About the project


A Canadian Community Stands up against WAL-MART

In 1995, Wal-Mart announced plans to build a 135,000 sq. ft. mega store on the rural northern boundary of the City of Guelph - between two historic cemeteries and the century-old Ignatius Jesuit retreat centre and organic farm. Wal-Mart's application, which would open the way for a mammoth big-box power centre, did not conform to the city's official plan and was refused. Rather than cooperating with the community and choosing a properly zoned commercial site, Wal-Mart unleashed a ten-year legal siege that has cost local taxpayers and supporters over $1,000,000.00. This is a David and Goliath battle of corporation against community, consumerism against religion, asphalt against orchards.

In 2004, Guelph city council succumbed to the pressure, reversed its position, and is now spending taxpayers' dollars on a lawyer to support Wal-Mart's plans. The group Residents for Sustainable Development, supported by thousands of Guelph citizens, is now the only official opposition. RSD faces an oppressive financial burden as it works to protect Guelph and its sacred spaces against this continued onslaught by the world's richest corporation.

To raise funds and awareness - and express the support of Guelph's rich musical community - I decided to produce this CD. It consists of the newly recorded title track and a compilation of songs by participating local artists, chosen for their relevance to the issue and matters of social justice.

The title track, "Not There," was written as a vehicle for many voices. Here, twelve different artists express my lyrics in their own unique way. I am honoured that they have given their time and talents to this song and this benefit compilation. I am also honoured to contribute to this precedent-setting effort in community self-determination, and emotional, spiritual, and environmental protection.

Sam Turton


Thanks to everyone in RSD for standing up and taking action for our community; to the artists from the Guelph community for giving your time, talent, and songs; to Julia Phillips for allowing "Not There" in your home day and night; to Clare McNaul and Blain Bovee for accepting the music upstairs! Special thanks to Ken Brown for your musical intelligence and constant dedication.


Recording engineer: Ken Brown
Mastering: Andy Krehm, Silverbirch Productions
Manufacturing: Silverbirch Productions, Toronto, Canada - thanks for your support
Song selection: Nick Taylor, Chris Jess, Sam Turton
Graphic design and art production: Sam Turton
Concept photography: Trina Koster
Cover images: Emma O'Connor at the Ignatius Jesuit Centre; regional big box area
Not There CD website: Sandy Walsh of VinylTangerine


Artist photos
Ken Brown by Jake Willis
James Gordon, Sandy Horne by Trina Koster
House of Velvet by Teresa Blanking
Jane Lewis by Ron Fast
Norman Liota by Aeon Taylor
Heather MacRae, Sam Turton by Jane Lewis
Jim Slansky by Paul Miller
Tannis Slimmon by Dean Palmer
Jesse Stewart by Michele McMillan
Dave Teichroeb by Daniel Burge
Jesse Turton and Drew McIvor by Sam Turton
Well Charged and Winston Cole by Hemant Naidu

Made in Guelph
Made in Canada

Produced by Sam Turton


site by sandy @ vinyltangerine