Juno-nominated Ryerson alumus to perform at Gould Street Party

Juno-nominated folk musician Peter Katz will be headlining the first-ever Gould Street Party. (Courtesy Peter Katz)

Juno-nominated folk musician Peter Katz will be returning to Ryerson, from which he graduated in 2004, to headline the Gould Street Party. (Courtesy Peter Katz)

A Juno-nominated Ryerson grad will be returning to campus for the university’s first-ever Gould Street Party.

Acclaimed folk musician Peter Katz will be headlining the event on Saturday as part of Ryerson’s alumni weekend, which takes place October 17-18.

Katz will be performing alongside Karen Kosowski, a music producer and songwriter who splits her time between Toronto and Los Angeles.

Katz said he is hoping to keep the atmosphere upbeat at Ryerson, since he generally performs in more intimate sit-down settings.

“That’s what I love about playing live — every [show] is different,” he said.

Katz, who was born in Montreal, graduated from Ryerson’s theatre school 10 years ago and has gone on to create three albums, including a live album entitled Peter Katz & Friends: Live at The Music Gallery, for which he received a Juno nomination.

The folk artist originally aspired to be an actor and says he “had never seen [music] as a career path,” but that he always had a passion for music.

Katz regularly played at open mic nights at the Ram in the Rye. He put out his first CD during his fourth year at Ryerson. Katz laughed when he explained that the CD was recorded in his friend’s spare bedroom.

Although he is not entirely satisfied with his first work, he said, “I’m proud of having done it.”

During his university career, Katz gained valuable experience in music writing and production. He recalled the time he composed a song for Ryerson’s theatre production of The Laramie Project in 2004. He said the opportunity helped him realize his true potential in music. After the show, one of his instructors took him aside and said, “Maybe this is the right path for you.”

Katz said the skills he learned at theatre school became useful as his music career took off. Ryerson, he said, taught him how to write press releases and press shots.

He soon found that he was much more excited about songwriting than acting. He said that as a musician, he doesn’t have to follow anyone else’s script.

“I just wanted to be able to say my own words,” he said.

Katz said he has “very fond memories of Ryerson” and that the university is “a place that I would love to stay connected (to).”

The Gould Street Party, which runs along Gould St. between Victoria and Church, is an opportunity for Ryerson students to connect with alumni. The party will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 18 and will include acts from the winners of Ryerson’s Got Talent. There will also be a guest appearance by Lisa Haley, the coach of the Ryerson women’s hockey team and assistant coach of the Sochi gold medal women’s hockey team.

The party is free and open to both students and alumni, but those wanting to attend have to register. Student registration will happen on-site (you’ll need your One card) while alumni must pre-register. Click here for more information.

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