Tag Archives: David Feinstein

Ann Mortifee: Coming Home To Cortes Island

Conclusion of a 4 part series.

Hollyhock brought Ann Mortifee to Cortes Island. She was one of Vancouver’s leading singers, but had no previous teaching experience when they invited her to do a workshop. That was 40 years ago. 

“Martha Abelson convinced me to give it a go. I remember the first workshop I did. I went into a wild panic because I’m not a teacher, I’m a singer. I went to the library to find out how I could teach,” she explained.  “At the end of the first session in the morning, I told  Shivon Robinsong (a co-founder and Director of Hollyhock), ‘I can’t do this. I’ve used everything that I was going to use in the five days in the first morning. I have no idea what I’m doing for the rest of the week. I have to give them the option to leave. I’ll pay for everything that Hollyhock would lose.'”

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Ann Mortifee: A South African Pilgrimage

   Part 3 of a 4 part series

Ann Mortifee was born in Zululand. While she’s been in Canada most of her life, the first 10 years were spent on a sugarcane farm where she was surrounded by the Zulu and Xhosa peoples.

“My grandfather had been in Africa during the Boer War. He had stayed on and had become a farmer.  It was in KwaZulu, then called Zululand and I felt I owed a debt on behalf of our family,” she explained.  

“Apartheid was a terrible thing. In fact that’s why my father left South Africa.” 

The family moved to Vancouver, but Ann still felt connected to the land of her birth. 

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Ann Mortifee part 2: A 3 year pilgrimage & return

(The second in a series of interviews with Ann Mortifee) 

Ann Mortifee seemed to be on the verge of a breakthrough few artists even dream of, when she left the music industry in 1975. EMI Records had just produced her second album and set up a world tour. 

Yet Ann’s inner voice clearly stated, “if you go down this path, you will not fulfill your destiny.”

She resisted at first, but finally told her music director, “I’m leaving music, and I’m going on a pilgrimage.”

Continue reading Ann Mortifee part 2: A 3 year pilgrimage & return