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The forgotten art of listening – Belleville Intelligencer

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The three R’s are taught in the early grades as we all learn to read and write, add and subtract and memorize multiplication tables.

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At least that’s how it was when I zipped through elementary school way back in the 1950s. In English class we were encouraged to express ourselves through creative writing, public speaking or perhaps taking part in drama in some form. And as we shared our creativity we were honing our communication skills.

The emphasis here was how best to convey our thoughts and talents as clearly as possible. Yet it seemed that all spoken word exercises were being taught only from the speaker’s point of view, with little or no time spent teaching the fine art of listening.

And that is a missed opportunity because young children are inherently remarkable listeners. They take in words, ideas and speech patterns, quite often without our awareness – their developing brains receptive and well disposed for listening. Yet somewhere along the way, we teach them to stop listening.

Perhaps these eager, still wide-open minds would benefit from lessons in selective silence, concentration, while focusing on the know-how to process any and all incoming information. Sadly, to the best of my knowledge, no such programs are offered. And that’s a shame because in today’s high-tech, high-speed world, the ability to communicate effectively is more important than ever.

And yet we seem to allocate increasingly less time to actually listening to one another. There is no question that we are a nation of bad listeners. One reason might be the fact that we have become a much more visual society as a result of exposure to television, the Internet, and all manner of hand-held wireless gadgets. We tend to be more self-absorbed, distracted, primarily focused on hearing ourselves talk rather than listening to others.

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The fact is, listening is as important a skill as making yourself heard. The ability to listen well improves many aspects of our daily lives. It helps build solid relationships, solve problems, and ensure proper interpretation and understanding, as well as improving our conflict resolution skills.

And while it’s conceivable (we live in hope) that our kids might eventually learn to speak and write with a modicum of eloquence – it’s a safe bet that little will be done to sharpen their listening skills. And when we factor in the distraction of so many high-tech communication tools – it’s no wonder the fine art of listening is slip sliding away.

I attended a small family gathering a few years ago and almost everyone except my 86-year-old aunt was incessantly texting or checking email on their iPhones. It made me wonder why we had bothered to get together in the first place as we were paying so little attention to one another. We could just as easily have had an online get-together.

Listening – truly listening – is indeed a rare and special talent. And one that takes a lot of practice and dedication. But once you have gotten comfortable with the technique, you might find your next tête-à-tête a whole lot more meaningful.

Simply listening for nuances in conversation will provide so much more context and substance to the words you are hearing. Remember, in order to be interesting you must first be interested. And in conversation, you are supposed to be listening…not waiting to talk.

Terry serves up a little food-for-thought each week and welcomes readers’ comments: countrysunshine@xplornet.ca

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Art Beat: Prize-winning author pays Coast a virtual visit – Coast Reporter

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The Sunshine Coast Arts Council’s Reading Series presents author Gil Adamson on Saturday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. Adamson will read from her recent novel, Ridgerunner, a finalist for the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize, and winner of the Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Set in the Canadian and U.S. West in 1917, the book is a sequel to Adamson’s well-received first novel, Outlander. Publisher House of Anansi described Ridgerunner as “a vivid historical novel that draws from the epic tradition… a literary Western brimming with a cast of unforgettable characters touched with humour and loss, and steeped in the wild of the natural world.” The reading is a Zoom event and it’s free. Register in advance through eventbrite.ca.

A Beautiful Mess

FibreWorks Studio & Gallery in Madeira Park is holding an opening reception on Saturday, Sept. 18 for its new exhibition, A Beautiful Mess: the joyful & random discovery of the artistic process. Creating something real out of the imagination can be a dishevelled and uncertain undertaking, usually carried out in private. Here, FibreWorks is turning that inside-out. “This show aims to create a sense of intimacy between the artist and the public.” The reception runs from 2 to 4 p.m. The show will run until Oct.31.

Live Music

The Roberts Creek Legion has helped keep live music going on the Sunshine Coast through the warmer days over the past 18 months, thanks to its outdoor stage. Those setups have kept patrons in the fresh air and safely separated. Now the club is moving its visiting bands back to its indoor stage – and visitors onto its new dance floor – with a “Grande Re-Opening” on Friday, Sept. 17, featuring the Ween tribute band, Captain Fantasy. Doors at 7 p.m. The legion follows on Saturday, Sept. 18, from 7 to 11 p.m. with a string of acts, including The Locals, Eddy Edrick, Michelle Morand, and an open-stage jam. Proof of vaccination will be required for admission to all shows.

The Locals also play the outdoor venue at Tapworks in Gibsons on Saturday, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. That might depend on the weather, as (at press time) heavy rain was forecast for Saturday.

The Clubhouse Restaurant in Pender Harbour presents Karl Kirkaldy on Friday, Sept. 17, from 5 to 8 p.m. On Sunday, Sept. 19, Half Cut and The Slackers rock the Clubhouse from 2 to 5 p.m.

Joe Stanton is scheduled to entertain on Saturday, Sept. 18 on the patio at the Backeddy Resort and Marina in Egmont. Again, that’s weather-dependent.

Let us know about your event by email at arts@coastreporter.net.

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Reconciliation through Indigenous art is the theme at a Calgary mall – CTV News Calgary

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CALGARY –

The exhibit features work from 17 Indigenous artists and is located in Southcentre Mall’s Art Corner on the second floor.

Tapisa Kilabuk is one of the event organizers with the Calgary Alliance for the Common Good that’s collaborating with Colouring it Forward Reconciliation Society for the six week long exhibit.

“Just having this kind of representation in Calgary is just so wonderful and so beautiful and so inclusive,” said Kilabuk. “When I was here the other day helping with the orange shirts and I was overwhelmed with emotion because I’ve never seen anything like this before.”

The federal government recently declared September 30th as National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. It’s a day for Canadians to spread awareness and reflect on the tragedies experienced by Indigenous people as a result of the country’s former residential school system.

Alexandra Velosa is the marketing manager at Southcentre Mall which is a big supporter of the arts community. The artwork for the exhibit is hung from the ceiling and on the back of each piece are recommendations about how everyone can take steps to help foster reconciliation.

“We all want to make a difference,” said Velosa. “We just sometimes don’t know how and this is what the art exhibit is giving us, it’s giving us the information we need to take little actions to be part of the reconciliation.”

The space has been open to the public since the start of September. Close to 11,000 people visit it daily.

“A big part of our role with Colour it Forward Reconciliation Society is reconciliation through the arts,” said Kilabuk. “That gives people the space to come together, to learn more, to appreciate one another, to admire one another and really create those fundamental relationships in our community that will create a better community in the future.”

WHITE BUFFALO MOON

Keevin Rider is one of the artists taking part in the exhibit. His piece is titled White Buffalo Moon. A buffalo on the left side of the painting represents the people, seven empty lodges represent death, loneliness, sorrow, mourning, grief, hurt, depression. A white buffalo on the right represents healing and looks towards the buffalo on the left letting him know that he is there to help heal the people.

Rider says he’s a product of his parents attending residential schools.

“My dad was Stoney Nakoda, my mom was Blackfoot, Blood,” said Rider. “They can speak their language fluently but they thought it would be better for us not to because of what residential (schools) taught them: it taught them not to speak their language, don’t use your culture.”

Now Rider is starting to learn his native languages at 57 years old. He says painting puts him in a good space and helps him heal. He’s proud to be included in the exhibit and is hopeful that visitors will learn from the stories of the art and appreciate the work of the Indigenous artists featured.

The mall is still finalizing details of how it will host the first observance of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30th to follow provincial health measures. The exhibit will be open until mid-October.

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Art show in Minto – Wellington Advertiser

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HARRISTON – The Minto Arts Council is hosting its first show of the year at the Minto Art Gallery. Showcasing the Saugeen Artist Guild, the show is entitled Reflections from the Saugeen Artists Guild.

This show features multiple works from over 20 artists and includes a variety of styles and mediums, including oil paintings, watercolours, stained glass, mixed media, encaustic, jewelry, photography and works with polymer clay.

“This is truly a very diverse show and we are so proud to be able to bring this to our community,” gallery officials state.

The show officially opened Sept. 9 and runs until Oct. 2.

The gallery, located at 88 Mill Street on the third floor of the Harriston branch of the Wellington County Library, is open:

– Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 8pm;

– Wednesdays and Fridays from 2 to 4pm; and

– Saturdays, 11am to 1pm.

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