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June 2011 Archives

WAM June 25-26 Dr. Tom Gordon

Doctor Tom Gordon no sooner stepped down as director of the Music School at Memorial University than he stepped up as the new chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council.

Doctor Gordon remains a professor of music at Memorial and performs regularly as a pianist. His training is as a music historian and in that regard, his latest research interest has taken him to coastal Labrador where the Moravian music of the Inuit communities still exists.

Tom Gordon joined me in the studio this week and I asked him what this new position as chair of the NLAC means for him.

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WAM June 25-26 Frederick Lewis

American Rockwell Kent was a painter, a cartoonist, an illustrator, a muralist, a teacher, a writer, an architect, a thinker, a labour-leader, a world-traveller, a womanizer, a troublemaker and a socialist in the small “s” sense. He also lived in Brigus for about a year, in 1914, 1915, before being run out of town as a German sympathizer, although there is much evidence that Kent’s troublesome relationship with the community had more to do with it than his political beliefs did. The house he occupied is commonly called Landfall, or Kent cottage. The house was made a Heritage Structure in 1988.

The most recent visitor has been Frederick Lewis. He is a documentary filmmaker, one of his films was a three-hour piece Retracing Rockwell Kent, and a Professor at the School of Media Arts and Studies at Ohio University. He is currently writing a Rockwell Kent biography.

I spoke with Frederick and asked him how he got to Landfall.

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WAM June 25-26 Grenfell Campus Art Show

Grenfell Campus Art Gallery in Corner Brook opened its summer exhibitions this week.

They include Salmon Run, by Urve Manuel. You may have seen this piece at the Craft Council Gallery in St. John’s recently, and Urve was a guest on this show. Salmon Run is an installation of more than 90 glass fish swimming up a glass river while a glass osprey circles overhead.

Also opening is a Learning through the Arts in Western Newfoundland exhibition, Creatures and Habitats. It is created by Grade Twos who worked with artist-facilitator Chris Short on projects exploring science through visual arts.

The third show is Rare Reflections, a two-person exhibition of the textile art of Hilary Rice married to the sculptural vessels of jeweller Wesley Harris.

I was intrigued by the team and got them into the studio. I began by asking Hilary to describe the kind of work she does … how she creates and what she creates.

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WAM June 25-26 On Weekend AM

The New Chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council, Tom Gordon, tells host Mack Furlong what he thinks the role of the NLAC in the province is. Summer exhibitions at the Sir Wilfred Grenfell College Campus art gallery include Rare Reflections, a two-person show created by a textile artist and a jeweller. Hilary Rice and Wesley Harris talk about what they have in common. A heartbreaking, yet heart-warming, story of a battle for life is onstage in St. John’s next week with a production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Wit. Director Danielle Irvine and actor Wendi Smallwood tell us about the attractions to a play about a woman who is soon to die. A show of work by the Labrador West Visual Arts Association may be their last - we’ll hear about the dilemma in Lab West. Liner Notes features the new disc of re-made re-modelled tunes from Newfoundland and Labrador by the Modern Archetypes.

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 check our podcasts, available at cbc.ca/wam. Or follow @CBCWam on Twitter. Or take advantage of Facebook’s CBC WAM for NL’s Galoot of a Culture page. Or listen live from anywhere in the world. Go to cbc.ca/nl and click on the Listen Live to Radio One button. Mack will be there!

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WAM June 18-19 X-Country Bookshelf

The much-anticipated final results from the X-country Bookshelf contest. later, on Weekend AM.

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WAM June 18-19 Kathleen Knowling

Kathleen Knowling has been creating art in St. John’s since, oh, since the last century.

Kathleen studied art both formally and informally. She began working with watercolours, but has branched out to coloured pencils and oils, and to rug hooking. She’s written art criticism, she’s written poetry and she’s been a curator.

This afternoon Kathleen opens an exhibit of new oil paintings at the Emma Butler Gallery in St. John’s.

The show is very St. John’s - in the best kind of way. The colours and brushstrokes are bold, perhaps taking something from Kathleen’s rug hooking.

I spoke with Kathleen yesterday in the gallery.

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WAM June 18-19 Fogo Island Arts Corporation

Filmmaker Mary Lewis will be there. The director of the National Art Gallery of Canada, Marc Mayer, will be there. German artist Silke Otto-Knapp will be there. So will Siddharta Das, a designer from India.

They and other artists, thinkers, critics and laypeople will attend the Fogo Island Arts Corporation’s two-day international colloquium re-mode control - rethinking the idea of remote.

Jack Stanley is the Project Manager of the Fogo Island Arts Corporation and Sandra Cull is the community representative. I reached them by phone earlier this week. I asked Jack about the theme of the conference, how it developed and what it means.

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WAM June 18-19 Grand Bank Regional Theatre Festival

The Grand Bank Regional Theatre Festival begins its sixteenth year of summer offerings tonight. Berni Stapleton is the artistic director of the festival, I spoke with her by phone from Grand Bank. And Joan Sullivan directs one of the plays this year, she joined me in the studio.

I began by asking Berni to tell me about the upcoming season.

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WAM June 18-19 Tom Dawe

St. John’s Days Celebrations are scheduled morning, noon and night next weekend, the 24th, 25th and 26th in the capital city. The history and culture that make St. John’s unique will be on display, and many of the events are free of charge.

Museums and churches will have special shows. There’ll be a regatta on Quidi Vidi Lake. there’ll be concerts and demonstrations and films and photo contests and oh so much more.

One event that caught my eye was Now and Then - A Celebration of St. John’s Poetry.

It’s an afternoon of poetry readings hosted and developed by the city’s poet laureate, Tom Dawe. I asked Tom how he was going to celebrate St. John’s days and St. John’s poets.

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WAM June 18-19 On Weekend AM

Join Mack Furlong for information: about the Grand Bank Regional Theatre Festival, with Artistic Director Berni Stapleton; about the Nickel Independent Film Festival, with independent British filmmaker Mazin Power; about poet Tom Dawe’s project to breathe life into the words of St. John’s poets who might have gotten lost in the mists of the 50's and60’s; about Kathleen Knowling’s latest exhibit of new oil paintings; about the conference in Fogo, where they’re re-thinking the concept of remote; about hardcore band Swords’ newest cd release.

If you cannot possibly be with Mack from 6:00 to 9:30 on Saturday and Sunday - 5:30 to 9:00 in parts of Labrador - then boogie on over to our podcasts, available at cbc.ca/wam. Or follow @CBCWam on Twitter. Or take advantage of Facebook’s CBC WAM for NL’s Galoot of a Culture page. Or listen live from anywhere in the world. Go to cbc.ca/nl and click on the Listen Live to Radio One button. Mack will be ready and waiting!

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WAM June 11-12 Cover Me Canada

Are you an undiscovered musical talent ready to explode all over the Canadian and world musical scene? Do you know an undiscovered musical talent etc.

CBC Television has begun the search for a Canadian musician or group that will be selected as finalists for cross-country talent search with a recording contract and spondoolicks as prizes.

Cover Me Canada is the new tv series, and Don Weiner is the executive producer. I spoke with him yesterday morning and asked him to describe the series to me.

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WAM June 11-12 Dana Parsons

Singer Dana Parsons may have stumbled upon the opportunity of a lifetime.

Dana, along with her pianist and partner Wade Tarling, is off to England for a pair of concerts in mid-June, one of them at the Vortex Jazz Club. And the opportunity arose when a former teacher of Dana’s received a visit from an old friend from England, Ruth Whitehead.

I managed to get both Dana and Ruth together by phone and asked Dana what she’d be up to on her tour of Jolly Olde England.

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WAM June 11-12 Rick Baitz

Rick Baitz is an admired composer of music for film, and the Nickel Independent Film Festival has managed to snag Rick who will offer a master class as part of the festival’s workshop series to interested musicians and composers.

Rick’s credits include award-winning work on PBS documentaries, HBO’sThe Vagina Monologues, Life Afterlife and the Sundance-honoured The Education of Shelby Knox. He has scored for National Geographic specials and worked with Academy Award winners.

Not to mention that he also composes for concert performances, too.

I asked Rick what attendees at his workshop need to know about film and music.

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WAM June 11-12 Duane Andrews

Guitarist Duane Andrews, both a dad and a son, has created a special Father’s Day show for the whole family.

Duane once again expands his musical boundaries by augmenting his regular gypsy quartet with principal players from the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra and has created a group and show called Rhythm Futur.

I spoke with Duane recently about this and began by asking him who is Rhythm Futur and what do they do?

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WAM June 11-12 On The Weekend Arts Magazine

Mack Furlong visits Gander for in introduction to the Beyond the Overpass Theatre Festival - what’s shakin’ in Central? He also gets a tour of the JL Gallery, celebrating three years of being a modern art gallery in Corner Brook. Celebrated film score composer Rick Baitz presents a workshop at this year’s Nickel Film Festival, you’ll hear what he offers local musicians. Matthew Hornell prepares a solo Cross-Canada Tour and admits it’s a scary proposition, while Dana Parsons takes off for two dates in London, England … that can be pretty scary, too. Liner Notes features the new release from video sensations, the country-flim-flam duo of Wish and Flo.

If you cannot possibly be with Mack from 6:00 to 9:30 on Saturday and Sunday - 5:30 to 9:00 in parts of Labrador - then you must attend the podcasts, available at cbc.ca/wam. Or you can follow CBCWam on Twitter. Or take advantage of Facebook’s CBC WAM for NL’s Galoot of a Culture page. Or listen live from anywhere in the world. Go to cbc.ca/nl and click on the Listen Live to Radio One button. Mack will be there for you!

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WAM June 4-5 Paul McDonald

Paul McDonald is a partner in the law firm of Cox and Palmer. Cox and Palmer supports and partners with St. Michael’s Print Shop, the Sparks Literary festival, Opera on the Avalon, the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, the Wreckhouse Jazz and Blues Festival, the St. John’s International Women’s Film festival amongst others.

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WAM June 4-5 Paul Antle

Peter Gardner, formerly Artistic Director with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra.

The departure of Peter Gardner is not the only change at the NSO. Paul Antle is the chair of the board at the NSO as it moves into a new era.

I asked Paul what other changes are taking place at the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra.

. has slightly restructured itself in Peter’s wake. A new position has been created, that of Music Director. This person will take Peter’s role as artistic director and also be the principal conductor of the orchestra.

The NSO has also recently hired Neil Edwards as Executive Director. He replaces Peter as the General Manager.

I spoke with Paul Antle, the chair of the board at the NSO about all these changes.

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WAM June 4-5 Peter Gardner

Peter Gardner came here a wee Welsh lad, hoping to play violin in the local amateur St. John’s orchestra.

Forty years later, Peter retires from the positon of Artistic Director of the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra. The NSO has a resident string quartet, then there’s the Newfoundland Symphony Youth Orchestra. And the Philharmonic Choir. But he is far from retiring from music. He’s still involved with Festival 500, for instance.

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WAM June 4-5 Skinner Fund

Roger Skinner played drums with the Country Ducats, and the Ducats, and then with the Country Ducats. That’s a little joke, but it shows that to make a living in any end of the arts, you have to be adaptable.

Roger Skinner cared deeply about music and musicians and served as president of MusicNL from 2000 to his death in 2002.

Funds were subsequently raised to establish an annual endowment in his name to provide support to MUN School of Music students who are in need of financial assistance. I just love it.

And so does Roger’s daughter, Jillian, and Dr. Ellen Waterman, director of the School of Music in St. John’s.

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WAM June 4-5 Jean-Pierre Andrieux

The story of the fishery on the Grand Banks stretches back hundreds of years. Fishers from Europe have been coming here since the fifteenth century.

From dories to schooners to pair trawlers to FFTs, technology has harvested the Grand Banks and its products to the brink of disaster.

Businessman and popular historian Jean-Pierre Andrieux presents this history in a new book, The Grand Banks - A Pictorial History. It is resplendent with over five hundred photographs that help portray the story of our fishery.

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WAM June 4-5 Joel Thomas Hynes

Joel Thomas Hynes is sometimes seen by the general public as being the enfant terrible of the provincial arts scene. And indeed, his writing and performances are gritty, nervy and visceral. But they are not ill-considered. Joel ponders a lot, about who we are, where we are, what we are perceived as being, and then he lets you know what he thinks about it all.

Thus came the rant or manifesto God Help Thee. Joel performed it a couple years ago and it became legend, partly because of the F-bombs, but also because of its thoughtfulness.

Now, thanks to Running the Goat Books and Broadsides, you can read it yourself, from a beautifully handmade chapbook.

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WAM June 4-5 Nikki Payne

You may know Nikki Payne from her screeching and bawling on CBC Radio’s The Debaters. Or perhaps you’ve seen her x-rated program in a stand-up club. Or on a Comedy Network special. Or perhaps you’re familiar with her from her appearances on the last comic standing.

Wherever you’ve met her, you’ll always remember her. She’s got a lisp, and she’s got an attitude.

Nikki Payne is coming to St. John’s for the 5th annual Newfoundland Screech Comedy Festival. And she’ll be hard to miss! Nikki will be appearing at several events, details to follow.

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