Sunday, February 6, 2011

Follow Your Heart

This blog post shares its name with an 80s tune by the band Triumph, which was written by their drummer and vocalist Gil Moore who also happens to be the founder and president of Metalworks Institute here in Mississauga, Ontario.

Metalworks is a recording studio, a production company and an excellent entertainment arts school. This is where my son spent all of 2010 learning about show production and event management.

Alex did indeed follow his heart, and it led him to the education he wanted. There was nothing traditional about what was being offered at Metalworks. Everything focused on exactly what he needed to know, to find his way into the world of live venues.

After a year of courses from the best teachers and guest lecturers, hands-on workshops, volunteer work at live events around our city, numerous papers, reports, exams and practical workshops, Alex graduated last week.

It was a casual and fun event which took place at the Living Arts Centre. Many faces from "the business" were there, and many more had gifted some honour students with their mentoring awards - some of which were tangible itmes, and all of which included a couple of hours and lunch with the mentor in question.

It probably won't be long until Alex finds himself traveling around, setting up equipment, mixing sound and enjoying the life he'll work hard to achieve. He has much of which to be proud. And he has two parents and a brother who are thrilled with his success.

Alex, you've grown up so beautifully with humour, warmth and enthusiasm. You've never failed to make me feel so proud of you, my son. Now go, and follow your heart.

Below, are a few photos from the the graduation.

my boy
Here's my boy waiting to enter the auditorium.

Alex point
Once seated, I caught sight of Alex sitting several rows ahead of us. I pointed the camera. He saw me, and being the goof that he is, pointed right back at me just as I zoomed in.

gil moore
Among many other speakers, Gil Moore spoke eloquently to and about our kids.

cochrane guitar
Another mentor was Tom Cochrane of Life is a Highway fame. He wasn't able to be at the graduation but he very generously donated a signed acoustic guitar to one of the award-winning students.

alex and diploma
And this, of course, is my son, the graduate with his diploma. Good job, son!


Anonymous said...

Congratulations to your son! Hope he has a rich, musical life in front of him!

365 Attempts (At Life) said...

Once upon a lifetime ago, I recorded some tracks at Metalworks. Great studio.
Congrats to your son!

Sridharan said...

Congrats to your son..!

Frank Baron said...

Bravo! I'm proud of him too. :)

Samson said...

Congrats to your son

ethelmaepotter! said...

Goodness gracious, he looks like you! I wish him all the luck in the world - it's a difficult career to break into, but it looks like he's got ambition and zest for it - he should go far!

Congratulations to you all!

Indrani said...

What a proud moment!

Dan said...

Congratulations to your son, Alex. As parents, it is always gratifying to see our children being happy in what they do.

Congratulations to you and your family, you all must be extremely proud of his accomplishment.


Explore. Dream. Discover.

Dave said...

Well done Alex. Hope your career leads to good things in your chosen profession. Nice to read your motherly affectionate comments about Alex, Hilary. - Dave

xxx said...

Congratulations... you have a lot to be proud of.

It's lovely to read of someone following their heart... it encourages good health and a happier life.

The heart and the head function as one and if one is in conflict with the other it's not much fun.

Lovely post... thanks for sharing the good news.

best wishes

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Alex! May this be the beginning of many dreams coming true.

Congratulations, Hilary. There is nothing sweeter than to read about a child's accomplishments from a proud, supportive parent. Good job, Mom. :)

Bob Bushell said...

That is brilliant, and, you made an extremely photos.

June said...

What a handsome young man! He has a Great Face.

I am pleased to see that he has such nice long hair; in my Child Of The 60s world aspiring young musicians should have long hair.

Congratulations to all of you for recognizing the value of following one's heart.

Sarah Knight said...

That's awesome - congrats all around!
And, BTW, your son is certainly a cutie!

Laura said...

Congratulations to Alex and to you for raising a son who knows what he wants and makes it happen:)

Brian Miller said...

woohoo! congrats to your son! that is awesome!

Bonnie Zieman, M.Ed. said...

Congrats to Alex. What a beautiful young man. How lucky he is to have so much love and support.

solarity said...

Congratulations, Alex! As a former amateur roady I can tell you what you already know: taking care of musicians and their kit is hard work and so much fun!

Mary Anne in Kentucky

Unknown said...

Congratulations to your son, Hilary.
And to you as well.

Country Girl said...

OMG. Your son is a rock star. Awesome! And I love the sound of that school.

DJan said...

Congratulations to Alex, and kudos to his parents for helping him through the tough years to becoming an adult. He's a fine looking young man, Hilary. And good luck to him in the future!

Rebecca said...


She Who Carries Camera said...

Congrats and best wishes for a successful career!

Anvilcloud said...

Both the place and he seem to be unique and well-suited to each other.

the Bag Lady said...

YAY, Alex!!!
Congratulations on your graduation. May all your dreams come true, and may your chosen path in life be all that you wished for!

CiCi said...

Wow, Alex has already achieved much in a short time. Now he has the opportunity to explore his talent and pursue his dreams. I know you are not only proud of him, you are happy for all that is in his future. Thanks for sharing the graduation excitement with us here.

ellen abbott said...

good for him. for making the life he wants.

Elizabeth Grimes said...

"Follow your heart" ...always great advice! Congratulations Alex!

Out on the prairie said...

I will have to listen to that song.Bill Chaplin wrote one of the same title in the early 70's. I think this would be an exciting field to be part of.Congrats on following his heart and doing so well.

Anonymous said...

That's great.
I'm sure he'll go far.

Kathryn said...

Have been enjoying your photographs and then came upon this post which struck a chord with me. My child, too, is following her heart.
Congratulations to your beautiful son, and to you for raising and supporting him.

Bossy Betty said...

How lucky he is to have followed his bliss and to have parents who have supported and loved him! Congrats to all!

Zuzana said...

Congratulation to Alex, I am sure he will do so very well. What an exciting line of work.;)
And he looks gorgeous.;)

Cricket said...

Congratulations to Alex and, of course, to his ever-supportive Mom. Yay-hooray. Sincerely.

How about Pomp and Circumstance? Nah... too cheesy. Maybe Queen's version of God Save The Queen? Well, maybe not.

I've got it. Rush: Workin' Man. Yep. That's my pick o' the day.

Leah J. Utas said...

Congratulations, Alex.

Pat - Arkansas said...

I send hearty congratulations to Alex. I hope he enjoys, continues to gain knowledge and expertise (and prospers from), every day of his life.

Unknown said...

Congratulations to your son, and to you.

As moms, there's nothing much we want more than to watch our kids get a chance to follow their dreams.

It's a beautiful thing!

Mage said...

Really good stuff. You wave the flag well and we all wish him well too.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to you and your son! How awesome that he knows what his passion is and has already begun following it. (Great photos, too!)

Sueann said...

Congrats to Alex!! That is super and that he followed the road less traveled is a tribute to his talent for sure. I hope great things for him in the years to come.

messymimi said...


May he follow his bliss.

Karen said...

Oh, Yay! Congrat Alex!! And to you proud Mom. Blessings to all***

Unspoken said...

I am all about finding a unique path, though it scares me to death :)! Good for Alex. Love the picts, too.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Alex looks like a rock star! Congratulations on his graduation. I hope his heart takes him around the world and back often to visit his sweet Mom.

Cheers, jj

Christine said...

so cool, so supportive, so exciting to graduate!

Hilary said...

• Thank you, Lady Fi. Much appreciated. :)

• 365, that's so cool that you're familiar with and recorded at Metalworks. Thanks for letting me know. :)

• Sridharan, thank you kindly. :)

• Thanks, Frank. I kinda figured you would be. :)

• Samson, thank you. :)

• EthelMae, shhhh.. don't let him hear that he looks like me. He thinks he's good looking! ;) Thank you so much for the kind words and good wishes. :)

• Thank you, Indrani. :)

• Daniel, thank you kindly, friend. You're entirely right. We're incredibly proud of both of our boys. They're amazing people. Thanks for stopping by and for always leaving such supportive comments. :)

• Dave, thanks very much. Alex has read yours and everyone else's comments and is very appreciative, as am I. :)

• Robyn, thank you. You're so right about all which you said. I'm happy to know that my sons have each followed their hearts. Thank you so much for the kind words. :)

• Sandra, thank you so much, my dear friend. Your warm words mean the world to me. :)

• Thank you very kindly, Bob. Much appreciated. :)

• June, you might have made him blush! ;) I'm a lover of long hair too.. always have been. Thanks so much for your warm and supportive words. :)

• Thank you, Sarah. Very much appreciated. :)

• LauraX, thanks very kindly. :)

• Thank you, Brian. :)

• Bonnie, thank you so much. :)

• Solarity, thank you. Is "amateur roadie" another name for "groupie?" ;) I'm sure you had a blast and that Alex will as well. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Deb, thank you very much, my friend. :)

• Kate, he's my young metalhead, for sure. Thanks for the visit. :)

• DJan, thank you very kindly for all your warm words. They mean so much to me. :)

• Thanks, Becca. :)

• Thank you kindly, Jillsy. :)

Hilary said...

• Anvilcloud, you got that exactly right. :)

• Thanks for the good wishes, Baggie. Alex and I appreciate it very much. :)

• TechnoBabe, you're so correct. I'm thrilled and excited for him. I know he's going to love whatever he ends up doing. Thanks so much for your always-kind words. They mean so much to me. :)

• Ellen, thanks so much for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Elizabeth. I shall pass your words along to my boy. :)

• Steve, I'm not familiar with that particular recording and I had trouble locating either the song or the lyrics on the web. Thanks very much for the warm comment. :)

• Artswebshow, thank you very much. :)

• Welcome, Kathryn and thanks so much for the kind words. I wish the best for your heart-following daughter as well. Thanks for stopping by to comment. :)

• Betty, thank you kindly. We're all tickled pink. :)

• Zuzana, thank you so much, my friend. Alex read through the comments and when I said that you were from Norway, he thought about some of the Scandinavian folk metal bands that he loves so much, considered being on tour in Norway one day, and asked me your age. I gave him an approximate response and he paused... smiled.. and said "Yeah, that could work!" Be careful who you compliment! ;)

• Cricket, thank you, my friend. Alex was quite in agreement about Workin' Man. He walked off singing it after reading your comment. (Yours was the last one at that time). Thanks always for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Leah. :)

• Thanks very much, Pat. That's awfully kind of you to bestow such lovely wishes on my boy. :)

• Susan, I totally agree with you. It's tops. Thank so much for the kind words. :)

• Maggie, thanks very much. If a Mom isn't going to wave that flag, who will? A Dad, I suppose. ;)

• Barbara, thanks very much for your kind words to Alex and to me. :)

• SueAnn, thanks so much. You're very kind. :)

• Thank you, MessyMimi. Much appreciated. :)

• Karen, thanks ever so much. That means a lot to me. :)

• Amy, I'm with you.. it scares me too. But I'm thrilled for him. Thanks for the kind comment. :)

• Joanna, thank you. I like the way you think. I certainly want him to see the world, but I want him to see his Mom too! Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Christine, thanks very kindly. Much appreciated. :)

Reb said...

Congratulations Alex! I am sure you will go far and do great things.

Hilary, great photos!

Kappa no He said...

Congratulations to all of you. What an exciting life he has and will lead.

This post is very dear to me. My son, also, is all about music -- playing, recording, writing songs... I love Triumph and didn't realize Gil had started his own school. I'll have to pass that information on to Number One (and only) son. Maybe one day your son can be a mentor to mine. Wouldn't that be surreal.

Pauline said...

It's the greatest feeling in the world to watch your child become what he can and wants to and is capable of. He's got a sparkle in his eye - congratulations to him and to you!

Hilary said...

You must be over the top!!! Isn't it wonderful when our children find their niche, and do what matters to them.
Good job to him, and to YOU.

MaggieGem said...

Congratulations to your son and to you what a great day this must have been.

It's a tough business, but with drive and heart he'll go far!

solarity said...

Hilary asks: Is "amateur roadie" another name for "groupie?"

Not if groupie includes any element of "adoring"; I was more in "nagging bitch" mode in those days. The amateur part was not getting paid. The band got paid about enough to keep them in new strings.

I hope Alex mostly gets to work in venues that have more than one power outlet on the stage....

Mary Anne in Kentucky

abb said...

How wonderful!

Unknown said...

Congrats to Alex!! How proud you surely are... and Alex gets to follow his heart from a very supportive mother.

Suldog said...

That is just amazingly, seriously, cosmically cool. I wish there had been something like that around when I was in bands and trying to make a go of it without any real education in the business and technical aspects. Fantastic!

Daryl said...

Mazel tov ...

I am sure he's going to have a fabulous career!

Friko said...

you are fully entitled to be a proud mum!

Tammie Lee said...

Yea and congratulations. This sounds like an exciting path that will be full of wonderful and creative people. Wishing your son a wonderful journey and career.

sage said...

Congratulations Alex! And to mom, it looks like you did well with your children, congratulations to you, too.

Liz Mays said...

That is FANTASTIC! I giggled when I saw him pointing at you in that shot. I love that kind of humor.

Wishing him a happy life of adventure and happiness!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Congrats to you, Mom, and to handsome Alex on a job well done!

Thumbelina said...

Congrats to Alex.
And a big hug to a proud mom!

Bill said...

New to your blog and I really enjoyed it. Sounds like your son has a wonderful future, and all I can say is that he sure looks like you, at least from looking at his photo and yours.

I enjoyed this and will be back. Thanks!

SandyCarlson said...

Good for him! Congratulations to your son. That is great to know that practical, meaningful, and downright good education is out there. He is beautiful. I hope he keeps following his bliss.

Land of shimp said...

Congratulations to Alex and to you, too. Hilary, he looks so much like the photo you have in your avatar.

Hurray for him and for you. There's also something to be said about the worth of finding your own path vs. following the one others might tell you to. I'll resist the urge to swing into any Frost recitals but you get the drift :-)

tattytiara said...

Very, very well done and congratulations Alex (and wow does he ever look like you)!

Love that song.

Dawn said...

Well This is WONDERFUL! Congratulations to your son....and to you as well!

Hilary said...

• Reb, thanks very much. I do believe you're right about Alex. :)

• Terrie, I knew you'd be interested in this post because I remember that your J follows a similar dream path to Alex's. Gil Moore actually started the studio as a place for Triumph to record and mix sound. This eventually evolved to include the school in 2005. They don't advertise outside of North America and yet they have students come in from many different countries to take their courses. And I live only a half hour bus ride from the place. So do tell J all about it. :) Thanks always for stopping by. :)

• Pauline, I so agree. It's the best. Thanks so much for the kind wishes. They're very much appreciated. :)

• Hilary, I am! Both my boys are on their way. How did that happen so fast though? Thanks so much, my friend and namesake. :)

• Maggie, thank you very much. He has both the drive and the heart. Your kind words are much appreciated. :)

• Mary Anne, I'm glad you returned to explain. Alex just got hired on by Metalworks today. He'll be working in their warehouse for now but will have a lot of opportunity to travel with them in the future. And their venues are huge, so I'm sure there'll be at least TWO outlets. ;)

• Thanks, TSannie. :)

• Thank you, Jane. I am indeed proud and beaming. :)

• Suldog, I thought about you when I was getting this post together. I knew it was something that you would appreciate. It's just an amazing place - a gem hidden in what appears to be a strip mall storefront from the outside, but totally WOWs you once you step inside. And they've taught him so much. Thanks always for stopping by to comment. :)

• Thank you, Daryl. I'm betting on that too. :)

• Thank you, Friko. Because I SO am! :)

• Tammie Lee, thanks kindly. Yes, it's a wonderful path which seems to be tailor-made for him. Thank you so much for your good wishes. :)

• Thanks very much, Sage. Your kind words mean a lot to me. :)

• Welcome, BlueViolet and thanks for the kind wishes. Alex's humour cracks me up every day. He's a lot of fun to know. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you'll return again soon. :)

• Angie, so good to see you. Thank you so much for the kind words. :)

• Thumbelina, my friend, thank you kindly. Hugs right back at you! :)

• Welcome, Bill and thanks for the kind words. I'm glad you found my blog and hope you'll be back again soon. :)

• Sandy, thank you, my friend. This school was so meant for kids like him. It was a perfect fit. And now they've just hired him to start working for them part time. He's so thrilled, as am I. Thanks always for stopping by. :)

• Alane, you're right. There was no "telling" of any paths for either of my guys. Even if I had wanted to (which I didn't) they would have each done exactly as they have. I'm just so happy that they've both found their passion. I do indeed get your less-traveled drift. ;) Thanks so much for your always-kind words, my friend. :)

• TattyTiara, thanks so much for your warms wishes. Much appreciated. :)

• Dawn, thank you so kindly. :)

photowannabe said...

That's awesome and congratulations to your son.
Following your heart is a challenge but absolutely the best way to go.
How wonderful to really do what is his passion. many haven't gone down that road.

Kerri Farley said...

Congratulations! It's fabulous that he is following his dreams!

And What handsome young man too ... I LOVE LOVE LOVE his hair!

Pearl said...

What a beautiful boy!

My son, too, is in music: the best drummer I've ever met (and I, too, was a musician). Creativity is a wonderful thing -- best of luck to him!


Shrinky said...

What a handsome lad, and how wonderful he is focused on achieving his goals. He knows where he wants to go, and it appears he's working hard to achieve it.

Perhaps one day he too will be making a guest appearance at Metalworks..?

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to your handsome son! I know he will do well in life because he has such a solid grounding and support from you, and now he has gotten a great education, too. I love that picture of him pointing back at you (he looks like a rock star). ♥
Never surrender, Alex -- keep your dreams alive.

Paul C said...

Looks like your son has learned some valuable skills in an area he enjoys. Congratulations.

Wendy said...

That sounds like a very supportive and encouraging school - Follow your Heart - I like that.
Congrats to your son! He already looks like a Star (don't tell him I said that). LOL!
Hugs Hilary - you must be so proud!

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

What a beautiful post, Hilary. It's easy to see that Alex has a proud mama. I remember your other post about his pursuit of his career choice and what an eye opener it was for me to get an inkling of all that must go on behind the scenes to pull off a successful live event. I add my congratulations to Alex and wish him well in his chosen profession.

Hilary said...

• Thanks very much, Sue. You're so right about that. I'm thrilled for him. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Kerri, good to see you. Thanks so much for the kind words. You're certainly not alone about the hair. He has women of all ages telling him "Never cut your hair!" ;)

• Thank you, Pearl. I'm not sure what would sound louder .. electric guitar or you son's drums. I think I'll be grateful for the guitar. ;)

• Shrinky, that would be very cool. Maybe within the realm of possibilities. Thanks so much for the kind words. :)

• KC, thank you kindly. You always have such nice things to say and we appreciate that very much. Thanks for the sweet comment. :)

• Paul, he has indeed. Thanks very much. :)

• Wendy, it's a great place for sure. Thanks so much for the kind words... Alex did read what you said and it made him smile. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very much, Linda. He does indeed have proud parents (and bro). I'll have another post about him coming up soon so stayed tuned for that. Thanks always for stopping by, my friend. I trust that all went well? :)

Lori said...

I've not been on the computer much this week so missed this post. Very cool Hilary. Congratulations to your captured some great pics but my favorite is of him pointing at you. I think it is really neat that he is going after something he enjoys and has a passion for. Of course congratulations to the proud Mom and dad that raised him to go after something he loves. Bravo! I can feel your pride in this post Hilary...XX

Hilary said...

Thanks so much, Lori. I'm glad you stopped by. Your comments are always so kind and encouraging. Thanks for that.

Kelly H-Y said...

This warms my heart ... you must be so proud of him! Congrats!

Hilary said...

• Thanks, Kelly. You bet I am! :)