We spoke with Kristen Hunkin, Online SODRAC Coordinator & Counterclaims Administrator who self-describes her role at CMRRA as our resident “claims detective.” We spoke with her about her work, her pets and hobbies and her relationship with music.
Tell us about your path to CMRRA and about your focus at CMRRA?
After graduating from the Music Business Management Program at Durham College in 2007, I was hired at CMRRA that August as an Online Administrator. After a few years in that role, I moved to my current position of Online SODRAC Coordinator & Counterclaims Administrator. A lot of what I do revolves around liaising with clients and SODRAC/SOCAN RR regarding claim discrepancies. This requires researching through our systems for the historical claims data to find the most recent information possible and then, once that data is collected, notifying the parties involved in potential disputes and making updates to our works system. I like to think of myself as CMRRA’s claims detective 😊.
Even before work from home became the new pandemic normal at CMRRA, you teleworked on a regular basis. Tell us a little about the community you live and work from?
I’m currently based in Markdale, Ontario, which is where I grew up. It’s a small farming community located about 2+ hours north of Toronto. It’s also home to Chapman’s Ice Cream. This area is home to a lot of retirees and is also a cottage destination for many people as we have lakes/beaches as well as several ski hills in the area. The county is also home to many entry points to the Bruce Trail and other hiking trails and waterfalls. Markdale itself has been seeing some growth over the last two years and just before the pandemic hit, we got a new grocery store, a dollar store, a Tim Hortons AND a second stop light, which was BIG news for the town. While the internet can be spotty, the people are very welcoming and the pace of life is definitely slower.
I hear you’re an animal lover, tell me about your quarantine pals!
I’ve certainly got a crew around here. We’ve got 3 cats – Gryffindor, Giles, and Phoebe – as well as a retired racing greyhound, Cricket. They’re all rescues that came to us at different stages of their lives (although in the greyhound world we like to use the term retired). While they mostly keep to themselves while I’m working, Phoebe often likes to make appearances on our video meetings and just sits there waiting patiently or takes a nap right in view of the camera. Everyone’s got their own little personality – Gryff is super attached to my husband and hates when we do dishes, Giles likes to talk a lot but only likes to be pet on his terms. Giles disappears as soon as we have any company (pre-pandemic) and many people think he may not even exist! Phoebe is fearless, she doesn’t know when she should be afraid, but she likes to keep the house running on time and makes sure I know when it’s time to start and finish work. Cricket is our diva. She’s got particular tastes and she’ll let you know it, she’s very ladylike in everything she does. While our day-to-day hasn’t changed too much during the pandemic, they’ve definitely picked up on the emotional changes and have been seeking us out more and spending more time closer by than they would have previously. Taking Cricket on walks has also been a great way to get outside during this time.
Has the pandemic increased your quilting output?
I wish! At the beginning of the pandemic, I had just finished a quilt based on my own design which was themed for my favourite TV show, Supernatural, and had started a block of the Murder Mystery Quilt. But I’m also working towards a Bookkeeping certificate through online learning and as the pandemic extended, I’ve been helping my church create their weekly online service videos. I’ve also helped my quilt guild take their meeting online as well as helping them create Youtube videos of their works. I’m currently in the process of trying to create some virtual trunk show videos of our members’ works as there’s so much history in their quilts: quilts that have been passed down, quilts made with embroidery or lace of their mothers and grandmothers. There are so many amazing stories and history that goes into these quilts and I don’t want that to be lost for future generations. As for my own work, I’m trying to catch up on my Murder Mystery quilt while also designing two more pop culture quilts. I’ve started a quilting Instagram which you can find at ksgreytstitch.
Where does music fit in your life?
Music has always been a huge part of my life. I come from a choral background and started to really get into it when I was around 11. I joined our local Gilbert & Sullivan choir which then led me to the Georgian Bay Children’s Choir and with them I toured to both Canadian coasts to participate in festivals that involved singers and groups from all around the world as well as participating in specialty choirs. I was also really into musical theatre and participated in 4 productions while in high school. These days, I can (usually, pre-pandemic) be found in a variety of local choirs. My taste in music is fairly eclectic and I tend to listen to everything from metal to Disney to world music and anything in between. You never know what will be on my playlist next!
I have this one memory of a choir I participated in in Toronto where we were let go for dinner and had to make our way back to the venue. I got on a streetcar and at each subsequent stop more of my fellow choristers got on. Eventually we started singing songs from our show, which was music from around the world, and the whole atmosphere on the streetcar changed, people started joining in and one person got on the car and exclaimed we were singing songs from her home country and that she’d been homesick and it helped her feel better that day. To me, music has always felt like a way to connect. It’s a way to bring and express joy, or any emotion, for that matter. It’s something we can all participate in and enjoy and I can’t imagine my life without it.
Thinking about becoming a client of CMRRA? Already a client but you have questions? Email us at [email protected] and we’ll get you the answers you need.