Marty Deacon’s interests are eclectic – from the high-performance sports of the Olympic games to hosting live jazz performances in her hometown – and all of it has come into play since she became a senator earlier this year.
Her life has changed in many ways since February 2108, yet she is finding the skills acquired through the past 30 years is similar, whether it was in the education sector, the Olympics, Commonwealth and Pan Am Games, building international relationships through sport or education or sitting on a variety of different boards, such as the Grand River Jazz Society.
Deacon’s interest in music began when she was young, playing the piano and trumpet in high school. Her daughters, both adults now, played the piano growing up and sang in the church choir, where Deacon was a junior choir director. Even though she maintains she can’t sing, Deacon said it was a fun time in their lives.
“It was always a household rule if you wanted to be involved with sports you had to be involved with arts too,” she said. “Music to me is very interesting. I love all genres. I find it very interesting to look at music often as poetry, what people write about. I enjoy listening and learning and understating so many different genres.”
Deacon’s interest in sports also started at a young age and it grew out of losing the family home to a fire. In Grade 5, she was one of four siblings, a fraternal twin, to an older and a younger brother of divorced parents, in a time, 1963, when it was very rare.
There was a moment, after the fire, she knew she had to do something with very little cost to get her life back on track. That’s when she discovered the sport of badminton, which led to playing at the recreational, provincial and national levels; coaching, including internationally; becoming president of the organization and involvement in numerous Pan Am, Olympic and Commonwealth Games.
“I have great, great desire to give back the very best I can,” she said. “I recognize the power of sports, the power of education and the power of the arts and what it can mean for an individual (and a) community.”
Her daughters, Kristine, age 31, and Kailee, 30, were also involved in sports at a very young age. They went through synchronized swimming, competitive swimming and played volleyball and basketball throughout high school. Both enjoy being physically active to this day. Deacon’s husband of 35 years, Bruce, was very good at football and basketball and currently enjoys golf.
“We work as a team as a couple and there’s no way I could even attempt to take on the challenges that I have without the 100 per cent support of my husband,” said Deacon, whose long-time interest in the Upper House of Canada’s Parliament resulted in her appointment to the Senate in Feb. 2018.
Senator Marty Deacon will be speaking from the heart about her life and her work as a senator at a Barrie event Jan. 28. Visit barrie.ca/theatretickets for details.
Photo: Senator Marty Deacon will be speaking at a Barrie event Jan. 28.