Leon Draisaitl had just wrapped up a phone call with Alphonso Davies.
The German hockey star and the Canadian soccer sensation have a lot in common.
A dominant centre for the Edmonton Oilers, Draisaitl became the first athlete in his country’s history to lead a North American sports league in scoring when he was awarded the Art Ross Trophy earlier this week after the NHL called time on its novel coronavirus-hit 2019-20 regular season.
Davies, meanwhile, the Canadian refugee-turned-soccer-phenom, is turning more heads each week for Bayern Munich in the Germany’s Bundesliga, with his matches becoming must-see-TV for many fans back home.
The pair — elite talents from non-traditional countries in their sports — have stayed in touch since the 19-year-old, Edmonton-raised Davies dropped the ceremonial puck at an Oilers game in December.
“I kind of know what he’s going through right now with soccer being so big back home and hockey being big in Canada,” Draisaitl said on a video conference call with reporters Thursday. “Coming over and trying to adjust and find your rhythm, find your game, find your life a little bit.
“He’s becoming a very, very good player. It’s very fun to watch, fun to see.”
WATCH | Draisaitl humbled by Art Ross win:
After a stuttering start to his NHL career, Oilers fans feel the same way about Draisaitl.
The 24-year-old finished the regular season with 43 goals and 110 points in 71 games, 13 clear of teammate and fellow star Connor McDavid.
Draisaitl was on pace for 127 points — one short of Nikita Kucherov’s mark last season — a total that came on the heels of the 105 he put up in 2018-19.
That story, however, had a somewhat rocky beginning.
The No. 3 pick at the 2014 draft got a 37-game audition with Edmonton as a teenager before getting sent back to junior. Draisaitl arrived at training camp the following September looking to stick, but was shipped to the minors for six games.
While it might not have seemed like it in the moment, that extra seasoning was important.
“I don’t think I was ready at the time,” Draisaitl said of playing in the NHL as a teenager. “It’s OK to maybe take a step down. That was the case with me. In the long run, that was probably the best thing for me, to go back down to junior and start the next year in the AHL.
“Sometimes it’s not a bad thing to take a step back and go at your own pace.”
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Draisaitl’s pace has certainly ramped up drastically since those difficult first few seasons.
Along with McDavid, he’s been at the forefront of the Oilers’ resurgence that saw the team sitting second in the Pacific Division with 83 points when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the NHL to pause play March 12.
McDavid is the face of the franchise and one of the faces of the league — but it’s their team.
“It’s been great to stick around the same group of guys for so many years now and see them grow and watch the team grow, watch the organization grow,” Draisaitl said. “It’s definitely a lot of fun to be a part of. We still have a lot of upside.”
He’s also keenly aware he’s become the face of German hockey, which continues to produce high-end talent, including projected top-5 draft pick Tim Stutzle.
“We’re heading in the right spot as a country,” Draisaitl said. “Germany just isn’t a big hockey country. That’s just how it is, but we can still become a very solid hockey country.”
Praise from McDavid
The NHL unveiled its return-to-play plan earlier this week — there’s still lots of hurdles to overcome for the games to actually resume this summer — but the Oilers know if that happens, they’ll face the Chicago Blackhawks in one of eight best-of-five qualifying round series for a right to make the playoffs.
Draisaitl and McDavid started the season on the same line, as they had in the past, but were split up in December to give the team a different look. Draisaitl then carried the load himself when McDavid went down with an injury in February.
“What he’s done for our group has been great,” said McDavid, who along with Draisaitl are in the running for the Hart Trophy as league MVP. “He’s helped both our team and me personally out a ton.”
“He’s always been very confident, he’s always been an unbelievable hockey player, and he just continues to work,” Nurse said. “He didn’t change much. He just kept playing.”
Never one keen to talk about himself, Draisaitl was more than happy to share the credit for his Art Ross.
“There’s always people that help you get there,” he said. “You dream of these things.
“But until you do it, it always seems so far away.”
A certain Canadian soccer star probably feels the same way.
WATCH | Latest on sports’ return:
Thousands of dollars in Indigenous art missing after Bella Coola break-in – Coast Mountain News
The owner of Bella Coola Wild Craft and Gallery is hoping the public will keep an eye out for thousands of dollars in Indigenous art that went missing following a break-in to her business.
Kathleen Booth learned the arts and craft store, and gallery was a victim of crime Monday morning after a worker of the Cumbrian Inn who does a daily check of the shared space noticed the back door open and heard some noise.
She said he initially thought it might have been a bear although he had quickly realized that scenario made little sense when he had ended up chasing several potential suspects who had tried to make a get away from the building on foot.
“It’s very tied into what we seem to think that is an escalation of drugs that are coming into our valley, notably meth, Booth said, noting there were a couple of break-ins within the community prior including the boats at the wharf.
“We see behaviours of people changing.”
With the suspects having made their way through the rear door of the hotel and breaching a variety of corridors by breaking through doors, Booth estimates at least $14,000 in art by a variety of artists including a hand painted jacket of a grizzly by herself is missing.
There is also approximately $2,000 in damage.
Despite being left devastated by the event and the COVID-19 pandemic adding to the woes, Booth said things can be repaired and fixed.
“Because the drive of the business is people over profit, it will continue.”
Booth started the fairly small arts and craft store at her home based studio in 2012 as a means of providing residents affordable quality art supplies
It was just recently she held a soft-opening for the new location of the arts and craft store, as well as celebrate the revamp of the art gallery she had taken over management of.
“We have a lot of artists in the valley, and there’s a challenge in small communities like this with drugs and alcohol and the nothing to do factor,” she said. “That’s a big part of what I do through the art store is basically to make a lot of supplies accessible and at an affordable price so that we can provide an option for people to spend Friday night in a different way.”
Since opening, Booth said within the last month she has heard from many young women who tell her they are making the choice to bead over drink.
She recalled how she came from a poor background in Quebec that was challenged even more when she when chose to attend the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver and would dumpster drive to salvage supplies she could use for her art due to unaffordable rent.
“For me it’s always been about empowering people no matter what step of life i’ve been through,” she said. “My mother taught me to share my gifts, share my knowledge and always try to build people up in that journey.”
Knowing that some are unable to complete the thought process leading up to their actions, Booth added she will not let the acts of one or a few individuals represent the whole of the community she has grown to love since calling home nine years ago.
“There’s many other people that are struggling with addictions that have great respect and in honor of those people we continue, and I’ll continue, to keep those people in the foreground,” she said. “It’s too easy to let one person destroy everything for everybody.”
Anyone with further information is asked to contact RCMP or Crime Stoppers.
Quarantine self portraits provide personal, humourous reopening at Art 1274 Hollis – TheChronicleHerald.ca
HALIFAX, N.S. —
While venues were closed due to COVID-19, many creative artists used the tools available to them to stay connected to their audiences.
Musicians shared their gifts with the world via live online concerts, comedians did standup from their living rooms and backyards and filmmakers posted shorts about their experiences on YouTube.
But for talented artisans who sculpt three-dimensional objects that have to be seen in the real world to truly be truly enjoyed and experienced, being creative during quarantine meant there would be a bit of hang time before they could display their work.
Now that doors are reopening and exhibits are reappearing, Halifax co-operative gallery Art 1274 Hollis asked its members to contribute self-portraits that reflect their experiences over the past four months. With 23 local artists and artisans working in everything from paint and pottery to folk art and hooked rugs, the co-op’s The Isolation Project — Self-Reflection contains a multitude of interpretations and each has a unique personal touch.
‘It’s all about the giggle’
Ceramics artist Naomi Walsh calls her baked and glazed clay still life Got a Job Needs Doing, which reflects her position as the co-op’s gallery manager — “I’m the one who buys the toilet paper and the hand sanitizer” — and her love of home renovation and gardening.
The piece is a collection of ceramic versions of items like a can of paint with brushes, a cordless drill and a pair of garden shears, that shows her skill as well as her sense of humour.
“I don’t do people, never mind myself,” laughs Walsh over creating a self-portrait with household objects.
“I love doing miniatures of real things. I’ve done harbours and fishing boats, using hairnets for scallop nets, and I just love that kind of stuff. So I had a lot of fun with this project, it made me giggle, and it’s all about the giggle.”
In a normal year Art 1274 Hollis would be having monthly openings starting on April 1 with featured artists and a party for anybody and everybody who wants to drop by and see new works and have a snack or two.
With Wednesday’s opening of The Isolation Project, the gallery near Hollis and Morris streets is currently open noon to 4 p.m. daily, with up to four viewers allowed in at any time and the wearing of masks and use of hand sanitizer strongly encouraged.
“We were closed for so long, and one of our members had the wonderful idea of reintroducing ourselves to a) the general public and b) our loyal followers by doing self-portraits,” says Walsh.
“Well, that’s all well and good if you paint, but there’s a lot of us who made 3D things, there are jewelry makers, there’s Al (Hattie) with his metalwork, there are potters … but then I realized, it doesn’t have to actually look like me, does it?
“So I put a spin on it by making it something that represents how I think of myself and how I identify myself. So a lot of us ran with that idea.”
Self portrait in spoons
Al Hattie’s version of himself shows a miniature version of the metalworking artisan at his workbench creating something new out of dining utensils, and the artist himself is represented by a few spoons with forks for hands, wrapped in cloth.
“I made a replica of my welder, and the little gas tank is a CO2 cartridge from my old BB gun, and the gauge is actually a meat thermometer,” says Hattie. “All my art is made from found or recycled objects, metal mostly now.”
He jokes that he started making art from found objects when his wife asked him to clean out the garage one day, and he’s been combing through thrift stores and antique shops for materials ever since.
He started selling items at local markets, and eventually graduated from making items out of old tires and lawn art out of large pieces of disused metal into assembling more detailed pieces with utensils and smaller ingredients. It was these items which caught Walsh’s eye, and led her to extend an invitation to Hattie to join Art 1274 Hollis.
“I feel pretty privileged to be part of it, because the talent that’s in there is amazing. Some of them have been doing it longer than I’ve been alive, they’re very experienced and quite well-known,” says Hattie, who hopes coming out of COVID-19 hibernation will inspire more people to visit local independent galleries, either to buy or just to browse.
“Art galleries like ours are free to visit, people keep forgetting that. You can go and view talent, and everybody’s welcome.”
Organizers hope art tour will encourage people to visit downtown Sudbury – CBC.ca
A Sudbury art event is being reimagined this summer due to the pandemic and an organizer says she hopes the changes will bring more people downtown.
The Downtown Sudbury Art Crawl is usually a one-day event with food, wine and art displays in local businesses. Between 600 and 700 people usually go downtown to take part.
But due to the pandemic, organizers have had to make a few changes. One change is that the event is taking place over the next four weeks instead of one day.
Artist and organizer of the event Monique Legault says the artwork is on display in store windows that are lit up at night.
“The idea is we’re trying to get people to come out downtown on their own time and take a look at the outdoor gallery,” she said.
Legault says they first started organizing the event, the goal was to get 40 businesses and 40 artists on board. In the end, they got 40 businesses and 56 artists involved.
“They’ve outdone themselves,” she said.
“They’re giving us the best pieces they have. A lot of the art shows that were happening this year didn’t get to happen. So we’re getting to show off some of the best things our city has to offer right now.”
During previous years, people have been able to purchase the art onsite. This year, Legault says a website has been created for that.
“You can actually bid on the art that you see displayed every week,” she said. “Ten pieces per week are going up for auction for four weeks running.”
Legault says she hopes the event will help both artists and business owners.
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