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What you missed in the newsletter: We are thankful opera

We hosted Canada's first live stream of a professional opera. Watch La Bohème now.

We hosted Canada's first live stream of a professional opera. Watch La Bohème now!

Scene from Against the Grain Theatre's production of La Bohème. (Against the Grain Theatre)

Hello! You're reading the CBC Arts newsletter, and if you like what you see, stick around! Sign up here, and every Sunday we'll send you a fresh email packed with art, culture and a metric truckload of eye candy.

Hi, art lovers!

Happy Thanksgiving! I sincerely hope that you've quadrupled your suggested daily calorie intake at some point this weekend, and if you did it in the company of treasured family and friends, so much the better. But there's one more holiday treat on the menu, care of CBC Arts. You can't eat it, and for that, I apologize, but the office is pretty excited about it anyway.

On Sunday night, we did a live broadcast of La Bohème. Like, a really, truly, actually live broadcast. Toronto's Against the Grain Theatre will be performing an English translation of the classic opera, and we streamed it as it happened like the olden days of television, or the Super Bowl, or an extremely scrappy version of Grease: Live or something. Catch it on CBC Gem and our YouTube channel. (Heads up for international readers: YouTube is the way to go. It's geofencing-free!)

Oh, and there's a twist. The performance didn't happen in a regular theatre. Against the Grain's been doing the show in dive bars all over the country — a tour you can still catch IRL, by the way — so for anyone who'd rather be out at the bar instead of roasting a turkey, this is as good as it's going to get. Enjoy! It was the first time a professional opera has ever been live streamed in Canada.

And because we promised you eye candy


Even after five helpings of pumpkin pie, looking at Oriana Ingber's paintings makes me think that I still have room for more.


Same goes for Howard Lee's work.


You're not going into a food coma. You ARE seeing things. (Find even more optical illusions c/o artist Michael Murphy by following @perceptual_art on Instagram.)


Personally, I think the best holiday in October is Halloween — which is why I'm a sucker for Angela Deane's spooky kitsch paintings.


And because sweater weather has very much arrived, lose yourself in Nina Dodd's "Knitted Camouflage."

You've got to see this

Xavier Dolan is done with directing - Being Canada's golden boy director isn't always easy, and Dolan tells CBC Arts that he's ready to take a break. "I am done for now," he says. "I want to change things up. I want a dog. I want to be in love." But first, his new movie Matthias & Maxime is hitting theatres. More on that project at the link.

Art that brings nature to you - If you read last week's newsletter, this is where you might be thinking, "Huh. CBC Arts goes on a helluva lot of nature walks — particularly in the Ottawa area." But the art that comes out of those outdoor adventures is always totally different, and this time around, we're meeting up with Whitney Lewis-Smith, an artist who creates elaborate dioramas from the organic bits and bobs she forages. They're her way of sending a message: respect and protect the natural world, dammit. (We need it to keep shooting short docs!)

Get an eyeful of the ROM's new mural - It'll be unveiled at Toronto's Royal Ontario Museum on Monday, Oct. 21, so consider this video your first sneak peek. Amanda Parris got to hang out with the 10 young artists who made it happen. They're members of the ROM's Youth Cabinet, an educational program where students learn from Indigenous guest artists, knowledge keepers and elders.

Follow this artist


Paul Jackson (@pauljacksonlives) - You know that episode of CBC Arts: Exhibitionists where Amanda Parris gets to go on a tour of The Funhouse in Toronto? (No? Well, watch it!) Anyway, this drawing is by Paul Jackson, the guy who led her around that wacky place. Follow him for even more mind-bending art.

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Until next week! 



Leah Collins is the Senior Writer at CBC Arts.