Photo - Norm Hacking




past gig links

When Cats Go Wrong













PAST EVENTS 2007 AT A GLANCE - details follow list

tribute radio / webcast spotlights
Dec. 2 / Dec. 7 / Sun Dec 9 / Mondays in Dec. / Th Dec 20, 2007
some are archived for later listening

Memorial & open stage event - Thursday Dec. 6, 2007
at Renaissance Cafe, Toronto
(memorial concert and CD release anticipated in 2008)

. . . . . . . . . . .

With great regret and sadness, we announce that

. . . . . . . . . .

Thursday July 19, 2007 - Feature set at Renaissance Cafe
fine open stage at Renaissance Cafe, Toronto

Wed July 11, 2007 - 4:30 pm - Memorial Celebration
of Kathy O. Hacking (Norm's mom on her 85th birthday)

Renaissance Cafe and park across the street

Friday June 22, 2007 - Riverboat Revival
Hugh's Room - Toronto - 8:30 pm start
Tribute to the 1960s venue - many artists perform songs of the era

Saturday June 16, 2007 - Brampton Folk Festival
FREE rain or shine festival just north of Toronto
Update: Norm's performance times.

Sunday April 29 at 7 pm
Toronto Socialist Action's Annual May Day Celebration

Free Times Cafe - Toronto

February 9 - 11, 2007 (Friday - Sunday) - Winterfolk V in Toronto
FREE this year! - Danforth / Broadview area
Details of Norm's appearances are shown below

December 2007 radio / webcast tribute programs
(all are eastern time, streaming live - some ARCHIVED)
(many other programs honoured Norm by playing his songs)

Mondays in December, 6-8 pm + archived
featuring 4 song Norm segues throughout December
CFRC FM in Kingston Ontario 101.9 FM
webcast and archived for 3 months at
"Sweet Folk Also" hosted by Roger Eccleston

Thursday Dec. 20, 6-7 pm + archived (entire hour)
CIUT FM Toronto 89.5 FM / webcast
"Back to the Sugar Camp" hosted by Steve Fruitman
shows are archived at

This playlist and podcast at
Update:  The entire program was devoted to Norm's music,
including 3 live performances recorded on Steve's show Oct 24, 1988,
a rare 1994 tape of Norm singing his "The Heroes Have Gone Home"
and conversation between host and Norm's mananger Shirley.

Sunday Dec. 9, 6-7 pm
(includes first airing of Norm's last interview,
recorded June 16, 2007 at Brampton Folk Festival)
CKPC FM Brantford Ontario 92.1 FM / webcast
"Just Us Folk" hosted by Jan Vanderhorst
(update - program time changed to 10-11 pm Sunday in early 2008, no archives)

Friday Dec. 7, 11am - 2pm (note - daytime!)
CKLN FM Toronto 88.1 FM / webcast
"Corby's Orbit" hosted by Paul Corby
entire 3 hour program, including many live studio guests
(update - Paul continues to air Norm's songs / poems weekly)

Sunday Dec. 2, 7-8 pm
CKLN FM Toronto 88.1 FM / webcast
"Acoustic Routes" hosted by Joel Wortzman

entire hour of Norm's music and
conversation between host and Norm's manager Shirley,
including then-upcoming memorial event of Dec. 6
(update - Joel continues to air Norm's songs / poems weekly)

update - the room was filled with people, music, stories and love,
a beautiful tribute continuing to the wee hours

Th December 6, 2007 - 4:30 / 5 pm (continuing late)
Memorial Celebration
of Norm Hacking
Short non-denominational service
followed by open stage format celebration in story, song, verse

Renaissance Cafe
1938 Danforth Avenue, Toronto
(1+ block west of Woodbine subway; a few doors west of Woodmount)
(on-street parking: until 6pm paid parking on north side of Danforth
and tow-away on south side, after 6pm both sides are free)
416 422-1441

All are invited to the blessing of Norm's ashes and the celebration of Norm's life by his friends.

4:30 pm: Gather at Renaissance Cafe, participant sign-up starts (sheet at the bar)
5 or 5:15 pm: Blessing of a beautiful soul by LiANA DiMarco, chaplain /celebrant
around 6 pm: Norm's son Ben Hacking opens the open stage format of music, poetry, prose and stories, continuing throughout the evening.

Note that in the event that more people arrive than can be accommodated in the Renaissance Cafe (approximately 100), then arrangements have been made for any overflow to go 5 doors east (near the Woodmount corner) to The Groove Pub to have a beverage and chat before checking back at the Renaissance Cafe.

invitation from Norm's son Ben:
"I invite you to come to the Renaissance Cafe from 4:30pm onwards,
to celebrate Norm and his legacy.
It was his wish not to have a formal funeral in a
drab and stuffy parlor, but rather a night of song, spoken word, and
story telling both on and off stage. Thus, the night will begin with
a blessing of his ashes and some words of remembrance by our dear
friend LiANA Di Marco, and then we will carry on into a night of open
stage. So, feel free to bring your guitars, stories etc."
He also requests no flowers please.

The friendly Renaissance Cafe has been Norm's east-end Toronto performance home for several years. His last performance (July 19, 2007) was as the feature at this Thursday evening open stage series, itself patterned after Norm's earlier open stages. In fact Norm was the first feature on June 17, 2004, when Brian Gladstone started this series. So we're taking over the entire evening for sharing remembrances in story, song, poetry.
As always, reasonably-priced great food, excellent coffees, microbrewery beers and other drinks are available at this friendly home to roots music.

(another event is planned early in 2008)

With great regret and sadness, we announce that
Norm Hacking died on Sunday Nov. 25, 2007

Photo of Norm Hacking, Nov. 2006

August 1, 1950 - November 25, 2007

“And the world gets a lift when you practice your gifts:
Each heart knows the courage of song.
And we'll not replace the love and the grace
That lives in a songwriter's song—
It gives you strength to just keep keeping on.
- Norm Hacking
"A Songwriter's Song
(link for full lyrics)

“We speak the language of poetry, when we try to talk to God. Music is God's reply. The courage of song results from just such intimate conversations.”

- Norm Hacking
on songwriting

Greg Quill's Toronto Star article Nov. 29, 2007
Norman Nelson in The Scarborough Mirror Nov. 29, 2007
Matt MacLeod's "A Songwriter's Songwriter" for Norm (listen on his site)
now on this website:
Linda Stitt's poems "For Norm" and "Legacy"
articles first published in TaxiNews:
Heino Molls "Remembering Racetrack Hack" (Dec 2007)
Shirley Gibson "Norm will be one Stubborn Ghost" (Jan 2008)
Mike Beggs "The big man's music was the real deal" (Jan 2008)
Peter McSherry "Norm Hacking was one of a kind" (Jan 2008)
(watch for more links and a new page)

Thursday July 19, 2007 - Feature set at Renaissance Cafe
fine open stage at Renaissance Cafe, Toronto
1938 Danforth Ave (1+ block west of Woodbine subway)
416 422-1441
No set admission charge - 'pass the jug'
note early start time - all times updated late July 6

8 pm - songwriter sign-up
8:30 pm - short opening set by host Steve Raiken,
followed by some open stage performers
9:30 pm - feature set by Norm (30-40 minutes)
open stage continues afterward

The Renaissance Cafe is the friendly home to roots music,
reasonably-priced great food, excellent coffees and microbrewery beers.
Come early for good eats, drinks, chat as well as good music.
As usual, Norm's CDs and books will be available and signable
(along with other talented performers who play here).

Update: This was a beautiful celebration - read Norm's account at

... ... ...

Wed July 11, 2007 - 4:30 pm - Memorial Celebration
of Kathy O. Hacking (Norm's mom on her 85th birthday)

Renaissance Cafe and park across the street
1938 Danforth Ave (1+ block west of Woodbine subway), Toronto
416 422-1441

Photo of Kathy O. HackingThank you to everyone who sent their prayers and best wishes to my mother, the amazing Kathy O.
Katherine O. Hacking
July 11, 1922 - October 4, 2006
She lit the shadows.

- Norm Hacking, October 2006

Everyone who knew Kathy O. is invited to the blessing of her ashes and celebration of her life on the 85th anniversary of her birth.
Norm's friends who would like to attend are most welcome.

4:30 - 5pm: Gather at Renaissance Cafe, 1938 Danforth Ave. (west of Woodbine)
5 pm: Blessing of a beautiful soul in East Lynn Park (across the street); LiANA DiMarco, chaplain /celebrant
5:20 pm: back to Renaissance Cafe for sharing memories and a birthday cake

As always a variety of drinks and fine food available - the friendly Renaissance Cafe has been Norm's east end performance home for several years. Attendees are welcome to stay for the evening event at 7:30pm: the monthly Toronto Renaissance Conspiracy poetry open stage - no cover, starts with a half hour of critiques (bring 14 copies of your poem to participate in this part), then open mic (poetry). See details of the poetry event. When this event begins, any of us staying on to chat (rather than poetry) will move to the entrance area. Or Norm may contribute some of his poems. (Come on July 19 for Norm's feature performance - see below)

Reminder of Norm's beautiful writing about his mom, Kathy O., on this site:

Olya Katarina - lyrics of his song for Kathy O., recorded earlier for The Ache CD
Vigil - keeping vigil with his mother Kathy O. in the hospital
A Song at Midnight - a beautiful gift from Kathy O., still in hospital
Never Goodbye - Norm shares memories of Kathy O. after her passing on October 4, 2006

A Small Celebration - Norm's account of this (July 11) beautiful birthday memorial celebration.

(update: Norm performed
Steve Goodman's a cappella "The Ballad of Penny Evans"
and his own "Richer for the Time" about seeing Goodman at The Riverboat).

Friday June 22, 2007 - Riverboat Revival
Hugh's Room - Toronto - 8:30 pm start
2261 Dundas St. W.
(just south of Bloor / Dundas West subway station; free parking across the street)
A loving tribute to The Riverboat, Toronto’s famed and seminal
coffeehouse folk club on Yorkville Avenue in the 1960s.
Toronto City Roots festival gala opening event
Tickets $15 advance 416 531-6604 / $17 at door (if available)

Music by Gordon Lightfoot -- sung by Heather Morgan
Ian and Sylvia -- David Celia and Joan Besen
Murray McLauchlan -- James Gordon
Tim Hardin -- Danny Marks
Buffy Sainte-Marie -- Jon Brooks
Jerry Jeff Walker -- Rob Lutes
Lonnie Johnson -- Mr.Rick
Neil Young -- Bobby Cameron
Bruce Cockburn -- Lynn Hanson
Joni Mitchell -- Mia Sheard
Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee -- Blair Packham
Phil Ochs -- Greg Quill
Steve Goodman -- Norm Hacking
w/ special guest Bernie Finkelstein

Saturday and Sunday Toronto City Roots festival events are free
and again at Toronto's Distillery District

Brampton Folk Festival 2006 mainstage photoBrampton folk festival logo - click for BFF website
Brampton Folk Festival
Saturday June 16, 2007

June 14 - 16 (Th - Sat) - rain or shine
Saturday -- 9 am - noon at Farmers' Market
noon - 11 pm in Gage Park (Main & Wellington)
FREE festival
small charge for program
great raffle prizes
Gage Park in downtown Brampton
Full schedule, map and other festival info is at

Lovely family-friendly festival just northwest of Toronto -
Main St. and Wellington St. in Brampton - see festival website for map.
No car? Check the GO transit schedule from Toronto at

The performers for the main stage - noon to 11 pm Saturday -
an excellent list reflecting varied styles:

Canada's Premiere Bluegrass Band Hard Ryde
Mike Ford, formerly of Moxy Fruvous
High Energy Quebecois trio Genticorum
Female vocal group Second Wind
Flamenco music and dance with Roger Scannura and Ritmo Flamenco
Songwriter and storyteller Norm Hacking
Afghani music from Mushfiq Ensemble
Old-time Blues/Bluegrass Group Broken Joe
Folk-pop band Stone Fox
Singer/Songwriter Kirsten Jones

Stage hosts are Jan Vanderhorst, Jim Marino and Jory Nash.

Norm's schedule:
1 - 1:25 pm -- Corner Stage:
Norm Hacking presents "When Cats Go Wrong"
Norm's popular stories and songs about his cats - for kids of all ages!.
This family-oriented stage also features Laura Thomas, aka Cousin Molly;
it becomes an open stage at 5 pm.

3 - 3:50 pm -- Workshop Stage:
"A Songwriter's Travelogue" workshop

Norm Hacking (host), Jory Nash,
Kirsten Jones, Downtown Freddy Brown

6:15 - 6:50 pm -- Main Stage
Norm Hacking concert

The photo shows the lovely main stage area (taken at 2006 festival).

Sunday April 29 at 7 pm
Toronto Socialist Action's Annual May Day Celebration

Free Times Cafe, 320 College St. (west of Spadina), Toronto

Admission $10 waged / $5 non-waged or PWYC
Dinner reservations: 416 967-0178
Featuring live music, speakers, theatre, raffle and literature display.

Performers - in addition to Norm - are
Selina Martin
Bill Heffernan
Glen Hornblast
Linda Saslove
The Downsize Theatre Company

Winterfolk V logo - click for festival page

February 9 - 11, 2007 (Friday - Sunday) - Winterfolk V
FREE this year!
7 stages in 5 venues - Danforth Avenue at Broadview, Toronto
full performer list and schedule details are at
(also available at all Winterfolk venues)

Festival hours
Friday February 9 : 7 pm - 1 am
Saturday February 10 : 2 pm - 1 am
Sunday February 11 : 2 - 7 pm

Norm Hacking's performances
are at The Willow Tex-Mex & Grill (back area)
193 Danforth Avenue - 416 469-5315
Excellent Tex-Mex food, licensed
(walk from Broadview subway or parking off Broadview)

4 - 5 pm Norm Hacking concert

5 - 6 pm "Song Swap" workshop with Ray Edge
Ray Edge is an award-winning songwriter in the blues community

3 - 5 pm Winterfolk edition of "Norm's Living Room"

Norm Hacking and special guests, all songwriters:
Clela Errington - engaging, velvet voice, lovely harmonica style
Marianne Girard
- a powerful singer/songwriter who knows the nuances of the soul
Glen Hornblast
- melodious original songs with a strong element of social consciousness
Garry Jackson
- powerful, emotional music that mixes folk and rock influences

We regret that
Roger James ("compulsory fun" musical comedy, direct from Kingston, ON),
announced earlier, will not be appearing.

CDs available from artists at performances
and on the main floor of The Black Swan (154 Danforth)

See also
Past Events in 2008
/ in 2006 / 2005 / 2004 / 2003 / 2002
Open stage series (both ended):
Norm's Living Room at Silver Dollar Room (2001-02)
Norm at The Tranzac (1999-2001)

Last updated January 27, 2008