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Showing posts from October, 2012

Purple Mike

Purple Mike is a literary taste of the forbidden fruit and false promises of drugs - a taboo journey into the ins and outs of getting high. For teens, teachers, addiction professionals, drug addicts, persons in recovery and avid readers, Purple Mike is a story about drugs and drug addiction in pulp. Recently AE connected with the book’s Halifax-based author Sindy Mils.

What inspired you to write this story? The story chose me instead of the other way around. The inspiration to write Purple Mike stemmed from a general lack of awareness on the subject.School programs are insufficient in dealing with the subject matter. Parents have an inability to address the subject appropriately with their teenagers. And, there seems to be a fear or taboo on generally speaking openly about the subject from adults. Meanwhile, kids learn from their peers and often adopt a gross lack of perception about the risks.

Where did the characters come from? Characters came from many years of research coupled with a …

Leon Cole

Halifax-based broadcaster Leon Cole left an indelible impression upon a generation of Canadian radio lovers as the long-time host of CBC’s premier classical music program RSVP. Later, and with help from his wife Jacqui Good, he collected his on-air experiences, along with letters from listeners, into a collection called Dear RSVP. Now retired, Cole is an avid Boston Red Sox fan. Recently he shared some of his thoughts with AE.
What attracted you to radio in the first place? When I was growing up in Halifax, radio was a very important part of my life. TV wasn't even an option until I was 15. So, the family gathered around the radio on Sunday evenings listening to shows like Our Miss Brooks and Amos and Andy. I avidly tuned into late night baseball games in my bedroom. That interest in s ports led to me being interviewed at the age of 12 by Danny Gallivan from the gondola of the Halifax Forum – I suppose they thought it was amusing to have a junior colour commentator on the show. I a…

The Cello of Mr. O

On Saturday, Jane Cutler’s children’s book, The Cello of Mr. O, will come alive. suddenlyListen (sL) is thrilled to put on this family-friendly show, geared towards kids of all ages, as well as contemplative grown-ups. For seven years, the idea has been incubating in the mind and soul of Norm Adams, Symphony NS’ principal cellist and sL’s Artistic Director. It started when his son (then in grade three) brought the book home from school. “I won’t forget it. I read it out to him and it just floored me,” says Adams. “It touches me personally on many levels because I’m a pacifist, I’m a cellist and I believe that music can really help people in so many different ways”. Saturday’s performances will demonstrate the collaborative nature of this project, from conception to delivery. Joining Adams are actor Karen Bassett, sonic/visual artist Lukas Pearse, director Theo Pitsiavas, composer Steven Naylor and educator Laura Kennedy.Adams shares how each creative component has come together to tel…

Music of the Titanic Era!

Irish-Canadian conductor Kevin Mallon returns to Symphony Nova Scotia to lead the orchestra in the Music of the Titanic Era tonight at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium in Halifax, starting at 7.30pm.
Mallon will lead the symphony in this colourful, Irish-influenced concert, following the hugely popular renditions of Handel’s “Dublin” Messiah. This concert will commemorate the popular and classical music that defined the end of an era, including Nearer My God to Thee, the devotional hymn suspected to be the last song played on board the night of the ship’s sinking.
“What I appreciate about this concert is that it draws a direct connection between Belfast, where I grew up, and Halifax,” says Mallon. “In both places, the Titanic is a huge part of their heritage – the ship was built in Belfast, and many who lost their lives are buried in Halifax. So to have the chance to come to Nova Scotia to conduct music from this era is really touching for me. I have a deep connection with early 20th century…

Of Earthly and River Things

Author, writer and avid sportsman, Wayne Curtis is one of Atlantic Canada’s finest and most prolific writers. In his latest work, Of Earthly and River Things: An Angler's Memoir, Curtis voyages back through the tributaries of his past, throwing a pastoral net over the backwaters of his childhood to ensnare the sepia-tinged moments of love, loss, and life lessons gleaned through his rise to maturity on the waterways of New Brunswick. Recently he spoke with AE about the new book.
What inspired you to put this book together? I wrote this book because I felt an obligation to do it for the river people, in the river people's voice and from their point of view. As someone who comes from a family that has been living on the river for two centuries - and because I write - I wanted to record the events and feelings for posterity.

Did the work come together quickly or did you really need to work at it? Once I started the book and was on my way, things just fell into place, commencing with…

Bingo! She Says / He Says

A story of sentimental nostalgia and belly busting humour has travelled from a Guysborough, Nova Scotia stage to Neptune Theatre’s Fountain Hall. Daniel MacIvor’s Bingo! premiered last year at Mulgrave Road Theatre and plays an encore (with the entire original cast) in Halifax until November 4th.

“Welcome Back Class of ‘82” reads a sign suspended from the ceiling and Kiss’ “Rock and Roll All Nite” fills the room, as five Cape Bretoners come back together for their high school reunion. No more are the days of mixed cassette tapes or smoking in the local bar, but their three-decade old nicknames, as well as the rules for their own personal drinking game, have remained.

Insecure and ditsy Bitsy (Heather Rankin), tough postal carrier Boots (Emmy Alcorn), party animal Heffer (Ryan Rogerson), nerdy Nurk (John Beale) and alpha dog Dookie (Marty Burt) become more and more intoxicated the night before the reunion, skimming off the layers of high school personas to reveal secrets and true colou…


Arts East has 2 tickets to give away to tonight's Fall For Flamenco gala performance with world-renowned dancer David Romero at the Spatz Theatre in Halifax! Simply email us at with the word Flamenco in the subject line to qualify!

Fall For Flamenco!

Watching Maria Osende perform is exhausting.

Atlantic Canada’s premier flamenco dancer is in full flight across the concert hall floor; head held high, heels pounding to the sensuous Spanish rhythms, hands and wrists gracefully gyrating under the stage lights.

After more than an hour, she stops for but a split second, smiles shyly to spectators, and then starts again; slowly at first, gently weaving her way across the stage, then surely bringing the tempo up to full speed until she is again but a blur of swirling black and red.

One can only wonder what keeps her going.

Thankfully, for fans of flamenco, the fiery force that drives Osende to dance with such fervor is the same one that pushes her to put together the Fall for Flamenco Festival in Halifax each autumn.

The native of Madrid says that she was inspired to start the festival in 2006 by the events that she saw transpiring around her.

“Atlantic Canada has grown so much in recent years,” she explains. “Even in just the very short…

Bingo! Too

Heather Rankin is no stranger to the stage; along with her regular gig as a member of Nova Scotia’s most famous musical family, the young songstress is making a name for herself in the world of theatre. Recently she spoke with Arts East about her role as Bitsy in Daniel MacIvor’s hilarious Bingo!, which runs until November 4 at the Neptune Theatre in Halifax.

How did you get involved with Bingo? In the spring of 2010 Equity held an open audition for members in Halifax. I believe there were about 15 directors from various Canadian theatre companies in attendance. For some time, I wanted to get back to working in the theatre and this presented an opportunity to introduce myself to all of these directors in one audition. So I worked up a couple of pieces and a song and crashed the audition. Emmy Alcorn, the artistic director for Mulgrave Road Theatre was one of the directors there that day. Later that same week, after seeing a show at Neptune Theatre, on my way out I ran into to Emmy and s…


Daniel MacIvor is no stranger to the pages of Arts East. The award-winning Nova Scotia playwright has had a prolific and profound run of productions across the Atlantic region - and the country - in recent years. Recently he opened up to AE about Bingo!, which premiers tonight at the Neptune Theatre in Halifax, and runs until November 4.

What inspired you to pen Bingo!? I had been working at the Banff Centre during a five week residency in a cabin in the woods. I was finishing a draft of my play "Arigato, Tokyo" a rather heavy romantic tragedy influenced by my time in Japan and the fundamentals of Noh Theatre. I managed to get through the draft and still had a week left in the residency. As a kind of exorcism of the darker work I had just been immersed in I felt like I wanted to work on something lighter, something that was no-holds-barred comedy. I remembered a conversation I had with my old friend Steve MacDonald and his partner Debbie Corkum in their kitchen in Cape Breton …

Long Shots

A Nova Scotia native, Trevor J. Adams is the editor of Halifax Magazine. With more than a decade's experience in the business, Trevor has hundreds of magazine articles under his belt and has co-authored two previous books, Today's Joe Howe, and Atlantic Canada's 100 Greatest Books.Adams’ latest effort is Long Shots, an engaging and entertaining examination of the development of early hockey in Atlantic Canada and the four Maritime clubs that competed for hockey's greatest prize, the Stanley Cup.
What inspired/motivated you to tell this story? I became a hockey fan around age 10 and right away, got really interested in the sport's history. One year my brother gave me a book called "The Stanley Cup" by D'arcy Jenish for Christmas. In it, he mentioned these Maritime teams that challenged for the Stanley Cup in the early 1900s. There was hardly any detail, just this one little mention, but the idea of teams from Halifax, New Glasgow, Moncton and Sydney play…
The Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award, valued at $20,000, was presented to New Brunswick’s David Adams Richards for Incidents in the Life of Markus Paul (Doubleday) at a ceremony hosted by the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia (WFNS) on Friday, October 12, 2012 at the Dalhousie University Club in Halifax.
In addition to the Raddall Fiction prize, The Evelyn Richardson Memorial Non-Fiction Award was presented to Harry Thurston of Amherst, NS for The Atlantic Coast: A Natural History (Greystone Books with the David Suzuki Foundation), and the Atlantic Poetry Prize was awarded to Sue Goyette of Halifax, NS for outskirts (Brick Books).
WFNS Executive Director Nate Crawford presided over the ceremony and prizes were presented by Linda Little, Silver Donald Cameron, and Brian Bartlett, past winners of the Raddall, Richardson, and Poetry prizes respectively. Shortlisted titles were presented by friends and members of the region’s writing community, including Alexander MacLeod, Steph…

7th Annual Fall for Flamenco Festival

The 7th Annual Fall for Flamenco Festival kicks off in true Spanish form on Thursday, October 11th with ‘Juerga Flamenca’ at The Seahorse Tavern in Halifax, featuring some of the hottest local and emerging flamenco dancers, singers and guitarists this side of Spain. Maria Osende, Artistic Director of Atlantic Flamenco Productions opens up about herself and the festival.
What inspired you to start this festival? When I first came to Canada, I discovered such a great city, with so much potential, yet so little flamenco! As a dancer, flamenco to me is a singular moment captured from a universal life experience. I felt this art worth expressing in Halifax to expose a new cultural dialogue for local residents to enrich our Atlantic community. I knew, almost immediately, that this was the place I could make this dream of bringing flamenco to Atlantic Canada come true. The local people here were incredibly welcoming and supportive of this vision.

What is the event's core mandate? The mandat…


Live Art Dance Productions is fiercely proud to present the Canadian Premiere of Compagnie Marie Chouinard’s Henri Michaux: Movements. The linchpin of Live Art Dance’s 30th Anniversary Season, the production by Montreal-based international stars Compagnie Marie Chouinard will receive a single presentation on October 11, 2012 at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium.

About the Work Inspired by the “mescalinized” poetry and drawings of Belgian poet and painter Henri Michaux, this is a high-octane celebration of pure movement that thunders on to the stage like a rollercoaster. Inspired by Michaux’s India-ink drawings, the piece is a visual echo of black drawings on a white page. The company dances on a white floor dressed in black, while Michaux’s drawings are projected against the backdrop of the stage, allowing the viewers to make their own personal interpretations of the artist’s score.

About the Company Montreal-based Compagnie Marie Chouinard has achieved a superstar reputation over 34 years of…