Fall Arts Preview 2019: Dance artists Miriam Gittens and Cristina Bucci are driven toward their dream - Straight.com - Canadanewsmedia
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Fall Arts Preview 2019: Dance artists Miriam Gittens and Cristina Bucci are driven toward their dream – Straight.com

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Miriam Gittens

Talk to dancer Miriam Gittens about the trajectory that brought her to Ballet BC, and it’s clear that her entry into New York City’s famed Juilliard School for the arts was a turning point.

The talent had grown up in Fresno, California, training from age three at a school that didn’t just emphasize ballet, but dabbled in jazz, tap, contemporary, African, and hip-hop.

Right after high school she headed to the Big Apple for the opportunity of a lifetime. “Juilliard was a dream that I didn’t necessarily think was possible,” says the affable artist, speaking to the Straight over the phone from the Scotiabank Dance Centre studio, amid warm-ups for morning ballet class. “That definitely was one of the most important and difficult opportunities of my whole life. That’s where I really grew up and learned who I really was.”

It was at the school that Gittens first heard about Ballet BC; she clearly remembers teacher Francisco Martinez (a former dancer with Spain’s Compañía Nacional de Danza) telling her about artistic director Emily Molnar during a partnering class. “He talked about what an inspiration she is and how powerful she is,” Gittens recalls. “He was talking about her as a dancer and as a leader. And that sent me going into research and looking at as many videos online as possible.”

For the aspiring performer, other highlights at Juilliard included creating a piece with her father, Larry Gittens, a well-known trumpet and piano player. “As a jazz musician, he tends to improvise, so it was interesting to see how we both created material,” she says.

Still, Gittens took a break from dance after graduating from Juilliard, working for a financial adviser in New York City while she contemplated her future. “It was an entirely new and uncomfortable place to be,” she reflects. “A lot of people think that as soon as you graduate you jump into exactly what you want. I had had a long four years at school and needed some time to think and I wanted clarity.”

It took just four months to figure out she needed to dance. Her opening came when Peter Chu, a Juilliard grad who’s performed for Crystal Pite’s Kidd Pivot and whose Vegas-based company chuthis. has performed here at the Cultch, invited her to join a tour for his acclaimed Paper Cuts in an Empty Bag in early 2017.

“He was my first professional job, so that was a huge moment,” she says. “He’s someone who’s inspired me to be as versatile as possible. And that was even more of a driving force to audition for someplace like Ballet BC.”

Soon after, Gittens auditioned and made it into the Vancouver troupe’s emerging artist program last season. And she’s still marvelling at not just the touring to places like Madrid and Germany she got to do, but the choreographic stars she got to work with over that year.

“I never dreamed I’d be able to do rep by William Forsythe or Crystal Pite,” says Gittens, referring to mounting Enemy in the Figure and Solo Echo. “To see the people they are is even more inspiring. They’re some of the most revered choreographers of our time, and I saw how giving they are.”

This season, her first as a full company member, she’s even more stoked to work with the likes of Aszure Barton, who’ll be bringing her playful and poetic Busk here, and Medhi Walerski, who will be restaging his starkly beautiful spin on Romeo and Juliet.

At the same time, Gittens will be part of a company in the midst of change: this is Molnar’s final season and Gittens is one of several new company members. “There’s a big shift and it’s a very youthful company, so it’s exciting,” she says.

As for Vancouver, she’s embracing the outdoors and the cuisine. “There’s an easygoing California vibe here,” she says, which, of course, makes it feel like home.

Cristina Bucci

As the youngest of seven kids, Cristina Bucci grew up in a family that didn’t have the means to put her in dance classes. Born in Malta and raised in Surrey, she voraciously sought out dance herself.

“I was self-taught, mostly through film or music videos,” she tells the Straight over the phone from Vancouver, from an international dance intensive run by the OURO Collective, where she’s managing and co–artistic director. “I’d always record it on VHS and then slow it down and learn it. So it would mean a lot of self-teaching in my back yard—predominantly street dance and hip-hop.”

Those forms drew her back again and again, even as she started to pay for studio classes in everything from jazz to freestyle and hip-hop through summer jobs as a teen. Along the way, she was drawn to world styles like Afro-Cuban and Indian. And then she headed to London, England, to pursue a career in commercial dance.

“It was such a struggle and I ended up seeking out the more underground street dance, where I felt accepted,” she explains.

“I was an introvert and dance was a way for me to communicate; I was from a big family with strict parents, and dance was my voice,” she allows. “I turn into this other person when I teach and dance. [Dancing,] I could be really aggressive as a teen—that’s why I think a lot of teens gravitate toward dance and hip-hop.”

Back in Vancouver, the self-starter has found innovative ways to push street dance and mash it up with other forms. First, she worked with women and children at the SOULdiers program in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Then, in 2014, she founded the street-dance-based collective OURO, along with colleagues Maiko Miyachi, Dean Placzek, Mark Siller, and Rina Pellerin. Each brings different specialties—as diverse as waacking, popping and locking, breaking, and contemporary ballet—together on collectively created projects.

The result has been work that has both reimagined street dance and blazed new trails at festivals and other platforms. There have been appearances at the New Works dance series and the Vancouver International Dance Festival, and a commission by Montreal’s Tentacle Tribe for OURO’s debut at the Dancing on the Edge Festival. “That was something, as a street dancer, I was so interested in: going to Dancing on the Edge,” she says. “It was one of those moments where I could believe I was a part of it.”

She’ll be part of an even bigger platform at this fall’s Dance in Vancouver, the biennial showcase for North American presenters that runs November 20 to 24 at the Scotiabank Dance Centre. There, audiences can take in OURO’s new HAKO—a piece that pushes into the realms of technology and installation art. In it, five dancers team up with experiential-design studio Tangible to interact with glaring white LED rods and a giant, bulbous soft sculpture.

When she’s not teaching or creating new dance pieces, Bucci works as a nutritionist, coaching young performers through seminars on how eating right can prolong their careers. “Being Italian, it’s been a big part of my background; my mom makes absolutely amazing Italian cuisine and she was always interested in healthy food,” she explains.

Reflecting, Bucci feels she may have finally found where she fits into the dance world. “It took me about 15 years to figure it out and get to the point where I am today, where I love this amalgamation of street styles and contemporary ballet,” she says.

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Arts, culture, fun in London this weekend and beyond (Nov. 21-27) – The London Free Press

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Emm Gryner. Derek Ruttan/The London Free Press file photo


CLUBS

Cuckoo’s Nest Folk Club: Archie Fisher, Sunday, 7:30 p.m., Chaucer’s Pub, 122 Carling St.; tickets $20 advance, $25 at the door, available at Centennial Hall Box Office, Long & McQuade (725 Fanshawe Park Rd W), The Village Idiot (Wortley Village), and Chaucer’s/Marienbad Restaurant and at http://www.folk.on.ca

Eastside Bar And Grill: Sarah Smith, Friday, 10 p.m., $20 and $25 at the door; Foreigner Meets Journey, Saturday, 10 p.m.; Blues Jam, Sunday, 3 p.m.; Eastside Open Jam Night, Wednesday, 8 p.m.; 750 Hamilton Rd.; 519-457-7467.

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Fox and Fiddle: Three Penny Piece, Thursday, 9 p.m.; Karaoke, Friday, 9 p.m.; 2 Man Advantage, Saturday, 9 p.m.; Comedy Open Mic, Wednesday, 8:30 p.m.; 355 Wellington St.; 519-679-4238.

Jimbo’s Pub And Eatery: Karaoke with Maggie, Fridays, 10 p.m. and Tuesdays, 8 p.m.; Orlando Valenia Latin element dance band along with DJ Gambino, Saturday, 10 p.m.; 920 Commissioners Rd. E.; 519-204-7991 or visit http://www.jimbospub.ca

London Music Club: Acoustyle Open Mic, 7:30 p.m., Corin Raymond & band with Broomsticks & Hammers, 7 p.m., Friday; Shut the Front Door Impove, Saturday, 7 p.m.; SOUP Ukulele jam, Wednesday, 6:45 p.m.; 470 Colborne St.; 519-640-6996.

London Music Hall: Death Angel, Exmortus, Hell Fire, Monday, 8 p.m., $25; In Flames, Red, Arrival of Autum, Tuesday, 8 p.m., $39.50; 185 Queens Ave.; 519-432-1107.

London Wine Bar: Oliver Whitehead, Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m., no cover; 420 Talbot St.; for reservations, call 519-913-3400 or e-mail info@londonwinebar.ca

Lou Dawgs: North of Nashville showcase, Thursday, 8 p.m.; MW Trio, Friday, 10 p.m.; Little Magic Sam, Saturday, 8 pm.; Live Blues & Southern Brunch, Sunday, 2 p.m.; Open Mic, Tuesdays, 8 p.m.; 519-204-0822 or visit loudawgs.com/london.

Mustang Sally’s: Geoff Masse Band, Friday, 9:30 p.m.; Wheel House, Saturday, 9:30 p.m.; Acoustic Jam with Alan Lynch, Smokin Dave, Don Oulette and Friends, Tuesdays, 10 p.m.; Lonnie Chicago, Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m.; 99 Belmont Dr.; 519-649-7688.

Norma Jean’s: Live Band Rockaoke, Thursday, 10 p.m.; Pterodactyl Problems, The Young Collective and Rachel and her Kind, Friday, 9:30 p.m.; London Fire Fights, 1-4 p.m. and Sandman: the only Metallica Sanctions tribute, 10 p.m., Saturday; Karaoke nite, Wednesday; 1332 Huron St.; 519-455-7711 or visit http://www.normajeans.ca

Richmond Tavern: Tom Dunphy’s Classic Country Music Show, Saturday, 4-7 p.m., pay what you can; The Stetson Brothers, Sunday, 4-7 p.m.; 172 King St., 519-679-9777.

Rum Runners: Lost in Japan, Brighter Green, Huttch, Dime, Thursday, 8 p.m., $7; Hiroshima Hearts & Run Coyote, Five Oceans, The Hypnotics, Friday, 9 p.m., $5; CID, Siconic, Mikey The Kid, Saturday, 10 p.m., $10; ; 178 Dundas St.; 519-432-1107.

St. Regis Tavern: Musical Chairs with Grackles, Saturday, 9 p.m., pay-what-you-will; 625 Dundas St.; 519-432-0162.

Wortley Roadhouse: Second Chance, Friday; Hot Tub Hippies, Saturday; Rev. Doug and The Old South Boys, Sunday, 4-8 p.m.; 190 Wortley Rd.; 519-438-5141.

DANCING

Come Dancing: With Robert and Patricia, dance to ballroom, Latin and swing, Friday, 8 to 11 p.m., $10 includes cake and coffee; Polish Hall London, 554 Hill St., 519 421 7234.

Royal Canadian Legion – Dorchester: Dance to the music of 2 4 The Road, Friday, 5:30 p.m., $2; 1227 Donnybrook Dr.; free; 519-268-8538.

Royal Canadian Legion – Lambeth: Dance to the music of Two for the Road, Saturday, 2-5 p.m., free; 7097 Kilbourne Rd.; 519-652-3412.

Royal Canadian Legion – Victory: Dance to the music of Guydith Jamboree, Sunday, 4:30 p.m., $5; Wednesday Night Opry with Band Landry, Wednesday, 8 p.m., $8; 311 Oakland Ave.

Royal Canadian Legion – Woodstock: Dance to the music of Midlife Crisis, Saturday, 8 p.m. at 642 Dundas St., Woodstock; $5.

Social Dance: Sunday, 2-5 p.m. with Pete Howard music, doors open at 1:45 p.m.; $10; Dutch Canadian Club, 1738 Gore Rd.

Strathroy Jamboree: Play, dance, sing or listen, Thursday, 1-4 p.m., purchase lunch, made on location, 11:30 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. soup, fish & chips, sandwiches, pie; contact Harry and Elaine Hardy, 519 245 0906 or emailto: harryandelainehardy@gmail.com; 147 Frank St., Strathroy.

Thursday Tunes: Senior dances, 1-3:30 p.m., Libro Hall, 239 Fleming Dr., Clinton; musicians, dancers and spectators welcome, donations at the door; 519-476-5922 or e-mail angela.smith@centralhuron.com

Tuesday Tunes: Old time fiddle and traditional style country music, 1-3:30 p.m., Seaforth Community Centre, 122 Duke St.; singers, musicians, dancers and listeners welcome, bring your own instruments; admission by donation; 519-357-1016.

ETC.

Beal Robotics Science Expo: HB Beal Secondary School Raider robotics team hosts an annual science expo, Saturday, 1-3 p.m.; Interactive displays, experiments and robotics demonstrations is fun for all ages. Donation of a canned food item appreciated. Any questions please email: Bealrobotics@gmail.com; 525 Dundas Street.

Yuk Yuk’s: Comedy Night with Jeff Elliott, Friday and Saturday, 8 and 10:30 p.m.; 19+, Grandstand building, Western Fair District.

FAMILY


Tourists line up to board the Port Stanley Terminal Rail train

Port Stanley Train Rides: Ride the Santa Train and meet Old Saint Nick at Union Station, Saturdays and Sundays, departing at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 pm., till Dec. 22; $15 adults, $9 for child 2-14 years; no advanced tickets, first come, first served; 519-782-3730 or visit http://www.pstr.on.ca

FESTIVALS

I Heart Beer Holiday Festival: Ugly Sweaters and Mac & Cheese, Friday, 6-11 p.m.; RBC Place London, 300 York St., visit iheartbeer.ca/london

GALLERIES & MUSEUMS

1st Hussars Museum: Illustrating the history of the Regiment during the South African War, Great War, Second World War and Peacekeeping; hours: by appointment only, call 519-455-4533.

Art Emporium: Featured for November are Ron Pearce, Gianni Martino, Candy McManiman, Micheal Yates, Wilf Chappell, June-Anne Reid, Tom Scanlan, Shirley Mihlik Thompson, Kathy McKay; hours: Thursday to Monday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; 177 Main St., Port Stanley; 226-658-1888 or visit http://www.ArtEmporium.ca


Brigitte Granton’s Winter Creek is included in her exhibition Landscape Reflections at ArtWithPanache, Talbot Centre, 140 Fullarton St., until Nov. 30.

Art with Panache: Featured artist for November is Tony Furlong; Fine Artists, Fine Art Show and Sale, ends Friday; Panache Artists’ Folk Art Challenge, ends Friday; Landscape Reflections: solo show by landscape artist Brigitte Granton, till Nov. 29; Monday to Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Talbot Centre, 140 Fullarton St.; 226-378-2587.

Aylmer-Malahide Museum: Stir the Pot looks at dining through the ages and the history of local restaurants, till Nov. 29; hours: Monday to Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., evenings and weekends by appointment; 14 East St., Aylmer; 519-773-9723.

Eldon House: London’s oldest residence contains family heirlooms, furnishings and priceless treasures of the Harris Family; hours: Tuesday to Sunday, noon-5 p.m.; admission by donation; 481 Ridout St. N.; 519-661-5169 or visit http://www.eldonhouse.ca

Elgin County Heritage Centre: Voices from the Engraver: Canadian stamps and bank notes – design to printing – features original art, printing plates, videos, interactives, stamps and money, till Jan. 11; hours: Tuesday to Thursday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday, Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; 460 Sunset Dr., St. Thomas; 519-631-1460 ext. 193; or visit http://www.elgincounty.ca/museum

Fringe Custom Framing and Gallery: Bloom – Unveiling the Figure: group art show and sale, till Nov. 30; 1742 Hyde Park Rd.; 519-204-0404 or e-mail annettedutton41@gmail.com Excavo Fine Art: Breakneck Glimmer, solo exhibition by Lauren Pelc-McArthur, till Dec. 14; hours: Tuesday to Saturday, noon-5:30 p.m.; 711 Central Ave.; 519-719-3190; http://www.excavo.ca

Gallery in the Grove: Annual Gifts of the Season featuring handmade art and gifts, till Dec. 7; 2618 Hamilton Road, Brights Grove; 519-869-4643 or visit http://www.galleryinthegrove.com

Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre: Other Voices, sculptural clay work by Jeff Lounsbury, extended until Sunday; hours: Tuesday to Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 2:30-5:30 p.m., Sunday, 1-4 p.m.; 125 Centennial Lane in Victoria Park; 519-485-4691 or visit creativeartscentre.com

Komoka Railway Museum: Visit restored CN railway station, 1913 Shay steam locomotive, CN baggage car, items include telegraph keys, spike hammers, spike pullers, switch lanterns, steam gauges, a railroad safe, a baggage sleigh and a three-wheel velocipede; fall hours: Saturday, 9 a.m.-noon or by appointment; 131 Queen St., Komoka; 519-657-1912 or visit http://www.komokarailmuseum.ca

McIntosh Gallery: Angela Grauerholz: Ecrins Ecrans, till Dec. 14; hours: Monday to Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday, noon-4 p.m.; free; Western University, 1151 Richmond St.; 519-661-2111 ext. 87576.

Michael Gibson Gallery: 35 Year Milestone Exhibit features selected works by Graham Coughtry, Greg Curnoe, Roly Fenwick, Betty Goodwin, Harold Klunder, Wanda Koop, Robert Markle, Michael Snow and Takao Tanabe, till Nov. 23; hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; 157 Carling St.; 519-439-0451 or visit http://www.gibsongallery.com

Museum London: Esmaa Mohamoud: To Play in the Face of Certain Defeat, till Jan. 5; Ways of Being: Yhonnie Scarce and Michael Belmore, till Jan. 5; London Lens: Ian MacEachern and Don Vincent, till Jan. 19; The Lost City: Ian MacEachern’s Photographs of Saint John, till Jan. 26; 421 Ridout St.; 519-661-0333.

Oil Museum of Canada: Christmas Open House, Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., our costumed staff will be taking our visitors back to the days of yore with treats and fun Christmas crafts; free admission with canned good for food bank; 2423 Kelly Rd., 519-834-2840 or visit http://www.oilmuseum.ca

Portside Gallery: Sue Shurish, Patti Fisher and Janice Howell are featured for November; 18 area artists displaying paintings, photography, jewelry, hand-painted scarves and cards; hours: daily, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; 1871/2 Main St., Port Stanley; 519-782-7066 or visit portsidegallery.ca

St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre: Contemporary Selections from the Permanent Collection: Celebrating 50 Years, till Feb. 15 in Gallery One and Two; White Walls and Substantial Forms: Small Sculpture from the Permanent Collection, till Feb. 15 in Gallery Three; hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Thursday, Friday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday, noon to 4 p.m., Sunday, noon-3 p.m.; 301 Talbot St., St. Thomas; 519-631-4040.

Sunset Arts Gallery: Acrylic, oil, pastel, photography, pottery, watercolour, silk painting, fused glass, wood-turned art, non-representational abstract art; hours: weekends, noon-5 p.m. (until Dec. 15); 63 River Rd., Grand Bend; 519-238-6914.

The Art Exchange: Celebrating Autumn, group show of 15 Ontario artists reflects a variety of styles and methods of art making, till Nov. 30; hours: Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; 247 Wortley Rd.; 519-434-0000 or visit http://www.theartexchange.ca

Westland Gallery: Space Between: shared abstract art exhibit by Lisa Johnson and Johnnene Maddison, till Saturday; hours: Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday, noon-4 p.m.; 156 Wortley Rd.; 519-601-4420 or visit http://www.westlandgallery.ca

Woodstock Art Gallery: Life on the Back of a Turtle: Woodlands and Plains Indigenous Art, till Jan. 25; 449 Dundas St.; 519-539-6761.

MUSIC

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Big Wreck: Saturday, 8 p.m. with Texas King, ; 19+ event, $39.50; London Music Hall, 185 Queens Ave., 519-434-1601.

bülow: Friday, 7 p.m. with Verzache, Ashs; admission $25; London Music Hall, 185 Queens Ave., 519-434-1601 or visit http://www.redscarf.ca/concert.

Christmas Gospel Concert: Roy LeBlanc’s A Tribute to Elvis Presley, Saturday, 7 p.m.; tickets $20, at the door and at church office, Monday through Friday or can be ordered online at http://www.eventbrite.ca; Exeter United Church, 42 James St., Exeter, 519-235-0860.; for more information follow us on Facebook or visit http://www.exeterunitedchurch.com

Don Wright Faculty of Music: Opera at Western: The Secret Gardener, Thursday and Friday, 7:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m., tickets available by calling 519-672-8800; Paul Davenport Theatre, Talbot College, Western University.


bülow, Friday, 7 p.m. at London Music Hall. Mike Hensen/The London Free Press file photo

Emm Gryner: Saturday, 8 p.m. with special guests Deni Gauthier; tickets $25 advance, $30 at the door; Aeolian Hall, 795 Dundas St., 519-672-7950 or visit aeolianhall.ca

Fortunate Ones: Thursday, 8 p.m. with special guests Sherman Downey; tickets $25 advance, $30 at door; Aeolian Hall, 795 Dundas St., 519-672-7950 or visit aeolianhall.ca

Gospel Music in the Church: Featuring The Gee Gee’s Sing Gospel from St. Marys, Sunday, 7 p.m., First Baptist Church, 235 Thames St. S., Ingersoll; free will offering.

Jazz for the People: Wednesday, 7:15 p.m.; London Public Library, 251 Dundas St., 519-661-4600, visit lpl.ca/programs

Jennifer Thorpe: Sunday, 2 p.m. part of Aeolian Heritage series; tickets $20 advance; Aeolian Hall, 795 Dundas St., 519-672-7950 or visit aeolianhall.ca

Karen Schuessler Singers: Shining Night concert, Saturday, 8 p.m.; tickets: adult $25, senior $22, student $10 ($28/$25/$10 at the door); Wesley-Knox Church, 91 Askin St., visit http://www.kssingers.com

Leahy: Tuesday and Wednesday, 8 p.m.; tickets $40 advance, $45 at the door; Aeolian Hall, 795 Dundas St., 519-672-7950 or visit aeolianhall.ca

London Singers & H.B. Beal Singers: A Choral Masterworks Concert, Sunday, 3 p.m.; tickets $30 at the door, $20 students; Dundas Centre Church, 482 Dundas St., 519-852-0916, visit http://www.thelondonsingers.ca

Marty Kolls: Play Too music video, and accompanying EP release, Friday, at Museum London, 421 Ridout St., 6:30-9 p.m.; tickets sold in advance for $10 at Grooves Records, Odyssey Records, Forest City Records and Marty Kolls and at the door for $15, all ages event.

Sweetwood Mac Live: Tribute to Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nick’s greatest hits, Saturday, 8 p.m.; tickets $10 advance or $12 at the door; German Canadian Club, 1 Cove Rd., 519-433-2901.

The Light of the East Ensemble: Sephardic Heart album release, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; tickets $20 advance, $25 at the door, available at Chaucer’s/Marienbad, 519-679-9940, Centennial Hall Box Office, 519-672-1967, Long & McQuade North, 519-439-0101, Village Idiot (Wortley Village) and online at sunfest.on.ca or folk.on.ca

OUTDOORS

O Holy Night Nativity Display: A beautiful display of nativity sets that show the wonder of the birth of Jesus, come visit us and enjoy coffee, tea and cookies, Saturday, 1-3 p.m.; free; 970 Oxford St. W., 519-471-2290.


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Saturday Morning Walks: Through Warbler Woods, 9 a.m., meet at small car park at 1560 Commissioners Rd. W., just south of Oxford St. parking on Chestnut Hill; walks are approximately one hour; families with children are welcome, no dogs; John Clark, 519-641-0442 or visit http://www.tvta.ca

Ska-Nah-Doht Village: Season’s Greetings, Sunday, noon till 4 p.m.; take a horse drawn wagon ride through the park, listen to the songs of the season, trim a tree for the birds and more; $8 per vehicle; Longwoods Conservation Area, 8348 Longwoods Road, 6.5 km west of Delaware, just southwest of Mount Brydges, 519-264-2420.

READINGS & SPEAKERS

Hindsight is 2020: The past meets the future as Western University History Department faculty deliver weekly talks: Associate Professor Frank Schumacher tackles Trump, Foreign Policy & Global Chaos, Monday, 7 p.m. at Central Library, 251 Dundas St., followed by Q&A; free drop-in event; 519-661-4600.

Stage for Change: About addiction, recovery and change with speakers Aaron Allen, Dani Strong, Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Aeolian Hall, 795 Dundas St., 519-672-7950 or visit aeolianhall.ca SHOWS AND TOURS Hidden History of Hamilton Road: Join James Reaney as he discusses the History of Music in the Hamilton Road Area, Thursday, 7 p.m., free; Crouch Branch Library, 550 Hamilton Road, 519-455-4533.

THEATRE

Stratford Festival: Billy Elliott the Musical, till Sunday at Festival Theatre, 55 Queen St., Stratford; 1-800-567-1600 or visit http://www.stratfordfestival.ca

BAZAARS & SALES

33rd Annual Toy and Craft Show and Sale: Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Seaforth Agriplex and Community Centre Hall, 122 Duke St., Seaforth; admission $5.

ACW Bake Sale: Baked goods and preserves, Sunday, 9:30 a.m. and noon, after services; St. James Westminster Anglican Church, 115 Asking St. at Wortley, 519-432-1915.

Artisan Bazaar: 20 community vendors, 10 junior high young entrepreneurs, Rosie’s Steetery food truck, hot chocolate bar, door prizes, Saturday, 10 .m. to 2 p.m.; Montessori Academy, 742 Waterloo St.; $2 Christmas Market in Lovely London: Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with handmade items; $3; Hellenic Community Centre, 133 Southdale Rd. W.

Christmas Sale & Luncheon: Home baking, jams and candy and jellies, candy and Christmas specialties, silent auction, lunch is soup, sandwich, sweet and beverage $5, Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; London Citadel Church, 555 Springbank Dr., 519-472-2500.


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Country Christmas Bazaar: Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. including preserves, tearoom, crafts, silent auction, treasurers, jewellery, books and baking; St. John the Divine Anglican Church, 21557 Richmond St. N., Arva, 519-660-8177.

Food Fare & Christmas Craft Sale: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; frozen food, turkey pies, preserves, baking and craft vendors; St. Michael & All Angels Church, 397 Springbank Drive.

Garden Club of London Christmas Boutique: Unusual and unique home decor items all displayed from botanicals, Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m..; free; snacks, coffee, tea available; Civic Gardents Comples, 625 Springbank Dr.

Spirit of Christmas: Friday, 6:30-9 p.m. with music by James Masschelein and Gospel Express, Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with music by Valleyview Male Chorus; event includes a juried craft show, Ten Thousand Villages; admission $5; Nairn Mennonite Church, 26459 Bear Creek Rd., Ailsa Craig, 519-232-4425.

Wellspring Christmas Craft Sales: YMCA Bostwick Branch, 501 Southdale Rd W., Thursday, 4-7 p.m., Friday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m.-noon; YMCA Stoney Creek Branch, 920 Sunningdale Rd. W.; all proceeds to support Wellspring London programs. http://www.wellspringlondon.ca Wortley Village Holiday Shopping: Extended hours, one-night-only promotions & special offers, draws and goodies at 14 locations throughout the village, Thursday, 4-8 p.m.; for more information visit http://www.facebook.com/events/463058604556495 or call 519-601-4420 or 519-432-0434.

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Art gallery sending artist from the Rock to the Emerald Isle – CBC.ca

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Philippa Jones, executive director of Eastern Edge Gallery in St. John’s, says a partnership between Ireland and Newfoundland and Labrador could benefit the province’s art community. (Alex Kennedy/CBC)

A St. John’s art gallery will be sending an artist to Ireland and welcoming one in return — and it’s all thanks to its new studio space.

Philippa Jones, the gallery’s executive director of Eastern Edge Gallery, says a partnership between the gallery and Donegal art company Artlink began earlier this year, when some of Artlink’s members came to St. John’s for an art conference.

“They were wandering around trying to figure out … where the art centres were,” Jones said. “And they dropped into Eastern Edge and we said ‘hi’ and from there we just formed a really great partnership.”

A recent Eastern Edge expansion gives the gallery the room to do projects like an international residency exchange with Artlink, she said.

As part of this partnership, Eastern Edge will send one artist from Newfoundland and Labrador to Donegal, about 220 kilometres north of Dublin, for a four-week residency in their own studio. The residency is self-directed, meaning it’s up to the artist what they want to do. The artist will also receive 6,000 Euros, nearly $9,000 Cdn, for fees including travel and living costs.

An artist from Ireland will also come to Newfoundland and Labrador, and work in residency at Eastern Edge.

Jones said the residency is a great opportunity for Newfoundland and Labrador to establish itself on the international art map.

“We have a really unique, vibrant arts community with a lot of independent artists making a living and a life here enriching the culture,” Jones said.

“It also then gives the opportunity for Newfoundland and Labrador artists to travel to Ireland and, in the same vein, see how their art industry works and runs. But also make work over there, make connections, form friendships.”

Strengthening relations with Ireland

With WestJet cancelling its direct flights between St. John’s and Dublin last year, Jones says she hopes the art connection between the two countries can carry over to the runway.

“There’s a history of an extremely strong relationship already between Ireland and Newfoundland and Labrador,” Jones said.

“It would definitely be advantageous and make everyone’s life easier if the direct flights were returned. Taking 24 hours to get to Donegal is not going to be as much fun or as easy for our artists when they have to go directly.”

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Arts

After Hiatus, Trump Awards National Arts and Humanities Medals – The New York Times

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For the first time since he took office, President Trump will award the National Medal of the Arts and the National Humanities Medal, honoring eight recipients including the actor Jon Voight, the novelist James Patterson, the musicians of the United States Military and the conservative think tank the Claremont Institute.

The medals, given annually since the 1980s, were last awarded in 2016, by President Obama, who named about a dozen honorees for each medal, as was typical in past years. This week, in a terse announcement, the administration named four winners each for the arts and the humanities. They will be honored on Thursday at the White House.

In addition to Mr. Voight and the musicians of the military, the winners of the arts medal are the bluegrass musician and singer Alison Krauss and the philanthropist Sharon Percy Rockefeller, who is also president of WETA, Washington’s public television and radio station.

The humanities honorees include Patrick O’Connell, the chef at the Inn at Little Washington, an acclaimed restaurant in Washington, Va., and Teresa Lozano Long, a philanthropist in Austin, Tex., as well as Mr. Patterson and the Claremont Institute.

The lack of awards since he came into office had underscored Mr. Trump’s uneasy relationship with the arts, and his rocky history with the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, which he attempted to close down shortly after his inauguration.

In 2017, all 16 members of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities resigned in protest after Mr. Trump made comments in defense of white nationalists after the violent demonstrations in Charlottesville, Va. And for the past two years, Mr. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have skipped the Kennedy Center Honors, a major event on the Washington cultural calendar.

The arts and humanities medals are among the country’s most prestigious cultural honors. In 2016, the year they were last given, winners included the comedian Mel Brooks, the interviewer Terry Gross, the trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis, the biographer Ron Chernow and the novelist Sandra Cisneros.

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