i. I work as a: percussionist, producer and post-secondary education consultant, independent cultural researcher/catalyst.
ii. A ‘typical’ day for me under Covid lockdown involves:
Feeding my mind, writing, practicing, jogging, devising new ways to continue to remain active musically in spite of the present moratorium on public performances.
iii. Personal qualities that help me in my work are:
A fundamental love of life, family and an unrelenting passion for my work, perseverance, one-step-at-a-time work ethic, it really helps to understand that future projects these days need be cast over much longer developmental periods, belief that we will all get through this and that we will have learned much about ourselves and have had the time to question the worthiness of some endeavours and the indispensable nature of others.
iv. The greatest challenges around doing this work are:
Keeping things fresh, avoiding complacency after occasional successes, maintaining a direct line to how people, any age, anywhere, are feeling about their environment, making sure my work connects people at a very fundamental, emotional level, and during these particular times, making sure everyone out there remains objective and optimistic that this whole period is a welcome catalyst for systemic and operational change.
v. Creative childhood hobbies:
Playing music, drawing, reading my encyclopaedia
vi. Other creators who inspire you:
Wife Janet, two high school teachers (Sociology and English literature), some very influential artists/university profs (Orchestra, Performance and Music History), diverse folk musicians all over the globe.
vii. Training that has helped me in this career:
Music training has been the absolute constant in my other career roles including university lecturer, performance mentor, Dean, Vice President Academic, Provost, consultant, producer, and festival director. It pretty much taught me everything I have had to apply in all my other roles, except perhaps financial management, something I had to seek additional help and training to carry out my roles properly.
viii. A common trap that can hurt people in this career:
Failure to notice how fast young artistic generations absorb our highlights and move on to the next thing. With success it is all too easy to become complacent and lose touch with the continual growth and/or development that is required to ensure your art is relevant, ever-deepening and ever-authentic
ix. Some proud career moments:
A considerable body of concert, recording, film and producing work, being Creative Director of the Commonwealth Games Cultural Festival 1994, artistic director Vancouver Folk Music Festival, sharing the stage with all my performance mentors at Expo 86, 88, 98 and 2000, Creative Director Four Host First Nations Aboriginal pavilion 2010 Olympics, among others.
x. If you want to work in my field, I suggest that you:
Not lose track of your health, your empathy, your spirit, truth and whatever reason you fell in love with that particular kind of art work in the first place. Patience, love, perseverance and a knowledge that you have to find that art first within yourself will all help you navigate the inevitable obstacles and attitudes that continually threaten your artistic momentum.
xi. A professional goal I have for the future:
I am working on a major rhythm and time project that will explore our deep and constant relationship with time, periodicity, and existence.
xii. If you want to see my work, go to:
Stay tuned and search under my name. Right now I am in the midst of creative work and am not too concerned about my not-so-up-to-date website. Even then, the website salferreras.com will give some inkling of some of the things I have been up to over the past few years.
VLACC Tertulia Talks With Sal Ferreras
Header Photo: Vincent Chan – Invisionation
Photo 2: Diane Smithers