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Arts, culture, fun in London this weekend and beyond (Dec. 26-Jan. 1) – The London Free Press

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What’s happening in and around London this weekend and into next week.


Londoners Deborah Hay, as Marry Poppins, and Mark Uhre as Bert stars in the Grand Theatre’s production on until Dec. 29. (Derek Ruttan/The London Free Press)


What’s happening in and around London this weekend and into next week:

CLUBS

Call the Office: Xxxmas: A Christmas Tragedy with Euphoria, Mesa, Road to Elysium, Saturday, 8 p.m.; The Discarded and Back Breaker, Ditchbanger, Dave Rocket and The Jobbers, Ty Flies, Sunday, 8 p.m., $10, 19+; NYE No Scrubs Dance Party with DJ Wolf Pup, Tuesday, 10 p.m., $10, 19+; 216 York St.

Eastside Bar and Grill: Juice, Friday, 10 p.m.; Big Bang, Saturday, 10 p.m.; NYE with Zed, Tuesday (sold out); 750 Hamilton Rd.; 519-457-7467.

Jimbo’s Pub And Eatery: Karaoke Party hosted by Maggie, Fridays, 10 p.m.; 920 Commissioners Rd. E.; 519-204-7991 or visit www.jimbospub.ca.

London Music Club: Pete Denomme and The Cosmic Cowboys, Emm Gryner, Keelan Purchase, Brent Jones, Dave Cowell, Saturday, 6:30 p.m.; NYE with The LMC All-Stars, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.; 470 Colborne St.; 519-640-6996.

London Music Hall: The London Boys Reunited with Thymios Partalas and Friends, Friday, 9 p.m., $40, 19+; The Penthouse, Tuesday, 9 p.m., $25, 19+; 185 Queens Ave.; 519-432-1107.

Norma Jean’s: No Heros, The Skraggs and Spinster Jones, Saturday, 9 p.m.; 1332 Huron St.; 519-455-7711 or visit www.normajeans.ca.

Rum Runners: The Weathered, The Black Box Review, Gracie Mae, Saturday, 10 p.m., $5, 19+; NYE 2020 The Party Continues with Saad Ayub, Alex Hawken, Basso, Joel Demoor, Richard K, Sanad, Tuesday, 9 p.m., $13, 19+; 178 Dundas St.; 519-432-1107.

St. Regis Tavern: A Very Bluegrass Christmas VII with Kevin’s Bacon Train, Saturday, 9 p.m.; 625 Dundas St.; 519-432-0162.

Wortley Roadhouse: Rumblefish, Friday and Saturday; Rev. Doug and The Old South Boys, Sunday, 4-8 p.m.; NYE with Geoff Masse Band, Tuesday; 190 Wortley Rd.; 519-438-5141.


DANCING

Come Dancing: Ballroom, Latin and swing dance with Robert and Patricia, Friday, 8 p.m. at Polish Hall, 554 Hill St.; admission: $10, includes coffee, tea and snacks; everyone welcome; 519-421-7234.

Latin Dance Night: Come out and do the Salsa, Merengue, Reggaeton and Bachata with JaviDj, Saturday, 10 p.m., free admission; Jimbo’s Pub, 920 Commissioners Rd. E.; 519-204-7991 or visit www.jimbospub.ca.

New Year’s Eve Celebration: Dance to the music of Wolfeman DJ, Tuesday at German Canadian Club, 1 Cove Rd.; tickets: members $40, non-members $50, includes party favours, light buffet and midnight champagne toast, available at the club or online at onstagedirect.com; 519-433-2901.

New Year’s Eve Dance: Dance to the music of County Road Country Band, Tuesday, 8 p.m. at Victory Legion, 311 Oakland Ave.; tickets: $30, includes late lunch, available at the bar; 519-455-2331.

Royal Canadian Legion – Lambeth: Dance to the music of CW Country, Saturday, 2-5 p.m., free; New Year’s Eve Dance to the music of Mike Fagan, Tuesday, tickets $45, includes dinner; Levee Day, dance to the music of Country Versatiles, Wednesday, opens at noon with Colours marched on at 2 p.m., followed by music; 7097 Kilbourne Rd.; 519-652-3412.

Royal Canadian Legion – Victory: Dance to the music of T.L.A. Band, Saturday, 7:30 p.m., $10; NYE with County Road, Tuesday, 8 p.m. (downstairs, NYE with Sideline, 8 p.m. (upstairs); 311 Oakland Ave.

Singles Dance Party: Year-end dance to the music of Wolfeman DJ, Saturday, 8 p.m. at Polish Club, 554 Hill St.; admission: $7, all welcome; 519-433-2579.


ETC.

New Year’s Levee: Celebrate the New Year with a visit to Eldon House and enjoy musical entertainment in the elegant drawing room, exchange greetings and gather with friends for hot cider and treats in the Interpretive Centre, Wednesday, drop-in 1-4 p.m.; admission by donation; 481 Ridout St. N.; 519-661-5169.

Read. Learn. Live.: Celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, CODE has launched this photography exhibit by internationally renowned Canadian photojournalist, Peter Bregg, opens Tuesday, runs till Jan. 13 at Central Library, 251 Dundas St., 1st floor Library Commons; free admission.


Ornate rooms are on display in London’s oldest home, Eldon House, where they are celebrating a Victorian Christmas until Jan. 1. (Mike Hensen/The London Free Press)


GALLERIES AND MUSEUMS

Art With Panache: Featured artists for December include Tony Furlong, Paul Snoddy, Lyn Tremblay, Lynne Pinchin, Mary Lillyman, Kit Cutting, Lois Fuchs, Audrey Cooper, Margaret Crosby, Nic DeGroot and Andrew Gillet; hours: Monday to Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; 140 Fullarton St.; 519-870-7218.

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

Michael Gibson Gallery: The Hockey Show, hockey-themed exhibition features 20 Canadian artists, runs till Jan. 4; hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; 157 Carling St.; 519-439-0451 or visit www.gibsongallery.com.

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

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

Westland Gallery: The Big Little Christmas Show features small scale artwork by local artists, ends Sunday; 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 www.westlandgallery.ca.

Woodstock Art Gallery: Dancing on the Grave: Dil Hildebrand and Patrick Thibert and Life on the Back of a Turtle: Woodlands and Plains Indigenous Art, both exhibits run till Jan. 25; Walk On: the ongoing sculpture project of John McEwen, runs till June 27; 449 Dundas St., Woodstock; 519-539-6761.


OUTDOORS

Nature London: New Year’s Day Bird Walk along the Thames River, looking for birds along the river and in the adjacent parklands, Wednesday, 10 a.m.-noon; meet the leader in the parking lot for the Springbank Gardens Community Centre, 205 Wonderland Rd. S.; 519-472-48-64.

Saturday Morning Walks: Walk through Sifton Bog Natural Area, meet at Hazelden park, 400 Hyde Park Rd., on the west side of Hyde Park Road, north of Riverside Drive; walks are approximately one hour; families with children are welcome, no dogs; John Clark, 519-641-0442 or visit www.tvta.ca.


THEATRE

Mary Poppins: A Disney musical, ends Sunday on Spriet Stage, Grand Theatre, 471 Richmond St.; tickets $20 adult, $15 senior/student by calling 519-672-9030 or visit grandtheatre.com.

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Visit the city's tiniest art gallery: Five things to do in Saskatoon this weekend – Saskatoon StarPhoenix

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In an effort to help Saskatoon residents share art with one another, Suzy Schwanke has created the Free Little Art Gallery YXE outside her home at 332 Hilliard St. E.

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Whether you’re interested in art, a virtual party, some outdoor activities or cleaning up around the house, there’s a little bit of something for everyone this weekend in Saskatoon.

1. Visit the Free Little Art Gallery

In an effort to help Saskatoon residents share art with one another, Suzy Schwanke has created the Free Little Art Gallery YXE outside her home at 332 Hilliard St. E. Designed in the style of community libraries and kitchen boxes, visitors to the gallery can take a piece of art, leave a piece of art, or do both. You can check out some of the artwork on Instagram @Freelittleartgalleryyxe.

Art teacher Suzy Schwanke is hoping to bring “a little joy to the community” by installing a tiny art gallery on her front lawn in Saskatoon’s Queen Elizabeth neighbourhood.
Art teacher Suzy Schwanke is hoping to bring “a little joy to the community” by installing a tiny art gallery on her front lawn in Saskatoon’s Queen Elizabeth neighbourhood. Photo by Matt Smith /Saskatoon StarPhoenix

2. Hit up The Bassment’s virtual party

Featuring the music and talents of eight Saskatoon bands, The Bassment presents InTune 2021 — a free online party playing from 2 to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The shows will be streamed live through the Bassment’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

3. Check out local performers

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Watch as some of Saskatoon’s performing artists share their work in Episode 1 of Persephone Theatre’s Open Stage, which was published earlier this month. The episode is available to watch whenever you want at persephonetheatre.org and features Peace Akintade, Kathie Cram, Amanda Trapp, Sketchy Bandits, Carla Orosz and Ellen Froese.

4. Have some family fun

The Fuddruckers Family Fun Centre (2910 8th St. E) is open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Sunday, weather permitting. Families can practice their skills on the 18-hole Putt N’ Bounce miniature golf course, reach new heights on The Rock climbing wall or take a swing at the Grand Slam batting cages. More information is available at fudds.ca or by calling 306-477-0808.

5. Drop off your hazardous waste

The City of Saskatoon is holding its first Hazardous Household Waste Drop Off of the year on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Civic Operations Centre (57 Valley Rd.). The drop off is open to Saskatoon residents from residential properties only. Products eligible for drop off include aerosols, automotive fluids, batteries, cleaners, light bulbs, yard chemicals and more. Learn more at saskatoon.ca/hazardouswaste.

  1. Art teacher Suzy Schwanke is hoping to bring

    Little art gallery brings colour, connection to Queen Elizabeth neighbourhood

  2. Persephone Theatre in Saskatoon

    Persephone Theatre brings in community co-leads for new Artists’ Working Group

The news seems to be flying at us faster all the time. From COVID-19 updates to politics and crime and everything in between, it can be hard to keep up. With that in mind, the Saskatoon StarPhoenix has created an Afternoon Headlines newsletter that can be delivered daily to your inbox to help make sure you are up to date with the most vital news of the day. Click here to subscribe.

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YK ARCC celebrates 10 years by pushing for NWT art gallery – Cabin Radio

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Its trailer doubles as one of the NWT’s only art galleries. Now, the Yellowknife Artist-Run Community Centre is turning 10 years old.

The group, YK ARCC for short, formed in 2011 in a downtown Yellowknife church scheduled for demolition. “There was always something going on,” recalled Métis artist Rosalind Mercredi, owner of the city’s Down to Earth Gallery, who was YK ARCC’s first president.

“I think it was so good to be able to have a space where people wanted to work on stuff and, if they had bigger projects they wanted to do, there was a space to do it. It was pretty vibrant times, I would say, for art.”

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Though the organization stayed in the church for less than a year, it has brought art and shows to Yellowknife since. Temporary homes have included an apartment above a Vietnamese restaurant and empty spaces in the Centre Square Mall.

Casey Koyczan, a Tłı̨chǫ artist from Yellowknife pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Manitoba, held some of his first shows with YK ARCC’s help.

“It really helped to be able to show work within an environment that was conducive to more of a fine arts aesthetic as opposed to … a coffee shop, or a pub, or something like that,” said Koyczan, who was on YK ARCC’s board.

“YK ARCC felt like it was getting to more of a formal-exhibit kind of feel.”

‘We need a territorial gallery’

The group made headlines shortly after opening a mobile art gallery in a trailer. At the beginning of the pandemic, the team took art to residents by accepting reservations through Facebook then driving the gallery to make house calls in different neighbourhoods.

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“Because it’s so small, we might be the only gallery in Canada that didn’t have to close,” said longtime board member Sarah Swan. “It has a limited capacity. We knew we could still operate it safely.”

YK ARCC’s first home is pictured in 2011. Photo: Submitted
Casey Koyczan stands in front of a painting at a YK ARCC show in 2014. Photo: Submitted

Yet the trailer’s success simultaneously illuminated what YK ARCC’s members believe is a glaring deficiency in the NWT: the absence of a territorial gallery.

The cost of rent makes it difficult for the non-profit to hold on to one space for any length of time. Many of the spaces that are available in Yellowknife don’t work well for art shows.

“We need a territorial gallery,” former board member Dan Korver said.

That doesn’t mean a commercial gallery geared toward profit, he clarified. Instead, Korver wants a space where artists can show their work and engage with an audience “for art’s sake.”

The Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre is the only large-scale, non-commercial, gallery fitting that bill in the NWT. It hosts two fine art exhibits a year.

“It’s just simply not enough,” said Swan. “There are so many more artists and so much more work out there to show, so many more ideas.”

“We created the mobile gallery in the first place to feel that exhibition gap, but also, we created it to be a piece of agitation in itself. That’s why we called it the Art Gallery of the Northwest Territories.

“It’s really pathetic that our territorial gallery is a trailer. We all joke that if there ever is a real gallery of the Northwest Territories that’s not in a trailer, we’ll happily give the name back.”

YK ARCC debuted its mobile gallery in the summer of 2019. Pictured are board member Brian McCutcheon and artist Terry Pamplin. Photo: Submitted
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Art by Shelley Vanderbyl is displayed in Yellowknife’s mobile gallery in May 2020. Sarah Pruys/Cabin Radio
A YK ARCC show in 2018, called Social Fabric, was held inside a former bank in the Centre Square Mall. Thirty-two artists were featured and 800 people attended. Photo: Submitted

Koyczan described obstacles in establishing his career that stemmed directly from the lack of a territorial art gallery.

“Back when I was showing at YK ARCC, it wasn’t recognized by the Canada Arts Council,” he said. “Therefore, when you go to apply for grants and funding … and you provide your CV saying that you showed work at YK ARCC, they check their records and say the show basically didn’t exist because they don’t recognize it as a legitimate gallery.

“I’ve had to work really hard on exporting myself and making artwork that is impactful so that, regardless of where I was located, it would be recognized by people in the south, or around North America, or internationally.

“The NWT needs a contemporary gallery. It’s just holding us back, not having that space.”

‘No GNWT mandate’ for a gallery

In a written statement to Cabin Radio, the territorial Department of Education, Culture, and Employment said it has no plan to create a territorial gallery.

The department said it “does not have a mandate to create physical infrastructure for the arts.”

“However,” the response continued, “the GNWT would be happy to work with regional organizations to see how the GNWT can support their plans.”

Korver believes government involvement in creating an artist-run centre or non-commercial gallery should be limited to provision of funding, so any gallery can remain community-driven and independent.

“We need that physical space, but how do you run it?” he wondered. “Is it better to just provide a grassroots organization – or organizations, maybe there shouldn’t just be one – with stable funding so they can provide those spaces and run those spaces?”

More spaces that can host art are on the way.

Makerspace YK moved into the old After 8 pub this January and is planning workshops and exhibits. The City of Yellowknife expects to open a visitor centre in the Centre Square Mall that would include art displays.

Meanwhile, the territorial government is set to release its updated NWT Arts Strategy this June. The previous territorial arts strategy, released in 2004, had identified a need for more arts spaces.

As a gallery owner, Mercredi said she is curious to see how the strategy is implemented.

YK ARCC staged an outdoor installation in 2017. Photo: Submitted
Rosalind Mercredi, first president of YK ARCC, at the mobile gallery. Photo: Submitted

“You can make a strategy but if the plan doesn’t have an implementation idea behind it, then really just sits,” she said. “How do you implement it when most of the arts organizations don’t have enough infrastructure or people to put those things together?”

Swan said YK ARCC will continue to run its mobile gallery while celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Members have applied for funding to run a series of “emerging curator workshops.”

“Art is our passion,” Swan said. “I think there’s just this drive to share.

“Because we know how good art can be, or how amazing and fully developed it can be, we want to fight for that. We want to try to grow the art community in Yellowknife.”

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