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Journalism grad gives voice to female artists

As lead vocalist of Calgary band The Shiverettes, Muir appreciates the feminist punk genre as a space for creative expression.

Hayley Muir would have been stoked if someone had told her younger self that that she would grow up to be an advocate for women in the arts.

As a teenager, Muir attended many concerts and festivals, but seldom saw women making music.

"If my fifteen-year-old, depressed, sad, lost, self, had been able to look on stage and been like, ‘Oh hey, she can do that, she's rocking out,' I'd have thought I could do that, too," she says.

"That's why representation is super important. The ripple effect is ridiculous."

Making waves

Now, at 29, Muir is driven to make waves for women, especially as host of two Calgary radio shows, CKUA's The Spot and CJSW's Dixie Fried.

As the writer and researcher for both shows, Muir works to keep her playlists gender-balanced, and often features content that celebrates diversity in the arts.

"I try to represent for women and speak up, take up space and be loud about it," says Muir. "For some reason, people listen to the things I say, so I try not to take that for granted."

As lead vocalist of The Shiverettes, Muir appreciates the feminist punk genre as a space for creative expression. Their latest album, Dead Men Can't Cat Call, was released on March 31 this year.

"Music is huge and influential, and it has been forever. It's often an outlet for under-represented, marginalized and suppressed folks to get it out and take up space, be loud about it and not hold back."

A series of fortunate events

Muir's interests in photography and writing drew her to SAIT's Journalism program after high school.

"It was really interesting to explore things that I'm passionate about. I got to know myself pretty well with the freedom of the program."

After graduating from SAIT in 2008, Muir started a bachelor's of education at the University of Calgary. She got a student job at the campus radio station, CJSW and right away knew she had found her place.

"I guess I just really liked radio, which I didn't really expect," says Muir.

She quit her degree to work full-time for the station as an office and volunteer coordinator.

Muir left radio briefly to work at the Calgary Sun as a layout designer but returned after two years to host Dixie Fried at CJSW. The success of her show drew the attention of CKUA who then hired her on as host of The Spot.

"This is where I'm supposed to be, and I feel pretty lucky that I found it — or that it found me."

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