Regina, Treaty 4: Dagan Harding

photo credit: Zoe Schneider

photo credit: Zoe Schneider

I’ve only recently had the pleasure of meeting Dagan, but I first heard of him way back in 2005 when a friend from Regina gave me a mix which included a Despistado song (Magnetic Street Lights) which I really liked.

Check out his latest project, album “Best Times”, put out under his own name which he and band mates will be touring come July.

KC: What kinds of projects are you involved in right now?

Music is my main focus right now. I have a band under my name Dagan Harding. I write music for it and collaborate with friends at performances including Andrea Hedlund (RSO), Mike Thieven (library voices), Travis Packer, my best buddy Leif Thorseth, Eric Mehlsen, Gage Mcguire and others. It’s sort of like a collective under my name. We just put out out an album called “Best Times" which we will be touring in Canada in July.

Along with working on new material,I’ve also started this Heritage Tours events thing which combines music and art performed in nice old buildings.

I teach music empowerment workshops and songwriting at Paper Crane Art Center three times a week with different community organizations including Community Living, Carmichael Outreach and Canadian Mental Health Association.

I’m also trying to get this bandconnect.org business off the ground which is a platform online that allows musicians and artists to collaborate and write together over the Internet. I like to play around with words in various formats so however I can do that is where you will find me.

I also used to play in a band called Despistado and from time to time we resurface to perform and play music together which is a lot of fun. Otherwise, I take photographs in my spare time and am a super part time DJ.

KC: What’s your day job? What do you like about it? What’s challenging?

My day job right now is with the YMCA of Regina where we do lots of charity work and community programming. I have been the Director of a variety of programs there and am currently working with them doing homelessness research.

I enjoy my Job because of the people, the reward, the changing nature of community work and the intelligent people I get to work and learn from everyday from all sectors (arts, policy, city, CBO etc.).

There are challenges related to the changing nature of the job as well. It’s often difficult to measure improvements / outputs / outcomes but that’s also a part of the fun. It’s challenging to see the trauma in the community, but it’s also rewarding to make a difference, and getting to do research that matters is important to making a difference besides practical reasons like getting funding.

Basically the challenges are also a part of the reward for me. Adapting is a challenge but making it work can be exciting! The people and the production of knowledge are both rewarding.

KC: What’s important to you?

Freedom and creativity are important to me. As well as good people, beer and physical activity (hot yoga).

KC: What do you like most/least about Regina?

I love the opportunities that exist in Regina. Sometimes I can’t stand how small it is.It feels sometimes like you can do whatever you want but cant walk down the street without getting greeted by your grade 3 girlfriend’s step mother.

Wascana park is awesome. Volunteers are awesome. The summers are great, and it’s close to Saskatoon which is also a bonus There are also a ton of hard working, creative and determined people in this city. That’s pretty inspiring to be a part of.

KC: (from the Proust Questionnaire) What is your greatest fear?

My greatest fear is that I will try to do too much with my life and won’t ever get anywhere because of it. Also, that I won’t ever get to have a family/kids stability because of that.

You can find out more about Dagan here: