"I've been lucky," Valdy suggests, (born Paul Valdemar Horsdal in September of 1945 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, an inner city kid, mother Lillian, social worker / psychiatric nurse whtaught family planning to Quebecers as a volunteer advocate, and Paul Horsdal, portrait photographer/outdoorsman who became a mentor to many of Canada's photographers, including Yosef Karsh. (("When Karsh asked Dad how he took such great pictures, he replied, "I take a lot of pictures." Karsh left with a used Graflex 5 by 7 that Dad received $500 for six months later." - Valdy)) Parliament Hill was nearby, and Valdy's father had Prime Ministers' portraits on display), when asked about his career's longevity (49 years of recording and performing, with tours in Mexico, Spain, Holland, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Austria, Australia, New Zealand, and annually Atlantic Ocean to Pacific Ocean from Nunuvit to Texas). "I've worked with some amazing people, players, (like Norm MacPherson, session/touring guitarist with Skylark & Sample Stearns Band; Connie Kaldor; Jerry Scheff and Ronnie Tutt from Elvis' band; Larry Carlton; Ben Benay; Nicky Hopkins; Jay Dee Manus; Jim Keltner; Gerry Adolphe; Kat Hendrikse; Michael Creber; Doug Edwards; Connie Lebeau; George Koller, session/touring bassist with Holly Cole, Joe Sealy, Shuffle Demons, Loreena McKinnett, pianist Karel Roessingh, bassoonist Nadina Mackie Jackson, guitarist and singer Graham Wardrop), innovative producers, (like Claire Lawrence, resulting in 3 of his 4 gold records; Eliot Mazer, who has worked with Gordon Lightfoot, Neil Young; Paul Rothchild, who's recorded Bonnie Raitt & the Doors; Rob Bryanton; Bill Henderson; Dan Donahue), great songwriters." (like Bob Ruzicka, Lynn Miles, Ron Hynes, Jon Ims, Graham Shaw, Tom Paxton, Mike Williams). He pauses, pulls his whitening beard. (Valdy just turned 70) "And I married the right woman." (Kathleen Mary Fraser Horsdal, Valdy's creative partner and wife of 29 years, sharing a lake front home with him and three dogs on Saltspring Island, off Canada's west coast).
Another pause, then "Is that luck? Or is that moving at God's speed? ("Valdy elicited a genuinely warm standing ovation, the real kind, where the audience continues long after the encore is assured" - Winnipeg Free Press) "I mean, it's more than strategy that puts these folks along my path." ("Few performers are capable of achieving the kind of energy Valdy generates on stage" - Mcleans) "Sure I'm good at what I do, and I'm getting better, I'm paying attention, and I'm learning," (two Juno Awards, SOCAN's Song of the Year Award, four gold records, sixteen CDs/albums/8-tracks), "but I have lived a charmed life, (200 gigs a year, fundraising and advocacy for Literacy, recipient of the Order of Canada, music producer, husband, father), with a supportive partner (Kathlee is an artist, hospice counsellor, soul-mate), a glorious daughter, (Chelah Phoebe Horsdal, actor, www.chelah.com), two vibrant sons, (Theo Koumontaros Horsdal, IT buyer for a major Western Canadian retail chain, and Yani Koumontaros Christie, music-variety promoter); I am a really lucky man."