Arts, culture, fun in London this weekend and beyond (Jan. 23-29) - The London Free Press - Canada News Media
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Arts, culture, fun in London this weekend and beyond (Jan. 23-29) – The London Free Press



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

John Rowlands was assigned by a magazine to take photos of Lady Gaga in Ottawa in 2014, but was invited to stay and shoot the entire show when her road crew recognized him. Rowlands will talk about his early years and work with some of the music industry’s biggest stars at the Jet Aircraft Museum at London International Airport Saturday. (John Robert Rowlands/Special to London Free Press)

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


Call the Office: White Cowbell Oklahoma, Saturday, 9 p.m., $15; 216 York St.

Eastside Bar and Grill: Second Chance, Friday, 10 p.m.; Dave’s Not Here, Saturday, 10 p.m.; Blues Jam, Sunday, 3 p.m.; Eastside Open Jam Night, Wednesday, 8 p.m.; 750 Hamilton Rd.; 519-457-7467.

Jimbo’s Pub And Eatery: Karaoke party, Fridays, 10 p.m. and Tuesdays, 8 p.m.; 920 Commissioners Rd. E.; 519-204-7991 or visit

London Music Club: Mudmen, Friday, 7 p.m., Pat Robitaille, 7 p.m., Acoustic Open Mic, 7:30 p.m.; Night Of Rock and Blues Fundraiser, Saturday, 7 p.m.; SOUP Ukulele Jam, Wednesday, 6:45 p.m.; 470 Colborne St.; 519-640-6996.

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London Music Hall: Half Moon run, Taylor Janzen, Tuesday, 7 p.m., $30, all ages; 185 Queens Ave.; 519-432-1107.

London Wine Bar: Live blues with Rick Taylor, Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m., no cover; 420 Talbot St.; call 519-913-3400 or e-mail for reservations; walk-ins welcome.

Mustang Sally’s: Wheel House, Friday, 9:30 p.m.; Men Without Cats, Saturday, 9:30 p.m.; Acoustic Jam with Alan Lynch, Bobby Keener, Jack Coveney, Don Oullette and Friends, Tuesdays, 10 p.m.; Lonnie Chicago, Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m.; 99 Belmont Drive, 519-649-7688.

Rum Runners: The Blue Stones, Mute Choir, Friday, 8 p.m. (sold out); 178 Dundas St.; 519-432-1107.

St. Regis Tavern: Musical Chairs with The Tiger Beats and The Thing From Outer Space, Saturday, 9 p.m., pay-what-you-will; 625 Dundas St.; 519-432-0162.

Wortley Roadhouse: The Fish, Friday and Saturday; After Midnight, Sunday, 4-8 p.m.; 190 Wortley Rd.; 519-438-5141.


Come Dancing: Ballroom, Latin and swing dancing, Friday at Polish Hall, 554 Hill St.; line dance lesson with Kathie at 7:30 p.m., followed by dancing with Wolfeman music host at 8 p.m.; admission: $10, snacks on the tables; all welcome; 519-433-2579.

Latin Dance Night: Come out and do the Salsa, Merengue, Reggaeton and Bachata with DJ Alexander, Saturday, 9 p.m., free; Jimbo’s Pub, 920 Commissioners Rd. E.; 519-204-7991 or visit

London Ballroom Dance Club: Workshop, Saturday, 7:30 p.m., followed by general dancing at 8 p.m. at Polish Hall, 554 Hill St.; admission: $20, includes coffee, tea, desserts; visit

Royal Canadian Legion – Dorchester: Dance to the music of The Kebobs, Saturday, 2-5 p.m., free; 1227 Donnybrook Dr., Dorchester; 519-268-8538.

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

Royal Canadian Legion – Victory: Guydith Jamboree, Sunday, 1-4:30 p.m. on the main floor, admission: musicians $3, public $5; 311 Oakland Ave.

Royal Canadian Legion – Woodstock: Dance to the music of Midlife Crisis, Saturday, 8 p.m., $5; 642 Dundas St., Woodstock; 519-537-3117.

Singles Dance Party: Dance to music by Wolfeman DJ, Saturday, 8 p.m. in the Big Hall at Marconi Club, 120 Clarke Rd.; admission: $13, all welcome; 519-433-2579 or visit

Thursday Tunes and Dancing: Musicians, dancers and spectators welcome, every Thursday, 1-3:30 p.m. at Libro Hall, 239 Fleming Dr., Clinton; admission by donation; 519-476-5922 or e-mail


2020 Speaker Series: Western University Professor Jonathan Vance presents, Steve McQueen on a Motorbike: The Great Escape and Popular Culture, Thursday, 6 p.m. at Royal Canadian Regiment Museum at Wolseley Barracks, 701 Oxford St. E.; free admission; visit

Steve McQueen escapes on a motorcycle in The Great Escape.

An Evening with John Rowlands: John has been photographing music and movie celebrities since 1960, come hear his stories and see his images, Saturday, 7 p.m. at Jet Aircraft Museum, 2465 Aviation lane, Unit 2; tickets: $15 advance or $20 at the door; 519-453-7000 or visit

Book Launch and Signing: Communication is Care: 9 Empowering Strategies to Guide Patient Healing with Jennifer George, Saturday, 1-4 p.m. at Indigo, 1037 Wellington Rd. S.

CMHA – Sharing our Stories for Bell Let’s Talk Day: Listen to recovery stories, meet individuals with lived experience, and visit with a St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog, Wednesday, 1-3 p.m. at Central Library, 251 Dundas St.; free event, everyone welcome; in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association Middlesex.

FIMS Making Matters Lecture Series: Open Platforms – Developing Culture in the Age of Big Data TV, presented by Aymar Jean Christian, Associate Professor of Communication, Northwestern University, and founder of Open TV, Thursday, 4 p.m. at Western University, FIMS and Nursing Building, 2nd Floor Creative Commons, 1151 Richmond St.; free admission; 519-661-2111 ext. 88493.

London West New Year’s Levee: Join MPP Peggy Sattler at the annual levee, event includes the presentation of Community Recognition Awards, live music, and a light supper, Thursday, 6:30 p.m. at Byron Legion, 1276 Commissioners Rd. W.; free admission; RSVP online at


Art Emporium: Work by regional artists and artisans working in many mediums and disciplines; winter hours: Saturday, Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. or by appointment; 177 Main St., Port Stanley; 226-658-1888 or visit

ArtVenture Art Studio: A combination of embroidery, textiles and text is the theme of the exhibit featuring artwork of local artist Cassie Morris, runs till Jan. 31; hours: Monday to Thursday, 4-8 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; 1438 Aldersbrook Rd.; 519-471-4278 or visit

Art With Panache: Artists featured for January include Julia Armstrong, Audrey Cooper, Margaret Crosby, Kit Cutting, Nic DeGroot, Lois Fuchs, Tony Furlong, Andrew Gillett, Mary Lillyman, Lynne Pinchin, Paul Snoddy, Lyn Tremblay and Lisa Verbakel; hours: Monday to Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Talbot Centre, 140 Fullarton St.; 519-870-7218.

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

Forest City Gallery: Through Clenched Teeth exhibition, runs till Feb. 7; 258 Richmond St.; visit

Gallery in the Grove: Connexions, exhibition celebrates artists who have shared in our 40-year evolution, runs till Feb. 22; 2618 Hamilton Rd. at Wildwood Park, Bright’s Grove; visit

Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre: Altered States, photography by Werner Braun, runs till Feb. 2; hours: Monday to Friday, 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Sunday, 1-4 p.m.; 125 Centennial Lane, Victoria Park, Ingersoll; 519-485-4691 or visit

Jet Aircraft Museum: Evening with John Rowlands, rock ‘n roll photographer, Saturday, 7 p.m., $20; Cold War era jet aircraft and historic displays honouring Canadian aviation heritage; hours: Thursday to Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; admission by donation; 2465 Aviation Lane, Unit 2; 519-453-7000 or visit

London-based photographer John Rowlands caught this iconic image of David Bowie in 1976 during the Station to Station tour stop in Toronto. It is the photo Rowlands treasurers the most from a career that’s spanned five decades and continues. (John Robert Rowlands/Special to London Free Press)

McIntosh Gallery: Gerard Pas: Broken Body exhibition, runs till Feb. 22; hours: Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, noon-4 p.m.; Western University, 1151 Richmond St.; 519-661-2111, ext. 87576.

Michael Gibson Gallery: Chroma II: The Complexity of Colour, group exhibition featuring works by Mark Dicey, Jonathan Forrest, James Kirkpatrick, Ron Martin, William Perehudoff, Gordon Rayner, Jonathan Syme, David Urban and Hans Wendt, runs till Feb. 1; hours: Wednesday to Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; 157 Carling St.; 519-439-0451 or visit

Museum London: The Lost City: Ian MacEachern’s Photographs of Saint John, ends Sunday; 421 Ridout St.; 519-661-0333.

Portside Gallery: Featured artists for January are Jean Johnson, S’ine Maule and Len Hughes; 18 area artists showing original paintings, photography, jewelry, hand-painted scarves and cards; hours: Thursday to Monday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (weather permitting); 187 1/2 Main St., Port Stanley; 519-782-7066 or visit

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.

Lagoon of the Andes, by artist César Morriss, a native of Peru, is part of TD Sunfest’s 14th Colores de LatinoAmerica show at London’s TAP Centre for Creativity until Feb. 1.

TAP Centre For Creativity: Colores de Latinoamerica ’20, 14th annual visual art exhibition featuring Andrea Vela Alarcon (Peru), Ana Arias, aka Ansoara (Venezuela), Enrique Bravo (Venezuela), Jacquie Comrie (Panama), Cesar Morriss (Peru) and Michelle Peraza (Costa Rica and Cuba), opening reception Friday, 7 p.m. with music by The Alfredo Caxaj Latin Jazz Ensemble, runs till Feb. 1; free admission; 203 Dundas St.; 519-642-2767 or visit

Westland Gallery: The Gallery Artists Group Exhibition, ends Saturday; Winter Collection: London and more, featuring works by Dana Cowie, Geoff Farnsworth, MaryAnn Hendriks, Samantha Chilvers, Angie Quick and Curtis Doherty, opens Tuesday, runs till Feb. 15; 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

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 end Saturday; Walk On: ongoing sculpture project of John McEwen, runs till June 27; 449 Dundas St., Woodstock; 519-539-6761.


Alex Cuba: Thursday, 8 p.m. at Wolf Performance Hall, Central Library, 251 Dundas St.; tickets: $25 advance available at Centennial hall, Long and McQuade North, Village Idiot, online at and eventbrite or by calling 519-672-1522, or $30 at the door.

Multi-award-winning singer Alex Cuba returns with a new album that looks to his musical roots.

Brantley Gilbert: Fire’T Up Tour with special guests Dylan Scott and Brandon Lay, Thursday, 7:30 p.m. at Budweiser Gardens, 99 Dundas St.; tickets: $50.25-$80.25 online at

Chamber Concert: Music by Mozart, Beethoven and Piazzola featuring Mary-Elizabeth Brown and Marion Miller, Sunday, 2-4 p.m. at First-St. Andrew’s United Church, 350 Queens Ave.; tickets: adults $20, students $10 at the door; visit

Jeffery Concert: Chamber Music of Mozart and Boccherini preformed by Jan De Winne, Laura Andriani, Rossella Croce, Isaac Chalk, and Elinor Frey, Saturday, 8 p.m. at Wolf Performance Hall, Central Library, 251 Dundas St.; tickets: $40 by calling 519-672-8800 or visit

London Symphonia: Baroque Insults featuring actor Rod Beattie, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. at Talbot Street Church, 513 Talbot St.; tickets: adults $29, students $12 available online at


Nature in the City: Fishing for a Healthy Thames River with Robert Huber, President of the Thames River Anglers, who will share his experiences as an angler and passionate advocate for a healthy Thames, highlighting the improving biodiversity of the river and ongoing projects that continue to improve water quality, habitat and eco-friendly access, Tuesday, 7 p.m. at Wolf Performance Hall, Central Library, 251 Dundas St., free admission; co-sponsored by Nature London and London Public Library.

Nature London: Dr. Patricia Corcoran, Associate Professor, Dept. of Earth Sciences at Western University will be speaking about her research on the distribution and deposition of microplastics in Lake Huron, topics will include the global effect on Earth’s environment, Friday, 7:30 p.m. at London Civic Garden Complex, 625 Springbank Dr.; admission: $5 for non-members, all welcome.

Saturday Morning Walks: Walk through Gibbons Park, meet at car park at the west end of Victoria Street next to 29 Victoria St.; walks are approximately one hour; families with children are welcome, no dogs; John Clark, 519-641-0442 or visit


Grand Theatre: Fully Committed, ends Sunday on Spriet Stage; Every Brilliant Thing, opens Thursday, runs till Feb. 2 on McManus Stage; 471 Richmond St.; 519-672-9030 or visit

London Community Players: You are Here, ends Sunday at Palace Theatre, 710 Dundas St.; 519-432-1029 or visit

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Ligaments and Ligatures on display at the art gallery – Estevan Mercury



Once again the Estevan Art Gallery and Museum went through a creative transformation to allow the Estevan community to dive into an unpredictable and multifaceted world of arts.

On Friday night, the EAGM held a reception for Karina Bergmans, an artist from Ottawa, who brought a few pieces from her Ligaments and Ligatures collection to Estevan and who made the Gallery 2 look a bit like a fluffy, utopian anatomical theatre.

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“We communicate to our bodies, and in turn, our bodies communicate to us,” said Amber Andersen, the EAGM’s curator-director, introducing the new exhibition at the reception. “Yet, most of us will never know what our internal selves look like. We often do not think about it unless we are put into positions where we must.”

Bergmans’ exhibition pushes viewers towards thinking about the inner organs and the diseases that might be affecting them, but it does so in a very soft and gentle way. Her art pieces are made of various fabrics with wire constructions inside. They are much bigger than the real organs and thus don’t push away or scare, but rather invite to come closer and explore the details.

Bergmans came to Estevan for the reception and talked about her artist path. It started back in 2003 with the creation of big letter-shaped pillows forming words “cozy,” “warm” and “safe.”  Later, led by the desire to one day come up with work that offered a serious message, she ended up creating a collection, which is an artistic discourse about a human’s physical inner world, life challenges and health failures shared by all people.

“Our most basic concerns as human beings are communication and the body,” said Bergmans in her artist statement. “A ligature refers to the typographic concept of two letters to form a new letter (æ). Ligaments are connective tissue in the body, joining bone to bone to form a joint.

“The exhibition, Ligaments and Ligatures, connects textile organ sculptures with word association to common disease. A tension is created by the seriousness of the subject matter and the tangibility of the materials.”

Only four pieces are presented at the EAGM’s exhibition. Bergmans explained that it was Andersen who helped her decide on the items to be exhibited in Estevan.

“I was fortunate enough to be working with Amber Andersen, who curated the show. And she was the one who made the final selection of works. It was really great because she knows her space and she knows what size things can fit in there,” said Bergmans. 

Out of pieces that are currently on display at Gallery 2, Bergmans noted Lungs as the one that stands out for her.

“It was a piece that I had at (Ottawa’s) City Hall show. It was interesting to make them. It came out very organic. It’s wire, wrapping, some of the collected fabric scraps that I had and yarn… I really wanted to have it bigger than you could ever imagine a set of lungs to be, so you could really have a presence with it. And I really like the way it’s been installed, because it’s a little bit higher than someone’s head, so you have to look up to look at it. And it really has a presence in the room in that way,” said Bergmans. 

At the reception, Bergmans talked about the different projects and art pieces she created throughout the years, including an inflatable installation Airborne Allergens and some others.

Large-scale, but at the same time light and elegant lungs in a couple of interpretations, and cozy velvet heart with “attack” connected to it, along with the Bloodletting will be on display at the EAGM through March 20. Bergmans’ other work can be found online at

The reception for another exhibition named Sheltered by Janet Shaw-Russell, now on display at Gallery 1 at the EAGM, was also held the same night. For more on the story see this week’s edition of Southeast Lifestyles.

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The 'power of art' inside a Toronto psychiatric unit – CTV News



Just days before Christmas, local artist Eve Crandall walked into the psychiatric unit at Mount Sinai Hospital in downtown Toronto with feelings of hopelessness and thoughts of suicide clouding her mind. 

The walls of the unit’s narrow hall showcased some of her artwork filled with messages of hope and colour, but as she walked past them that December day toward her acute-care bed, she firmly believed that no one would be able to help her this time.

At 63-years-old, the Toronto woman has been in and out of Mount Sinai for years after she was diagnosed over two decades ago with Bipolar II, a disorder characterized by cycles of depressive and hypomanic episodes.

She said her recent struggles with various physical ailments, including issues with her eyesight, had taken a toll on her mental health, forcing her into a deeply depressive state, and into the hospital.

“[Depression is like] you are walking through grey Jell-O, where everything feels slow and heavy and dark, and bleak and hopeless, you’re sort of fighting your way through,” Crandall told CTV News Toronto.

“Best I can do is play games on my phone and even that wears me very quickly, there is no motivation to do art, there are no ideas, nor is there the physical energy to pull things together.”

Crandall eventually did get better earlier this month after her hospital stay, and just weeks after she returned to her High Park home, she spoke to CTV News Toronto about her healing process.

It was partially due to a weekly creative expressions group, she said, that was nestled inside a small room at the end of Mount Sinai’s psychiatric unit and spearheaded as a side-project by a spiritual councillor at the hospital.

“I don’t know about everybody else but I certainly looked forward to our weekly get-together,” Crandall said. “It’s freeing, it lets you play with colour and form, just everything, and it takes you out of this world and into the art and that’s liberating, it feels good.”

Crandall said every time she returned to the hospital over the years, she always sought out spiritual councillor Christina Dashko, who had created the art group almost 20 years ago to help psychiatric patients find some peace and joy in making stuff with their own hands.

art program

Crandall said the program would almost always force the gears in her mind to start thinking about the art material she had back at home, and what she could do with it. 

“It was forward thinking, and that’s really important, if you do start making plans and thinking about the future and what you could do that’s a definitely a sign of improvement,” she said.

“I stopped thinking about all that I couldn’t do and started trying to thinking about what I could do with my [physical] limitations.”

Dashko told CTV News Toronto that while most support on the psychiatric unit is talk therapy, the program offers something a little different, something more creative.

Christina Dashko

“When someone is suffering from depression or is on this floor, any milestone is a big deal. To be able to say ‘I did something today,’ even if that something is as simple as knitting a single row, gives patients a sense of accomplishment,” Dashko said.

“I think in the greater scheme, in comparison to people doing surgery and stuff, I do very little but I think that I can offer them a space while they are here, where they are valued simply for who they are.”

The group has done everything from knitting colourful hats to creating dual portraits, which illustrate the face a person may show to the world and the one they keep inside to themselves.

She said the dual portraits sparked serious conversations last week when a patient spoke about how their interior world is sometimes filled with sadness and anger, but society, family and friends don’t want to know about that.

mount sinai

“People want to assume that if you are smiling that you are fine because it’s easier,” Dashko said.

“Once you take the energy to really ask how somebody is doing there’s kind of an obligation to follow through on it and most people don’t want to invest themselves.

“Here in the inpatient psychiatry we hope that people share what is really going on inside of them.”

She said the program helps build community on the unit by encouraging people to try something new, and building a connection between the members through that shared experience.

The patients on the unit suffer from various mental health challenges, including depression, bipolar disorders and schizophrenia. About four to five of the 15 patients on the unit attend the weekly program.

art eve crandall

Crandall said she would sometimes come to the program just to watch others making art if the task was something she couldn’t do because of her blurry vision. She said it helped her feel less isolated.

She said she loved watching people, who have never done art before, develop passion for their project.

“I stay the whole time and just sit and enjoy the vibe,” she said. “They [the patients] get into it, they’re not thinking about what ails them, or why they are miserable, they just think about what they are doing, a very mindful way to be.”

“I feel like it connects me to them because I understand it and I experience that myself, and it gives us a connection, something in common.”

art mount sinai

Crandall said she didn’t care what they were doing during the group, but that she just enjoyed the fact that there was an opportunity to do something. 

“You feel like you know someone a little better when you are there, people start saying hello to each other in the hallways,” she said.

“It certainly made a difference to my mood, I just felt more connected to people, I start talking to them … not very serious conversations with people but just conversation, just connecting with each other so you are not alone.

“The feeling of isolation is very common, and if you can somehow break that feeling and reconnect with the world it brings you forward, it’s healing. I think it’s important for that.”

Crandall said she now paints at her home and at Workman Arts, a mental health and art organization in Toronto that will showcase her art in their exhibition in March.

Eve Crandall

She said one of her favourite pieces she ever made is a portrait filled with invalidating statements. She said the piece was inspired by her annoyance of people who advise her to “think more positively.” 

“It makes me crazy, it puts pressure on people, it just dismisses what they are thinking and feeling, [but] this how I’m thinking and this is how I am feeling, maybe if you just acknowledge it, it would help.”

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Lecture series celebrates Okanagan art – Kelowna Capital News



UBCO is getting creative with its latest lecture series.

Vernon residents can learn firsthand about art and creative processes when UBCO professor David Doody presents at the Vernon Public Art Gallery Thursday, Jan. 30. As part of their ongoing program: UBCO Lecture Series, the event runs from 6 – 8 p.m.

The VPAG has partnered with the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies at the University of British Columbia Okanagan to provide an opportunity for the local arts community to experience a university-level lecture and speak to artists directly. During his presentation, Doody will focus on his personal practices and the idea of collaboration. He will share about The Uptown Mural Project, an urban-art initiative he started in the community of Rutland. The goal of this project was the beautification of Rutland and to encourage community involvement.

READ MORE: Uptown Rutland kicks off street art project

“Our UBCO lecture series is an opportunity for members of our community to step up their knowledge and delve deeper into how they explore art. We are pleased to be able to tap into some of the professional expertise available to us through our close proximity to the UBC Okanagan,” said Dauna Kennedy, Vernon Art Gallery executive director.

The UBCO Lecture Series is a great opportunity for the arts community to connect. It creates a welcoming and non-intimating environment for the public to learn and interact with each other and the artists. Its programs like this that support the tight-knit arts community here in Vernon, said Kennedy.

Admission is by donation.

READ MORE: Vernon’s Caetani Centre travelogue sold out


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