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Showing posts from March, 2014

Paul McKenna

Scottish singer/songwriter Paul McKenna takes the stage at The Old Triangle in Charlottetown tonight and at the Carleton Music Bar & Grill in Halifax tomorrow night in support of his band’s latest release, Elements. Recently, Arts East spoke with the songsmith to discuss his past, present and future.
What are your own roots? PM: I grew up in Glasgow, Scotland and come from an Irish background. My grandparents came from both Donegal and Mayo.
When and why did you start playing music? PM: I began learning piano at around 7 or 8 years old then picked up the guitar a few years later. My father plays the guitar and there was always singing in the family so I was surrounded by music from an early age.  
Are they the same reasons you do it today? PM: I still love playing music and doubt that will ever change
How have you evolved as a composer and player since that time? PM: I've had a few years to practice :) I listen to a much wider range of music these days and I am influenced by almost ev…

Deep Too

A review by Martin Wallace
Stan Dragland’s Deep Too (BookThug 2013) is a miscellany of “Me-ga-Dik” emails (“now my pecker is extremely greater than national!”), limericks, personal anecdotes, and literary and pop cultural references. It’s also a complex three-part meditation on the nature of good and evil, on the limits and transcendence of human perception, and, not incidentally, on the cultural significance of the dick, the penis, the phallus.
At first this phallus seems insignificant, risible. Indeed, Part I (“For the Money”) can be read as one long dick joke (aficionados will easily bring to mind the example ending with the punch line, “deep too.”) It’s here that limericks and jokes —and humorous encounters at urinals—predominate.  Dragland’s tone is droll, self-deprecating, its low-key folksiness disguising the depth of his insights.
Two anecdotes, however, seem a bit out of place. Both are examples of strangers flirting with Dragland’s partner, “Beth.”: there’s the “suave pedestr…

StART Festival

The StART Festival takes place this week from Thursday to Sunday in Halifax. The festival will showcase an eclectic array of creations and performances from art students enrolled in postsecondary studies. The aim is to have these emerging artists present their talent to a broader community and build relationships to help forge sustainable careers. Arts East recently caught up with Karen Gross and Alanna Griffin who founded the festival. These passionate theatre students share what’s in store from March 20 to the 23rd at the Bus Stop Theatre. How did you get your start in the "artistic world" and what types of art media are you most passionate about? KG & AG: We are both theatre types. We have a lot of experience behind the scenes (Alanna largely as a director, Karen as a stage manager and producer) and are fourth year theatre studies students at Dal/King's. We've both been heavily involved with the King's Theatrical Society (Karen was on the executive last year…

Artisticats Art and Design

Jeremy Lewis is the artist behind Artisticats Art and Design. Originally from Charlottetown, he now hangs his hat, draws and paints in Moncton. Here, he shares a snapshot of his story through words and some of his creations.
Since I was a child I have had a fascination with art. It started with my grandfather drawing me a few vague images for me to try to copy. One of these was a stick figure. I thought he looked awfully skinny and so I had to draw an outline for his body.  I then proceeded to draw a cape and a jet pack on him and from that moment on I was hooked. My early childhood was filled with dinosaur art and Supermans and Batmans and things of that nature. I started collecting tradable cards called Dinosaurs Attack around age 10 and obsessed over anything gory like Nightmare on Elm Street. 
From there my art became much darker. At age 11 my grandfather died and I sank into depression. My father sent me to a psychiatrist because of my dark imagination and the psychiatrist stated if…

Amelia and Me

After thirty years of teaching, Heather Stemp retired and wrote Amelia and Me so her grandchildren would know their roots and the rich history of Harbour Grace, Newfoundland. Late last year, AE spoke with the scribe about her debut Young Adult novel.

“The process went something like this: oh my God, Amelia Earhart flew out of Harbour Grace on her solo transatlantic flight; oh my God, Uncle Harry was the air strip supervisor; oh my God, Amelia rested at Aunt Rose’s Hotel; and Aunt Ginny (the main character in the book) met Amelia at the hotel and made her soup for the flight; etc.”
What motivated/inspired you to write this book? HS: What motivated me to write this book was a sense of family history.  My father died in 1993 and my aunt died in 2001. She was the last of the Ross’ from Harbour Grace, Newfoundland.  As the eldest of four children, I knew more of the family stories than my brother and sisters.  If I didn’t write them down, they’d be lost forever.  This book is for my children …