Brian’s career has had three distinct phases:
The common thread across all three phases of his career is his passion for creativity.
Today, Brian is a writer exploring the liminal frontiers of experience with the purpose of finding creative ways to navigate personal hardship, adversity, vulnerability, uncertainty, and mystery.
1. Music: A Passion for Creativity
Brian’s interest in music originated as a piano student of the Royal Conservatory of Music. His second instrument was the trumpet and he enjoyed performing with orchestras, jazz ensembles, and Dixieland bands. He played trumpet for The Mississauga Big Band Jazz Ensemble for several years.
Brian holds an Honours Bachelor of Music (1983) from McMaster University with a specialty in music composition and arranging. He also studied and performed concert piano repertoire.
Master of Fine Arts – Ethnomusicology(1985) degree from York University. His main interest during this time was the cultural context and creative elements of blues piano.
Finally, Brian holds a Bachelor of Education (1986) from the University of Toronto. The intersection of creativity and learning was his primary focus throughout his career in education.
2. Educator: Thinking Skills, Learning Styles, and Creativity
From 1986-1997, Brian enjoyed a career as an educator. For his creative application of MIDI technology in music education, he was awarded the Marshall McLuhan Distinguished Teacher Award and the Bernice Adams Award.
- New Age Learning Model drives Toronto elementary school production of “Virtual Community” CD-ROM, Graphic Exchange, Fourth Anniversary Issue 1995 (Download PDF of New Age Learning Model);
- The Virtual Classroom, Redefining Learning Beyond the Four Walls, Computing Now, November 1993. (Download PDF of The Virtual Classroom)
In 1994 and 1995, Brian was a Honorary Fellow of Scotch College in Melbourne, Australia. He was also a speaker and workshop leader for the Apple Distinguished Educator’s Program. Throughout his career in education, Brian was a sought after speaker, workshop leader, and consultant in Canada, the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand.
3. Entrepreneur: Education and Business
a. Educational Consulting Business
In 1997, Brian left public education to become an entrepreneur and start an educational consulting business. His clients included Apple Computer, The Canadian Film Center, The Learning Partnership, and the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology.
In 1999, Brian accepted a position as a Director with KPMG Consulting Canada. His work focused on the design, implementation,and management of an innovative educational project in Madeira, Portugal. The program was grounded in the principles of Connected Intelligence, and its purpose was to stimulate the local culture, economy, and educational system of the island.
Upon completion of this project, Brian authored a book called, “The Experience Designer: Learning, Networks and the Cybersphere.”
b. Entrepreneur: Financial Services
After the Dotcom crash (2000-2002), Brian pursued a different entrepreneurial path and became a Financial Management Advisor (FMA) as well as a Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute (FCSI).
During this time, Brian relocated to Barrie Ontario in order to live closer to his elderly parents, who were beginning to experience the challenges of aging. The experience of providing care for his parents during the final years of their lives was profoundly transformative and led to a new consciousness of life. In 2011, he completed the Certified Professional Consultant on Aging (CPCA) designation.
Most of his fourteen-year career as an investment manager was in partnership with Raymond James Ltd. In 2015, Brian decided to sell his financial services business in order to pursue a new phase of life (LinkedIn: Brian Alger)
A New Phase of Life
Now firmly entrenched in the second-half of life, Brian is harvesting his passion for creativity, learning, and entrepreneurship. A life review revealed that the idea of the liminal frontiers of experience was a powerful source of motivation for his work as a writer and web content producer.
He is also learning how to plays blues piano, after a thirty-year break from playing. He enjoys live music performances and enjoys attending the Mariposa Folk Festival, Black History Month, and well as live music performances with his wife in the Orillia area.
Brian also enjoys listening to TED Talks and learning about interesting people who have creative approaches to living a life worth living, becoming more fully human, and living in a way that is good for self and others at the same time.
Brian currently enjoys living in Oro-Medonte, Ontario.