The Spur Questionnaire: Harrison Lowman

Harrison Lowman
Harrison Lowman

Here’s your chance to get to know the people behind the scenes of the Spur Festival!

Tell us about your role with the Spur Festival.
I’m an Associate Producer at Spur. Basically that means I “book” people. No that doesn’t mean I arrest them or throw bound pages at them. I chase down panelists and moderators who we think would make the best fit for certain panels.

In the last year, what is the longest you have gone ‘unplugged’? No internet, no cell phone, etc.
Being a Scout leader I spend around eight days a year on Crown Land within our national parks, leading a band of ruffians through the bush while teaching them survival skills. Oh, and we talk about girls and cooties I guess. That beats Snapchat any day.

Which book is currently on your nightstand?
After travelling to Eastern Europe not too long ago, I’ve found myself being drawn to books looking at Russia. I’m currently burning through The Last Empire: The Final Days of the Soviet Union by Serhii Plokhy. He argues that America and the U.S.S.R were closer bedfellows than you might have thought during the Cold War, and that American decision makers often dreaded that the Union might collapse—leading to turmoil throughout the region…not to mention the nuclear arsenal the downtrodden would have at their fingertips.

What is the one item you never leave home without?
My “Keep Calm and Carry On” weekly calendar. I have yet to switch over to the iPhone or Outlook calendar. There’s something soothing about flipping pages and striking through completed tasks with the stroke of a ballpoint pen. Plus the NSA doesn’t know when I’ve scheduled a trip to the barbers.

Do you have any friends you have never met in person?
Being a TV producer there’s a ton of communications folks at Canadian universities who I’ve been in contact with for a couple years, as I’ve booked guests. I’ve emailed and called them insistently but have never laid eyes on them.

Do you have a favourite podcast?
Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History. He brings time periods to life and doesn’t gloss over the nasty bits.

Who was the last person you texted?
My friend Tro. Yes I know it’s a weird name. I’ve been trying to make the nickname “Trojan Horse” stick for years now. It’s not sticking.

The animated show The Jetsons was set in 2062. Is there anything from their futuristic world that you wish were a current reality?
Who wouldn’t want a sedated version of themselves flying through pneumatic tube at hundreds of kilometers an hour? Fingers crossed Elon Musk’s hyperloop works out. I’m thinking he should probably ask James Dyson (the bagless vacuum inventor) for some help.

A side note: George and Jane Jetson have red hair. I thought gingers are supposed to have died out by then.

How do you prefer to communicate with colleagues: by phone, email, text or in person? How do you prefer to communicate with friends?
In person is best always. People say there are too many mosquitos in the world. But mosquitos feed our frogs. There are too many emails in the world. And they don’t feed anyone. They just sit there. They are the ultimate pests.

What do you love about the city in which you live?
I love hearing more than three languages on my trip home on the subway.

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