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Early life and education
MacDonald grew up in Cornwall, Ontario, where she became active in the local independent rock music scene. She put on shows and creating a fanzine called Saucy, which gained attention outside of Cornwall as well. Dubbed the "punk-rock valedictorian," she also grew into politics. She served as a student trustee on her school board at the age of 17. She left Cornwall to attend the University of Toronto.
Returning at age 20, MacDonald ran in the 1999 provincial election as the New Democratic Party candidate in the electoral district of Stormont—Dundas—Charlottenburgh. Facing two redistributed incumbents (Liberal John Cleary and Tory Noble Villeneuve) for a single seat in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, she was given next to no chance to win the election. Her innovative campaign strategy, including the use of a guerrilla theatre play called Revolution Mall Style, drew praise and attention. Her mother, Elaine MacDonald, was an NDP candidate in the 2004 and 2006 federal elections in the redistributed riding of Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry
She began to pursue her musical interests, and joined The Hidden Cameras, with whom she has performed since 2001. She has also been a member of several other bands at the same time. The first was Barcelona Pavilion, with whom she recorded a 7" single. After she left this band, she formed The Dating Service. For a time, she was a guest vocalist with Kids on TV, recording "Bitchsy" for the Lesbians on Ecstasy remixes LP Giggles In The Dark, released in 2005. Most recently she has been the lead vocalist with Republic of Safety, whose first EP, Passport, came out in March 2005. Their second EP, Vacation, was released in the spring of 2006.
In 2005 MacDonald published her first book, Kill the Robot. A science fiction novel critiquing consumer society, it is also illustrated by MacDonald.
Her second play, The Rat King, first previewed as a work in progress in early 2004, received a public reading in the spring of 2005 and finally premiered as a full production in January 2006. Later MacDonald approached Bob Wiseman to collaborate on writing music for the songs. The Rat King was then mounted a second time in August 2006 as part of Harbourfront's "Indie Unlimited" series and later at the New York Fringe Festival.
- The Smell of Our Own, The Hidden Cameras, Rough Trade Records, 2003
- Mississauga Goddam, The Hidden Cameras, Rough Trade, 2004
- "Barcelona Pavilion" 7" single, Blocks Recording Club
- "Bitchsy", Kids on TV featuring Maggie MacDonald on Giggles in the Dark, Lesbians on Ecstasy (remixes), 2005; Mixing Business With Pleasure, 2007
- Passport, Republic of Safety, 2005
- Vacation, Republic of Safety, 2006
- Succession, Republic of Safety, 2008
- Interview with Maggie MacDonald
- Kill The Robot page
- The Republic Of Safety official site
- Review of The Dating Service (Queen's Journal)
- Review of The Rat King