Lorraine Segato still believes we can Rise Up

Lorraine Segato, born in Hamilton, was lead singer and co-writer for The Parachute Club, the cross-cultural, trans-genre Toronto band that gave the world that iconic anthem Rise Up  back in 1983.

Shysters, forty years ago!

Since then, Segato’s passion for social justice and progressive ideas has been relentless. Her passion has taken her into solo music projects, musical collaborations, film production, film appearances, and lectures.

“As a singer and social activist, I’ve always linked music to the causes I care about. Our homeless crisis deeply troubles me. I’ve been so close to it myself; I faced my own demons of depression; I know the fear, the struggles, what it takes to get back up.”

~ Lorraine Segato, in Lowdown Tracks documentary

In 2022 Lorraine was awarded the Order of Canada “for her contributions to the Canadian music scene and culture, as a pioneer in 2SLGBTQ+ Canadian history”, and was mostly recently inducted into Canada’s Rock of Fame.

Next Monday, October 30th, she will be participating in a high-profile online conference as an expert panelist. 

What’s the topic? 

Maintaining Creativity 8 is about Artists as Agents of Change, and Lorraine Segato will participate in Chapter 1 “Women Warriors for Change” on October 30 (Link to register below).

Lorraine Segato has done a lot.

For example, there’s the 2015 video documentary called Lowdown Tracks, which featured Toronto street musicians who live on the fringes of society. You can find it on TVO.org.

In Lowdown Tracks, Segato and her camera crew take us on a journey where we enter the world of street musicians, get a deeper understanding of what brought them to be homeless (or “home free” as one person put it), and what daily struggles they face. Our journey ends as they are invited into the studio by Segato to record their work with her band.

The look on their faces when they hear their songs played back to them? Priceless. Touching.

That’s what every creator wants: to have  their idea and their message brought into existence; to be able to look at it, listen to it; share it with others.

and say, “There it is. I did that. It has meaning. It is an accomplishment that is mine and nobody else’s.”

Segato sums up, “If we were able to keep going and to continue recording all of the people that we’ve met, and all the others we’ve yet to, I think what we would find is that the story of society is so rich, but has failed so many.”

I found it helpful as I think about homelessness here in Hamilton.

It would be well worth it to hear what Lorraine Segato has to say. She’s part of the Chapter 1 session on October 30 at 1pm Eastern. It’s called Women Warriors for Change.

  • What does it mean for an artist to be a warrior?
  • Starting something that needed starting? 
  • Stopping something that never should have started in the first place?
  • An artist who works to change the system?
  • Then again, sometimes you need to be a warrior just to make space for yourself in this world, so you can fully be yourself – in life and in your art.

To register FREE OF CHARGE for Artists As Agents Of Change, here’s your link.


Rise UP everyone!


Lorraine Segato
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