michael waters



MOORE, Michael Warren "Waters" (1954 - 2016) 

Michael was born in Vancouver and spent his early years with his family in the wilderness at the fishing and logging village of Winter Harbour on northern Vancouver Island. Later in life he built a cabin there where his family spent many happy days through the years. As there was no high school in Winter Harbour Michael went to Vancouver where he was a full-boarder at St. George's School for five years. 

As a young man Michael traveled in Europe for 10 years, mainly France, occasionally returning to his native village to work in the family logging business long enough to get back out into the world. While backpacking he learned the guitar and found himself the minstrel at gatherings on his journeys. 

While in Paris, Michael met Sophie Oliveau, the love of his life. They were married and moved to Winter Harbour where Michael managed the family salmon farming business for seven years. There they soon brought a son, Ariel, into the world, followed by their daughter, Iris. The family moved to Port Hardy in the early 1990s where son Emanuel was born while Michael worked as executive-director of a community-based program to bring the participants in the fishing industry into a common dialogue. 

Michael was among the founding members of Hollyhock on Cortes Island where he returned each summer to rejuvenate his spirit and to share his experience with others. 

Through the years Michael developed into a master guitarist, composing and producing recordings of his work under the stage name Michael Waters. He regularly played concerts, both solo and accompanied, for audiences close to home and abroad. He drew inspiration from his spiritual nature and his music had a profound impact on his audiences. 

Michael was also an accomplished webmaster, producing websites for many businesses and non-profits. Combining these skills with his charitable nature he worked with the Uganda-based BeadforLife, helping impoverished women to become self-sufficient in business.

From 2013-2016 Michael toured several European countries as communications director with the campaign to allow Golden Rice as a cure for vitamin A deficiency. 

Above all, Michael was a positive force for life: always the optimist with a wry sense of humour and a passion for his music, his family, his work and his community.

I only knew Michael Waters for the last few years of his life but we were frequently involved musically during that time.  

 We joined together when I produced two concerts with him for Syrian refugees.  He was enthusiastically generous with his time and talent, and the net result was that we were able to contribute $40,000 the cause.

Michael was inspiring to be around, so full of energy and wonder.  Everyone came away from an encounter with him smiling.  He had that kind of charisma. 

I produced his last concert.  It was at Hermann’s Jazz Club and was a great summation of his creativity.  It can be seen on YouTube.
— Beck Peacock, Writer, Film Educator
I’ve known Michael for many years, and always I have admired his freedom with the guitar.  We have played and sung together many times, and he was always open to new ideas and ways of doing things. I remember when he was in a decision process about what he wanted to be doing with his life in music, and we talked about that. Then when he committed to wanting to make a go of it, he was “all in” - not waffling, but committed to the decision. He felt that everything in his past had prepared him to do something new with the guitar, and of course he was right.

He recorded things and I would listen to them and give him feedback, the kind I have given to others. But when I did he said to me “I don’t know what to do with your comments. I just follow my instincts and the music just comes out.” That is a paraphrase of what he said, but the essence is there.

I will always remember that. It seems that his willingness to do what he did and be completely OK with it was a lesson that we might all take from him. I found it inspiring, and do now, even years after that encounter. Thank you, Michael.
— Dennis Donnelly, Musician & Choral Director
Michael Moore, Michael Waters, Dad, Brother, Husband, lover, loyal companion, musician, thinker, seeker of truth, story teller, and a Buddy will and is sorely missed.

There was much about Mike I did not know and there were a few things we did not agree eye to eye on, but we did enjoy a great joke and a lively debate.  And then there was music.

Music was the common denominator for Mike and I.  I marveled at how those long musical pieces would just come out of his head and onto those guitar strings as if there was no effort at all.  He gave us music from the wilderness and from the universe.  I found it tragically beautiful, soulful, daunting, enchanting, mesmerizing and uncopyable.  He loved to listen to Stan Rogers, Gordon Lightfoot, Dylan, and then even to me play these songs in his living room.  We had different styles but the same love and appreciation for this forever art form.

Dm9 was his chord of preference.  I never heard him sing, just play, and play he did.  Dm9th has a strange but beautiful sound, like Mike’s life.  Most players would not choose this chord to tune an on old and well used Yamaki guitar to but Mike was not “ most players “.  He gave us a newness as to how the world should be viewed and heard.  He taught his children to love this planet and to keep those in need and the environment as their cornerstones.  What a wonderful legacy to leave for your kids.  Humour, Music and Detail.

Sophie and Mike were the perfect couple.  The Murray family are better people for knowing both of them as long as we did.  Mike is always here with us in spirit and Sophie is just around the corner and up the street when we come to Victoria for a visit.
— Craig Murray, Nimmo Bay Resort, Port McNeill, BC
Michael viewed his music as a *spiritual practice. In 2008 Michael invited me to participate in a sacred ayahuasca ceremony led by a Peruvian shaman on Cortes Island. Michael encouraged me to bring my accordion to the ceremony since the opportunity to play together during the ceremony might emerge. Four hours after drinking the tea, Michael began to softly play his guitar. I picked up my accordion and joined him in a D-minor reverie. Other instruments — didgeridoo, handpan, drums, and voice - soon added to the powerful healing energy of the sacred music. We played for over an hour in what I would describe as one of the most profound ecstatic spiritual experiences in my life. Everyone in the room was uplifted and transformed by the beauty and the light flowing through the music. I offer a deep bow of gratitude to Michael for this gift of love.
— Rick Ingrasci M.D.
Michael worked for me for ten years at BeadforLife, a non profit poverty eradication project in Uganda, as my webmaster.   He journeyed to Uganda to help organize and record an album of music written by women in the project.  I have pictures of him with the choir, in headphones, conducting. 

I love Michael and miss him.
— Torkin Wakefield, Bead for Life, Boulder CO