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July 2011 Archives

WAM July 30-31 David Hayashida

The Jonathon Bancroft Snell Gallery in London, Ontario celebrates pots and potters. This week, the gallery opens Matter of Clay III, an event they pull off every five years.

The gallery invites Canada’s leading ceramicists to exhibit all new work, and this year over one hundred artists will show in their space. The work is valued at nearly a half-million dollars.

The Snell Gallery has invited three potters from Newfoundland and Labrador to the show - Reed Weir from Robinsons, and Linda Yates and David Hayashida, partners in King’s Point Pottery.

David will attend the show which opens Thursday in London, and he joins me on the phone now. Good morning, David.

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WAM July 30-31 Kenneth J. Harvey

Love him or hate him, and he does tend to polarize people, Kenneth J. Harvey is by any measure a successful novelist. He’s written bestsellers and prize winners, and he’s twice been nominated for the Giller Prize and the Commonwealth Writers Prize.

But some people are put off by his subject matter and by his hard-headed confrontation of difficult issues.

His new novel, Reinventing the Rose, goes to just these places. The headlines. The paranormal. Psyches and warped desires. And it may also be his last novel.

Kenneth Harvey joined me in the studio this week for a chat about the book and the future. He began by telling me about the inspiration for Reinventing the Rose.

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WAM July 30-31 Gary Cranford

There is renewed interest in geneology and the past, the lives that were lived and the places in which they were lived.

Flanker Press has just begun an “historic” series that will produce a number of titles that they hope will throw a light upon the history and character of our places and our people.

The first three volumes have just been released: Historic Barr’d Islands; Historic Bay Roberts; and Historic Bell Island.

I asked Flanker Press’s publisher Gary Cranford from whence the idea for the series came.

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WAM July 30-31 Edmund Burry

In Trinity, in the late 1700`s, he was like a Michaelangelo - a doctor, a surgeon, a priest, a judge, a customs officer. Some considered him the Pillar of Trinity - John Clinch.

Edmund Burry was struck by the real-life story and decided it needed to be told. But he didn’t want to create a dry history, so he decided to novelize the tale of John Clinch.

I asked Ed to tell me the real story of John Clinch, the 18th century doctor in Trinity, the one that convinced him to write the historical novel Clinch - The Pillar of Trinity.

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WAM JUly 30-31 Peter Laracy

Much archeological investigation at Cupids has resulted in the unearthing of literally thousands of artifacts that describe the life and times of the earliest English settlement in Canada.

The Cupids Legacy Center was established to display, interpret and preserve much of the material from the Cupids Cove Plantation site. But there’s one aspect of life in Cupids that has not yet been officially recognized at the center, the cultural life.

Peter Laracy is the general manager of the Cupids Legacy Centre and I asked him first to describe what it is we can see at the centre.

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WAM July 30-31 On The Weekend Arts Magazine

Faeries sighted in Cupids! Well, really … where else? Cupids? Faeries? An 18th century doctor resident in Trinity receives the historical novel treatment from Edmund Burry in Clinch. A 21st century conundrum - when it comes to a pregnancy, who “owns” what? Is there anything to “own?” - gets the Kenneth J. Harvey treatment in Reinventing the Rose. Guitarist Steve Cowan turns off his electric gitbox for an afternoon and warms up his classical axe. The Liner Notes treatment is extended to East of Empire.

The Weekend Arts Magazine airs from 6 to 9:30 island time - 5:30 to 9:00 in parts of Labrador - on Saturday and Sunday mornings on CBC Radio 1.

If you just can’t reach the bedside radio [you do have a bedside radio, don’t you?] for a live listen, then check our podcasts and streaming interviews, available at cbc.ca/wam. Or follow @CBCWam on Twitter. Or search for CBC WAM on Facebook. Or listen live from anywhere in the world. Go to cbc.ca/nl and bink the Listen Live to Radio One button. There he is! That’s him! Mack Furlong …

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WAM July 23-24 James E. Candow

It’s been in the lives of townies for almost ever. It’s in song, story, myth, and visual representations of all kinds from stamps to lithographs to photographs. It has come almost to represent the St. John’s. It is as iconic as the Bascilica, the harbour and Moo-Moo’s ice cream.

Signal Hill.

The noon-day gun. Lover’s lane. Its life as a military installation, a communications icon and a tourist destination.

These and many more stories are told in a new book, The Lookout - A History of Signal Hill, by historian James E. Candow.

The book received its launch this week and I invited Jim into the studio to talk about it.

I began by asking him why we need a history of Signal Hill.

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WAM July 23-24 Greta Hussey

Newfoundlanders have always made do with what they got. And when they got nothing, they go somewhere where there is something.

Greta Hussey lived a life like that in the dirty thirties, growing up helping the family stay alive.

All these many years later, soon-to-be ninety year old Greta set her remembrances down in book form and now Flanker Press is presenting them to you. Our Life on Lear’s Room Labrador tells stories of a style of life now long lost.

I spoke with Greta by phone this week and asked her when she first went down the Labrador.

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WAM July 23-24 Keith Pike

The Stephenville festival’s 33rd season started opening a week ago Friday night with a sold-out house for the premiere production, the musical British Invasion.

This augurs well for the festival, and for its new artistic director, Keith Pike, serving his first term in that position.

Shows have been opening for the intervening seven days, and Keith, a busy man!, spoke with me earlier this week. I began our conversation by asking Keith what the Festival means to him.

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WAM July 23-24 Dorothy Palmer

“A spaceship hurtles towards the moon, hippies gather at Woodstock, Charles Manson leads a cult into murder and a Kennedy drives off a Chappaquiddick dock: it’s the summer of 1969. And as mankind takes its giant leap, Jordan May March, disabled bastard and genius, age fourteen, limps and schemes her way towards adulthood.”

That’s the capsule summary of Dorothy Palmer’s debut novel When Fenelon Falls, taken from the back cover of her book.

It doesn’t include the manic monitoring of the CHUM radio Top 40 by the lead character, Jordan, nor the language her adoptive family creates amongst themselves, nor the bear in the cage just up the hill.

For all that, you’ll have to read When Fenelon Falls.

So, when I had the author, Dorothy Palmer, in the studio with me, my first question to her was, where does When Fenlon Falls come from?

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WAM July 23-24 on Weekend AM

Join Mack Furlong and meet some writers - like Greta Hussey, who chronicles her life on Lear’s Room in Labrador. Like Dorothy Ellen Parker, whose real-life stories have led to a heartwarming and heartbreaking first novel about the tangled web of family relations. Plus more festivals, and music and ticket and book giveaways. And you won’t believe the story Everett Adams tells on Liner Notes!

If you just can’t reach the bedside radio [you do have a bedside radio, don’t you?] for a 6:00 to 9:30 listen on Saturday and Sunday - 5:30 to 9:00 in parts of Labrador - then check our podcasts and streaming interviews, 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 bink the Listen Live to Radio One button. Et voilà, c’est lui, that’s him, Mack Furlong!

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WAM July 16-17 Shakespeare By The Sea

I asked Jenn if she thought when she started with Shakespeare by the Sea if it would go nineteen years … in a row!

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WAM July 16-17 Petrina Bromley

This Marvellous, Terrible Place, a book many of us know from our or our parent’s coffee tables, has been adapted for Rising Tide Theatre’s Trinity stage by actor, writer, musician Petrina Bromley.

The collection of photographs and reminiscences created and archived by Yva Momatiuk and John Eastcott captured a way of life in Newfoundland and Labrador on the way out. Petrina has created a series of songs, monologues and dialogues to accompany onstage projections of the photographs.

I asked Petrina to tell me a little about the book.

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WAM July 16-17 Joy-Jones-Malone

Robert Joy, Greg Malone and Andy Jones, arguably three of the finest actors to develop from the Newfoundland and Labrador theatre scene.

Bob Joy finished up his run as Prospero in Theatre by the Bay’s production of The Tempest this weekend. Greg Malone opens in the New World Theatre production of The Merchant of Venice which opens next Sunday in Cupids. Andy Jones will play Falstaff in Henry IV Part I, also a New World production. It opens in August.

Andy and Greg joined me in the studio and Bob was with us on the phone from Barrie. We were meant to discuss Shakespeare and the challenges the characters present to the actors.

But can’t you imagine the conversation ranged all over the place, but never really got far away from the point.

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WAM July 16-17 Mats Melin

The International Council for Traditional Music comes to St. John's this week for its 2011 World Conference.  This is the 41st world conference of the ICTM, and it is the leading global venue for the presentation of new research in music and dance. This year's conference marks only the second time in its history that it will be held in Canada.

One of the presenters at the 2011 Conference Mats Melin. He partook of a discussion under the theme of 'Indigenous Modernities.' Mats's speciality is Cape Breton/Scottish step-dance, which I guess explains why he works in Ireland. Mats also delivered a workshop on Percussive dance.

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WAM July 16-17 Christina Parker / Peter Wilkins

It is so big and expansive that Christina Parker doesn't hear you come in the door! The Christina Parker Gallery has moved from its previous location to expansive new digs on Water St. East overlooking the Narrows. Huge new rooms, alcoves, window seating, display space galore and the artists to impress. The new space opened officially this past Wednesday and I spoke with a tired but exhilirated Christina Parker on Thursday morning. I asked her about her reaction to the large display area.
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WAM July 16-17 This week on the Weekend Arts Magazine

Mack visits the new home of the Christina Parker Gallery and reports back on some of the art and artists there. Award winning singer songwriter Chris Kirby hosts another of his “Whose Song in it Anyway?” song circles - what is it, anyway? You’ll find out. Actor / writer Petrina Bromley found a collection of photographs that has inspired her to write a play. Former CODCO actors Robert Joy, Andy Jones and Greg Malone all star in different productions of Shakespeare this summer … how cool is THAT? They’ll tell us. Liner Notes on Sunday morning features the new album from David Picco.

If you just can’t drag yourself out of bed 6:00 to 9:30 on Saturday and Sunday - 5:30 to 9:00 in parts of Labrador - to be with Mack , then check his podcasts and streaming interviews, 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 bink the Listen Live to Radio One button. And there he is!

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WAM July 9-10 Agnes Walsh

Agnes Walsh writes and thinks deeply about the place she comes from, the Cape Shore, and as a poet, she has been creating poems and a personal voice based on it, .

Since 1999, Agnes has also been writing plays about that place for the Tramore Theatre, based in Cuslett.

In these plays are the people, places, and voices of the past. And, it seems, of the future.

Now these plays have been set to print by Breakwater Books in the collection Answer Me Home, Plays from Tramore Theatre.

I began our talk by asking Agnes where, physically, the plays come from.

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WAM July 9-10 On The Weekend Arts Magazine

Jill Barber picks a song just for you! She’ll also be in town next week performing at the Wreckhouse Jazz and Blues Festival. Agnes Walsh has written a play for you! Actually, she’s written several and celebrates the publishing of a collection of her Tramore plays. Jonny Harris is coming to town with a comedy show appropriately full of fun! Then there’s the International Conference of Traditional Music - speeches, concerts, workshops, displays and so much more. Wait! There’s Festival 500! Don’t forget the choirs! Liner Notes features a new cd from Renée Marquis - With Wine - Volume 1.

If you find it impossible to be with Mack from 6:00 to 9:30 on Saturday and Sunday - 5:30 to 9:00 in parts of Labrador - then check his podcasts and streaming interviews, 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 celebrate!

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WAM July 2-3 Literary Cocktail

Ah, summer. When the heat finally comes, or even while you’re waiting for the heat, nothing beats sipping a cooling cocktail or two. Perhaps you’d rather be hosting a big backyard barbecue, serving Caesars. Whateven, so long as it involves reading. Which is why we want you to give your favourite summer drink a literary twist.

In partnership with the folks at cbc.ca/books, the same people who brought you the cross-country bookshelf, we’re running a Literary Cocktail contest.

What drink would you serve your favourite literary character? Would Anne Shirley get a Shirley Temple? A Sour Puss for Puss ‘n’ Boots? Would you show off your creative side and create a cocktail yourself? A dark twist on a white Russian for Anna Karenina? When it comes to literary cocktails, we’re up for anything.

To get you started, I asked Jeremy Bonia, the winemaster and co-owner of Raymond’s Restaurant in St. John’s, to serve me a cocktail based on a Newfoundland character or book or poem or writer. Yesterday, I bellied up to his bar.

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WAM July 2-3 Makin Time With The Yanks

If you can remember 1981, you probably remember one of the most popular plays ever created by the Mummers Troupe, Makin’ Time With The Yanks.

And you probably remember the original cast: Rick Boland, Janis Spence, Brian Downey, Kay Anonsen, Jane Dingle, and Paul Steffler. The play is set in 1939 and tells the stories of both Newfoundlanders and Americans as two cultures clashed on the dancefloors of St. John’s.

Well, with a new cast, the show is back. Resource Centre for the Arts Theatre Company produces the re-mount at the LSPU Hall in downtown St. John’s.

And the show has the original director - Mary Walsh. Mary, of course, is well-known for her work with CODCO, This Hour has 22 Minutes, Hatching Matching and Dispatching … not to mention her many movie and theatre credits.

I spoke with Mary this week in the studio.

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WAM July 2-3 George Murray

It seems everybody wants to squabble with artists about funding.

Federal Conservative Government finance Minister Jim Flaherty took a swipe at arts groups this week when he commented that they should not “assume in their budgeting that every year the government of Canada is going to give them grants.”

I wonder if he said the same thing to GM, or Exxon.

But the bite has been felt already. Summer Works, a well-respected theatre company in Toronto, said this week they have lost their federal funding. And it came as a surprize to them.

George Murray is the executive director of the Association of Cultural Industries for Newfoundland and Labrador. George also is a director of the board of the Canadian Conference of the Arts, the CCA.

I asked him what he thinks this announcement means for arts groups in Canada.

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WAM July 2-3 Stephen Zeifman

The Two Whales Café in Port Rexton has just opened an exhibit of the work of Stephen Zeifman. The show is called Painting and Assemblage. Stephen is an artist with 35 years’ experience teaching and has exhibited photography and painting in galleries across Canada and the US. He claims the works in this show could only have been created in Newfoundland, only on the Bonavista Peninsula, where he now lives.

I called Stephen the other day and asked him where Painting and Assemblage started.

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