poetry readings and art exhibits at the AGN. And I helped to plan the 2017 and 2019 Festivals of the Arts.

What does “art” mean to you?

Art is a way of life for me. I’m happiest when I’m making something, whether it’s writing a poem or short story, knitting a sweater, hand-sewing a dress, making a collage, or assembling a piece of textile art. I love visiting art galleries wherever I go. Art inspires, moves, and energizes me. Listening to music, dancing, reading all help me to feel part of a larger world.

Kim in Bermuda for the Writers’ Retreat

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