2009: My year in review (Part 1: January – June)

2009 – My year in review: Recapping the highlights and memories from 2009. This blog entry is part one which covers the first six months of 2009. After that, things got busier, chaotic and exciting with the touring. I will post part 2 next week!

First off, Happy New Year to everyone!  Here’s a few pics of me kicking off 2010 in Dusseldorf, Germany having just ended the “Quick Silver” European tour with the Cruxshadows with my keyboardist for the European tour, Justin Pogue (who has also played live with me at DragonCon and a few dates on the 2008 U.S. tour). But I’ll write more about that tour in part 2!

I’m going to break the year up a bit and start with the first 6 months. After a 3 month long tour of the U.S.A. with the Cruxshadows finishing up the last quarter of 2008, in comparison, 2009 started relatively quiet, I went back to my “real” life and full time job in Toronto and basically hibernated for the winter. I made the time to catch up with friends (I had been out of the country for 3 months!), go clubbing and go to shows that came through. Not a lot happened on the Ayria front until April when we played Toronto at the DarkRave on April 4th. So, here’s a timeline of my 2009 to recap some of the highlights and some memories of my year.

January/February/March 2009:
– fairly low key period. Went back to work, recovered from the three months of solid touring the U.S.A., had a Battlestar Galactica party for the series finale.. yep.
– Recorded a cover version of Depeche Mode’s “In Your Room”. I did a full write up about this last winter and how my actual room inspired me . The write up is complete with pictures of me in my room (sample below), and an mp3 clip of the cover (read here):

– hung out with friends, went clubbing and went to some shows (Combichrist and The Presets):
Meeting fans at Savage Garden - Clubbing in Toronto

Meeting fans at Savage Garden – Out Clubbing (January, 2009) YAY! Renata

Meeting fans while attending the Combichrist show in February.

Meeting fans while attending the Combichrist show @ the Operahouse in February (hi Lazarus!)


Hanging out before going out to Basement club with my friends (Steph, Alana, Joe & I – January)

April 2009
– Ayria’s first show of 2009 and it’s a hometown show in Toronto at the Dark Rave:

– There’s a link to several great shots from this show linked here (credit: Dylar Pillar):

Here’s some pics after the show with friends (left to right: Steph, Matt and Lukas)

May 2009
– My birthday kicks off this month, my favourite of all months. I had a Hello Kitty themed party with custom made hello kitty cupcakes, kitty décor and temporary tattoos and grab boxes (sigh, I will never grow up!)



Went for drinks, me showing off my new pink sharpies 😉

me styling it up with some kind of kitty-tini beverage 😉

Kinetik Festival (May 14th): My drummer Mike had made the trip up to Toronto and from there, we (complete with both keyboard players Joe and Jeff) made the trip to Montreal for our appearance at the Kinetik Festival. Saw tons of friends old and new and as always, I love hanging out in Montreal! My friend Stephanie “Blepharisma” put together an awesome promotional video for me to promote our performance at Kinetik.  I’m attempting some kind of dance in it…

– I also did a promotional photo shoot with the talented Alas Vera showing off my Plastik Wrap clothing, new pink hair with a hint of New Orleans.  Here’s a link to all 10 shots:

I really wish I had pictures of the perfomance showing all 4 members up on stage but sadly I don’t. I also wish I had more pics of just haning out with friends from that weekend but I’m horrible at remembering to take pictures while on tours and at shows so I’m often relying on others to take pictures and share them with me!

– Kicked off the Ayria Canadian tour hitting London, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton & Calgary taking us into June:

Hanging out in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on a beautiful day in early June.

Me with a polar bear in Winnepeg, Manitoba

June 2009
– Returned from the Canadian tour on June 8th, had to work for 2 weeks while simultaneously preparing for departure to Los Angeles to start the VNV Nation – Faith Power and Glory Tour as a support act.. much fun ensued.. but that will be in Part 2.

If you have any decent pictures from July-December 2009 you want to share, or to be included in the upcoming blog, please send pics or a link to

34 replies on “2009: My year in review (Part 1: January – June)”

Not sure about “decent” pics but I’m sure there are some indecent pics in case you’re thinking of putting up a splash page that says “are you 18 or older” on the Ayria site *lol*

Seriously though, I only have great memories of sharing the tour experience with a wonderful, unique friend.

Mike, your drummer.

Jeez Jen! What is it with you, huh? 🙂

Jen, you’re pretty much all sorts of kickass! Here’s to 2010. May you conquer with grace.

Looking forward to the 2nd half of the lookback at 2009.

I might have some decent pics from your show with VNV Nation in Chicago…even though I had food poisoning, a high fever, and was hypersensitive to light that was probably the best show I’ve ever been to. The energy was just…wonderful. One thing I definitely learned was not to go to a crowded club in the middle of the summer wearing a royal marine coat and fedora…this added heat exhaustion to the list of woes…but it was totally worth it.

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