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A songbird’s flight

ELORA, Ont. - If it weren't for coincidence, truck driver Gloria Dove might never have steered into her music career and launched her first compact disc, Traveller of the Night.If coincidence is like ...



ELORA, Ont. – If it weren’t for coincidence, truck driver Gloria Dove might never have steered into her music career and launched her first compact disc, Traveller of the Night.

If coincidence is like an accident – the lucky sort – then the run-in that changed the direction of her life happened in the winter of 1990, when she was in her late thirties.

“I still played a bit but not in a band and not out as much,” says Dove, who was born and raised near Elora, in southern Ontario.

In the late 1980s, Dove moved to Algonquin, Ont., a small town in eastern Ontario, with her boyfriend Dan Bastien.

One night, the couple went to a dance, featuring a band whose singer failed to show. The band asked if anyone would like to take a turn entertaining the crowd. At first Dove kept to her seat, thinking, well, I haven’t done this for a while.

Eventually she got up the nerve and climbed on stage. She sang Alone with You – “the first song my mother taught me” – and Satin Sheets. After her mini-set she returned to her table where the man across from her set in motion a process that rekindled a long-faded dream.

As a child, he’d seen Dove performing with one of her sisters, back when they used to play barn dances and fairs around Elora.

“It was sort of a nice experience for me,” says the soft-spoken Dove about being recognized and remembered for her skill as a performer. That night lit a flame under her and she re-focussed on music. She has now released her first recording and has already sold nearly all of the 500 cassettes and about half of the 1,000 discs out of her first batch.

As for her truck-driving career, that was no accident. After all, her father and an uncle drove truck, and at the end of February, she married one – Bastien, who she has now been with for 12 years.

Bastien and Dove drive with BTW, a Mississauga, Ont.-based company that runs about 20 trucks providing overflow support for other fleets. The company’s safety and compliance manager, Robert Frost, says the two make a great team.

“She works just as well as any of my drivers,” says Frost, adding the company also enjoys the opportunity to help support Dove’s other career. n


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