Ann is known by many to be a truly Renaissance woman. Born on a sugar cane farm in Zululand, her passion for Africa has been expressed in many of her creative expressions. She wrote When The Rains Come, a full-length musical, as an anti apartheid call. She then wrote Into The Heart of the Sangoma, a two person musical and CD based on her time with Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa, the head Sangoma (shaman) of the Zulu nation.
She has ridden a bicycle through France and Italy, lived in Paris, writing and learning to paint; spent a year in war torn Beirut in the midst of Lebanon’s civil war and travelled through India where she learned Kriya Yoga (now a life long practice) and then worked in Calcutta with Mother Teresa in the House of the Destitute and Dying. Her award-winning TV Special based on her One Woman Show, Journey to Kairos, was the result of those travels.
Ann’s extraordinary 4 octave voice and compelling stage presence led to years as a concert artist performing with such luminaries as Harry Belafonte and John Denver. She has sung with symphony orchestras throughout North America and Europe, written ballet scores, including the internationally acclaimed The Ecstasy of Rita Joe. She has created film scores, musicals, one woman shows and CDs, all of which led to her being honoured with the prestigious Order of Canada, and the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award, for her outstanding work in the performing and healing arts in Canada and internationally.
Ann spent over 25 years working as a keynote speaker and workshop facilitator on such topics as discovering your voice, the healing power of creativity, conservation and women’s issues. Her CD with David Feinstein PhD, Serenade at the Doorway, began a period where Ann worked for over 7 years with the dying and with those who work with the dying in Palliative Care and Hospice. The CD is still used as a support for those in transition.
Ann’s passion for conservation began while still young. Her grandfather Mortifee worked tirelessly to create the Hluhluwe and Umflozi Game Reserves to save the white rhinoceros from extinction. His urge lives on in Ann who co-founded and has spent the last 12 years creating The Trust for Sustainable Forestry ( www.sustainableforestry.com), a self-sustaining charity dedicated to transforming the culture from industrial clear cut logging practices to single tree selection eco-system based forest management. With their partner, Living Forest Communities, (www.livingforestcommunities.com) the Trust has created a social enterprise model to conserve forests, preserve animal habitat, create local jobs, protect ground water and air, and create light on the land conservation communities to finance and steward the land. Their latest venture is Elkington Forest (www.elkingtonforest.com) is a thousand acre project close to Victoria, BC, Canada.
Ann and her brother, Peter Mortifee, co-founded The Somerset Foundation (www.somersetfoundation.org). Their vision is to create ‘healthy communities sustained though compassionate action’ and to that end they have served both practically and financially over 40 charities.
Ann’s husband was the internationally known flutist and Father of New Age Music, Paul Horn. She lives perched at the edge of the wilderness in a house she helped to design and build. In the centre of their living room there is a 12 ft. circle of bedrock rising up through the floor, a constant reminder of our utter dependence on the earth.
Her latest creation, In Love With The Mystery, grew out of Ann’s morning practice of rising early and welcoming the day contemplatively.
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