James Gordon

Musician, City of Guelph

Interests: Environmental concerns from an artistic perspective and real-life pragmatism gained from experience on the Guelph City Council.

James GordonJames Gordon has had a remarkably diverse 30-year career in the Canadian entertainment business. As a solo singer-songwriter and with the ground-breaking trio Tamarack, he has released over thirty-five albums and has toured extensively around the world. Gordon has written for symphony orchestras, musical theatre and dance works, film scores, and for more than ten years was heard on CBC radio as songwriter-in-residence for the Basic Black and Ontario Morning programs.

He is well known for his songs about social justice, heritage and environmental issues. In 2014, he was elected a member of Guelph City Council.


Using Political Activism and Cultural Engagement for Environmental Advocacy

I have been a ‘cultural worker’ for close to 40 years now: as a songwriter, playwright, and musician. I’ve been an advocate and activist for environmental and social justice issues for almost as long. Now I also have a platform for change-making as an elected official: a city councillor in my progressive home town of Guelph, Ontario. This gives me three different areas in which to push for the action I believe we need to take to keep our environment sustainable and thriving. I will be demonstrating the advantages and disadvantages of each and show how they can overlap and complement each other to be effective advocacy tools. I’ll provide examples of successful campaigns, and my key points will be illustrated with the live performance of 5 relevant songs.