Paul Vienneau had a 30+ year career as a musician, playing, recording, and touring as a bassist with many artists, award-winning and not, most of it from a wheelchair folling a serious injury in August 1991. It was a good life.
He found his ‘true calling’ at the bottom of a saltbrine and cigarette-filled ice puddle on Spring Garden Road in January of 2015. Seeing a need and a space for himself, he began shoveling and breaking ice on the curbcuts and corners and crosswalks in his neighbourhood.
That day he became The Asshole With A Shovel, made local and national news, and found that by deciding to not react to hardship with rage that his life was transformed.
Groups such as Halifax’s Cycling Coalition, Halifax Transit, Public Works, and the Bill 59 Community Coalition, and The Oavillion all-ages music venue are some examples of groups Paul has worked with, or is currently working with to enact change in his brand of small-p politics, where collaboration and one on one consultation has replaced writing angry emails.
Paul is the current winner of the James McGregor Stewart Award, was a member of a NS Human Rights Award winning group this year, and has a couple bronze/silvers in The Coast Best Of awards.
His favourite “awards” are when he hears something he has worked on has helped someone be able to enjoy their life a little more fully.
Paul is playing bass guitar in his punk band 1977 these days, hands out bottles of water on Spring Garden on hot days, and lives across from The Public Gardens with his cat, Soba, who is a bit of an asshole herself.