BAD Grans in focus group

Dr. May Chazan, Trent University, conducting group interview for her project on older women in activismOn October 20, 2014, some of the Barrie And District Raging Grannies came together for a group interview with Dr. May Chazan of Trent University.  The title of May’s research project is Transnational Mobilizations and Older Women’s Struggles for Social Justice.

As her introductory material explains, May Chazan is interested in “why and how older women are mobilizing for social change and building transitional networks.”  As well as analyzing written material produced by various grandmother movements, she is interviewing politically engaged older women across North America, both in focus groups and via telephone interviews.

The BAD Grans were delighted to host a focus group.  We are always happy to explain why we became Raging Grannies, and why we continue to do our small and songful part to help bring about social justice and equality, tackle the enormous challenge of climate change, and make sure older women’s voices continue to be heard.  Just for starters!

The discussion also explored how the BAD Grans network with other groups active in Barrie, such as Amnesty International, AWARE Simcoe, the Busby Centre and CARP, and inspired us to forge new alliances, including aboriginal movements such as Idle No More.

May Chazan is shown here, leading the discussion.  She was assisted by Miriam Sherwin, a graduate student who is working towards an MA in Canadian and indigenous studies.  She’s the woman with the lovely smile, on the right in the threesome on the sofa below.

Also on the sofa are Granny Denise on the left, and Granny Karen in the centre.  Below them are Granny Molly in white and Granny Hendrika in red.  Granny Anita was busy with the camera.

Thanks so much to May Chazan for offering the BAD Grans this opportunity to contribute to her research, and to both her and Miriam for making the long journey.  We very much enjoyed the session, and look forward to reading the book in due course.

Thanks also to Granny Molly for providing her home as the venue, and feeding us a delicious lunch.

grannies Denise and Karen with Dr. Chazan's assistant, graduate student Miriam Sherwin

Granny Molly

Granny Hendrika














Merci beaucoup, Montréal Raging Grannies, for a great UnConvention

Raging Grannies doing what Raging Grannies do The 122 Grannies who attended the Raging Grannies UnConvention in Montréal, June 25 – 28, had a marvellous time.  We shared our knowledge, experience and ideas in workshops.  We made new friends over delicious meals.  And we enjoyed the wit and talent of the many delightful Show And Tell performances the different gaggles put on.

Here are the Victoria Grannies dancing Swan Lake in their Show And Tell performance; then an “oil spill” then turned the swans black.  Below, a pic of the  Toronto Grannies, and one of your very own BAD Grannies.

Victoria Grannies dancing Swan Lake

BAD Grannies at Show And Tell

Toronto Grannies







One of the highlights of the UnCon was a special pre-viewing of the Isaac Magnuson film on the Raging Grannies movement.  Granny Power is a marvellous film.  It follows several gaggles and individual grannies in their significant activist efforts in Canada and the United States.  The film is undergoing some final production finishing, after which it will be released.  Watch this site for further news.

Hats off to cool down at a meal break, after a long, hot march.

Hats off for a lunch break photo by Denise

The top event of every UnCon is the Raging Grannies Protest March.  At this UnCon, our main message was the failing grade we Raging Grannies are giving our governments on both sides of the border on the issues we consider critical such as climate change, fracking, the tar sands, and so many more.

We marched through the streets of Montreal chanting our message slogans, while many passers by showed their support.  On Rue Ste. Catherine, on the Anglican cathedral steps, we did what Raging Grannies do best:  We sang our hearts out, and gave the people of Montréal a wonderful street theatre performance.  Here’s an album of the march put together by Elizabeth Vezina, one of the many Montréal grans who worked so hard to make the UnConvention a grand success.  Just click on this link

Scroll through the photos, and you will see people you recognize.

And a final Thank you to the lovely Grans of the Montréal gaggle for giving us an UnConvention to remember.


BAD Grannies celebrate International Women’s Day at Barrie City Hall

If you were at the Farmers Market at Barrie City Hall on Saturday March 8, you might have been a tad surprised to hear people singing among the veggies, crafts and baked goods.  If you’ve heard the Raging Grannies sing before, you might even have recognized a song or two.

You got it, the Barrie And District (BAD) Raging Grannies showed up that day to raise their voices in praise of women, to celebrate International Women’s Day.  And raise them we did, much to the surprise of Nancy Brown from Montreal, who was visiting friends in the area.  Her friends had another commitment for a couple of hours, so Nancy decided to pass the time at the Farmers Market.  “I’d just arrived,” she told us, “and there were Raging Grannies all dressed up, singing a song I know very well.”  Of course Nancy knows the song, she’s a member of the Montreal Raging Grannies.  Small world.

Our celebration was more than our witty songs.  We set up a table covered with posters listing the names of Canadian women who have contributed marvellously to the world in many areas such as science, the arts, politics, law, and of course, activism – to name a few.  Hundreds of names.  Hundreds of amazing Canadian women.

People passing by were able to add their own suggested names on a form the BAD Grannies provided, and many did so.  The Barrie chapter of Amnesty International shared the table, and brought petitions for people to sign in support of several women in terrible situations.  Many people signed the petitions too.  Thank you.

At one point we stepped outside to check out a flash mob that was rumoured to be forming by the skating rink.  See for the story on the One Billion Rising Against Violence Against Women flash mob outside Barrie City Hall, one of many world wide being held on International Women’s Day.

Of course, being a bunch of hams, as soon as we saw the cameras we broke out in song all over again.  Can’t help it, just can’t stop singing!  We were ever so glad it was actually, finally, a nice warm sunny day.

A very fine day on which to celebrate all women, everywhere.


10 years and going strong

In July 2003 four women came together in a Barrie home and founded the Barrie And District Raging Grannies.  Hendrika, Anita, Olga and Marjorie decided Barrie needed to hear the voices of thoughtful and articulate mature women on the issues facing all of us, and we recognized it was up to us to make it so.

Ten active years later, in July 2013, to celebrate the BAD Grannies’ 10th anniversary, granny Karen graciously hosted a pot-luck lunch at her home on Georgian Bay.  First we banqueted on an amazing spread of delicious dishes, spiced with good conversation and laughter, as granny Denise shows here.

Granny Denise

We then spent a delightful afternoon outside, enjoying the breeze off the blue waters of Georgian Bay as we told our stories, each one in turn tracing the steps of one woman’s journey, her own.

Here we all are, starting with granny Hendrika, original co-founder of the BAD Grannies, and granny Molly.

Grannies Hendrika and Molly














Below are our youngest BAD Gran, granny Jane on the left, and our most senior, granny Kay.

Our youngest BAD Gran, granny-in-training Jane

Our most senior BAD Gran, granny Kay











Below, grannies Marjorie and Mariane listen intently.

Grannies Marjorie and Mariane












Likewise grannies Karen and Denise.

Grannies Karen and Denise














And  below, grannies Olga and Mariane demonstrate the sisterhood that binds the BAD Grannies together.

Grannies Olga and Mariane

 The 10th anniversary celebration of the BAD Grannies was a very special day indeed.

Present but not shown, granny Anita.  Not present:  Grannies Ann, Bev, Diny, Mary-Florence and Wendy. 


And here’s what it looked like . . .

For those who weren’t able to be there for Senior Groove, aka Elder Abuse “flash mob”, here’s a small peek.  These lovely people below are a few of the many who came to sing and dance in the Bayfield Mall lower concourse on Saturday June 15, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (see the previous post.)

A large contingent from Grandmothers And GrandOthers, Barrie swelled the crowd considerably.  Our local media mistakenly referred to the crowd of Grandmothers as Raging Grannies, not the first time the two groups have been confused.  We Raging Grannies don’t mind that at all; we hope the Grandmothers And GrandOthers don’t mind too much.


Aren’t those purple tees a gorgeous colour?


On the left is talented choreographer Joy Thompson, giving everyone a run-through of the dance steps.  When the time came, we grooved to a pre-taped version of the Beatle’s song When I’m Sixty-four, sung as a duet with male and female voices, changed to When I’m Eighty-four, and adapted slightly to reflect the lifestyles of today’s seniors.


In the photo below is Kristy Webber (on the left), coordinator of the Prevention of Senior Abuse Network (PSAN) in Simcoe County.  Congratulations to everyone who contributed to this successful and entertaining event: organizers, tech folks, musicians, singers, the choreographer, and everyone of all ages and both genders who showed up to sing and dance.

And here are the actual Raging Grannies.  Below is Molly strutting her stuff with élan.  Why are we not surprised?  Next are Hendrika and Jane sharing a laugh.  Jane is wearing two outfits at once, her Granny gear and a purple shirt, as she was one of the PSAN organizers.  And below these are Anita, Hendrika and Molly.




Photos by damian lopes