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Thanks in part to the Blue Jays, there will be 'Art' work in Gander – The Telegram



COVID-19 has wiped out provincial baseball play for this summer, but the Town of Gander will be ready and able to stage the 2021 all-Newfoundland senior B championship on what might be best described as a spanking new Art Walker Memorial Ball Park.

The old baseball field was showing its age of late, but improvements over the past year, and more on the way, will ensure “The Art” is ready when ‘Play Ball!’ is called next summer.

And a lot of thanks can go to the Toronto Blue Jays.

Gander was recently named a recipient of a $25,000 grant from the Jays Care Foundation, the charitable arm of the Blue Jays.

Gander is the fourth municipality in Newfoundland and Labrador to receive funding, to the tune of close to $350,000, from the Jays Care Foundation, joining Mount Pearl, Paradise and Grand Falls-Windsor.

The Art Walker Ball Park was, according to Gander baseball president Rod Feltham, neglected the last 10 or 15 years , but improvements started last fall with a new grass infield, “that’s really starting to take shape”, a resurfaced red clay infield and warning track. Improvements will also be made to the dugouts.

The $25,000 from the Jays and money from the Town of Gander will be used to pay for the upgrades, in addition to work on the pitcher’s mound and home plate area.

The issue of the Gander ball park made news last summer when Gander won the provincial senior B championship, shocking the Corner Brook Barons.

The Gander Pilots won the all-Newfoundland championship despite not having a league in which to play, or a ball park.

“We had no field for our minor kids, we couldn’t host a senior championship, We all agreed, ‘Let’s get the ball park on the go,’ back to a field we can play on.” — Rod Feltham

The Pilots were comprised of a group of ball players from Gander playing baseball elsewhere in the province.

A group of former Gander baseball players — Feltham, Brad Parsons and Rob Kelly (the latter two had been living in Ontario, but moved home) — got together with the goal of getting The Art back up to scratch.

The ball park is located behind Cohen’s Furniture Store, which was once the Gander Gardens hockey rink.

“We had no field for our minor kids, we couldn’t host a senior championship,” Feltham said. “We all agreed, ‘Let’s get the ball park on the go,’ back to a field we can play on.”

The ball park will have senior dimensions — 300 feet down the lines and 366 feet to dead centre field — but it can be configured to a minor field, certainly for bantam and midget play, if needed.

Robin Short is The Telegram’s sports editor. Email him at On Twitter: @telyrobinshort


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Outdoor art in a concrete jungle – Excalibur Online



Shaughn Clutchey | Arts Editor

Featured Image: Liz Magor’s “Keep” is located in the Central Square courtyard.
Photo Credit: Excalibur

Between Vari Hall and the Behavioural Sciences building is a set of three stone blocks. Two are made of concrete, and between them is a smaller piece of black cambrian granite. 

Inconspicuous in form and inviting as a spot to lean or sit between classes, these blocks are not remnants of ongoing construction or a sort of chic patio furniture. As a unit, these blocks are titled “Noire Solaire, Basse” and were commissioned by Canadian sculptor Jocelyne Alloucherie in 1993. 

Jocelyne Alloucherie’s “Noire Solaire, Basse” is located between Vari Hall and the Behavioural Sciences building. (Photo Credit: Excalibur)

“Noire Solaire, Basse” is just one installation in a collection of vibrant outdoor sculptures located across the York campus. 

Although York began collecting sculptures as part of a campus beautification initiative in the early 1970s, new relevance has been given to this outdoor art collection in light of the cultural shift influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Modes of art consumption are changing—galleries, theatres, and other venues that have traditionally allowed for a direct, in-person relationship between art and audience can no longer operate in a traditional manner. 

Allyson Adley is the collection and education assistant at the Art Gallery of York University (AGYU). With much of York’s campus being closed this semester, Adley agrees that the importance of this collection has increased as a reminder of campus community and culture. 

“Engaging with artworks outdoors can be a meditative experience,” Adley explains. It can “provide students with an opportunity to slow down and practice mindfulness by observing the artworks and their relationship to the surrounding landscape and architecture.” 

A third-year environmental studies student at York, who wishes to remain anonymous, agrees. “I love the idea of having art exhibits on campus,” they say. “It’s important to have art that can inspire or present the opportunity to admire creativity in normally bland areas.”

Mark Di Suvero’s “Sticky Wicket” is located near the Atkinson building. (Photo Credit: Excalibur)

Adley iterates that completing a self-guided tour is a useful way to explore the collection. It is also an opportunity to acquaint or reacquaint with campus. 

“Following a self guided tour is an excellent way to get to know the campus and explore our outdoor collection,” Adley says. 

Adley adds: “Although the tour can provide information about the artist’s interests and motivations behind the creation of a given work, students are encouraged to consider their own personal responses. What comes to mind when standing next to a work? How does the work make you feel? Instead of relying on prescribed interpretations, can you bring your own perspectives into your process of meaning making and trust your own instincts and insights?”

These interpretations and perspectives can be related to the culture and society COVID-19 has created. 

One piece that stands out in this regard is Liz Magor’s “Keep,” conveying the idea of a natural retreat, particularly as a last resource. “Keep” consists of a bronze cast of a willow tree trunk with a rubber sleeping bag protruding from one end. 

Liz Magor’s “Keep” is located in the Central Square courtyard. (Courtesy of AGYU)

“The piece speaks of the need to escape from densely inhabited urban settings and find refuge in nature,” Adley explains . 

“I think in the current climate and context of the pandemic, social distancing and isolation has not been freely chosen but rather encouraged in communities across the world in an effort to protect people’s health and slow the spread of the virus.”

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Powerful and creative art pieces on display in new exhibition –




Afeefah Haniff, Colored Walls

Youth are the future and their voices deserve to be heard.”

That’s the main message on display at the newest virtual exhibition from the Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives (PAMA).

Art Voice 2020, which showcases the artistic talents of 70 youth artists in Peel Region, began in June of this year when PAMA sent a virtual call out to artists in the region. What they got back was a huge amount of art pouring in from visual artists, poets, musicians, and spoken word performers.

Rachel Walinga, Kobe

While there was no specific theme for the first year of the project, many artists based their works on timely themes including protests against anti-Black racism, police brutality, Islamophobia, environmental degradation, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are also themes of beauty, love, power, vulnerability, resilience, unity, defiance, challenging stereotypes, explorations of identities, and hope.

Mykail, Yellow

PAMA’s fifth virtual exhibition during the closure of the facility due to COVID-19, it was created in partnership with the Regional Diversity Roundtable.

I am stunned by the wealth of talent that our youth have! The themes that I felt emerged from the submissions were nature and its amazing colours and portraits. We witnessed many self-portraits or reflections of oneself in others,” said Loloa Alkasawat, a Regional Diversity Roundtable Community Leadership Program ambassador.

Ashley Beerdat, Battle of Benento

When asked what the stand-outs were, fellow program ambassador Anupama Aery said Marissa’s spoken word piece powerfully describes the experience of violence against Black youth and its impact on the community.

This piece highlights the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement and the need to address the systemic racism within our society,” said Aery.

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Peel Art Gallery Museum Art Voice: Marissa

There’s also Salimah Husain’s powerful spoken word piece entitled “Judge Me,” which describes the consequences of Islamophobia and the experience of being discriminated against due to visible markers of Muslim identity.

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Peel Art Gallery Museum Art Voice: Salimah Husain

Chelsea Coleman’s scratchboard art piece entitled “Queen” depicts a side portrait of a beautiful Black woman, emanating strength and confidence.

Chelsea Coleman, Queen

Rand Salamkhan’s painting depicts a forest of trees with colourful skies, leaves, and streams of light that have a beautiful, dream-like quality. “This piece represented feelings of hope for me,” Aery said.

Rand Salamkhan, Sunset Vibes

One that resonated with me personally was the artwork Right Before Our Eyes from Mariam Elehamed, which resonated with me being of Syrian origin and having experienced the war on Syria,” said Alkasawat.

It is a portrait of a group of people seeking refuge in a boat – although she does not show a boat – and their oblique journey. Their faces, through expressionless, also reveal sadness and hope at the same time.”

Mariam Elehamed, Right Before Our Eyes

Those are just a few pieces – there are many more to discover! Residents are invited to tune into the premier special event during Culture Days weekend on Saturday, September 26 at 2 pm @visitPAMA on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, and they encourage you to share your feedback and questions about the exhibition. Be sure to also join in the conversation online with the hashtags #ArtVoicePeel and #YouthArt.

Abdul Rahman Najjari, Untitled

Residents can also follow along at and create alongside PAMA as they focus on a series of online portrait activities each week during Culture Days (September 25 to October 25).

For those who prefer a non-virtual experience, PAMA is expecting to reopen its doors in late fall! For more information, check out and follow PAMA on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.


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Window art contest in Prince Albert – paNOW



“When the lockdown first happened, we were seeing lots of communities decorating their windows and doing cool things like that to make it a little less dreary and sad that we were all locked up inside,” Wirtz said.

Winners of the contest will be announced on Sept. 30 in two different categories. There will be a business category with the winner receiving $50 gift cards to Sandra’s Framing Gallery as well to a local restaurant. The residential category winner will receive $50 gift cards to a local restaurant and to On the Avenue Artisans Gallery. Submissions will be judged by the amount of likes a post receives.

“We saw some communities that made it up into little contests and got lots of people to decorate their windows,” Wirtz said. “Then we thought Culture Days would be a great opportunity to roll that out since it’s raising awareness for arts and culture.”

According to Wirtz, the idea is a great way for everyone to show off their artistic talents.

“Even if they don’t want to come to in-person events yet, you can still decorate your window at home,” Wirtz said.

Those who do not feel comfortable going to an art gallery just yet, can still enjoy the beauty of art, by walking around their neighborhood and looking at the projects being done by those in their community.

“I would love to see more businesses get involved, I think that would be really cool,” Wirtz said. “I would love to drive around and see one that is decorated.”

Artists who are stuck on inspiration can head to the Culture Days Facebook page for tips, tricks, and DIY window paint and chalk recipes.

Meanwhile the City of Prince Albert is also looking for a local artist to paint a mural on the exterior wall of the Prairie Cannabis building on Second Avenue W.

In another Culture Days public art initiative, the boulder at the downtown transfer station will also be painted.

With files from Alison Sandstrom

On Twitter: dawsonthompson8

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