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Anna Gutmanis
Canada, Ontario, Toronto
Anna Gutmanis
Khaleelimageedit_3_8293873791laurel for WRPN AWARDBreonna awardsHappy International Jazz Day!Happy International Jazz Day!

Anna Gutmanis

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About Anna Gutmanis

Anna Gutmanis is an award-winning Canadian songwriter, singer, keyboardist, social justice activist and founder of Artists 4 Racial Equality (ARE). Her single "Lately It’s Cold" won a Global Music Award, and her song "I Am Who I Am", from critically-acclaimed album Glimmer In The Dark, is an anthem to the LGBTQ rights movement. Most recently, Anna wrote and recorded the theme song for the 2021 I ... read more

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About Anna Gutmanis

Anna Gutmanis is an award-winning Canadian songwriter, singer, keyboardist, social justice activist and founder of Artists 4 Racial Equality (ARE). Her single "Lately It’s Cold" won a Global Music Award, and her song "I Am Who I Am", from critically-acclaimed album Glimmer In The Dark, is an anthem to the LGBTQ rights movement. Most recently, Anna wrote and recorded the theme song for the 2021 INSPIRE Awards. Before the pandemic, Anna often performed live in and around Toronto, and also played across Canada and the United States. She is currently a monthly contributor for Rainbow Country, syndicated Canadian LGBT radio show/podcast.

Plays Today: 1,237

Total Plays: 343,527

Profile Views: 427,990

Anna Gutmanis has no Merchandise yet.

One month to go!

Only one month to go until Christmas! Last year at this time, I was asking myself: why do societies across time and space seem to have such a problem with carpenters who try to help people? Just over 2022 years ago, the parents of a certain carpenter-to-be weren't able to find a place to sleep in Bethlehem, and we all know how his efforts to help people 3 decades later were received by the authorities. One year ago, another carpenter who built tiny houses for homeless folks on the other side of the pond was forced to stop when the City of Toronto filed a court injunction against him. Let it be known - I have huge admiration for Khaleel Seivwright and his work, which continues in a slightly different form.

So what does all of this have to do with music? For starters, Khaleel himself is a musician. Two years ago, when the first pandemic winter was raging and vaccines were not yet available, over 400 musicians (including me) formed an Ad Hoc group called Musicians Against Encampment Evictions and signed on to a letter opposing these evictions in Toronto. As our letter stated, "The shelter system is at capacity, and yet more people are being evicted from their housing every day. Now the city is asking some people to make an impossible choice: Go inside and risk dying of COVID in an unsafe emergency shelter or stay outside and freeze to death." Sadly, nothing has changed over the past two years; things have actually gotten worse. As The Shelter and Housing Justice Network recently wrote, "Accessing emergency shelter is now nearly impossible". Almost 150 people died on the street in Toronto in 2020, and that number rose to well over 200 last year.

It's always so much easier to tear something down than it is to build something from the ground up, but people like Khaleel can't even imagine giving in to selfishness and destruction. Here's hoping that the next carpenter who tries to make all of our lives better is treated with respect and admiration.

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National Truth and Reconciliation Day in Canada

Today is National Truth and Reconciliation Day in Canada. It's a day to honour survivors of residential 'schools' and the thousands of Indigenous children who did not survive the genocide. For me, the best song to grapple with these horrors is Buffy Sainte-Marie's 2017 version of My Country ‘Tis of Thy People You’re Dying, released on her album "Medicine Songs". The 2017 version contains revised lyrics that focus on events north of the 49th parallel, not to mention Buffy's beautifully deepened (she would say 'ripened') singing voice. Until last year, when ground-penetrating radar uncovered over 200 potential burial sites near a former Kamloops BC residential 'school', most Canadians knew nothing about the decades-long church-run and government-funded practice of taking Indigenous children from their homes and subjecting them to physical and sexual abuse, malnutrition, and indoctrination designed to “kill the Indian in the child.” Now that most of us are aware, there is a new generation of Indigenous singer/songwriters, such as Jeremy Dutcher, PIQSIQ, and Snotty Nose Rez Kids, who will make sure that we each continue to learn the truth, unlearn our racism, and do our part to enact sincere reconciliation. As the Kids write on their newest release, I'M GOOD, "And since we talkin' truthfully, don't miss the opportunity / To really be for real and tell the truth to your community".

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Anna Gutmanis
3 months ago

Two Wonderful Surprises

It's finally happened - an award for Outstanding Excellence in Original Song for "Breonna"! Thank you so much to WRPN Women's International Film Festival for this honour. I may have written the song, but the musicians of Artists 4 Racial Equality (ARE) all deserve to celebrate.

And there is another, far bigger reason for us to feel celebratory - 4 current and former officers have been federally charged over the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor. Two and a half years after her death, there is finally reason to believe that some form of justice may prevail.

Stay safe and well, enjoy the rest of the summer, and keep sending your love energy into the world - you never know what good things may happen as a result!

Anna

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Anna Gutmanis
4 months ago

"Breonna" embraced!

"Breonna" by Artists 4 Racial Equality continues to be embraced by music video award organizations and film festivals, and I am super grateful! Our latest Official Selection is at WRPN Women's International Film Festival. So far, the actual awards (from Malabar Music Festival and Toronto International Women Film Festival) have gone to our esteemed video director Cailleah Scott-Grimes, but I truly cherish the nominations for Best Original Song from International Music Video Awards, Munich Music Video Awards, and Euro Music Video Song Awards. As long as Breonna Taylor's story keeps on being told, ARE have done our job.

So, has a song ever made real societal change happen? Yes it has! One of the projects that inspired "Breonna" was “Sun City” by Artists United Against Apartheid. In a recent interview with Variety, founder Steve Van Zandt recounted: "Sure enough, we created such an awareness that … we had enough votes in Congress to overturn Reagan’s veto on economic sanctions. And then apartheid fell like dominoes. The evil axis of the time — Reagan, Thatcher and Kohl; America, England and Germany— those three powers were all supporting an apartheid system, which is incredible to believe. A complete victory in international liberation politics like this is rare. It’s always an inch here, an inch there. But we shut them down overnight after “Sun City.”

I have no illusions that "Breonna" will end police violence against Black citizens. But every voice raised in love, awareness and allyship is crucial and helps to change minds and hearts. I thank you for taking the time to listen to "Breonna" and my work as a solo artist, and I wish you a wonderful, SAFE summer!

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Anna Gutmanis
5 months ago

She works hard for the money

Several amazing albums were released on June 13th, this day in music history, notably She Works Hard for the Money (1983) by Donna Summer. The single of the same name had been pre-released, and it rapidly climbed music charts around the world. Donna was inspired to begin writing the song when she met an exhausted washroom attendant at a 1983 Grammy afterparty. The video for She Works Hard for the Money was the first by a Black female artist to be placed on heavy rotation on MTV. I still cannot watch that video without tearing up, because it speaks to my own life experience - I WAS that waitress. More importantly, the video shows what women everywhere are still experiencing. We were overwhelmingly the ones stuck at home with overly-energetic, anxious children during the height of the pandemic, and we are still the majority of people employed in low-paying front-line service work.

At the 1984 Grammys, Donna performed She Works Hard for the Money to an enraptured audience. As I re-watched that Grammy footage today, I could not help but notice that one of the lead dancers sashaying down the aisle toward the stage was dressed as a healthcare worker. Let's never forget how much we as a society need the women who care for us in hospitals, the women who serve us dinner, and the countless other women who keep our world going. Donna's ode to working class women everywhere is still very much needed and appreciated. Enjoy the original video here - and pack a Kleenex!

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Past Events

Sat
May 27
2:00pm
All Ages
Sat
Sep 09
12:30pm
All Ages
Mon
Feb 04
7:30pm
All Ages
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