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Karma and equality: an evening with Sarah Blackwood

A personable atmosphere leveled the audience as one of the lead vocalists for the band “Walk Off the Earth,” Sarah Blackwood, performed in the Algonquin Commons Theatre Nov. 22.

Blackwood demonstrated her artistry and knowledge for an audience of about 45 people. She performed an acoustic set of two songs, followed by a speech on equality and tales of her struggles as an artist and mother of three children. She concluded with another two acoustic songs.

The event itself was more centered on Blackwood’s experiences and her perspectives on life than it was on her music, heavily emphasizing the fundamental differences between men and women.

“There’s a great difference in attachment among men and women,” Blackwood said at the top of her speech, delving deeper into the topic of relationships.

She elaborated on women’s ability to nurture relationships better than men, although she followed that with, “I don’t mean to generalize, as this is not the case with everyone.”

There was a distinct emphasis on the idea of karma.

“Life is a spectrum full of relationships; we give and we take throughout depending on the situation,” said Blackwood. “Women are biologically inclined to direct their energy to whoever needs it and whoever asks for it. So, the challenge is finding equality in this exchange of energy between men and women, how can we feel like we’re giving the same and getting back the same, karma.”

Blackwood illustrated the importance of balance and equality in relationships between men and women.

“Like the Beatles said, ‘the love you take is equal to the love you make, so I believe when you find an equal exchange within your community and your family that we need to be honest with each other. It’s basic math.”

Following her words on equality came stories of how difficult her life has been as a mother of three children and touring musician.

“I’m going to tell you about a hurdle I had to endure while I was fiercely building my dream career, having children,” said Blackwood. “I thought I was going to have to put everything on hold. When I told my husband, I remember specifically that he was in bed, he rolled over and I told him and he said, ‘oh, awesome!’ and went right back to sleep. He was happy though.”

As the crowd laughed at the idea of her husband saying that, she brought it back to a much more serious note.

“The pressure I felt from day one was so much different and so much heavier than what he felt. Why? Because I knew I had to make it work, no matter what,” said Blackwood. “It took my husband a lot longer to gain that sense of awareness than I did, as he works harder than anyone I know, but he’s still got to maintain his daily work schedule while my life shifted and went into a crazy, overdrive, warp speed universe where sleep doesn’t exist and I don’t matter anymore.”

Coupled with being a musician constantly on the road and working, the reality of Blackwood’s stresses were put into context by her words. From touring just a few weeks after having her first child, along with performing at eight months pregnant, Blackwood made it very clear that her life was not defined by in her own words — “what her Instagram would have her fans believe.”

Blackwoods fans made their love for her clear.

Calla Tait, a Carleton University student of Child Studies said, “I’m a massive fan of Walk off the Earth. When I found she was coming I had to go,” said Tait. “I love how everything they do is so unique and how they can put a different spin on everything they do.”

Algonquin alumna in supply management and fan of Blackwood, Elizabeth Neilson, said, “I followed Walk off the Earth on YouTube and I went to a couple of their concerts. I like how they are innovative and can play a variety of different instruments, as well as using random objects as instruments.”

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