Meet the MusicWorks Panelists: Jón Olafson, Jacob Pasterfield, Tiffany Ponce

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With all the hype around mindfulness these days, what does it really mean, and how can it help musicians? The truth is, being mindful about your music career is just as important as being professional. Focusing on the negatives and being let down by your mistakes or lack of progress can hinder your creativity, and be detrimental to your journey. Join us on May 5 for Health & Wellness: Mindfulness in Music to learn mindfulness and how it can be applied to the life and careers of musicians.

Jón Jackson Olafson is a registered clinical therapist and mental health services consultant with over 10 years of experience working in educational, community, and healthcare settings. He currently leads mental health programming and initiatives for Winnipeg’s largest metro school division, is the Clinical Therapist at Our Own Health Centre located in the Exchange District, and teaches in the Counselling Psychology Department at the University of Manitoba. As DJ J. JACKSON, he is one half of Winnipeg DJ duo, House of Gold Diamonds and is a founding member of the guilty pleasures trio, PopTart. He performs regularly in Winnipeg and has headlined events ranging from Toronto all the way to Reykjavik, Iceland.

Jacob Pasterfield is a musician, artist, and sound healer from Kelowna. He attended Capilano University and graduated with a Diploma in Art & Entertainment Management, and studied Sound Healing and Music Therapy at the Globe Institute in San Francisco and graduated with a Certificate for Sound Healing. He is dedicated to bringing awareness of the physiological, mental, and emotional affects music can bring to our lives. For the past few years he has been hosting classes, workshops, and retreats to share how the power of music can be used as a healing modality. Pasterfield is passionate about increasing awareness around the idea of Sound Healing, and aiding people understand how to use music in their lives for relaxation, de-stressing, and providing mental and emotional clarity in times of distress. He teaches people how to express emotion, to move through trauma, and to find their voice through a wide array of vocal techniques, psycho-acoustics, colour therapy, and creative expression. With experience in tour planning, venue management, and event hosting, he has been sharing his love of music for audiences all across Canada. He has performed with several bands, and met people from Vancouver to Montreal and San Francisco to New York.

Tiffany Ponce is a music artist, registered nurse, and entrepreneur, and is therefore accustomed to wearing many hats and striving for excellence in multiple areas of life. As an R&B/pop singer/songwriter, she released her debut album Only the Beginning in 2012 and after releasing her sophomore album Gratitude with a Western Canadian tour in 2015, she won the award for Songwriter of the Year at the Canadian Urban Television Hip Hop Awards. Ponce holds a Bachelor of Nursing degree from the University of Manitoba and is also a graduate of the Canadian College of Performing Arts in Victoria, British Columbia. She has worked in the areas of mental health and holistic health over the past 16 years, and her focus is now on her own business in natural health and plant-based solutions. Ponce's long-term vision and mission is to continue inspiring and empowering as many people as possible, through her music and in all she does to help others to achieve optimal health and wellness.

Get to know them better with our little Q+A...

When you were 6, what did you say you wanted to be when you grow up?

Jón: I wanted to be an actor - or at least on TV or radio.

Jacob: I really wanted to be a basketball player, but I’m terrible at sports. So my next profession of choice was psychology.

Tiffany: I think I wanted to be everything! Singer, astronaut, doctor, dancer...

If you could meet any historical figure who would you choose?

Jón: Marsha P. Johnson, one of the most prominent and influential figures in the Stonewall uprising of 1969.

Jacob: I’d love to meet Pythagoras, or Carl Jung.

Tiffany: Honestly, I would want to meet the three grandparents I never got to meet, because they passed away long before I was born. My mom's parents were actually born in the late 1800s - a completely different era. I would love to meet the people who helped to shape my parents into the people they are, because my parents helped to shape me into the person I am.

If you were a city, town, or village, which would you be and why?

Jón: I would be Reykjavik, Iceland. Not only because of my cultural connection, but also their love of water/swimming, literature, and dancing.

Jacob: I’d be a town that was almost big enough to be a city, but still townish. I like a little bit of hustle and bustle and a strong arts community, but with the availability to have some country side peace and quiet.

Tiffany: Paris, because it is filled with culture, character, beauty, history, resilience, and endless stories waiting to be told. I was blessed to spend a few days in Paris with my mom and brother 16 years ago, and then I studied French there for three months 10 years ago. I have a song called "Fairy Tales" on my sophomore album Gratitude that I wrote about a particular unforgettable experience I had in Paris.

What is your favourite material object that you own and why is it special?

Jón: A holiday ornament from my Amma (with my name engraved on it) which hangs on my tree during holiday time.

Jacob: A friend gifted my very first ‘band house’ with this Salvador Dali painting. After moving coast to coast, selling all my possessions, and giving most away, I still have this painting. It’s a reminder to follow your dreams and that there are always people who will support you and appreciate what you do.

Tiffany: My Gratitude album, because I wrote the title track for my parents, thanking them for all of their love, support, and sacrifices. The theme of "gratitude" continues throughout the rest of the album, in terms of being grateful for every lesson and blessing in every experience. The songs actually serve as great reminders for me as I continue along my journey, wearing all of my different hats as I run and climb up each mountain. One of the songs also features a childhood "hero" and inspiration of mine, so it's just one of many examples of my life coming full circle, and a reminder for everyone that anything is possible.

If you were to create a slogan for your life, what would it be?

Jón: "You got this!" A strength-based and positive psychology call to action which helps in approaching any situation or challenge.

Jacob: Everyday in every way I’m becoming better and better. And I’m amazed to wonder what wonderful things I will bring to the world today.

Tiffany: Inspire and empower with #Gratitude, every single day.

Find out more about this workshop and register online

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