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May 2011 Archives

WAM May 28-29 Stuart McLaughlin

Stuart McLaughlin is Chief Executive of Business to Arts, Developing Creative Partnerships. He’s based in Dublin and has been working the field between the two camps since 2007. And he puts his money … or your money … where his mouth is. In 2009, he was Ireland’s Fundraiser of the Year.

Stuart McLaughlin was in St. John’s this week to speak at a Roundtable discussion for the Business and Arts Initiative, local group that believes artists need support from business just as business needs creative people to compete in today’s economy.

I spoke with Stuart earlier this week. I asked him how you can make business and art meet and help each other.

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WAM May 28-29 Kyran Pittman

Kyran Pittman is the daughter of legendary Newfoundland poet Al Pittman. Now Kyran is becoming legendary in her own right.

Her internet blogging caught the interest of Good Housekeeping magazine several years ago and she’s been a contributing editor there ever since.

Now, Kyran has entered the world of memoirs … memoirdom, you might call it.

Planting Dandelions - Field Notes from a Semi-Domesticated Life a memoir is her take on life, love, children, leaving, staying and just plain being.

I caught up with Kyran when she was in Toronto last week touring in support of the book. Here’s our conversation.

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WAM May 28-29 Cheryl Hickman

Opera on the Avalon enters its third year as both a training program and a festival.

Cheryl Hickman and her faculty welcome young singers and musicians from around the world for an in-depth learning experience in and around St. John’s. Cheryl joins me in the studio. Good morning, Cheryl.

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WAM May 28-29 Ed Riche

Edward Riche has written for the stage - Possible Maps and List of Lights - for the big screen - Rare Birds andSecret Nation. He’s written for the little screen, too - Made in Canada and Life with Derek - and for radio, The Great Eastern and Plane with One Wing. Now, he’s back as a playwright. Ed’s new script, Hail, is currently on stage at the LSPU Hall in St. John’s.

I spoke with Ed yesterday, the morning after opening night. I began by congratulating him on the production, which I’d attended.

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WAM May 28-29 John Ralston Saul

Many people consider John Ralston Saul as one of the pre-eminent thinkers in the country. And it’s not just Canadians who think that way - Time magazine calls him a prophet, and the Utne Reader declared him one of the top 100 leading visionaries in the world.

Memorial University took note of this, I’m sure, and this week presented Saul with an honorary doctorate of letters at its spring convocation. They say he is “a writer and thinker unbounded by the restrictions of discipline or doctrine,” and that “John Ralston Saul has given Canadians the opportunity to rethink their identities.”

I took the opportunity of his visit to the province to speak with John Ralston Saul about one of his recent activities, he serves as series editor for the Penguin collection of biographies of Extraordinary Canadians.

But first I asked John Ralston Saul how it felt to be granted an honorary doctorate from Memorial.

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May 28-29 On The Weeend Arts Magazine

Mack Furlong visits the Leyton Gallery for a show of New Works by Louise Sutton and Space and Place by EVA-nominated Emerging Artist Jillian Waite. Stuart McLaughlin of Ireland’s Business to Arts talks about how artists and business people can just all get along. Edward Riche will talk about his new Resource Centre for the Arts-produced play Hail. Kyran Pittman dishes about her new memoir. And Mack’s got opera! Opera on the Avalon, both a festival and a learning experience for operaistas. And then there’s MUN’s School of Music Opera RoadShow. Liner Notes features the just-released and long-anticipated recording from Barry Canning.

If you can’t join Mack from 6:00 to 9:30 on Saturday and Sunday - 5:30 to 9:00 in parts of Labrador - then collect the podcasts from cbc.ca/wam. Or chase @CBCWam on Twitter. Or find Facebook’s CBC WAM for NL’s Galoot of a Culture. If you live outside the province, go to cbc.ca/nl and bink the Listen Live to Radio One button. You gotta get your art!

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May 21-22 Elizabeth Park Elementary School Song

Elizabeth Park Elementary School in Paradise is a brand new school, but it already has some history, and a school song!

When their old school in Paradise was closed because of mold issues, the students all moved to the School for the Deaf building while they awaited the completion of their new digs. They’d been there since last September, but this February moved into their new location.

Teacher Donna Howse Winsor decided a new school needed a school song. She canvassed the children for ideas, her husband put them into lyrics, and noted composer Clifford Crawley was commissioned to create the melody.

This week, with the assistance of music teacher Louise Collins, Brian Way on piano, Kelly Ann Evans as guest vocalist and Rich Blenkinsopp at the recording console of Petro-Canada Hall in Memorial University’s School of Music, a choir of grade 4 and 5 singers recorded the Elizabeth Park Elementary School Song. And I was there!

I spoke with a half-dozen of the choristers before they went in to the recording session.

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WAM May 21-22 Robert Parsons

Newfoundland and Labrador boast thousands of miles of gorgeous coastline. But all that beauty hides a great deal of danger. Ask anybody who’s ventured out onto the sea.

Writer Robert Parsons has chronicled many of the disasters that have befallen sailors and ships in his twenty-plus books. Robert’s latest book focuses on one section of shores, that part along Cape Race. I spoke with Robert earlier this week.

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WAM May 21-22 Thomas Curran

Murder most foul, langurous free-spirited women, a green MG, shadowy political intrigue and post-World War II St. John’s all tangle up in the latest Inspector Eric Stride mystery, Death of a Lesser Man.

Thomas Rendell Curran created Eric Stride and placed him in our capital city. Tom has been slightly surprised by the interest readers have shown in Stride, but happily surprised.

I spoke with Tom from his Ottawa home earlier this week.

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WAM May 21-22 X-Country

What books would you suggest a visitor to the province “must read” before arriving? Librarian Pat Parsons, artist Craig Francis Power and I will suggest ten for you to consider. Then you get to vote on your favourites on Cross-country Bookshelf.

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WAM May 21-22 Angela Pickett

Angela Pickett has been wowing live audiences with her violin and viola playing for years. But now, a recording she has made with her band Sybarite5 is wowing audiences around the world.

Sybarite5’s new disc, Disturb the Silence, debuts this week at #11 on the Billboard crossover classical charts.

Now that’s a wow!

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WAM May 21-22 Don Downer

Don Downer, a marine biologist, worked for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, taught biology at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, served as a school principal and through his many years in classrooms developed a deep desire to encourage young people to understand and appreciate the world around them. Especially the animals and fishes of the North Atlantic.

Upon retirement, Don set out to write books for young readers that would both entertain and inform. Three of those books have just been released by Cape Breton University Press.

Selby the Lobster, originally published in 1999, is joined by Schnider’s World, A Harp Seal Story, and Selina, an Atlantic Salmon.

Don is in Norris Point this morning, he’s taking part in the Trails, Tales and Tunes Festival. Good morning, Don. Congratulations … it’s not many authors who drop three books onto the shelves all at once.

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WAM May 21-22 Tourism Archives

The Archives situated in The Rooms has a beautiful little alcove just before you enter the business end of the department that often holds displays of material from the Archives themselves.

Currently available for you to see is an exhibit called Twixt Mountains and Sea: Pre- Confederation Tourism in Newfoundland.

The exhibit features ads, artifacts … and Lee Wulff.

Allen Byrne curated the exhibit and he met with me in the alcove this week.

I asked Allen to tell me about the development of the Newfoundland Tourist Development Board.

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May 21-22 On Weekend Arts Magazine

Mack Furlong invites you to create a Cross-Country Book Shelf. Imagine you have friends visiting Newfoundland and Labrador this summer. Along with the sun screen, they should pack 5 books as “must reads,” books that will tell them about this place and what they might find here. Librarian Pat Parsons and author Craig Francis Power help Mack create a list of ten and you get to vote and reduce that number to 5. There’ll be prizes! Plus Thomas Randell Curran on the third installment of the Inspector Stride series - Death of A Lesser Man. And the Elizabeth Park Elementary School Song. Liner Notes guest is Shawn Beresford.

If you can’t join Mack from 6:00 to 9:30 on Saturday and Sunday - 5:30 to 9:00 in parts of Labrador - then collect the podcasts from cbc.ca/wam. Or chase CBCWam on Twitter. Or find Facebook’s CBC WAM for NL’s Galoot of a Culture. If you live outside the province, go to cbc.ca/nl and bink the Listen Live button. You gotta get your art!

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HAIL - Robert Joy, Aiden Flynn, Brad Hodder, Brian Marler

The stars will be shining at the stellar LSPU Hall in a couple of weeks. The Resource Centre for the Arts Theatre company presents Hail, the new play from Edward Riche. Riche is a celebrated novelist, screenwriter and playwright. Charlie Tomlinson directs the play which stars Aiden Flynn, Brad Hodder, Robert Joy and Brian Marler. Hail tells the story of four men, university pals turned accomplices, who worry when the past comes a’calling years later. Here’s a scene from the play.

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I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to chat briefly with Robert about his work and his life. Some of the public highlights include working with CODCO, playing alongside Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan, working with Woody Allen and having a regular role on CSI:NY.

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Julie Wilson - Brick Books Poetry Performance Archive

Brick Books is one of the most successful publishers of poetry in Canada, and the only publisher that releases poetry exclusively. Created in 1975 by poets Stan Dragland and Don McKay, Brick has published some of our most celebrated writers and poems. Brick celebrates its thirty-fifth birthday by giving itself - and us - a present. An audio archive of poets reading their own work. Brick hired Julie Wilson of Book Madam & Associates to produce and publicize the project. Their podcast channel now houses over one hundred sixty recordings. You can find the poets and poems on the web at audioboo.fm, then search for Brick Books.

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Dean Burry - The Brothers Grimm 10th Anniversary

Ten years ago, Gander native Dean Burry wrote The Brothers Grimm. His then-brand new opera for children was hitting the road to tour schools throughout Ontario as a production of the prestigious Canadian Opera Company. So, a decade later, what’s Dean Burry up to? I contacted Dean in Toronto and asked him what The Brothers Grimm meant to him and his career. Dean Burry’s newest touring opera, Le Nay de la Sorciere, is touring Newfoundland right now with the MUN School of Music Opera road company. Be on the lookout for Dean’s new musical play Beacon of Light, onstage at Trinity with Rising Tide Theatre this summer before moving to Gander for the anniversary of 9/11.

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Omar Jaramillo - Urban Sketchers

Omar Jaramillo has been sighted at many locations around St. John’s in the last couple of weeks and everybody seems to know him. Omar constantly sketches the people and places around him. He’s become a mini-celebrity. Now you can hear him tell his own story. Omar continues sketching around the capital city. If you’d like to see some if his work, check his website. The address is omar-paint.blogspot.com. On that page, you will also find a link to the Urban Sketchers web presence.

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Weekend Am - The how and the where - May 14-15

Mack Furlong brings you the stories and the people involved in the arts, culture and heritage of our province. But the show is on so early! If you can’t join him from 6:00 to 9:30 on Saturday and Sunday - 5:30 to 9:00 in parts of Labrador - then collect the podcasts from cbc.ca/wam. Or chase CBCWam on Twitter. Or find Facebook’s CBC WAM for NL’s Galoot of a Culture. If you live outside the province, go to cbc.ca/nl and bink the Listen Live button. So many different ways to get your art. And you don’t want to miss Liner Notes this week - the radio is the only place you’ll hear The Domestics!

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Lawrence Jackson Writers' Award - Sara Tilley

The Lawrence Jackson Writers’ Award, honouring that writer’s memory, comes with a $500 cash prize. The award encourages and promotes original and creative thought in all genres of writing. It is supported by his mother, his wife and his children. This year, it encourages and promotes Sara Tilley. Sara is a St. John’s-based writer and theatre artist.

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Hey Rosetta! APP

The new world of communications includes ‘musts’ that people crave - iPhones, iPads, Facebook pages and Twitter followers in the thousands. Another ‘must’ these days is a ticket to see Hey Rosetta! perform, or at least a copy of their latest download or video. Now, you can put the two together - Hey Rosetta! has recently announced the Hey Rosetta! app for iphones. Phil Maloney plays drums with Hey Rosetta!

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WOOD - Craft Council

Melanie Hamilton designs and builds beautiful furniture. Pete Stanbridge creates amazing drums. John Paul Goodyear makes intriguing and mysterious sculptures. Aside from all the beauty, all three have one other thing in common. They all work with wood. Oh, and all three collaborate on a new exhibit at the Craft Council Gallery in St. John’s.

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WANL Book Awards - non-fiction

The Writers Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador, in partnership with the Literary Arts Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, is about to honour excellence in writing with their 2011 Book Awards. This year, the awards spotlight non-fiction and poetry. Last week on Weekend AM you heard the poets on the shortlist for prizes. This morning, we hear from the finalists for the Rogers Communications Award for Non-Fiction, Glen Deir, Greg Malone and Rhonda Pelley.

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Mary Barry plays Place des Arts Montreal

One week from today, Mary Barry will awake in Montreal having achieved one of her life-long dreams. With another night to go! Mary will sing Saturday night next in the Studio Theatre of the Place des Arts in Montreal, one of the highest profile performing spaces in the country.

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