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Michael Den Tandt tackles the concern of high suicide rates among Boomers raised in Don Gillmor's To the River

michael den tandt holding book To The River

Michael Den Tandt

Michael Den Tandt is a veteran journalist with deep roots in the rolling farm land of the Irish Block, just east of Owen Sound.

His career has taken him around the world, leading to senior management roles in daily newspapers from Vancouver to Halifax. In 2006 Michael returned to become Editor of the Sun Times in Owen Sound, where he co-raised his three children.

He later became a political columnist for the National Post - a position he left in early 2017 to join the Government of Canada’s Canada-U.S. unit, as speechwriter and communications advisor to the Prime Minister. Michael served in this role for two years, throughout the challenging but successful renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Michael is a long-time musician, first inspired to take up the guitar when he began attending Summerfolk as a kid in the late 1970s. He now enjoys sharing music with his children and friends. Fluently bilingual, Michael and family have long been part of the small but spirited franco-Ontarian community centred around Saint-Dominique Savio School, in Owen Sound.

Michael holds a sixth-degree black belt in Karate – another lifelong passion he’s put to work for the community, as co-founder and chief instructor of Fudoshin Dojo in Owen Sound. The school teaches self-defence and martial art to children, individuals and families on a not-for-profit basis.

He will be advocating for Don Gillmor's To the River, a personal story that explores why boomers are killing themselves at a far greater rate than the Silent Generation before them or any of the generations that have followed.

Grey County Reads

Five local celebrities will advocate for five locally-authored books in Grey County Reads, a county-wide reading program involving seven Grey County libraries, including Grey Highlands, Hanover, Meaford, Owen Sound, Southgate, Town of Blue Mountains and West Grey.

Each celebrity will advocate for one Canadian book over five published installments, covering plot, character and theme analyses as well as introductory and summary arguments.

Readers are encouraged to follow along with the contest, consider each book and it’s celebrity endorsement. Pick up your own copy of one or more of these books and give us your opinion too. Books are available in limited quantities from your local public library or may be purchased from your favourite local bookstore.

  • John Tamming of Tamming Law, will advocate for
    Dance of the Happy Shades by Alice Munro
  • Robert Iantorno of the South Grey Museum, will advocate for
    Open up the Wall by Geoff Bowes
  • Kimberly Edwards of the Grey Bruce Sustainability Network, will advocate for
    Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline
  • Cathy Hird – writer, poet and minister at the Kemble Sarawak United Church,
    will advocate for
    Midnight at the Dragon Café by Judy Fong Bates
  • Michael Den Tandt, former journalist, editor, communications advisor and recent Liberal Party MP candidate for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound will advocate for
    To the River by Don Gillmor

Celebrity installments will be posted to SouthGrey.ca beginning January 6, 2020. Read any or all of the Grey County Reads books and/or read each of the book synopses and celebrity installments to play along. Then vote for your favourite book and community library.

Previous winners:

2019: Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice, advocated by Steven Morel.
2018: Crow Lake by Mary Lawson, advocated by Sharon Sinclair.

Contest rules and regulations

Grey County Reads is supported through advertising by these local businesses:

The Bicycle Café
The Bookstore
Chapman's Ice Cream
The Colour Jar
ColourPix Graphic Design Services
Grey County Public Libraries
Grey Roots Museum and Archives
John Tamming Law
Alex Ruff, MP Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound
Nature's Path Osteopathy and Alternative Healing
Owen Sound Transportation Company
The Restaurant - Leela's Villa Inn
Speaking Volumes Books and Audio
Bill Walker, MPP Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound
West Grey Chamber of Commerce

Grey County Reads Sponsors - 2019
your neighbourhood
Speaking Volumes Tower Ad 2019
Grey Highlands Libraries
ColourPix Tower Ad
The Art Map
Blank filler tower to push squares over
Leela's Villa Inn
Mullin Bookkeeping - 2019
Bill Walker 2018 ad
Colour Jar - 2020
Chapmans proudly Canadian
The Bookstore - 2019
Bicycle Cafe - 2019
Chi-Cheemaun month of Sundays - 2019
Nature's Path - 2019
Alex Ruff - 2019
West Grey Chamber - Nov 2019
Tamming Law - 2019
Grey Roots 2019