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Four honoured at Arts Recognition Awards

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TIM MEEKS/THE INTELLIGENCER
Melissa Davis, on behalf of Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis, Mayor Taso Chrsitopher, Quinte Arts Council's Arts Recognition Award winner Gary Magwood, and QAC Chairwoman Jenny Woods.


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Four outstanding contributors to the arts community received their just desserts Thursday afternoon at Dinkel’s Restaurant as Quinte Arts Council presented its 2018 Arts Recognition Awards at the 20th annual Mayor’s Luncheon for the Arts.
The 2018 award winners are: Brian Barlow, Lynn Fennell, Gary Magwood, and Nancy Snowdon. As a group, they demonstrate the strength and vibrancy of the local arts and cultural scene, especially in the performing arts. These enablers of music and theatre in the Quinte region have brought opportunity and vitality to the community. The winners were joined by Belleville Mayor Taso Christopher in celebrating their achievements.
Brian Barlow is a Grammy-winning drummer/arranger who serves as the creative director for The Prince Edward County Jazz Festival. As one of Canada’s premier big band arrangers, Barlow has given countless hours of his time, freely contributing arrangements for the Commodores Orchestra as well as co-founding the PEC Jazz Education program for regional high school students and the Trenton Big Band Festival.
“Brian has brought a special gift to the Quinte region as he is helping to steer our music scene in a very positive and professional direction. With him at the wheel it should be smooth sailing from here on in and there’s only one way to go and that’s up. Brian can be likened to G Force. He’s a musical genius, he’s a gift to all of us, but first and foremost he’s a gentleman,” said Susan Walsh, who nominated Barlow for the award.
“When I mentioned this award to my father, who is still with us, he’s lived in Australia for 50 years now, but was born in Belleville as well. When I mentioned this award and he was so excited that I realized he was more excited about this and more pleased about this than if I won a Grammy Award and I feel the same way, so thank you Susan and everyone on the Arts Council,” Barlow said in accepting the award.
Gary Magwood is well known in the Belleville arts scene as creator and producer of Night Kitchen Too, Belleville’s acoustic musical variety show. He was a co-founder of Belleville’s Downtown Docfest, serving as chair for its first six years. In 2016, Magwood worked with the Caravan Stage Company to open a new show in St. Petersburg, Florida. Magwood also has expertise in green building techniques and has brought creativity and leadership to the growth of that field in Ontario.
Alexandra Bell, who nominated Magwood, said, “Gary is a master at promoting, presenting and applauding talent across all of the arts. He has worked hard to create not only space for the arts, but true compensation for the artists as well. For all the work he has done and the gifts to our community that he has given, and the things that are yet to come, I’m very proud to have nominated and to give this award to Gary.”
“Thank you for this honour. I sincerely believe that live music, dance, theatre, movies, documentaries, and obviously the visual arts play a major role in the well-being of any community. It is vital to the well-being of our community to be able to see performers live and not necessarily on the screen. Thank you Taso and the city council to have the foresight to establish and arts and cultural fund that will go a long way to promoting and financing the area’s cultural events,” Magwood said.
Lynn Fennell founded the not-for-profit Prince Edward Community Theatre in 2008. Before that, he was a long time teacher at Prince Edward Collegiate where he directed numerous productions including Grease, Little Shop of Horrors, and The Wiz. He was also the 2nd Chair of the Prince Edward County Arts Council. Beyond enabling many others to create theatre, Lynn has been a committed artist for many decades including directing plays with the Belleville Theatre Guild, and the Domino Theatre in Kingston amongst others.
Moira Nikander-Forrester, past president of the Belleville Theatre Guild, nominated Fennell, who arrived late for the awards luncheon, just pulling into Belleville’s Via Rail station from a trip to Russia around 1:30 p.m. Thursday.
“It is my pure delight and extreme pleasure to tell you about Lynn Fennell, this quiet, thoughtful, renaissant man … that is until he gets on stage. And I really believe this arriving by train from Russia, to receive his Quinte Arts Council award, at the very last minute, is a perfect metaphor for everything you do in the arts, you devil,” Nikander-Forrester said.
“This time yesterday we were in an airport in Helsinki and that was after two weeks in Russia and as you can tell by the way I’m dressed (shorts and T-shirt) I wasn’t expecting to be here this afternoon, but I’m delighted I got to be here. I’m thrilled by the nomination and award and wonderful remarks from a long-time colleague, I sure appreciate that. I never seek recognition, I never seek accolades, I’m happy to be doing what I’m offered to do. It’s not about accolades, it’s not about acknowledgments, but by gosh, you know, it sure feels good when your colleagues and peers acknowledge what you’ve accomplished with applauds, just like the audiences do on opening night, that’s what it’s all about. I’m very thankful to the Quinte Arts Council for this recognition and award,” Fennell said.
Nancy Snowdon has made significant contributions to the performing arts in Quinte region. For over a decade she has served on the board of the Stirling Festival Theatre and is also a long-time serving member on the board of the Quinte Symphony. Snowdon, who was nominated by Marilyn Lawrie, is recognized for her leadership in governance within the arts sector, as well as her tireless contributions as a ‘boots on the ground’ volunteer selling tickets, billeting artists, and volunteering in the office of Stirling Festival Theatre.
Two student bursary awards were also handed out to Belleville’s Dallin Whitford and Brayah Pickard of Carrying Place.
Whitford, a Bayside Secondary School graduate, received the Hugh P. O’Neil Student Arts Bursary. Whitford is well known to the stages of the area as he has performed in more than 25 musicals throughout Quinte. He has recorded and released an EP of original songs called Brainstorm, and has decided to pursue his passion further as a Bachelor of Music (jazz voice) student at Humber College.
Pickard, a Centennial Secondary School graduate, received the Susan Richardson Bursary. Centennial music teacher Dave Reed calls Pickard “a highly talented musician with a natural gift for performing.” She is attending the joint Bachelor of Music program through Queen’s University and St. Lawrence College.
“A big time thank you to all the volunteers and all the team members of the Quinte Arts Council. It shows that arts are alive and well in Belleville. I’m very excited about it and for all the volunteers involved and I’m looking forward to next year and hosting another luncheon for the arts,” said Mayor Christopher.
The Mayor’s Luncheon and Arts Recognition Awards is sponsored by: McDougall Insurance, Veridian Connections, CJBQ, Mix 97, Rock 107, Cool 100.1, and 95.5 Hits FM, and The Belleville Intelligencer. The Quinte Arts Council is proudly supported by grants from The City of Belleville and the Ontario Arts Council.


TIM MEEKS/THE INTELLIGENCERMelissa Davis, on behalf of Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis, Mayor Taso Chrsitopher, Quinte Arts Council’s Arts Recognition Award winner Brian Barlow, and QAC Chairwoman Jenny Woods.


TIM MEEKS/THE INTELLIGENCER Melissa Davis, on behalf of Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis, Mayor Taso Chrsitopher, Quinte Arts Council’s Arts Recognition Award winner Lynn Fennell, and QAC Chairwoman Jenny Woods.


TIM MEEKS/THE INTELLIGENCER Melissa Davis, on behalf of Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis, Mayor Taso Chrsitopher, Quinte Arts Council’s Arts Recognition Award winner Nancy Snowdon, and QAC Chairwoman Jenny Woods.

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Norfolk Arts Centre has new curator

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Roberta Grosland


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The Norfolk Arts Centre in Simcoe has a new curator.

She’s Roberta Grosland, former curator of the collection at the Woodstock Art Gallery.

Grosland’s first day on the job is next Monday. She fills a position that became vacant in February when Deirdre Chisholm, former executive director of the arts centre, left Norfolk after nearly 10 years.

Norfolk’s heritage and culture division advertised for the position in August. Grosland was interested, in part, because she has family in Norfolk and is familiar with the county.

Grosland has worked in the art and heritage field for the past 35 years. Past postings include a student internship at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, home to one of the largest assortments of art by Canada’s Group of Seven.

“I’ve always been interested in the arts,” Grosland said Thursday. “My mother always took me to galleries and museums when I was little. I took a BA in art history at the University of Toronto and then did a master’s of art history.”

Grosland was attached to the art gallery in Woodstock for 10 years before accepting the position in Simcoe.

After Chisholm departed last winter, Norfolk senior staff speculated that her replacement might be asked to perform double duty as manager of the Norfolk archives at the Eva Brook Donly Museum in Simcoe.

Norfolk County assumed responsibility for the museum earlier this year after the Norfolk Historical Society asked for help following a period of financial distress.

As it happens, Grosland’s formal responsibilities will be restricted to the arts centre. However, Grosland notes that arts centre staff are part of a team that includes other heritage and culture employees at facilities across the county. She will help out in circumstances where her skills are needed.

“We all hope to work together and share skill sets,” Grosland said. “If they need arts expertise, I’ll definitely be there for them. There will be sharing amongst ourselves. Exciting, good things can come of that.”

Grosland lives in Kitchener. She and her husband haven’t decided whether to move to Norfolk. Grosland noted, however, that her daughter has been forwarding advertisements for attractive homes in the local area whenever they present themselves.

“I’ll be commuting to start,” Grosland said. “But who knows what will happen.”

MSonnenberg@postmedia.com

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Hockney painting breaks auction record for living artist

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A celebrated painting by British artist David Hockney has been sold at Christie’s in New York for just over $90m (£70m) – an auction record for a work by a living artist.

Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) had been forecast to fetch $80m.

It sold following a 10-minute battle between two rival bidders via telephone, after the price passed $70m.

The sale eclipsed the previous record held by US artist Jeff Koons.

His stainless steel Balloon Dog (Orange) sold for $58m in 2013.

The packed sales room in New York broke into applause when the hammer fell, with the buyer’s premium and commission taking the final price to $90.3m.

Christie’s did not name either the seller or the successful bidder.

The Hockney work was painted in 1972 and is one of the Yorkshire artist’s most recognisable works.

The composition of the two figures began as two separate photographs on the artist’s studio floor and was completed in time for an exhibition at New York’s André Emmerich Gallery in 1972.

Christie’s described it as “one of the great masterpieces of the modern era”.

Earlier this year, another of the 81-year-old’s paintings sold for $28.5m – a personal auction record for the artist.

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10 of the many trans artists you should be more than aware of any week of the year

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Queeries is a weekly column by CBC Arts producer Peter Knegt that queries LGBTQ art, culture and/or identity through a personal lens.

November is Transgender Awareness Month, with this specific week designated as Transgender Awareness Week. And frankly, in terms of support from cis folks in the Canadian queer art community, the week got off to a deeply discouraging start. Sky Gilbert — one of the founders of Toronto queer theatre company Buddies in Bad Times — decided to continue to devote space on his blog to attack trans author, filmmaker, musician and visual artist Vivek Shraya.

It's yet another reminder of the prejudices trans people face even within the LGBTQ community. I'll let these Twitter threads by Jake Pyne and Gwen Benaway articulate how remarkably problematic Gilbert's words are, and devote the rest of the space of this week's column to what we as true cisgender allies should be doing on Transgender Awareness Week, and every week for that matter: shutting up and letting trans people speak for themselves. So may I direct your attention to 10 artists who are among the wonderful trans voices we've had the privilege of featuring here at CBC Arts, including Ms. Shraya herself.

Enza Anderson (CBC Arts)

Part of CBC Arts' Queer (Self) Portraits series, Enza Anderson is a Toronto trailblazer whose column "The Hot Ticket by Enza Supermodel" ran in Metro Toronto, Canada's most widely circulated free newspaper from 2004-2010. Watch her talk openly about the barriers she's faced on this journey of both professional growth and self-discovery. She says: "If I'm going to live, I have to function daily like everyone else." Watch her Queer (Self) Portraits episode here.

Gwen Benaway. (Gwen Benaway)

Gwen Benaway is a trans Annishinabe/Mètis poet and writer who has written numerous wonderful essays and articles for CBC Arts, including this piece on the importance of finding trans joy just earlier this week. "The most dangerous part of living with transphobia is not just its potential to kill me — either from violent attack or less direct forms such as homelessness, unemployment or a lack of access to healthcare — but its ability to limit my joy," she writes in the piece. "I believe in joy as a fundamental part of what it means to be human. In our pleasures and happiness, we find freedom from the everyday oppressions of our lives." You can read more of Gwen's words here and here and here

Cassils. (Cassils)

In 2016, CBC Arts published a short documentary on Canadian performance artist, body builder and personal trainer Cassils, who underwent intense training and fight choreography to develop a graphic and disturbing show about socio-political issues. We follow them as they bring the show to The Broad Museum in Los Angeles, and you can learn more about what they're up to now here.

Chase Joynt. (David Hawe)

Filmmaker and writer Chase Joynt penned this essay for CBC Arts, reflecting on his journey to publish his first book, You Only Live Twice. "The project began as a private correspondence with my friend Mike Hoolboom, a prolific experimental filmmaker," he says. "For years, we exchanged stories about transitions: mine from female to male and Mike's from near-dead to alive. For us, the project was never a task of linear, exhaustive truth-telling but rather an aesthetic engagement with the limits and potentials of personal memory." Learn more about Joynt's work here.

Chanty Marostica. (Ryan Dillon)

In 2018, trans comedian Chanty Marostica's career has skyrocketed. They became the first trans comedian to have a solo show at Just For Laughs Toronto and won Sirius XM's Canada's Top Comic competition, all well in the midst of transitioning. All the more, this rise has happened in part because of how Marostica decided to take matters into their own hands and reinvent the LGBTQ comedy landscape in Toronto so that they and other queer and trans folks could get the opportunities they deserve. Read all about their remarkably inspiring story here.

Casey Plett. (James L/Zero Heat Photography)

Award-winning writer Casey Plett has blessed CBC Arts readers with her words a few times, including this essay about how to write a transgender character and this piece calling for more intimacy in works from marginalized writers. Both are must reads, as is this "artist's guide" to the city of Windsor, Ont. she wrote for us this past summer.  Learn about Casey and her latest book Little Fishhere

Heath V. Salazar in drag as Gay Jesus. (CBC Arts)

Dora Award-winning trans Latinx writer and performer Heath V. Salazar was fabulously the focus of an episode of the CBC Arts docuseries Canada's a Drag as their drag king alter ego Gay Jesus. "A lot of my pieces are very political," Salazar told us in that episode. "So what I really want to do with it is share with people that if this person, theoretically, lived and was able to do all this good and spread all this love, that we are each made of that same matter." That work extends well beyond Gay Jesus, including most recently performing in the "gloriously frank" Toronto staging of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Wolves. Watch their Canada's a Drag episode here.

Vivek Shraya. (Tanja-Tiziana/vivekshraya.com)

"Getting to take up space as a brown, bi, trans person feels like an amazing and wonderful gift," Vivek Shraya told us in this 2016 short documentary CBC Arts produced in honour of her being one of that year's Grand Marshals of Pride Toronto. And it was the first of many occasions we'd showcase Shraya's multi-faceted artistry, including this piece a year later in which Shraya talked about "I want to kill myself," a short film she released on her 36th birthday to shed a vital light on mental health. Learn all about the many, many ways to explore Shraya's work on her website.

Rowan Sky. (Courtesy)

Multidisciplinary artist, activist and educator Rowan Sky wrote a piece for CBC Arts last summer reflecting on how poetry about Indigenous connection to our land gave them strength through their gender transition. "Wherever I am in the world and on my gender journey, my connections to land, water and community give me strength and are a continual source of reflection," Sky writes. "I pour out these reflections in my writing." Read the whole piece here.

Syrus Marcus Ware. (Jalani Morgan/Black Lives Matter TO)

Also included in our Queer (Self) Portraits series was visual artist, activist and scholar Syrus Marcus Ware. "In addition to pulling down walls, we also have to be planting the seeds," Ware says in the video. "All of my work has been about watering the seeds." Learn all about that work by both watching that video, reading his essay on madness and Blackness and exploring his website, which details the extraordinary breath of his work across so many different platforms.

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