Dan has been active in a number of creative fields during the past forty years. . .
in areas as diverse as biology, publishing, teaching, educational program design,
community development, music and arts management, writing and editing.
After completing research on flatworms that live inside sea urchins, he received a BA in Biology from Reed College (Portland, Oregon). He pursued graduate study in zoology at the University of California's Berkeley campus before moving to Vancouver, British Columbia, where he worked as Consulting Ecologist for two regional districts, advising on development and protection of natural ecosystems.
As founding editor of the The British Columbia Access Catalogue, he drew together a team to publish a regional non-fiction best-seller. Three editions of BC Access were published, documenting resources for independent living and learning in Western Canada. He founded the First Person Press, and published O Children of the World, by New Zealand author and educator Sylvia Ashton Warner. He was editor of Potentialities, the newsletter of the Faculty of Education of Simon Fraser University (Burnaby, BC)He edited and published The Dill Pickle Rag, a Journal of Music and Celebration, for the Gary Lansdown Society for Local Music. While teaching on Lasqueti Island, he founded, edited and published The Lasqueti Gumboot, a community newsletter. More recently, he is the publisher of three new books: Tanglecove: 30 New Canadian Fiddle Tunes; Pouch Cove, Our Home by the Sea and his first novel A Fire on the Sea.
In 1974, Dan completed certification as an elementary teacher in the Professional Development Programme at Simon Fraser University. He taught in three B.C. school districts, working with students from Grades 3-8 in rural settings in School Districts 52, 47 and 69. He developed a number of succesful integrated programs that combined subjects in innovative ways.
His thesis for an M.A. in Curriculum Studies at the Unversity of Victoria, in 1989 was nominated for the Governor General's award. He was contracted by the Greater Victoria School District, to develop The Panorama Program an integrated curriculum for Grades 8/9. He worked with native elders to develop a curriculum, Q'uwutsun Syuw'entst, about Salish language and cultural traditions. He developed curriculum plans and materials for the Ministries of Education, Environment and Forestry in B.C. He coordinated a program review for the Aboriginal Education Branch for the BC Ministry of Education. As Sm'algyax Language Curriculum Developer, he developed a program that has taught the Tsimshian language to thousands of students. He was Principal of False Bay School, School District 69 (Parksville-Qualicum, BC), where he developed innovative programs. While there, he founded an island internet society, offering community-based secondary education to young people and adults in a rural community. He received a Certificate of Merit from Prime Minister Chretien for his innovative work in rural schools and First Nations education. After a final year in education as Principal of the Deer Island Community School, he retired from teaching in 2002.
Since the 1970s he has worked continually to strengthen the voice of communities by founding, leading and serving on the boards of various non-profit organizations. At different times, he has served as President of the Lasqueti Community Association and Vice President of the Lasqueti C0mmunity Internet Society, he founded and led the Gary Lansdown Society for Local Music (Vancouver), advised on the development of the Vancouver Folk Festival, helped form the Interisland Alliance (a federation of Gulf Island communities in British Columbia), established the Spirit of the Islands Cultural Society which presented a wide range of cultural programs in Victoria, BC, he was a founder and Vice Chair of the South Jubilee Neighbourhood Association (Victoria), Founding Chair of the Pouch Cove Heritage Society, and at various times has served as President of two Locals of the American Federation of Musicians (Local 247, Victoria and the Islands and Local 820, Newfoundland and Labrador) and has served as a Secretary and Vice President of the Writers' Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador. Most recently, as part of his growing interest in food security and gardening, he helped establish Deborah's Garden, a Pouch Cove Neighbourhood Initiative Inc., a community garden in Pouch Cove, Newfoundland.
Dan has been part of the Canadian music scene, as a performer, composer, songwriter, instrumentalist, producer and concert presenter.
His musical career over the past forty years has included performances with the Spaghetti Island Stringband (1976-77); performing, touring and recording with the folk fusion quartet Flying Mountain (1977-79); solo performances and recordings (1980-1986) under his own name and as Rubin Dan and the Giant Clams; performing and recording with the world music trio New Earth (1986-1992); performing and recording with Prince Rupert songwriter Lachlan Clement (1995-98); performing with the duo One Blue Heron (1992-1999); performing and recording with the Newfoundland Celtic trio Atlantic Union (2002-now); performing with the jazz fusion trio Night Kitchen (2007-2008) and most recently performing, touring and recording along with well known Newfoundland musician Dave Panting in the acoustic duo Tanglecove (2004-the present).
During this time he has composed orchestral works, chamber music and more than 250 songs. He has written music for theatre, radio, television and film. He continues to find inspiration in the traditions of world music, folk music, blues, jazz and classical composers.
A list of his recordings would include two albums with Flying Mountain (Earth and Sky, 1977 and Mountain's Dream, 1979); two solo albums, Solitudes (1980) and Magic Garden (1986); the album New Earth: World Music from Canada's West Coast (1991) which led to an invitation to perform at the World's Fair in Seville in 1992; a recording of Newfoundland melodies on Celtic harp, Weaving the Wind, which he produced for harpist Ed Kavanagh (2005); two albums recorded with the Celtic trio Atlantic Union (The Whole Dance, 2005 and Homeward, 2016) and two albums by Tanglecove (Tanglecove: 30 New Canadian Fiddle Tunes, 2013 and Facing the Flame, 2015). He has contributed tracks on violin, viola, guitar, bouzouki, mandolin and other instruments and string arrangements for more than a dozen albums by Canadian and American artists Pat Hernon, Doug Cho, Kate Wolf, Ernie Cruz Sr., Ariel Rubin, John Cossar and Ashley Fayth.
Since arriving in Newfoundland in 2002, he has been active as a manager, promoter, publicist and concert presenter, supporting other musicians as photographer, manager and by organizing tours, presenting a concert series in St. John's and assisting musicians in the studio and in touring and performing across Canada. He is managing director of Second Stage Creative Arts and he runs a digital recording studio, Spirit of the Islands, and a record label, Blue Island Records.
Beginning in 2012 with the founding of his heritage seed company, Perfectly Perennial Herbs and Seeds, Dan has been deeply involved in projects to expand and support provincial food security, by developing food production at the community level. He has led the Earth Sheltered Greenhouse project, with outreach sites across Newfoundland and Labrador, as Chairperson of Food Producers Forum, a provincial non-profit society.
WRITING & EDITING
Dan's writing has appeared in sox books, and in academic journals, newspapers and magazines, and collections of poetry and anthologies.
1968 Professor's Theses on Elephant Feces, an article published in the Reed College Quest
1971-73 More than twenty articles on various subjects written for the British Columbia Access Catalogue
1974 Articles written for Potentialities: the Journal of the Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University
1976-77 Publshing, editing and writing articles and reviews for The Dill Pickle Rag, A Journal of Music and Celebration, Vancouver, BC
1981-85 Articles and reviews published in The Lasqueti Gumboot, Lasqueti Island, BC
1989 From the Inside Out: Curriculum Development at the Local Level, an MA thesis nominated for Governor General's award by
the Faculty of Education, University of Victoria
1991 Quw'ustun Syuw'entst Salish Cultural Curriculum, Cowichan Tribes, Duncan, BC
1996 Salt on the Wind: The Sailing Life of Allen and Sharie Farrell (Horsdal & Schubart, Victoria BC)
A short story, The Burn, awarded First Place for Short Fiction from the BC Arts Council; this story was published in OnSpec
Magazine and broadcast on CBC radio
1996-99 Articles about the Farrells were published in Pacific Yachting, Classic Boat, Western Mariner and Resolution, Journal of the
Maritime Museum of British Columbia
1997 Article, Language Initiatives in Tsimshian Territory published in Raven's Eye, Edmonton AB
1999 Sm’algyax Language Renewal: Prospects and Options in Revitalizing Indigenous Languages (Northern Arizona University press)
2004 Poem, Bones and Blood, awarded first place in the Mattia International Poetry Competition
2005 A short story, The Singing, published in Tesseracts Nine, an anthology of Canadian speculative fiction, was later produced for
Between the Covers on CBC radio.
2007 Article, Sounding Out St. John's published in Songlines Magazine (London, UK)
2013 Author, editor and publisher of the book Tanglecove: 30 New Canadian Fiddle Tunes (First Person Press)
Short story Flotsam published in The Island Review; poem After the Orchestra published in Issue Two of Landwash Magazine
2014 Editor, publisher and lead author of the local history Pouch Cove: Our Home by the Sea (First Person Press)
A series of articles on gardening was published in Rural Delivery magazine
Author of A Fire on the Sea, a first novel (First Person Press)
2023 Sun, Seed & Soil: Tips and Techniques from a Northern Garden published by Boulder Publications, Portugal Cove NL
Dan Rubin is the author of sixteen original plays, and is working on three novels, a short story collection and completing research for several non-fiction books.