The Red Berets

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A group of “socialist feminist women who like to sing” came together to form the Red Berets in Toronto in 1981. Their first gig was at the International Women’s Day rally held at City Hall on Saturday, March 7, 1981 and their opening song was “Bread and Roses.”

The Red Berets sang regularly at benefits, rallies, demonstrations and picket lines in and around Toronto from 1981 to 1988. Singing feminist songs as well as traditional songs of solidarity and struggle, the Red Berets also wrote their own songs or rewrote lyrics to highlight current issues. A Red Berets pamphlet from the early years says:

“We are a grassroots singing group dedicated to making music accessible by encouraging audience participation….While we sing about a wide diversity of social issues – workers’ rights, disarmament, anti-intervention, anti-racism, choice on abortion and sexual orientation – our emphasis is on integrating these issues with concerns of the women’s movement.”

The Red Berets perform at Convocation Hall, University of Toronto on International Women's Day, March 8, 1986.
The Red Berets perform at Convocation Hall, University of Toronto on International Women’s Day. March 8, 1986.

Participation in the group was open, and numbers rose and fell over the years, but the group maintained a core of about twelve singers.

The group resurfaced in 2002 and 2005 to sing at labour history conferences and in May 2014 to be themselves in the play, Life on the Line: Women Strike at Eaton’s 1984-85, by Pat McDermott. The Red Berets still sing together in protest from time to time. Eight Red Berets gathered to sing with others at the Toronto Harperman Singalong (“Harperman, it’s time for you to go!”) on September 17, 2015.

The information on the Red Berets pages has been compiled from members’ collective memories, diaries, songbooks, and other records. Apologies for any errors.

Liz Martin
Jane Springer
Helena Wehrstein

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The Red Berets costume always included a red beret - sometimes a logo t-shirt too
The Red Berets costume always included a red beret – sometimes a logo t-shirt too

Read on to learn more about The Red Berets:

  • Recordings
  • Songlist & Lyrics
  • Gigs
  • Publicity
  • Group Dynamics
  • Singers
  • Photos

You can download the Red Berets Archive as a complete package, including photos and links to Related Materials.

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Recordings

Recordings of the following songs are posted in the Culture/Music section of this website and can also be directly accessed through the links to Related Materials below.

These are not professional recordings. They were originally made for rehearsal purposes, and are included to give a sense of the Red Berets’ sound and the kinds of songs they sang.

  • A Si Katali – Traditional Zulu, written on ANC picket lines
  • Fight Back – Holly Near 1978, with permission
  • Gonna Rise – Susan Howlett (Red Berets)
  • It’s My Body Medley – Based on three Leslie Gore songs, lyrics rewritten by Andrea Knight and other Red Berets
  • Moving Mountains – Arlene Mantle 1981, with permission, lyrics adapted by Red Berets
  • Oh Come All Ye Shoppers – Traditional, lyrics rewritten by Red Berets
  • Old Woman – Michal Brody (formerly Michelle) 1973, with permission, lyrics adapted by unknown person
  • Union Maid – Kerry Mills (Red Wing), lyrics adapted by Woodie Guthrie (1961) and Nancy Katz (third verse)
  • We Will Not Be Denied – Jan Hillegas 1982, with permission, lyrics adapted by Andrea Knight (Red Berets)
  • Women Walk More Determined – Kristin Lems 1983, with permission

Songlist and Lyrics

The Red Berets sang many traditional songs, and often modified the words to reflect a socialist feminist perspective or rewrote them to fit a specific occasion. Imagine the joy in replacing the first few lines of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman” with “Arise ye proletariat, let nothing you dismay/We all could buy more presents if we all got better pay”!

The group developed a number of so-called “zipper songs,” songs that were adapted again and again to suit specific events. The Red Berets’ favourite “zipper songs” included Arlene Mantle’s “Moving Mountains,” Holly Near’s “Singing for Our Lives,” and the traditional African-American song, “Oh Freedom.”

The Red Berets’ full songlist is below. Download a booklet of Selected Lyrics (marked *).

  • A Si Katali* – traditional Zulu, written on ANC picket lines
  • Apartheid No – Carole Rose Livingston 1983
  • Arise Ye Merry Comradestraditional, adapted by Red Berets
  • Bella Ciao*traditional Italian folksong, adapted by Italian Partisans
  • Boys Will Be Boys
  • Bread and Roses*Mimi Farina 1974, poem by James Oppenheim 1915, adapted by Red Berets
  • Carry It OnGil Turner
  • Cruise Blues*Susan Howlett (Red Berets) 1984
  • Cuanto TrabajoGloria Martin
  • Deck the Hallstraditional, adapted by Red Berets
  • Default Is the Fault of the IMFBob Carty 1984
  • Die Gedanken Sind Freitraditional, adapted by Arthur Kevess
  • El Pueblo UnidoSergio Ortega ca.1973, lyrics by Quilapayún
  • Fifties Sound*- Kristin Lems 1983
  • Fight Back*- Holly Near 1978
  • For All Women in Struggle* – Kristin Lems 1979
  • Free Trade Song (Ca-na-da) – Bobby Gimby 1967, lyrics adapted by unknown author
  • Freedom VoicesPatty Huntington
  • Gonna Rise*Susan Howlett (Red Berets) 1984
  • Harriet TubmanWalter Robinson 1980
  • Hay Una Mujer Desaparecida*Holly Near 1978
  • Hold On WomenFrank Lynch
  • Housewife’s LamentAnonymous, mid-19th century from Sara A. Price’s diary
  • Hymn of Sandinista UnityCarlos Mejia Godoy
  • If You Miss Me at the Back of the Bus (Oh Mary Don’t You Weep)* – traditional, adapted by Charles Neblett 1962, and others
  • I’m a Friend of the FoetusCarole Rose Livingston 1982
  • In Contempt* – traditional folksong, adapted by Aaron Kramer and Betty Sanders 1950, to protest US House Committee on Un-American Activities
  • International, ThePierre De Geyter 1888, lyrics from poem by Eugène Pottier 1871
  • It’s My Body Medley*Based on three songs by Leslie Gore, adapted by Red Berets
  • Jingle Bells*traditional, adapted by Red Berets
  • Joy to the World*traditional, adapted by Red Berets
  • Limpopo Human Condition
  • Look to the PeopleRuth Pelham 1982, adapted by Red Berets – zipper song
  • Love Me, I’m a Liberal*Phil Ochs 1966, updated by many singers over the years, including Andrea Knight (Red Berets)
  • MacGregor Don’t Allow No Striking Around Here
  • March On
  • Mayn Rue Platztraditional, adapted by Morris Rosenfeld 1911
  • More than a Paycheque M. Barnwell (Sweet Honey in the Rock) 1981
  • Moving Mountains* – Arlene Mantle 1981 – zipper song
  • Nicaragua
  • Nine to Five – Dolly Parton 1980
  • No a la Intervencion*Sabia, a nueva cancion group in the 1980s
  • No More – David Paul 1982
  • No More Shit (Ain’t She Sweet?)* – Milton Ager 1927, adapted by Chris Mills (Red Berets)
  • Oh Come All Ye Shoppers* – traditional, adapted by Red Berets
  • Oh Freedom*Post-Civil War African-American song, adapted by Red Berets – zipper song
  • Old Woman Michal Brody (formerly Michelle) 1973, unknown adaptation
  • On Children – Sweet Honey in the Rock, poem by Kahlil Gibran
  • Onwards Eaton’s Workers* – traditional, adapted by Red Berets
  • Pa DondeIxim Wanima
  • Punch It In (Breaking Up Is Hard to Do) – Howard Greenfield and Neil Sedaka, adapted by Julie McCall
  • Same Boat NowBetsy Rose 1983
  • Shameless Hussies (I Wish I Was in Dixie) – Dan D. Emmett, unknown adaptation
  • Shnel Loifu Di Reder
  • Silent Night*traditional, adapted by Red Berets
  • Singing for Our Lives* – Holly Near 1979, adapted by Red Berets – zipper song
  • Smash the Right* – Arlene Mantle 1982, from a collective song-writing session facilitated by Arlene Mantle
  • Smash the Right* – Red Berets 1981
  • So Let the Union In
  • Solidarity Forever (Battle Hymn of the Republic) – Ralph Chaplin 1915, and others
  • Stand Up, Oh Eaton’s Workers* – traditional, adapted by Red Berets
  • Step By Step – traditional, arranged by John McCutcheon
  • Still Ain’t Satisfied – Bonnie Lockhart 1974
  • Superwoman* – Cathy Miller (the Singing Quilter) 1982
  • Swing Low, Sweet Paddy Wagon (Swing Low, Sweet Chariot)* – traditional, adapted by Red Berets
  • Testimony Ferron 1980 (for This Movie Is About Rape)
  • There Was a Young Woman Who Swallowed a Lie – Alan Mills 1952, adapted by Meredith Tax 1970
  • Twelve Days of Christmas, The*traditional, adapted by Andrea Knight (Red Berets)
  • Two Good Arms – Charlie King 1978
  • Union Maid (Red Wing) – Kerry Mills 1907, adapted by Woodie Guthrie 1961; Nancy Katz (third verse) 1973
  • We Have a Little Problem (The Dreidel Song)* – traditional, adapted by Red Berets
  • We Shall Not Be Moved* – African-American spiritual, adapted by Red Berets – zipper song
  • We Will Not Be Denied*Jan Hillegas 1982, adapted by Andrea Knight (Red Berets)
  • We Won’t Go Back* – Chris Mills (Red Berets) 1983
  • What Shall We Do (Drunken Sailor)* – traditional sea shanty, adapted by Red Berets
  • Which Side Are You On (Lay the Lily Low) – traditional, adapted by Florence Reece 1946
  • Who Gave You the Right – Bob Carty
  • Whole World, The – traditional, adapted by Red Berets
  • Will the Circle Be Unbroken – Charles H. Gabriel and Ada R. Habershon – zipper song
  • Woman I Am
  • Woman Time A Come
  • Women Walk More Determined* – Kristin Lems 1983, adapted by Red Berets
  • Working Girl Blues – Hazel Dickens 1986

Red Beret Gigs

The following list of performances was put together from songbooks, diaries, and agendas – members’ copies of the Women’s Press Everywoman’s Almanac were indispensable in the research.

Date Event Songs
1981
March 7 International Women’s Day (IWD) Rally – 11 am (practice at 9:30), Toronto City Hall and Harbord Collegiate Bread and Roses
May 10 Mother’s Day Pro-Choice Rally – 12:30 pm, College and University
May 13 Domitilia Barrios de Chungara, Bolivian Woman Speaker – Settlement House
May 31 Riverdale Action Committee Against Racism (RACAR) – 1:30 pm, Greenwood Park
June 20 El Salvador Demo – 11 for noon, Queen’s Park
June 28 Gay Pride Day  – 3 pm, Grange Park
Sept 26 Gays and Lesbians Against the Right Everywhere (GLARE) – 1-3 pm, Yonge and Eglinton,  NW corner Moving Mountains, In Contempt, Gentle Angry People, Love Me I’m a Liberal, Still Ain’t Satisfied, What Shall We Do
Oct 8 Irwin Toy Picket Line  – 7 am, Etobicoke
Oct16 Action Daycare Rally – 5:15 pm
1982
Feb 6 Marxist Institute Party – International Students Centre
March 6 IWD Rally, March and Fair – City Hall, Toronto March: Which Side Are You On, Oh Freedom, Bella Ciao, Internationale, Still Ain’t Satisfied, Hay Una Mujer, 9 to 5, Moving Mountains, Bread and Roses.
Fair: Will the Circle Be Unbroken, There Was a Young Woman, Testimony, Woman-time A Come, Solidarity
April 1 Canadian Union of Educational Workers (CUEW) Rally – OISE
April 6 Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) Rally – Metro Labour Council 4:30  pm, King/Bay TD Centre
April 13 Anti-Cruise Missile – Bloor Street United Church
April 15 OFL Solidarity Picket – 6 pm
May 1 Fight the Right Demo – 11:30 am, Harbord Collegiate Which Side Are You On, Still Ain’t Satisfied, Bella Ciao, Love Me I’m a Liberal, Internationale, Fight the Right
May 16 Control of Our Bodies March – 12:45 pm, North side of Queen’s Park
June 27 Gay Pride Day – 3 pm No More
Sept 15 Ontario Nurses Association (ONA) – Steelworkers Hall, Cecil Street Which Side Are You On, Solidarity Forever, Moving Mountains, Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Hold On Women, Working Girl Blues, Union Maid
Nov 6 Women’s Press Book Launch of Still Ain’t Satisfied – 7:30-9 pm, Cecil Street Community Centre Still Ain’t Satisfied, Hold On Women, Teen Angel, Testimony, Bread and Roses
Nov 18 Morgentaler Event – Practice started at 7:45 pm, OISE In Contempt, We Shall Not Be Moved, Moving Mountains, What Shall We Do, Still Ain’t Satisfied, Bread and Roses
Nov 21 Launch of Laura Sky Film, Good Monday Morning – Science Centre Union Maid, Which Side Are You On, Solidarity Forever
Nov 29 Miniskool Picket Line – Mississauga Cawthra Road, just north of Dundas
1983
March 5 IWD Rally Convocation Hall – University of Toronto Intro: In Contempt, Internationale, Hay Una Mujer, Bella Ciao, Hold On Women, Back of the Bus.
Main Set: For All Women in Struggle, Nicaragua, Fight Back, Teen Angel, Women Walk More Determined, Bread and Roses
April 23 Against Cruise Testing (ACT) Demo – Practice at 12:45 pm for 1 pm Queen’s Park Oh Freedom, Down by the Riverside, Moving Mountains, Gentle Angry People, What Shall We Do, We Shall Not Be Moved, Will the Circle Be Unbroken
May 5 New Trojan Horse Café Opening
May 8 Mother’s Day Midwife Demo – 1 pm
June 22 Abortion Rally – 7 pm, City Hall
June 26 Gay Pride Day
July 1 New Trojan Horse Café Benefit
Sept 29 Abortion Meeting – 8 pm, International Student Centre In Contempt, Bread and Roses, I’m a Friend of the Foetus, We Won’t Go Back, Testimony
Oct 1 Pro-Choice Rally – 1 pm, City Hall Fight Back, Swing Low, We Won’t Go Back
Oct 20 Cheryl Walker, Women in South Africa, TCLSAC – 7:30 pm, International Student  Centre
Oct 21 Book Launch – Steelworkers Hall, Cecil Street Bread and Roses, Hold On Women, Which Side Are You On, Union Maid
Nov 19 Arlene Mantle’s On the Line: Songs for Social Change Book Launch – 7 pm, Steelworkers Hall, Cecil Street Moving Mountains, Still Ain’t Satisfied, Teen Angel, A Si Katali
Dec 9 Women’s Vigil for Nicaragua – 5:30-7:30 pm, US Consulate Singing for Our Lives, Nicaragua, Hay Una Mujer, Moving Mountains, A Si Katali, We Shall Overcome, Oh Freedom, Carry It On, Internationale, Still Ain’t Satisfied, Bella Ciao
1984
Feb 4 Marxist Institute  – 8:30 for 9:00 pm Internationale, For All Women in Struggle, Bella Cao, Still Ain’t Satisfied, Oh Freedom, Women Walk More Determined
March 10 IWD – OISE Harriet Tubman, We Won’t Go Back, Punch It In, Gonna Rise, Bread and Roses, Women Walk More Determined, Carry it On, Cruise Blues, A Si Katali, We Will Not Be Denied, Still Ain’t Satisfied
May 4 Trojan Horse A Si Katali, Cruise Blues, Harriet Tubman, Punch It In, Fight Back
May 13 Ontario Coalition of Abortion Clinics  (OCAC) Mother’s Day Picnic – 12-3 pm, Queen’s Park
July 20 OCAC Rally – Morgentaler Clinic
Oct 15 York University Support Staff Picket Line
Oct 17 Library Picket
Nov 16 African National Congress (ANC) Women’s Conference – 7:30 pm, OISE
Nov 29 Library Workers’ Benefit – 8 pm, OISE
Dec 15 Eaton’s Strike Support  – 10 am, Yonge and Dundas picket line
Dec 22 Eaton’s Picket Line
1985
Feb 2 Eaton’s Strike Rally
Feb 18 Cafe Sandino – 7 pm, Trojan Horse Women Walk More Determined, Hay Una Mujer, Nicaragua, Cuanto Trabajo
March 2 Eaton’s Picket Line – 11 am Which Side Are You On, Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Oh Freedom, Union Maid, Solidarity Forever, Women Walk More Determined, We Shall Not Be Moved, Bread and Roses
March 9 IWD – Convocation Hall – University of Toronto Old Woman, Limpopo, More Than a Paycheque, Same Boat Now, Cuanto Trabajo, Still Ain’t Satisfied, Bread and Roses
March 21 Emily Stowe Benefit – 8:30 pm, Trojan Horse Women Walk More Determined, More Than a Paycheque, Old Woman, Superwoman, Same Boat, Gentle Angry People, Fight Back
March 28 Picket at T. Eaton’s House
May 11 Ontario Working Women (OWW) – 7 pm, Jorgenson Hall, Ryerson
Nov 5 Public Research Group (PRG) – DEC Hall
Dec 14 Visa Strike
1986
Jan 31 Trojan Horse  – 9 pm
Feb 16 Visa Workers’ Benefit – 3:25 pm, A Space
Feb 18 The Power of Music: Singing for Social Change – 8:30 pm, York University Women Walk More Determined, Moving Mountains, Punch It In, Limpopo, Harriet Tubman, No A La Intervencion, On Children, Old Woman, It’s My Body Medley, Bread and Roses
March 8 IWD – Convocation Hall, University of Toronto No A La Intervencion, Limpopo, Whole World, Bread and Roses
May 3 Socialist Network Party – 7 pm, The Battery Whole World, No A La Intervencion, On Children, It’s My Body Medley, Which Side Are You On
Oct 2 Morgentaler Rally – District Courthouse, 361 University Ave. You Don’t Own Me, What Shall We Do, Swing Low, A Si Katali, Gentle Angry People
Nov 14 Women’s Press Book Launch – 6 pm, Canadian Hearing Society On Children, Old Woman, Look to the People
Nov 22 Rape Crisis and the Y: Workshop on Violence Against Women  – 9:30 pm, Adult Learning Centre Fight Back, Old Woman, Women Walk More Determined, Look to the People
Nov 29 Sheila Rowbotham Talk  – Stanford Fleming Building Bread and Roses, A Si Katali, Moving Mountains, Look to the People
1987
Feb 24 Women’s Studies Class – 8:30 pm, York University Punch It In, For All Women in Struggle, Women Walk More Determined, It’s My Body Medley, Hay Una Mujer, A Si Katali, Old Woman, On Children, What Shall We Do, Swing Low, O Come All Ye Shoppers, Harriet Tubman, Bread and Roses
March 7 Homeless Women’s Breakfast  – Community Centre Women Walk More Determined, Old Woman, What Shall We Do, Bread and Roses
March 7 IWD – Ryerson Fair Punch It In, A Si Katali, 9 to 5, Harriet Tubman, Shameless Hussies
April 25 Against Cruise Testing (ACT) Demo – Queen’s Park Will the Circle Be Unbroken, A Si Katali, Oh Freedom, Old Woman
May 30 Arms Around Queen’s Park Daycare Rally – 1 pm, Queen’s Park (9:45 am sound check) Old Woman, Moving Mountains, On Children, Bread and Roses, Women Walk More Determined, A Si Katali, Shameless Hussies
May 30 Greenham Common Benefit – 7 pm, Hamilton (Women Folk) Punch It In, For All Women in Struggle, It’s My Body Medley, A Si Katali, Old Woman, Shameless Hussies
June 11 Opportunities for Advancement Benefit – 7 pm, 427 Bloor St. W. Punch It In, For All Women in Struggle, Women Walk More Determined, Harriet Tubman, Daycare Equal Pay
June 24 Education Wife Assault – General Meeting 7:30 pm 427 Bloor St. W Punch It In, Bread and Roses, It’s My Body  Medley, A Si Katali, Old Woman, Shameless Hussies
1988
Feb 28 OFL Women’s Caucus Brunch – 12 pm – 3 pm Steelworkers Hall, Cecil St. Step by Step, It’s My Body Medley, More Than a Paycheque, Free Trade, Bread and Roses
March 5 IWD Convocation Hall Old Woman, It’s My Body Medley, Shameless  Hussies, A Si Katali, Bread and Roses
2002
May 26 Labour History Conference (Learneds) – Labour History Museum, Hamilton Which Side Are You On, Union Maid, Internationale, Silent Night, Oh Come All Ye Shoppers, A Si Katali, Hay Una Mujer, Bella Ciao, Harriet Tubman, Old Woman, Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Bread and Roses, Solidarity Forever
Sept 21 Benefit for Striking Guatemalan Electrical Workers – Labour History Museum, Hamilton Which Side Are You On, A Si Katali, Bella Ciao, Old Woman, Pa Donde, Bread and Roses, Union Maid
Nov 3 Left Words – New College, University of Toronto Which Side Are You On, A Si Katali, Bella Ciao, Old Woman, Pa Donde, Bread and Roses, Union Maid
2005
Oct 1 Labourizing Feminism and Feminist Working-Class History in North America and Beyond – Munk Centre, University of Toronto Union Maid, A Si Katali, Two Good Arms, Which Side Are You On, Punch It In, Old Woman, Mein Ruhe Platz, Bread and Roses
2006
March 8 IWD Daycare Rally – City Hall Bread and Roses, A Si Katali, We Shall Not Be Moved, Old Woman, Which Side Are You On
2014
May 23 Participated (as Red Berets) in play, Life on the Line: Women Strike at Eaton’s 1984-85 by Pat McDermott – 8:15 pm, Berkshire Conference of Women Historians Hart House, University of Toronto Union Maid, Which Side Are You On, Oh Come All Ye Shoppers, Silent Night, Arise Ye Proletariat, Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Bella Ciao
2015
Sept 17 Harperman Singalong – Noon, Queen’s Park Moving Mountains, Harperman (including feminist verse by Red Berets)

Photo Gallery

Links to earlier photos of The Red Berets performing, marching, and rehearsing are in the Related Materials below.

The Red Berets perform at the Hamilton Labour History Conference - May 26, 2002
The Red Berets perform at the Hamilton Labour History Conference – May 26, 2002

 

The Red Berets at the Feminist Working Class History Conference at University of Toronto - October 1, 2005
The Red Berets at the Feminist Working Class History Conference at University of Toronto – October 1, 2005

Publicity

The Red Berets created two brochures outlining “who we are” and “what we sing” for groups who wanted them to perform at an event. They were also featured in the Everywoman’s Almanac 1983 (Toronto: Women’s Educational Press, 1982).

Links to these archival documents and other original materials are in the Related Materials sections below.

Group Dynamics

Notes from a Discussion – June 10, 1984

The Red Berets began as a small support group singing mainly on picket lines and at rallies. As the group was increasingly asked to sing on stage in concert-like situations, there was pressure to be more accomplished and well-rehearsed.

These notes are from a discussion held by twelve Red Berets in June 1984. The discussion went around the circle, allowing everyone a chance to speak. The different voices reflect a tension between strengthening the support group role and promoting a more polished performance group.

Many members expressed a desire to widen the membership. Any woman was welcome to join. But members expected a minimum commitment – as the discussion makes clear – of attending the previous practice in order to be able to sing at a more formal event.

  • The rule of a practice before the performance shouldn’t apply to demos. We’re something new, not a professional choir, and that’s good. We shouldn’t be overly critical of our members.
  • It’s good to be serious about the group. I agree we’re not professionals but we should still be well prepared.
  • Why do we attend some events and not others? It’s frustrating to be at times a support group, and at other times a performance group.
  • There should be collective leadership – we should all take responsibility rather than have one person who’s watching for quality control.
  • Everyone should take a bit more initiative, not just leave it up to the real musical types.
  • We should be able to do picket-line support on our own initiative.
  • I favour the support side, singing at demos. Perhaps with time we could become more professional.
  • I’d like to see our status clarified, and for us to be more polished.
  • I would hate to see the group closed so that people couldn’t keep joining. I don’t see the contradiction between being more professional and having fun.
  • People are in the group for different reasons. I’d like a stronger sense of collectivity. We need to find a way to be more honest with each other.
  • I like the idea of bringing groups their own music. Let’s recruit women from groups we’d like to support.
  • We should make more links with women of colour and other groups.
  • Let’s remember how far we’ve come. We now have a built-in quality control and we should encourage new members – they’re what’s made us great.
  • We need help with our presentation – let’s have a workshop from some director.
  • We have a basic standard that we must all be in tune. We need some way of ensuring we’re in tune, of telling people when they’re not.
  • We could use more instruments because it would improve the sound.
  • I don’t like being the only guitarist because I don’t have enough time to practice.
  • We should have a portable sound system. It’s a drag having to be “good sports” when the sound systems are rotten.
  • I enjoy performances and would like to develop a facility and ease on stage.
  • It would be great to get away from churchy, hymn-type music.
  • We need a checklist for performances and for strike support.
  • We should have some colour coordination in clothes for our performances.
  • We could get Red Berets t-shirts.
  • We need to learn how to teach songs to people.
  • Teaching songs requires a lot of confidence.
  • Womanly Way gives workshops on how to use mics, etc.
  • Doing workshops would require a lot of time that people probably don’t have.
  • In performances, our hearing isn’t always as acute because we’re nervous.
  • Someone should bring a tape recorder to every practice so we can tape and critique our singing at the next practice.
  • We have 16 people, whereas we used to have 25 or 26. We’ve always benefited from “new blood.” Let’s see if we can get more people committed for the next year, beginning in September.

Singers

These women sang with the Red Berets at one time or another between 1981 and 1988, and agreed to have their names appear.

  • Alison Griffith
  • Andrea Knight
  • Ann Lacey
  • Ann Manicom
  • Arlene Mantle
  • Betsy Alkenbrack
  • Brenda Roman
  • Carole Houlihan
  • Catherine Goetz
  • Catherine Silverglen
  • Chris Mills
  • Deni Wise
  • Ellen Passmore
  • Enid Moscovitch
  • Ester Reiter
  • Faith Nolan
  • Frumie Diamond
  • Helen Lenskyj
  • Helena Wehrstein
  • Jane Adams
  • Jane Springer
  • Joan Malcolmsen
  • Judy Blankenship
  • Karen Wehrstein
  • Katherine Arnup
  • Liz Martin
  • Lynn Mantle
  • Mariana Valverde
  • Marm Goldstein
  • Naomi Binder Wall
  • Nuala Doherty
  • Roberta Rivers
  • Ruth Perkins
  • Susan Howlett
  • Terry Dance
Title Date
EveryWoman’s Almanac 1983 – The Red Berets 1983
RedBerets- IWD1982-SunPhoto 1982
The Red Berets Flyer
The Red Berets: Who We Are --
Toronto Clarion – March 12, 1983 (Excerpt) 1983

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The Red Berets

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The Red Berets

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Related Photo Material

The Red Berets at rehearsal in 1984

The Red Berets – International Women’s Day 1985 (Toronto)

The Red Berets – International Women’s Day 1981 (Toronto)

The Red Berets – International Women’s Day 1983 (Toronto)

The Red Berets – International Women’s Day 1986 (Toronto)

The Red Berets at Hamilton Labour History Conference

The Red Berets’ Discussion Day – June 1984

The Red Berets – GLARE Fight the Right Event (Toronto) – September 26, 1981

The Red Berets at GLARE Day – September 26, 1981

The Red Berets at Lesbian and Gay Pride Event – June 28, 1981

The Red Berets – International Women’s Day 1990 (Toronto)

The Red Berets – International Women’s Day 1986 (Toronto)

The Red Berets – International Women’s Day 1981 (Toronto)

The Red Berets – International Women’s Day 1983 (Toronto)

The Red Berets – International Women’s Day 1982 (Toronto)

The Red Berets Costume

The Red Berets Conductor

The Red Berets at rehearsal

The Red Berets at Control of Our Bodies Rally (Toronto)

The Red Berets at rehearsal

The Red Berets – International Women’s Day 1983 (Toronto)

The Red Berets – Against Cruise Testing (ACT) Demonstration (Toronto)

The Red Berets – Against the Cruise (ACT) Demo (Toronto)

The Red Berets at Control of Our Bodies Rally in Queen’s Park

The Red Berets at Queen’s Park – May 16, 1982

International Women’s Day 1982 (Toronto) – Women’s Right to Choose

The Red Berets – International Women’s Day 1981 (Toronto)

International Women’s Day 1981 (Toronto) – IWDC Activists Marianna Valverde & Carolyn Egan

The Red Berets – International Women’s Day 1981 (Toronto)

The Red Berets – International Women’s Day 1981 (Toronto)

The Red Berets – International Women’s Day 1981 (Toronto)

The Red Berets – International Women’s Day 1981 (Toronto)