Arts·Art Post Outpost

From spring reading recs to The Simpsons, here are last week's arts stories you might have missed

Your weekly roundup of the best arts stories from across the CBC network.

In this week's Art Post Outpost, CBC Books' seasonal reads arrive and The Simpsons characters turn 30

(20th Century Fox)

Here at CBC Arts, you won't just find our original content — we also bring you the best art posts from across the entire CBC network.

These are the week's can't-miss stories:

Looking for a new read? Here are 21 books you need to read this spring. (CBC Books)

The CBC Books 2017 spring reading list (CBC Books)

The birds are singing, the sun is poking its head out — and a whole crop of great new reads are in full bloom. CBC Books' seasonal reading lists are always a handy guide to your next few months of literary adventures, and this spring is no exception.

This undated frame from the Fox series "The Simpsons," shows the popular cartoon family posing in front of their home, from left, Lisa, Marge Maggie, Homer and Bart Simpson. (Fox Broadcasting Co./Associated Press)

The Simpsons at 30: who is the greatest character ever? (q)

On April 19, 1987, everyone's most beloved yellow family appeared on television for the very first time. The Tracey Ullman Show aired its first short segment featuring Bart, Homer, Marge, Lisa and Maggie before a commercial break that night, and the rest is history. In honour of the milestone, q's staff showed some love to their favourite Springfieldians, from nerdy neighbour Ned Flanders to Otto Mann the automan.

Yellowknife's Ben Nind, who's written and produced numerous plays, has held positions with the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre and has years of experience in arts programming in remote northern communities. (Submitted)

'Surprised, honoured, humbled': Yellowknifer 1st from N.W.T. on Canada Council for the Arts (CBC North)

The Canada Council for the Arts just welcomed its first board member from the Northwest Territories in hopes of making the organization's services more accessible in the Canadian North. Yellowknife's Ben Nind — who has years of experience in the northern arts scene under his belt — says the opportunity is one he's cherishing. As he told CBC North: "How do we reach out to the most isolated of artists and arts community organizations to be able to say, the support is really coast to coast to coast and we're not just playing lip service?" We've got faith he'll find the answer.

Louis Riel 'is a very powerful way to connect with the fluctuating identity of Canada,' says Russell Braun, who plays Riel in the Canadian Opera Company’s new production. (National Archives of Canada)

New version of Louis Riel opera emphasizes Indigenous roles and languages (CBC News)

Louis Riel was the very first Canadian-written opera mounted by the Canadian Opera Company 50 years ago — but that means its views were a little stuck in the past, too. That's the problem director Peter Hinton is hoping to tackle with a new take on the production. "The opera was written in its time and is very much an artifact of its time," he explained to CBC News. "In remounting it, I wanted to bring in more perspectives of the story." That means a "physical chorus" of Indigenous performers who silently bear witness, an aria sung in Cree and much more. As the country considers how to reframe 150 years of colonial history, the timing couldn't be more fitting.

The popular opera Louis Riel is returning, courtesy of the Canadian Opera Company, for this year's Canada 150 celebrations. (Courtesy of the Canadian Opera Company)

A new production of Louis Riel challenges Canadians to look more deeply into Indigenous history (q)

The remounting of Louis Riel was the talk of the network last week, with cast members Jani Lauzon and Justin Many Fingers joining q to get even more in-depth about the new version. One of the things the company fixing this time around is bringing Indigenous voices directly into the production to properly represent those perspectives, and both Lauzon and Many Fingers have high hopes for the results. As Lauzon told host Tom Power: "What this does, in terms of our intersection and ability to be on that stage, is to show our youth that it's possible to have those kinds of dreams." Now there's something worth singing about.

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