Boyle McCauley News

Since 1979 • June-July 2024 • Circulation 5000


Our Paper’s Editor Wears Many Hats

Paula E. Kirman’s musical career.

Paula E. Kirman on stage. Johnny Blackburn

The editor of Boyle McCauley News, Paula E. Kirman, is not only energetic but also multi-talented. Music – not just printed words – has been an important and decades-long part of Kirman’s life. She is a singer/songwriter who plays the guitar (and dabbles with other instruments).

Kirman’s most recent achievement is the release of two full-length albums, The Crow (December, 2022) and Corners (May, 2023). The pandemic is in part responsible for kickstarting work on Corners, as Kirman was in isolation and set up a home studio for recording.

In 2019 Kirman began recording songs in collaboration with the late Bill Bourne, a prominent Canadian musician who often served as a mentor to aspiring artists. But the project had to be delayed: Bill had a busy touring schedule, his computer crashed, the pandemic hit, and then he was diagnosed with cancer and died in 2022. 

“However, [Bourne] left the bed tracks with me,” Kirman wrote about The Crow on her blog, “and I spent some time playing with them at home, adding backing vocals and other instruments like keyboard and mandolin. In the spring of 2022 I reached out to John Armstrong, a local musician and producer who used to work with Bill, and he was able to take what Bill and I recorded and brought in some of the most in-demand musicians in town to complete the album. I am especially grateful that, thanks to John and I being able to find Bill’s hard drives, we’re able to present Bill playing guitar on three of the tracks.”

Since around 2007, Kirman has performed in clubs and at events such as Heart of the City. Since the CDs were released - and pandemic restrictions lifted - Kirman has been appearing more often in local music venues. One show was scheduled at the Carrot Community Arts Coffeehouse during the January deep freeze and had to be postponed until May 3. Such is the life of an artist – the path is never smooth.

Paula, the superwoman

The title of Paula E. Kirman’s website is Words - Pictures - Music. This sums up her various and ambitious pursuits in communications, journalism, photography, and music. On her Facebook page, she has added “Community” to the above slogan. Kirman attends numerous social justice protest events taking place in Edmonton, often for causes she believes in herself. Her commitment to documenting progressive social movements was a reason she received the Human Rights Champion Award from the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights in 2016 and the Edmonton Social Planning Council Award of Merit for Social Advocacy in 2018.

Recently added to this impressive CV: earning a Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) degree from the School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS) at the University of Alberta. Kirman proudly accepted her diploma on November 22, 2023.

Kirman is also a proud recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Medal, presented to her by MLA Janis Irwin in November of 2022.

Anita Jenkins is a retired writer and editor who lives in Boyle Street.

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