These days, retirement might just be another word for your second career. And that can be rejuvenating, says Meaford’s Liz Scott.
Liz has long had a passion for music. And for the last 12 years, she’s brought musicians and audiences together at her home on Irish Mountain overlooking Meaford and the sweep of Nottawasaga Bay. (The 100th Irish Mountain House Concert is scheduled for July 27.)
“What I love about live music is that we can all sit together and experience something, but each person gets something different from a song or lyrics or melody,” says Liz “It speaks differently to everyone. The rewarding part is being able to enjoy myself and know that other people are experiencing something special and that I’ve helped to bring the musician and the audience together.”
Booking her non-profit concerts, along with her involvement as a judge and presenter with the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals, kept her in the thick of the folk music scene, and Liz would often informally recommend artists to other presenters and promoters. Gradually, she found herself being called on to program for-profit gigs, such as the Village Vibe series at the Village at Blue Mountain. She became manager for Canadian roots and blues artist Mark Reeves. And then she was asked to become Artistic Director for Ontario’s Eaglewood Folk Festival. All while continuing her career as a full-time teacher.
But a year ago, she decided to retire from teaching and take up music and artist promotion more seriously. “I decided after 25 years of teaching, I felt like doing something a little bit different,” says Liz. “And since my passion has been music for the last bunch of years, I thought I could do more to help bring music to people and help musicians.”
Before long, she’d also been recruited by Firebones Management, a major Canadian artist management company, and she now represents a number of acts, including Suzie Vinnick, Wendell Ferguson, David Celia, Rob Lutes and Steve Poltz, along with Reeves.
The shift hasn’t been a total breeze, but Liz is enjoying her second career.
“It’s tough work,” says Liz, “and I still miss the kids at school and that part of my life. But it’s a brand new energy for me. The learning curve is really high, and it will take awhile to find my feet, but it’s exciting. It’s rejuvenating. It’s injected something different into my life.”