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The thrill of it all

Our Fantastic Symphony
Review by Ivy Wigmore

Confession: I come to symphony performances as a thrill-seeker. Yes, also because I’m going to review. But for my own requirements, well… I’m looking to be shaken and stirred. On November 22, the PEI Symphony Orchestra and special guests Paper Lions presented “Our Fantastic Symphony”—and they did not disappoint.

Conductor Mark Shapiro introduced the performance with reflections on the recent terrorist attacks and the refugee crisis and what it means that we choose, in these times, to come together for events like a symphony performance.

Hector Berlioz wrote “Symphonie Fantastique,” performed in the first half of the concert, for a single purpose: To woo Harriet Smithson, an Irish actress. The work’s five movements portray, according to various sources, either the composer’s self-portrait or a vision of the potential life the pair might have. In either case, the fact that his suit succeeded is somewhat fascinating. Throughout the first three movements, romantic themes are subverted by underlying frustration and dark despair, culminating in opium poisoning, murder and beheading in the fourth.

Maybe it was the cataclysmic passion and power of the final movement, “Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath,” that convinced Smithson, despite fairly clear indications that their union would not be a peaceful one. Passion can be pretty compelling. The PEISO delivered, in spades—it was positively electrifying. I do love it when a symphony audience is moved to whoops and whistles, as this one was.

The second half of the concert opened with Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man.” Fanfares have been used since the Middle Ages to signal important events, such as the arrival of royalty. This one marked a departure: Dan St. Amand, who left us last spring, was principle trumpeter with the PEISO and a pillar of the Island’s music community for many years. Known for his musicianship, his mentorship, his kindness and the elegant presence he brought to each performance, Dan is sorely missed. The fanfare was played in the round and in this context sounded haunting and elegiac: Call it a fanfare for an uncommon man.

Paper Lions hit the stage running, grabbed the audience and didn’t let go. Braydon Gautreau joined the band for “Traveller,” one of Paper Lion’s most popular and best-known songs. Had you been looking away, you would never guess that sound could come from a 12 year old. Braydon’s voice is husky, pure, evocative and nuanced. You could see jaws dropping in the audience; people appeared to be mesmerized. I only wished we might have heard him singing on his own a little longer than we did.

So, having admitted my preference for intensity in music, I’ll add this corollary: Pop isn’t my favorite flavour. Nevertheless, Paper Lions were a high-powered, infectious, rocking force for good. The group’s stated aim is no less lofty: They want to make us feel “fantastic.” Judging by the beaming faces of all ages, the clapping and singing along, it’s safe to say they hit their target. As did the PEISO: Thrills, delivered.

Black plus white

PEI Symphony Orchestra

Review by Ivy Wigmore

The PEISO opened its 48th season with a performance entitled “Symphonic Poetry,” under the direction of conductor Marc Shapiro.

Gustav Mahler’s Fourth symphony, presented as the first half of the performance, is often considered the most accessible of the composer’s symphonic works. That may be the case but nevertheless, the symphony is not without its complexities. The German composer is known for his expression of cognitive dissonance—that psychological discomfort that comes about because of holding inconsistent beliefs and attitudes and behaving in similarly discordant ways. The symphony is known popularly as “An Ode to Heavenly Joy,” but that’s not scratching the surface.

The symphony opens with sleigh bells and flutes, which are to be a recurring motif. These are intended to represent, according to various sources, something between childlike wonder and a fool’s bells. In the first and second movements in particular, Mahler contrasted lightness and lyricism with dark undercurrents. The lightness may represent a childlike view of the world, unsullied by conscious awareness of uncomfortable thoughts. The dark undercurrents, on the other hand, may represent the way those uncomfortable understandings refuse to stay completely repressed, the fact that the unconscious is churning away and the resultant unease.

The second movement, a scherzo, features a solo violin that is, as Maestro Shapiro remarked, tuned differently. Shapiro assured us in advance that the weird sound we might notice was created on purpose. The violin, at that point, represents Freund Hein, a German personification of death. According to Anna Mahler, the scherzo was inspired by a painting by the Swiss artist Arnold Bocklin, “Self-Portrait with Death playing the Fiddle.”

Our guest soloist, renowned soprano and Order of Canada recipient Suzie LeBlanc, performed the song that makes up the final movement, which is described as a child’s view of heaven. Again we have the juxtaposition of sunny simplicity and dark undercurrents. The orchestra began to play and then Ms. LeBlanc wandered into the church and through to the stage like a wide-eyed young girl looking around a strange environment.

Throughout the song she expressed a willful innocence compromised by internal struggle. In one part, Mahler’s German translates to: “John lets the lambkin out, and Herod the Butcher lies in wait for it. We lead a patient, an innocent, patient, dear little lamb to its death. Saint Luke slaughters the ox without any thought or concern.” There’s that cognitive dissonance again: Everything is perfect and all our desires are fulfilled but that requires the suffering and death of our fellow creatures, which we care for. The symphony ended by suddenly dissipating into the ether, like the pop of a bubble or a dream.

The second half of the program was “Four Songs on Poems by Elizabeth Bishop,” a setting of the poetry commissioned by Ms. LeBlanc and composed by Christopher Hatzis. Ms. LeBlanc’s voice is exquisite and her technique and dramatic presentation flawless but she was occasionally overwhelmed by the orchestra; although you could see that she was still singing, it wasn’t audible.

The particular poems represented are “I am in need of music,” “Insomnia (She is a daytime sleeper),” “The unbeliever” and “Anaphora,” and the styles ran the gamut from new-age to folk-tinged pop and classical. In accordance with Christopher Hatzis’ philosophy, the music was created to serve the poetry in terms of its tones, meaning, moods and rhythms: “My quest was to discover the song inside each poem by searching for symmetries behind the convoluted asymmetries of each poem’s surface…”

More conflict, unresolved, and yet it was a happy—if somewhat thoughtful—audience that dispersed out into the streets after the concert.

Is he here?

by Ivy Wigmore

The following is a true, if much condensed story. Names and a minor detail or two have been changed to respect the privacy of those involved…

Fiona knew the house was haunted. As she sat on the deck having tea with the widow, she heard unmistakable sounds of sawing and hammering from the workshop in the empty house. She knew who the ghost was and why he might linger. But having recently separated from the father of her two young girls, Fiona needed to find a new home and this one allowed them the comfort of staying in the same area.

From the time they moved in, Harold made his presence known. The atmosphere was heavy and they often felt eyes on them when no one was there. Items would disappear, nowhere to be found despite extensive searches and then suddenly turn up somewhere in plain sight. A door might rattle as if someone shook the handle from the other side or be locked when no one was there to turn the mechanism.

The house was cold, and turning up the thermostat couldn’t dispel the chill. In the living room, the cold became so intense each night that Fiona and the girls couldn’t stay to watch a movie, despite wrapping themselves in comforters. The chill would grow worse as the evening grew later, and felt willful, as if it were trying to force them from the room. They were often woken in the middle of the night by sounds of an argument, followed by a heavy tread down the stairs and the front door slamming.

Fiona and her daughters went on for some time sharing the house with the stubborn spirit. Then one night Fiona was in the bathroom preparing to go out for the evening, feeling lonely and sad, wishing she wasn’t on her own. Just then, she said, she felt arms go around her, hold her as if to provide comfort. It felt, Fiona said, just like a living person, there was warmth and pressure. But it also felt like a line had been crossed—physical contact was going too far.

Fiona brought in a medium to mediate with the spirit. She learned that Harold had been a diabetic who was not looking after himself, was flying into rages and was alienating his family. He had become increasingly despondent, unable to control his moods and hopeless about the future. He left the house around 3:00 one morning after a fight with his wife, drove around a few hours, came home and asphyxiated himself in the car. Suicide was the only way he could see out of his situation. The medium said he’d had a change of heart before he succumbed to the fumes. Harold had tried to get out of the car but the door handle came off in his hand as he breathed his last. The medium tried to convince Harold to cross over but it’s not clear whether he did.

One day ten years or so after she’d moved from the house, Fiona was walking to Timothy’s to meet me for coffee and tell me her story. She was unsure of the time and hoping she wasn’t late. A hand suddenly clasped her elbow, as if to urge her along. Startled, she looked to see who it was but there was no one there. Fiona saw me then, approaching from the opposite direction and we met as planned. Since that day, I’ve had occasional unexplained phenomena in my own house similar to what Fiona described, and I wonder: Has he moved on? Is he here now?

Awe inspiring

PEI Symphony Orchestra

by Ivy Wigmore

I like Professor Dacher Keltner’s definition of the word: “Awe is the feeling of being in the presence of something vast that transcends your understanding of the world.” Recent studies have reported that, of all the positive emotions, the experience of awe has the most profound effect on our well-being. Nature is a good source—there’s the ocean, the night sky, mountains, lightning, the northern lights—and art is another, whether visual art, dance or music. Which brings me to the final PEI Symphony Orchestra performance of this season, “The Passion of Sibelius.”

In fact, the Finnish composer split the bill with Mozart, whose final symphony, No. 41, was first up. Mozart wrote the symphony nicknamed “the Jupiter” in a dark period near the end of his short life. His infant daughter had died unexpectedly; he was depressed and concerned about his own and his wife’s health. There were also considerable financial pressures, which explains why, at such a dark time, the composer knocked out three symphonies in 50 days. As Director Mark Shapiro remarked, Mozart needed the money. Nevertheless, the Jupiter doesn’t suffer for having been inspired by need. The symphony begins with a courtly and militaristic allegro vivace. The second movement may be our window to the composer’s emotional state: it’s very sad. The third movement evokes the ballroom and the symphony finishes spectacularly with a counterpoint involving five separate melodies—no walk in the park for any orchestra. There are those who believe the Jupiter comprises a summary of all symphonic music written previously. In any case, Mozart’s final symphony is complex and engaging and, ultimately, optimistic. It is not known whether the composer ever heard the symphony performed.

There is some debate about the theme of Jean Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2. The composer himself called it “a struggle between death and salvation” and “a confession of the soul” while his biographer Karl Ekman called it “a song of praise to summer and the joy of living.” In Sibelius’ native Finland, the symphony was broadly felt to echo the people’s struggles under Russian rule and their hopes for freedom. Within the country, the work was sometimes known as the “Symphony of Independence.” That interpretation is easy to follow through a pastoral first movement evoking Finnish countryside, the two movements following expressing the struggle under tyranny, and the final, triumphant movement celebrating freedom.

Whatever Sibelius’ intention, the symphony moves from sunlit landscapes through dark territory, to emerge on the other side victorious. The music is dynamic, almost electrifying at times. In Zion Church, the venue for this concert, the sound was wonderful, the music reverberating through all the wood and air in such a way that we not only heard it but felt it too. In a way, I thought, the music plays us as we entrain to the rhythms, our heart rates and respiration changing as we listen to the sounds and feel the vibrations, feel our vibrations changing in response. After a live performance like that, you feel altered, uplifted by the experience in a way that can’t be achieved by listening to a recording.

Standing ovations are so common these days that they’ve lost currency, but you can still gauge audience response from the speed with which people rise. This performance produced a fast standing O, people clapped hard and there were even some shouts. After the extended applause finally died out, a friend sitting next to me turned to say, “My heart is just pounding!” There were tears in her eyes—and something else… I think you’d have to call it awe.

Symphonic Poems

PEI Symphony Orchestra

Review by Ivy Wigmore

On the first day of February, the PEI Symphony Orchestra presented “Celtic Landscapes” under the direction of guest conductor Dr. Karem Simon. No February symphony review would be complete without reference to the weather, so here you go: The temperature was brutal, the winds were fierce, the snow banks were mountainous and the sidewalks, where clear, were sheer ice. No matter. A near-capacity crowd was snugged up in the warmth of Zion church. Uncharacteristically, the traditional February concert weekend snowstorm had been content playing havoc with the rehearsal on Saturday, so that concert-goers only had to deal with hardship getting to the performance rather than the standard nigh-impossibility. Such is life here on Prince Edward Island at this time of year.

For this concert, Felix Mendelssohn, German composer of the early Romantic period, split the bill for the first part of the concert with Roy Johnstone, preeminent PEI fiddler (and more recently, composer) of the here and now.  The concert got underway with Mendelssohn’s Overture of the Hebrides, inspired by the composer’s visit to Fingal’s cave. The lyrical overture conjures for the listener the beauty of the cave and its lonely situation, the eternal rolling of the waves. 

Johnstone, in collaboration with Dr. Richard Covey, composed and orchestrated “Abeqweit: Symphony for an Island,” described as a symphonic poem. A symphonic poem is an orchestral composition that is designed to evoke something other than music, typically a narrative of some sort. In the case of “Abeqweit,” we have the story of the island formerly known by that name, which came from a Mi’kmaq word meaning “cradle (or cradled) on the waves.”  We seem to approach the Island from the sea, getting closer until we hear the waves softly lapping on the shore. The piece starts quietly, in the dead of winter, but then the air begins to shimmer and the frozen image comes to life. We hear, through the oboe, the voice of the First Peoples, an honour song that sounds like wisdom, grief and perseverance.  French voyageurs slip lively through the waters next; there’s foot clogging and Acadian dance music. The British military arrives. There’s a Scottish strathspey, an Irish jig and an Acadian lament. Symphonic devices connect the elements subtly so that the whole hangs together beautifully as a narrative rather than presenting as a sequence of bits and pieces. The piece finishes with the same representation of waves on the shore intended to evoke the name, Abeqweit. A reminder, according to Johnstone, of “the changeable beauty and fragility of the Island and its people.”

After intermission we settled in for the longer Mendelssohn composition. Symphony no. 3 in A minor, known as the Scottish, is another symphonic poem. This one was inspired by the composer’s 1829 visit to Holyrood Castle in Edinburgh and the abbey ruins there: “Everything around is broken and moldering and the bright sky shines in. I believe I have found today in that old chapel the beginning of my Scottish symphony.” The Scottish begins wistful and melancholy, moving through elements of Scottish music forms (including a bagpipe impression by solo clarinet) to a finale that borrows from Scottish folk dance forms set within a majestic theme. 

There’s another element of this performance that I’d be remiss in not mentioning: Joy. Dr. Simon conducted with superb assurance and professionalism, and the pleasure he took in this role was clear to see. Members of the orchestra were seen to beam spontaneously throughout; Johnstone and the audience seemed almost transported. Here, in this formidable frozen landscape, at least for an afternoon, we found an island of warmth. 

All Canada, All the Time

PEI Symphony Orchestra

Review by Ivy Wigmore

The premiere of a new composition is always exciting and for the second PEI Symphony Orchestra concert of this season, that thrill was doubled: To mark the sesquicentennial of the 1864 Charlottetown conference that started the ball rolling on Canada, the PEISO presented not one but two orchestral works created expressly for the occasion, the winners of a competition last January.

In his opening remarks, Director Mark Shapiro spoke of how moving he found the deep love Canadians have for their native land, how that love is inextricably connected to the natural world, the country’s vastness and the creatures inhabiting it. Each of the three very different presentations of November 23rd expressed that connection, that love.

Garret Krause is a Calgary-based composer and pianist who has won many awards at both the provincial and national levels. Krause’s “Where pines and maples grow” was created “as a tone poem that explores the great, expansive nation of Canada by incorporating melodies from its musical heritage.” The composition is a bit like a timeline, a series of stories extending from the days before European settlers through confederation and beyond the present day. First Nations, French and English are all well represented through snippets of folk songs interspersed with more modern music and the repeating O Canada motif.

We had been notified in advance that we’d be called upon for audience participation during Krause’s composition, and when the time came we were ready: We stood and sang “O Canada” as part of the presentation. After we’d done our patriotic duty and the piece was ended, Maestro Shapiro remarked that “Already we could go home satisfied, could we not?” Go home we did not, however, for there was yet a lot of music in our afternoon.

The other winner of the competition was Alice Ping Yee Ho, an acclaimed composer who said she had always wanted to write a piece about Canada. “Ocean Child” is the story of M’Whell, a young grey whale beached close to Vancouver, along the shore from a bird sanctuary. M’Whell’s story was sung exquisitely by soprano Charlotte Corwin, an accomplished performer of opera as well as concert repertoire. The operatic training stood Corwin in excellent stead as she sang from the young whale’s perspective through the four movements: Beach, Land, Deep and Rescue.

Throughout the sung story we hear references to the Canadian landscape, its waters and wildlife. We hear the discussion of rescuers. Even the CBC is referenced, as broadcasters report on the event.

A friend in the audience told me she’d had a nice little chat with the composer in the washroom during intermission and learned that the following week Ho would be in Taiwan for another world premiere. As my friend noted, that’s not the kind of encounter that you’d be apt to have during a symphony concert in larger centres.

After the intermission we went deeper, beyond Canada-centrism to PEI-centrism, when Catherine MacLellan took the stage. MacLellan’s music speaks directly to that same deep love of Canada and the physical environment. Her most recent release, The Raven’s Sun, deals with “life, death and transformation.”

MacLellan’s beautiful, warm voice comes straight from her heart and the lyrics come from those same roots, as she sings about “frost in the hollows” and her “little mountain home.” Speaking of roots, MacLellan sang father Gene’s much-loved “Snowbird” to finish the afternoon’s performance. How Canadian is that?

Afternoon Apotheosis

PEI Symphony Orchestra

Review by Ivy Wigmore

At the first performance of the 2014-15 season of the PEI Symphony Orchestra, Director Mark Shapiro provided a brief tutorial on conducting music while two young volunteers made their way to the stage to assist with “O Canada.” The maestro got us to follow along as he demonstrated, moving his hands in the four cardinal directions. “Wave your hands around,” he said. “Sometimes faster, sometimes slower. When the orchestra stops, you’re done.” The tutorial completed, the national anthem sung (and conducted in fine style), and we settled in for the concert.

Pardon the cliché, but it must be said: The PEISO’s 2014-2015 season started with a bang. Literally. When Kelly-Marie Murphy was starting work on her first composition, the conductor Bramwell Tovey beseeched her repeatedly: “Please do not overuse the percussion.” What did Murphy return with? “From the Drum Comes a Thundering Beat,” which she wrote to represent the workings of catalyst and energy in the act of creation. It’s a thrilling piece, containing elements of mystery, uncertainty, excitement, doubt and jubilation. The composer was inspired by a Zuni legend in which the people sought new music. They consulted with elders and were shown music and dance that began with a drum beat so loud it shook the cave—which Murphy deemed a fair depiction of the creative process. It’s said that the piece boasts some of the fastest and loudest music in existence. Also? Really quite a lot of percussion—but not, I think, a single beat too much.

The Suzanne Brenton Award is given each year to an advanced music student, based on outstanding performance in the PEI Kiwanis Provincial Music Festival. One of the perks of the award is the opportunity to perform with the PEISO. This year’s winner, Lucas MacPhail, chose Pierre Max Dubois’ Saxophone Concerto. Lucas MacPhail loves the saxophone. The instrument seems like an extension of his body, and the young virtuoso clearly puts his entire body and soul into creating each note. What that translates to, music-wise, is phenomenally nuanced and expressive playing. I was quite transfixed, and I don’t think I was the only one.

The major work for the performance was Modest Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition,” which was written in honour of Mussorgsky’s friend Viktor Hartmann, an architect and artist. The 10 movements, each of which was inspired by one of Hartmann’s artworks, are linked by recurring variations on a promenade. The viewer/listener moves along through the exhibition, past “Gnome,” “The Old Castle,” “Hut on Fowl Legs” and “Catacombs,” among other pieces. Finally we reach “The Great Gate of Kiev,” described by writer Richard Whitehouse as the composition’s “spine-tingling apotheosis.” As we were exiting the theatre after “Pictures at an Exhibition,” the woman in front of me turned to say, “Was that Russian enough for you?” And it was: Intensely, passionately, romantically, ravishingly Russian.

Apotheosis, in a general sense, is the glorification of something to divinity. And so it was that we journeyed over the course of that afternoon from the beat so loud it shook the cave (and initiated the act of creation) through earthly woes and pleasures and, finally, transcendence to the divine. Where could you go from that point? Wisely, the orchestra decided to let it rest there. And Maestro Shapiro, consummate professional that he is, stopped waving his hands pretty much simultaneously. Bravo!

The Widow’s Spirit

by Ivy Wigmore

Frances Shelley

The Haviland Club is a beautiful Italianate mansion sitting on the corner of Water and Rochford Streets. At the time of its completion, it would have had an expansive harbour view. If ever a house fit the description of a haunted house, the Haviland Club does. And, indeed, one pre-dawn winter morning some years back, as I approached it I saw a deep blue light swoop up to a dark window—for all the world like someone eager to see who it was walking up the road. Others have reported inexplicable events as well -- on two recent occasions, for example, a visitor to the Club reported seeing a woman looking out the window of a second-story room, although there was no one up there.

When the Club was founded in 1997, it opened its doors to women as both members and guests.  However, for the first 40 years of its existence, the Officers’ Club previously housed in the building had been off-limits to women; it was not until 1983 that the Club admitted its first female officers, and even then female civilians were not served. Despite that long-standing restriction, however, the individuals who have left the strongest impressions on the building may be two remarkable women.

I was introduced to Esther Lowden and Frances Shelley Wees (pictured here) when I spoke to manager Jamie Larkin in the fall of 2013. We chatted in the boardroom, where Jamie told me a little bit about the two women. A little later, as he led me into a small chamber known as the bride’s room, I sensed someone rushing up to me in extreme high spirits, elated and volatile, perhaps verging on hysteria. The hair stood on the back of my neck; simultaneously, Jamie commented that people often pick up on happy, excited energy in that room.

Esther Lowden built what is now the Haviland Club in the late 1860s. Her husband, George Fish Crow Lowden, had at that point been dead for a few years. The Lowdens had been ship builders; after her husband’s death at the age of 40, Esther ran the business herself.

A medium brought into the Haviland a while back informed Jamie that there were three spirits inhabiting the club, one of whom was Esther. The ghost whisperer communicated with the widow and provided more detail on her story. It seemed that after Esther and her children had moved into their new home, she had fallen in love with a sea captain. She would watch out over the harbour from a widow’s walk, waiting for her lover’s return. One such watch finally proved fruitless, however, and it was learned that Esther’s love had been lost at sea when his ship went down. The medium reported that although the widow’s walk has since been removed, Esther now spends most of her time in the belvedere atop the building. And although the medium explained to Esther that there was no more reason for her to linger, that is where the widow chose to stay. 

Frances Shelly Wees was a prolific author who lived in Ontario for most of her life. From grandson Mark Belfry: “She was one of a group of "pioneer" women who did things like travel to China and Russia in the fifties when these things were much more difficult. Her last novel, The Last Concubine, traces the China trip.”  Her daughter Margarita Smith, who lived on the Island from 1991 until her death in 2004, painted the portrait, which she signed as “Darjee.”

Consider Frances’ image. How does she appear to you? When I first saw the portrait and heard Frances’ story from Jamie Larkin, the lady seemed to watch as we discussed her, and I was struck by her expression: extremely knowing, highly amused.  A few days later, I returned to the boardroom to do some work. It hardly seemed possible, but Frances’ expression that morning was subdued and sad. I kept looking back at the portrait, trying to see if there was any way her mood could be interpreted as “amused.” It was not possible.

I’ve visited Frances a number of times since, always gauging her changeable mood. Recently, she appeared to me fierce and challenging. I stood in the boardroom chatting with the women there for a few minutes, gazing back from time to time at Frances. After five minutes or so had passed, I was stunned to see that her mood had transmuted once again: Now she gazed back at me with an expression I could only see as pleading, beseeching. Frankly unnerved, I left the building, thinking about the implications. Is she attached to the portrait and communicating through it? As I walk away from the Haviland Club, I wonder what I can do for her.

Since the original article was published, I’ve had a lot of comments on the image. Here are just a few of the impressions of her expression: “She has that ‘come up and see me sometime’ look.” “She looks like she’s saying ‘I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.” “She has that ‘wanna party?’ look.” “She looks like she’s saying ‘Touch me and I’ll kick your ass.’” “She looks like she has an exciting secret.” “She looks like she has better things to do than sit for a portrait but is being indulgent.” “She looks indulgent and amused.” “Angry.” “She looks like she’s flirting with the photographer.” “In high spirits.” “She looks like she’s about to burst into tears.”

Several people reported that they had seen at least two conflicting expressions on her face. Reader, look again. Tell me: How does she appear to you?

Note: In the article published in the October Buzz (and previously in this page), Ivy accidentally conflated the stories of two women—a portrait of Frances Shelley Wees with a story about Esther Lowden. The preceding was written to set the record straight.

Events Calendar

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Some Upcoming Events

Projections on the Plaza

Until September 29
Confederation Centre Plaza The public is invited to enjoy two outdoor film screen [ ... ]

Colette

October 15–25
City Cinema rating tba
Dir: Wash Westmoreland, UK, 111 min. Keira Knightley, Dominic  [ ... ]

ACT to present Rainbow Valley—An Island ...

November 8–10 & 15–17
The Guild ACT (a community theatre) has announced a family musical, Ra [ ... ]

Recent News & Articles

Drawing the line

Profile: Sandy Carruthers by Jane Ledwell Retired for a year now after twenty-five years teaching  [ ... ]

Filmworks Summerside

Film series is back for 7th season Filmworks Summerside opens for their 7th season on September 12  [ ... ]

An Island wish

On August 23, 4 year old Cooper Coughlin will arrive on Prince Edward Island soil for a once in a li [ ... ]