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Showing posts from August, 2012

Emily Jewer Speaks Alone

The Atlantic Fringe Festival celebrates its 22nd edition Aug 30 - Sept 9, 2012 with dozens of new theatre and dance shows from Atlantic Canada, Ontario, the U.S., and abroad, offering hundreds of performances in numerous venues across Halifax. Recently AE spoke with local writer/actor Emily Jewer about her one-woman show Speaks Alone and of the pleasures and perils of her profession.

How long have you been involved with theatre, and in what capacity? I have been involved in theatre since I was a child. My first role in a play was a mermaid in a daycare production of Peter Pan! I continued through high school, heading up the Drama Club, taking classes and even some directing but the drama program there wasn't really comprehensive. When I got to university (Mount Allison) I found myself in a great little black box theatre with a lot of maritime theatre professionals to learn from and it really introduced me to the possibility of doing this as a career. At this point I have done almost…

Bone Deep

Zachery Barrett wants to grab life by the balls; he’s ready to be an adult, but his mother and his teachers treat him like a kid. With the help of his friend Terence, he’s going to get control of his life and cross firmly over the threshold into being a man.
From the creative team that brought you Wake; Bone Deep is the next in the series of short films from Jessica Marsh’s original play Maelstrom.
Bone Deep will shoot in October 2012 and will be directed and produced by Halifax-based actor and writer Jeremy Webb.
Nova Scotia Communities, Culture & Heritage has awarded the company a $5000 grant to go towards the creation of the film.
Despite the new grant award, and winning CBC’s Short Film Face Off, the company still needs to raise over $4500 before shooting begins in October. To that end they have created an Indiegogo campaign, where patrons can donate online and receive a variety of rewards and perks for helping the film get made.
The link to the Indiegogo page is:…

The Halifax Urban Folk Festival

 The Halifax Urban Folk Festival (HUFF) gets underway this evening in the provincial capital. Founder and organizer Mike Campbell gives us the lowdown on this year’s highlights.
What inspired you to put this festival together? After I produced the live music component - JunoFest - for the Juno awards in Halifax in 2006, I was sitting around with a bunch of other industry friends wondering why it was that a lot of our events (like the ECMAs, for instance) always wound up inviting people from all over the world to come here in the winter instead of when we're at our best. We also were lamenting the usual problems with singer/songwriter festivals (rain, bugs, long drives to the country and on and on). I assumed that hotels in the city in the summer months were routinely sold out but once I looked into it, discovered that actually the last week of August through Labour Day weekend was actually slow for hotels. SO, I started thinking about the idea... "why not an 'urban' fol…

Gerald Squires

Gerald Squires has found inspiration for many of his landscapes, portraits, and symbolic narratives in the places and people of his native province. Born in Change Islands, Newfoundland, in 1937, he took his early art training in Toronto, where his family moved when he was 12. He returned here with his wife and daughters 20 years later, and settled in 1971 in the lighthouse-keeper's house in Ferryland. Much of Squires's painting has an overtly spiritual quality. Early symbolic works such as The Wanderer, The Boatman, and Cassandra were followed by a major commission from Mary Queen of the World Parish in Mount Pearl: two triptychs and The Stations of the Cross. In subsequent years Squires has concentrated on landscape; the roots of this interest go back at least to the Ferryland Downs paintings of the late 1970s. Among his many honours, Gerald Squires was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy and appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 1999, received the Golden Jubilee Aw…

Atlantic Film Festival!

A fervent flurry filled the Lord Nelson Hotel’s Georgian Lounge Tuesday morning. Filmmakers, actors, producers, supporters and media were reeled in to hear the line-up of this year’s Atlantic Film Festival (AFF). Local celeb sightings were reminders of striking films from last year’s event: Picnicface’s Bill Wood (Roller Town), director Michael Melski (Charlie Zone) and actor Gary Levert (Heart of Rhyme), to name a few.

September 13th to the 20th will mark the AFF’s 32nd year and the arrival of its new executive director, Wayne Carter, successor to Gregor Ash’s remarkable run. Carter opened Tuesday’s launch sharing that his love affair with films began in a small movie theatre in Miramichi. He added that the ‘filmtrack’ of our lives “takes us to another time and another place”.
When it came time to find out which of the 1,725 worldwide submissions were selected to appear on the festival’s big screens, among those announced were:
The Disappeared: Directed/written by Shandi Mitchell, the A…

Opera From Scratch

Opera From Scratch is a weeklong workshop which pairs six composers with six singers from all over North America.Each composer was asked to write an original 10 minute opera, based on a Nova Scotian theme, for solo voice and piano. Their compositions were sent to the singers six weeks prior to the workshop. Now, for one week in August, these talented individuals will come together for an intensive week of lectures, master classes, private lessons, and rehearsals, culminating in a public performance of six world premiere mini-operas. Celebrated Canadian composer James Rolfe will serve as head of a team of six mentors for the week. Rolfe recently won the Louis Applebaum Composers Award for his outstanding work in the field of opera, and he is well known for his first opera, Beatrice Chancy, with libretto by George Elliott Clarke. Recently AE spoke with the workshop’s founder, soprano Janice Jackson.
What inspired you to put this workshop together? I am the Artistic Producer of Vocalypse P…

Back to the Wilderness

With a notebook full of songs, an exceptional line up of musicians, and a quickly growing fan base, Morgan MacDonald is well on his way to bigger and better things. Recently AE spoke with the Nova Scotia songwriter about his professional aspirations and his debut EP Back to the Wilderness.

How, when and why did you get involved with music? Music was always something that grabbed my attention - to this day I can't have a serious conversation if there is music playing. Back in school music really dominated my thoughts. My dad taught my sister and I to play guitar when we were kids and forced us to sing along or he wouldn't teach us. My sister and I would take short summer trips where there were lots of bonfires and barn parties with full bands playing all night. I never had lessons I just slowly learned the basics through osmosis. I had never thought about doing music for a living or even as part of my living until a couple of years ago. I started writing music on my acoustic that…

The Sultry Songstress!

Halifax vocalist Karen Myatt has had a lot to celebrate as of late; her recent run of Broadway Without Borders at the Chester Playhouse (with musical partner Stuart Hiseler) was a smash hit, earning rave reviews from fans and critics alike. Thursday, the sultry songstress performs a collection of standards and show-tunes at St. Matthew’s Church on Barrington Street in downtown Halifax as part of the Summersounds Concert Series. AE spoke with Myatt about the performance.
How did this concert come about?
My favorite piano man; Scott Taylor mentioned that the music director at St. Matthew's church, Wayne Rogers, was looking for a female vocalist to add to the Summersounds @ Barrington line-up. Of course I jumped at the chance to perform in the series, especially with Scott, Fayette Taylor and Stephanie McKeown in the band!

What pieces will you be performing?
We've got a nice set list of jazzy, quirky, and sultry tunes. Some are from Broadway Without Borders, a show that the band and…

Halifax Pop Explosion!

Halifax Pop Explosion (HPX) has announced the complete line-up for its 20th anniversary festival. Following a list of previously confirmed acts that features of Montreal, Atlas Sound, Black Lips, and Dan Mangan with Symphony Nova Scotia, HPX has released the names of 160 artists including Ceremony, Cauldron, DJ Craze, The Helio Sequence, and Skratch Bastid that will perform this year.
Halifax Pop Explosion takes places from October 16-20. With shows at various venues around the city, the festival brings together an international list of acclaimed acts to perform alongside some of the city's most renowned and storied artists. The complete line-up for the 2012 Halifax Pop Explosion is as follows:  Ado, Adventure Club, Ain't No Love, Al Tuck, Ambersand, Ambition, Amos the Transparent, Andie Bulman, Andrew Bush, Astral Gunk, Atlas Sound, Bad Vibrations, Bane, Barlow, Big John Bates, Billie Dre and the Poor Boys, Bit Funk, Black Lips, Black Moor, Bloodhouse, Born Ruffians, BONKO BIAN…

Ned Bear

When he was nine, Ned Bear knew he had to sculpt after observing an elder from his community (the Ekpahaq First Nation) carving wood. A visual artist for over 25 years, he has had numerous regional and international exhibitions, was Director of Education for a Wolastoqiyik First Nation community (1995-2004) and completed a Smithsonian fellowship. Bear has a solo show running until September at the Art Gallery of NS (Mosom Maskwa –

Ray Fraser Comes Clean!

Raymond Fraser has been called “the best literary voice to come belling out of the Maritimes in decades" (Farley Mowat) and “one of the most gifted writers I know” (Alden Nowlen). Fredericton-based author, poet and editor has a bevy of great works under his belt, including The Bannonbridge Musicians, The Fighting Fisherman: The Life of Yvon Durelle, When The Earth Was Flat, The Madness of Youth and Repentance Vale.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Once when I was in Montreal and trying to keep off the bottle I smoked some marijuana (which never did agree with me; I was strictly a drinking man) and experienced what it was like to be cut off absolutely from man and God. I was in a room with people but it was as if I wasn't, and I was terrified. I felt so disconnected I actually thought I was dead. It wasn't an experience I'd like to repeat, but it was a great lesson, for I knew then that without a linking spirit – without God, in other words, the author …

Hockey Mom, Hockey Dad

Mike Melski’s Hockey Mom, Hockey Dad is currently running at the Chester Playhouse. Recently, the renowned playwright – and long time Leafs fan –shared his thoughts on the play and the production.
What inspired you to write Hockey Mom, Hockey Dad? Just growing up in the Cape Breton minor hockey world, playing for about a dozen years. Along with its long held Celtic traditions, hockey is a very big deal back home, as it is in small towns across the country. My Uncle Ches was a big hockey star and actually died in an on-ice accident. So it's very important in my family as well. It's a game about love and violence, encapsulated and intertwined. And the play flowed from that thematic concern.

Was it a difficult piece to write? Not as difficult as some. I usually roll my eyes at the 'writer as channeler' stuff that other authors speak about. To me writing is hard work and always has been. But that said, this one flowed more quickly and clearly than most, and it did feel that t…

Patrons Honoured

On August 7, Dr. Richard Goldbloom, O.C. and Dr. Ruth Goldbloom, O.C., O.N.S. were presented the 2012 Symphony Nova Scotia Concertmaster Award, the orchestra’s highest honour. While the orchestra considers nominees every year, the award is only presented on occasion to extraordinary individuals or organizations to recognize significant long-term support of the Symphony’s mandate: to bring a broad range of high quality orchestral music to Nova Scotians, and to develop the symphonic art form, both within and outside the province.
Symphony board chairman Bret Mitchell and CEO Erika Beatty delivered the award to Ruth and Dick, surrounded by their children and grandchildren at their cottage in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. In part, the citation read: “Symphony Nova Scotia would not be Symphony Nova Scotia without Dick and Ruth Goldbloom. They are shining examples of leadership, commitment, and love of music. On behalf of the board of directors, we extend our sincerest congratulations and heartfel…

THE READER'S PICK-UP LINES by matt robinson

you should know it’s colder, here, and cooling. know that mere fictitious harms done dogs reduce me to what would pass, in certain climes, for geysered tears; offending pages thumbed at times pulp-raw, wrung sweaty-fisted and feral-moist as some left load of half-done laundry unearthed near- braided at the far edge of some lake’s humid cottage-weekend bounty. you should know each new myopic glance salts my field of vision; this book a wretched, sodden earth; unturned. pulp fiction parallax. and you well know, it’s been suggested, the bark is far worse than the bite. so, you should know i set my teeth, and seethe all ortho-tacit; suck breath after breath after breath. just know i siphon this air, aphonic – a newly fossiled fuel; under-tapped, but still well well-headed. you should know, this is to say, no one other thing lingers like this telling on the palate; none spill-slicks congruent along the throat’s tricky, unmapped shoreline; none sullies that gulf akin. now, tell me: would you…

Man of the Year

Sean Panting Man of the Year
Mark Critch (This Hour Has 22 Minutes) praises Sean Panting’s lyricism: “There’s more story in two verses of a Panting song than there is in most libraries”. Paying attention to the words on Panting’s newest album allows for a more fulfilling listening experience. During the title track, close listeners realize that he calls himself “man of the year,” not as an egotistical star, but in an almost self-taunting fashion. Although some of the album’s tracks offer nothing new to the history of song, each of the ten tunes differs from one another and offers its own little gem. Panting’s raw voice is a highlight throughout and most passionate in “Labrador Motors” and “Panic Steers”. The record’s instrumentals are intriguing and transition between serene folk scenes to edgy rock blasts mixed in with unique alarm clock or deep sea exploratory sounds. Based on the merits of Man of the Year, Panting need not wait another six years to deliver his next.

12 Angry Men

Though still in its infancy, Lions Den Theatre is quickly establishing itself as a creative tour-de-force in and around Halifax. This week, the troupe presents 12 Angry Men at the Bus Stop Theatre on Gottingen St. Director and co-founder Keith Morrison explains.
How long have you been involved with Lions Den, and in what capacity? Along with Dan Bray and Christine Daniels, I am one of the founders of Lions Den Theatre. We are a few weeks shy of our one year anniversary.
What is the troupe's mandate/mission statement? Lions' Den Theatre is dedicated to producing contemporary, audience-driven drama that provides our company with unique opportunities for artistic growth. What are the challenges of the gig? 12 Angry Men presents itself with a unique set of challenges. Firstly, the play is well known as it has been adapted a number of times into well known films featuring some fairly well known actors (Henry Fonda, Lee J Cobb, Norman Fell, Jack Klugman, Jack Lemmon, George C. Scott, Tony…