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PARC Playwrights’ Colony

Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre (PARC) will host the 2019 PARC Playwrights’ Colony from May 5 [ ... ]

Bowl for Kids Sake needs you

A best friend is like a four leaf clover: hard to find and lucky to have. Raise a pot of gold for Bi [ ... ]

Counting blessings

Profile: Adam Perry

by Jane Ledwell

Adam Perry (photo: Buzz)By the time October arrives, Adam Perry’s seventeen-and-a-half minute short film, A Blessing from the Sea, a “violent thriller” filmed on PEI’s west coast (near Tignish) with mainly Island talent, will have debuted as the closer of the short-film gala at FIN: The Atlantic International Film Festival.

“The film ends on a tense moment, a tense scene” Adam says intently, conjuring a sense of foreboding despite the sunlit comfort of his back deck, kids playing happily in the yard.

With the film he and producers Jenna MacMillan and Jason Arsenault dedicated thirteen months of intense care to, he wants to leave audiences asking for more—more of the story, more of his work as a writer/director, more of PEI.

A Blessing from the Sea is a story of found money leading to secrecy, fear, and violence. “The story is very strictly set in PEI,” Adam says. Unlike many Island stories, though, it’s “a dark thriller.” Adam says, “There’s so much beauty and joy exploited for tourism here.” To red cliffs and seascapes, Adam’s story adds element not part of the tourist picture: “turmoil,” he notes, and threat: “small towns on the collapse, people leaving for out west…”

Reflectively, he says, “Environment is what drives your actions. They say ‘write what you know,’ and I know this place. I know first-hand the hardships people face, the sacrifices they’d make for a bunch of money. A Blessing from the Sea scratches the surface of a much bigger story.”

For Adam, that “bigger story” is not only the bigger story of the secrets PEI contains, but also, specifically, a feature-length film from the same found-money narrative. He wrote a feature-length script, A Small Fortune, after his first child was born, and, the filmmaker says, “life slowed right down. I thought, if I’m going to stay at home taking care of this baby, I’m going to spend my days as a writer.”

The script unexpectedly won prestigious awards, and A Blessing from the Sea is a proof-of-concept to secure the support for Adam to make the feature. “I have to prove I have a great sense of this world I’m creating,” he says. “The found money story has been told countless times, but I want a fresh perspective on the story.”

Adam has created material that matches the length of a feature film before, web series like Profile PEI and Jiggers. But his paid work for several years was in food-focused productions, with chef Michael Smith. “I learned so much from travel and cooking shows, but (with food shots,) I couldn’t tell the stories I wanted to tell,” Adam says. With this first product from his own imagination since 2009, he is “exercising new knowledge and skill sets on a film of my own.”

He continues, “There are so many talented artists here on PEI. Filmmaking is the most expensive (artistic medium) because it is the most collaborative… If you can’t find money, you have to sacrifice (whole) departments.”

In a province with no film or TV tax credit, “Island filmmakers are experts in that field, making excellent, excellent work without funding,” Adam says. “I think with this film, people will see what we’re capable of with money.”

But even with some money, budgets were tight enough that making up a day of shooting lost to dampness in the camera cost the entire post-production budget. “Part of the sacrifices I’ve made in order to make this movie, I’ve had to give up work—paying work, contracts. Those are the strikes that hurt. You know you’re going to make something you love, and you know you’re only going to go home with about $1,500 for thirteen months’ work.”

Adam builds the suspense: “There’s a lot riding on this for me—a lot of doubt,” he says. “I can only make another film if it’s bigger than this film. If I direct a film, it’s got to be at least on a par with this film.”

Says Adam Perry. “It’s a very important film to me—to show the rest of the Maritimes what we’re capable of here in PEI… I like to say it’s my favourite movie.”

Full circles

Profile: Aaron Hastelow

by Jane Ledwell

Aaron Hastelow {photo: Buzz)“Where did the summer go to?” sings the cast of Anne of Green Gables on Confederation Centre mainstage. But Aaron Hastelow, the first Islander to win the role of Gilbert Blythe and performing the role for a second season, there’s no time to be wistful. With his first album released and a once-in-a-lifetime performance as a musical Hamlet, there’s little doubt where his summer has gone to.

Aaron saw Anne for the first time in 1998, at seven, and was onstage as a child of Avonlea in 1999, 2000, and 2001. He could recite the entire show by the time he was eleven. He saw “over ten” performers as Gilbert and understudied the role before earning it. Becoming Gilbert was the “highest, hardest goal” for Aaron.

“Because I dreamed so much of being Gilbert, I’m able to be myself (in the role). He makes one mistake – he teases Anne at the beginning of the relationships – and he really does try to make up for it… He uses wit and humour – but, of course, it doesn’t translate to Anne.”

Aaron says, “To make you like Anne and like Gilbert and make you want them to be together, they have to be real people,” and, he adds, “Real people make mistakes, and real people still find love.”

While playing Gilbert is a “full circle” experience for Charlottetown Festival–groupie Aaron (for him, “You can’t get more full circle than playing Gilbert,” he says), another full circle has been completed this summer performing the role of Hamlet in an in-concert revival performance at Indian River Festival of Kronborg 1582, a rock-opera based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Highlights of the show had been included in a 2004 Charlottetown Festival anniversary revue Something Wonderful, and Aaron saw that show about fifteen times, just to hear the song “That It Should Come to This.”

“When I was approached to play Hamlet by Adam Brazier and Craig Fair, I obviously said yes,” he says. He knew “one amazing song I adored” but had to learn six solos – “It was a gigantic undertaking on a short rehearsal schedule. I’ve never worked harder – or been prouder or happier,” he says. “The night at Indian River was electric.”

Kronborg 1582 will have a one-night only encore at the Centre on September 5. Is Aaron concerned that after a peak experience at Indian River that the encore will be a come-down? Nope. “There’s no point thinking it might be worse, because I know it will be better,” he says. “I learned so much from doing it at Indian River.”

Even though the show was first staged almost twenty years before Aaron was born, he can’t wait for more people to experience Kronborg: “It was ahead of its time back then – and people loved it then and love it now because the music is so good. People had never seen anything like it. It just shook everyone. I think it deserves another life past this.”

Between acting roles, “Now, anytime there’s two weeks off, there’s something to be done,” because he has launched a recording career with a first, eponymous solo album he describes as “one of the most exciting, most proud projects.” Part of the pride and the feeling came from working with his step-father, Jon Matthews, at the Sound Mill studio, and recording one of his songs, “The Bridge,” that Aaron says, “he wrote when he was twenty-five, and I recorded when I was twenty-five.” That was a meaningful moment for Aaron.

“I’d never really heard my voice by itself,” he says. “I wanted the listener to feel what I was feeling, without seeing me” – without costumes, sets, or dance. “I didn’t have a character to hide behind. It was equally as exciting, but it was really me – my music tastes and who I am.”

His career will go to Ontario for the fall (performing in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat in Hamilton), part of the winter, and the spring (a North American premiere of a stage play version of Chariots of Fire in London, with “acting and running instead of singing and dancing”) – and next summer, who knows?

“I love PEI so much, and I love the Centre (the Confederation Centre of the Arts),” says Aaron. “Until I completely retire from theatre, I want to be on this stage. This is home. This building is home. It’s an easy yes. If there’s ever an opportunity to be on PEI, I’ll take it.”

Finding himself in his art has been a lifelong project for Aaron. “I was eight in my first season here (at Confederation Centre),” he recalls. “On a personal level, what the Centre and Anne and musicals gave me was a safe place to be – and to be myself. Growing up in a beautiful but small town, people didn’t always agree with you,” he says. “I found my family at the theatre – and I always knew it would get better, and I could be who I really am.” Aaron is emotional as he reflects on Anne Shirley’s journey to find love, family, and acceptance, and to accept love: “I know while Anne was aiming to be herself… I was too.”

Fiddler’s dream

Profile: Gary Chipman

by Jane Ledwell

Gary Chipman (photo: Buzz)"Listening to (Don Messer and his Islanders as a kid, I was just a kid dreaming,” says Gary Chipman. They were “the best band of its kind in the world at the time,” he remembers. And with an ear to CFCY radio, from the age of five (“about a hundred years ago,” he jokes), Gary learned traditional fiddle tunes in Don Messer’s distinctive style. Soon, he was invited to perform in some of Don Messer’s live shows at the Charlottetown Forum and even on a local production TV show from Strathgartney, before the band moved to Halifax for its top-rated CBC TV program. He went on to have fast friendships with members of the band and their families, but his lifelong relationship is with the music they played.

“It has always been a dream of mine to play that kind of music,” he says, and this summer, almost fifty years since Don Messer’s TV show was cancelled, he will bring that era and that music to life with a special Tribute to Don Messer at the Harbourfront Theatre, following the format of the beloved CBC show, with a full stage of performers working to truly “recreate the sound.”

In September, the show will play in Bright, Ontario, at Walters Dinner Theatre, a 150-person venue. “That’s going to be a real treat for me,” Gary says, looking forward to “new faces, new venues, and new people.” They were originally booked for six nights and now have sold out nine. “I don’t even know where Bright is, but we’ll find it,” he laughs.

“I always wished I could get into that kind of lifestyle, where you could make a living as a musician. But it is almost impossible,” he says. “It’s like being a fisherman, I guess. I’m in the same boat. I work hard in the summer and look for work all winter.”

When Gary started out, he recalls, “I was making more in one night than my father was making in a week. Then,” he smiles, “you find out that doesn’t go on forever.” Gary added guitar-playing to fiddling when “Elvis Presley and the boys came along, and the fiddle was ‘out.’” He played rock-and-roll for crowds of 800 with the Tremtones at The Rollaway and fiddle tunes at country dances. When the venues were full and plenty, and he was easily playing live music four nights a week with “modern and old-time” dances. “That faded away,” he says.

“I worked construction, I drove a taxi, but in the back of my mind, I always wanted to play music, and I couldn’t come to terms with it that I couldn’t make a living. I should have taken the advice I gave my son, to get the heck out of here,” he muses. But other than studying and touring, Gary never left.

Gary got a degree at Lakehead University in clinical psychology and later studied counselling psychology through distance education, “but,” he says with a rueful shake of his head, “it only made me a smarter fiddle player.”

“When you’re young, everything seems easy,” he reflects. “If I worked at 25 the same number of hours on the fiddle I do now, I’d be a lot further ahead. But I didn’t start to appreciate the gift I had until I was older. Not everyone has that gift. And I thought, ‘I’d better start watering this plant.’” Most days, he practices several hours a day.

Gary says. “These are the good old days, today.”

And yet, with music providing “no pension, no health benefits, no vacation,” Gary says, “I’m going to keep playing until I can’t play anymore.” Playing ceilidhs or pig-and-whistles Monday nights at Stanley Bridge and Thursdays at New London, he says, “The dream is still there for me. You gotta have a dream. Every night, you never know who’ll be in the audience, and maybe they’ll like it, and maybe they won’t—but maybe they’ll get you to play another time.”

Alive theatre

Mrs. Warren's Profession

Review by Jane Ledwell

When my mother was in school, she learned French from books: reading, writing, and parsing without hearing or pronouncing the language. When I was in school, I learned plays and classical theatre on the page. I have read and studied (and even taught) more plays-as-text than I have seen performed. Before last night, the closest I ever came to seeing George Bernard Shaw on stage was a Colonel Gray High School production of My Fair Lady (adapted from Shaw’s Pygmalion) in the early 1980s. Professional, non-musical theatre has been infrequently available to me here on the Island. But languages are meant to be spoken and heard. And theatre is meant to be played.

This is why I am so whole-heartedly grateful for the Watermark Theatre. 

Mrs. Warren’s Profession is a contretemps between a formidable madam, her somewhat ridiculous entourage of courtiers, and her headstrong and ambitious daughter. The 1893 play was banned from performance at the turn of the 20th century, and it speaks volumes that in 2017, I can’t name the secret of Mrs. Warren’s profession without placing myself on one or the other side of an unbridgeable divide between those who call it “sex work” and those who call it “prostitution.”

As the daughter, Vivie Warren, Leah Pritchard is forthright and no-nonsense, a lovely surprise from an actor with natural comedic instincts and a flair for nonsense. As her mother, Mrs. Warren, Gracie Finley is every bit the old pro. The men range from ironical youth (Jordan Campbell as Frank Gardiner) to dissipated, hypocritical age (Paul Whelan as his father, Rev. Samuel Gardiner). Ian Deakins as Sir George Crofts, Mrs. Warren’s grasping business partner, is properly seedy and unpleasant, and the standout performance for us was Jerry Getty, radiating kindness and good sense as Mrs. Warren’s friend Praed, the moral core of the play.

Direction by Robert Tsonos is very faithful to Shaw (no playwright is more bullying than Shaw about his text—he barks from beyond the grave to miss a line at your peril or to deviate from his stage directions on pain of death). As such, the words—so many words from Mr. Shaw—are delivered with intelligence and sensitivity, at the expense sometimes of movement. 

The sets (William Layton) and lighting (Renee Brode), as always at the Watermark, highlight the strengths of both the space and the actors. 

The performance, while blocked well for the Watermark’s thrust stage, with care for the audience seated on all three sides, is physically stilted. The beautiful costumes by Bonnie Dekin, which have to be perfect when the audience is so close, are indeed perfect, and yet need to be more animated with the physical manners of Shaw’s time.

Like hearing a language you’ve only read, seeing a play performed that you’ve only read takes a lot of mental energy: it engages the brain in constant, tiny acts of translation and self-questioning. I wait for the moment that the jumble of sounds and images becomes seamless with the text, and silences my mental murmuring, and in this production, that occurs in the final act, when the performances move beyond the text—and most move the audience. This is language of theatre alive: so much better than black lines on dry paper, experienced alone.

—Select dates at Watermark Theatre. Tickets/info at watermarktheatre.com.

Whirlwind

Bittergirl: The Musical

Review by Jane Ledwell

Performed by
Nicola Dawn Brook, Jay Davis, Sarite Harris, Marisa McIntyre with the band, Robin Anne Ettles, Charlotte Friesen, Astrid Foster, Devon Roulston

Directed by
Adam Brazier

Musical Director
Lisa MacDougall

Written by
Annabel Fitzsimmons, Alison Lawrence, and Mary Francis Moore

Supported by
Choreographer Christine Bandelow, Set and Costume Designer Cory Sincennes, Lighting Designer Gareth Crew, Music Supervisor Bob Foster

The show
Three women work through the stages of humiliation, grief, hope, revenge, and triumph after being dumped and discarded by a callow boyfriend/partner/husband. The over-the-top, fast-paced drama plays out in well-loved songs from the 1960s and 1970s, performed in throwback dresses and heels (or, in the case of the boyfriend/partner/husband, in plain black style — or rather less).

The Performance
This is a whirwind-fast ensemble show with little downtime between solid performances of songs audiences will know and love. One woman bitter, one angry, one soppy — and one man representing all three’s ex with delicious cheesiness. Displays of excellent comic timing too numerous to mention. The actors sing lustily while cross-training, while changing costumes, while performing pratfalls, while ugly crying, while drunk on tequila, or while gyrating in their tighty whities.

Best thing
The casting is perfect, playing on individual comic and singing strengths and excellent chemistry in the ensemble, and also filling the band with strong women performers.

Shortcoming
If there is a table at the Mack where my distance from the speakers are not-too-far, not-too-close, but just right to balance the band and voices, I haven’t sat there yet.

Final thoughts

A fantastically fun night out for genuine laughs on a grimly relatable topic for many women who have dated men — but with no wallowing in the earnest feels.

—Select dates at Confederation Centre of the Arts. Tickets/info: www.confederationcentre.com.

Grit and grace

Profile: Tara MacLean

by Jane Ledwell

Tara MacLean (photo: Buzz)Tara MacLean-Grand’s grandmother always told her: one day, she’d feel the pull back to PEI, where she spent her childhood. While Tara says, “I always represented PEI, anywhere I’ve been in the world,” she certainly went far, as an internationally-known singer whose work as a solo artist rode the Lilith Fair wave and who also found pop success with the band Shaye. Today, she’s a Saltspring Island family gal with a publishing deal, mentoring gigs, and three growing daughters.

But dedication to family runs two directions, into the past as well as the future, and two years ago, when her grandmother was ill, the predicted pull to PEI became a tug. “If I could create something and come home with it, my dream would come true,” she recalls.

Inspired by Rita MacNeil, “a mom who just wanted to sing,” Tara “started to draw on songwriters from Atlantic Canada”—their songs and their stories—and developed Atlantic Blue, a stage show of songs from Atlantic Canada and short films of the songwriters that created the songs. “This is the first show I’ve written, produced, directed, and performed in,” she says. And the accompanying album, she says, “may be the truest album I have made.”

Tara says, “I feel like in Atlantic Canada, being musical is almost like it’s not special—it’s normal. It’s part of how we survived.”

Last summer, Tara launched Atlantic Blue in a sold-out two-night run at Harmony House. She announced she was looking for a gig for this summer—and by morning had a plan in the works with The Guild for summer 2017.

During that first run of the show, Tara says, “People were shocked some of the songs were from here—we have so much homegrown talent, so many treasured songs—and stories of tragedy, triumph, and huge success.” She was buoyed by the response and encouraged by standing ovations—“That’s something I don’t get at home when I make breakfast,” she says ruefully.

To create Atlantic Blue, Tara says, “Basically what I did, I thought of all my favourite writers from this area and my favourite songs of theirs. In ten minutes,  I had written it all down. It was such a joy—you know you are doing the right work when you are filling your heart every time you work on it.”

With her hands to her chest, Tara says, “I’m a balladeer—and (the album and the show) have some epic ballads.”

Tara laughs, “My relationship with sad songs is long. Sadness is the gateway to a lot of things. Sad songs make me feel powerful when I sing them. If you can add grit to the grace, that’s a really great balance.

“One thing I realized was that in the lives of these writers, there was so much tragedy, their lives were so intense. We’re talking shipwrecks. Child abuse. Severe depression. Thinking about their lives, I really wanted to bring it home.”

She adds, “To take a sad song deeper, you have to touch on a lot of things, and you have to dig deep. It’s so easy to dig deeper in red clay!”

To that point, Tara insists, “This project is all about local,” from merch to musicians to vinyl pressing. “I couldn’t have recorded it anywhere else.” She worked through a cold January at PEI’s Dunk River Sound.

Tara MacLean’s grandmother will be there for Atlantic Blue’s opening night; her daughters will also take in the show she describes as “the history, present, and future of Atlantic Canadian music.”

Tara says, “I had to ask my family for a lot to be able to do this… It takes a lot of surrendering to be a mama,” she admits. “I want for (my daughters) to see their mom in her full power,” and to know their powerful musical and family heritage. 

“I hope it’s the first of many summers on PEI,” Tara MacLean says. “I’m so excited to be part of the pulsing scene of live performance on PEI this summer. I want to make PEI proud I belong to them.”

Best medicine

Profile: Raymond Arsenault

by Jane Ledwell

Raymond Arsenault (photo: submitted)"I really believe that saying, ‘Laughter is the best medicine,’” says Raymond Arsenault earnestly, writer and director of plays and dinner theatre productions in the Island’s francophone Evangeline region.

“I like to consider myself a doctor of laughter,” he says. The doctor is keeping office hours this summer in Abram-Village, where he has written a new show for the Acadian Musical Village’s “Venez Veillez” dinner theatre. The show, “Retour au fou-foyer,” is his prescription for a strong dose of misunderstanding, mayhem, farce, and physical humour.

“My favourite thing in the world is the sound of laughter,” Raymond says. “I’ve been blessed in my life to be able to create laughter.” While he has written drama and tragedy and plays with morals, he find that what people want is an escape.

Over the past years, Raymond has written about 70 plays, about 20 of them for dinner theatres. While he won’t admit to being a singer, he also writes music and has written written 75 to 100 songs, several of which have been performed in his plays or recorded by other artists. He won a competition to write a French adaptation of “The Island Hymn,” and his words in French now stand alongside L.M. Montgomery’s words in English. “When the muses sing, I have to listen,” he smiles.

“Whatever is needed, comes out. I don’t know where it comes from,” he says. “I feel like I’m a vehicle to get the songs out, the stories out. Of 70 plays, only for two did I face a blank page—and it kept staring back at me.” Usually, the words flow freely and joyfully through the keyboard.

“I love the discovery process of writing,” Raymond says. “I surprise myself. I don’t know what’s coming. Something will happen (on the page), and I wonder why the heck is that?” Several scenes later, something else occurs to explain the mystery. It’s a very different process from the writing Raymond does in his daytime work: “In my job, I am a communications officer, and I have to plan what I write. When I write, it has to have a beginning, a middle, and an end.” Writing plays is more of an adventure, and anything can happen.

For this summer’s return to the dinner theatre stage, Raymond says, “I checked my muses, and they said, ‘Let’s revisit a show we had done.’ I am in sequel mode the last few years. People react well to certain characters and stories, and I want to bring them back.” Hence Raymond’s “Retour” to the “fou-foyer,” the crazy manor, a setting of an earlier production. In this sequel, favourite characters return – but it’s a freshly invented character who is central to the plot, when an overheard snippet of conversation leads to the misguided conclusion that the new resident is a dangerous murderer.

“I was a very big fan of Three’s Company, and I’m not ashamed to say I’ve been heavily influenced by that kind of TV show,” Raymond says. “It’s comedy in a cartoony sort of sense.”

If there’s a purpose beyond laughter in Raymond’s recent plays, it’s cultural: to expose people to the Island’s vibrant Francophone and Acadian culture and language. Raymond says, “Sometimes people suggest I should write in a very standard French, but I always use our Acadian slang and accent. You can only get that here. I tell the actors, ‘Talk the way you normally talk.’ If it’s a little effort to understand, that’s a good thing. That’s our cachet, that’s what makes us unique.”

Raymond dreams of seeing one of his plays on one of the Island’s bigger, professional stages. “The only thing is I’m not very well known in the Anglophone community,” he says. There are occasionally Anglophones at his plays, “but it’s hard when it’s a play.” Music, you can tap your foot to. But Raymond does not want audience members to be frustrated or left behind if they don’t understand the language. He wants them in on the jokes—all the jokes. For now, the doctor’s prescription for laughter requires a healing trip to Abram-Village.

The experience

Profile: Don Quarles

by Jane Ledwell

Don Quarles (photo: Buzz)Two years ago, Don Quarles was working with the Summerside Lobster Festival when invited to an Atlantic Presenters’ Association showcase at St. Mary’s Church in Indian River. He recalls driving from Summerside on a sunny Island day and across the field, seeing a beautiful church steeple rising into the blue sky. He remembers reaching his destination and experiencing “incredible music and great food, great wine and beer.” He smiles, “The only thing I missed that day was cows in the field. And I wondered, where did this come from? Who put this here?”

Today, Don Quarles is in his first season as Executive Director of the Indian River Festival at that magical, scenic church. He says fervently of his first Indian River experience, “Everyone should see it that way.” His intent, he says, “is to invite people who have never felt invited into the space… to see, hear, taste, and smell everything we have to offer.”

Looking at this season’s program, “I’m proud that we’ve created something wonderful,” Don says, “for those who are here (on PEI) for a few days and those who are here all summer to have a really positive experience.” The Festival’s artistic director, Robert Kortgaard, he says, “has selected artists we know are going to show off the space… artists who are extremely well-known in the music community and, frankly, around the world.”

The program, the performances: those are the “first experience” audiences come for. What Don wants to add to is what he calls the “second experience,” which includes everything from the parking lot to the interactions among the artist, the audience and the space, from pre-show chat to food and hospitality. “For every show, I want people to come five minutes earlier or stay five minutes longer—or maybe stay an extra day,” enjoying other venues on the Island.

Don’s background was in composing music and working on festivals and events—including managing the “second experience” for audiences at the Hummingbird Centre (now Sony Centre) in Toronto (which he likens to “the Confederation Centre mainstage on steroids”). He moved here a few years ago after falling in love with Crystal Stevens, of Redrocks Pottery. “I literally took what would fit in a U-Haul trailer, and my Honda Civic at the time, and moved from Ontario where I raised my kids.”

He admits, “To be blunt, I didn’t know what I was going to do when I got here.” He very quickly found ways to continue his passion for connecting people and music. Don remains on a number of local and national boards, including the board of the Coalition for Music Education, which puts on Music Monday events nationwide on first Monday of May, including here in PEI.

Participation in music is a basic lifeskill for young people, Don says: “I used to create a lot of songwriting clubs in schools, helping young people learn about music creation—and not just in band. I learned the importance of this early on, especially through my own kids. There’s so much kids learn in the process of songwriting…” not only self-expression, but also, Don insists, “It helps students be better citizens in the long run.”

Don perhaps speaks most proudly of his three children’s engagement with music. “One piece of advice I was given long ago—make sure whatever instruments you have at home, make sure they’re never in the case. If you have a piano, make sure it’s always open.”

As he plans a June 9 open house to launch the Indian River Festival, openness is on his mind. Don says, “There are three things I’d love to see happen (at the Indian River Festival this summer), three groups of people I really hope are happy,” Don says. “First, I’d like us to expose the audience members who already know the space really well to new artists. Second, I’d like us to introduce the space to new audiences—I’d like to challenge people to come and experience the space. Third, the artists who perform here, I know will tell their peers about the space.” He wants every memorable first experience to lead to a second experience that is second to none.

Events Calendar

January 2019
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Some Upcoming Events

Blaze

January 29–February 3
City Cinema 14A, coarse language, substance abuse
Dir: Ethan Hawke, US, 129 m [ ... ]

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Harbourfront Players March 1–2 & 8–10 
Harbourfront Theatre The Harbourfront Players p [ ... ]

The Shack Wacky Review

With Patrick Ledwell and Mark Haines  February 2
PEI Brewing Co Join comedian Patrick Ledwell  [ ... ]

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