The widespread isolation and social distancing of COVID-19 has hit Canada’s arts communities as hard as any other. World premieres were cancelled, juggernaut Broadway imports were brought to heel, gallery shows big and small were shuttered and promising new works missed their first shot at finding an audience.
But Canadian artists are a resilient bunch. Without skipping a beat, they’ve taken to the virtual stages that the rest of us are glued to 24/7. And we’re here to help you find them!
Each week, CBC Arts will put out a new list of the best live streams, art classes, talk series, festivals and more. (Our friends at CBC Music are keeping track of live streamed concerts, and over at CBC Books they’ve got a list of online children’s book readings.)
Know about a great event coming up? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- DLT Theatre (ongoing): Together with Istituto Italiano di Cultura, DLT is launching “Theatre On-Call,” a festival of performances that occur over the phone. All performances will run on a Pay What You Can basis. On Monday March 23 at 8pm, Theatre On-Call will offer its third performance: “Decameron Today.”
- David Foster and Katharine McPhee Foster (ongoing, 8:30pm ET nightly): Actor and musician Katharine McPhee Foster and her husband, the Grammy-winning music producer David Foster, perform live at the piano in their home. Oh, and they’re taking requests.
- Iso-Late Night (6pm ET Wednesdays and Sundays, ongoing): Toronto comedians Courtney Gilmour and Dan Curtis Thompson are joining forces twice a week on Instagram Live for a late talk show for COVID-19 times, featuring segments, games, remote giveaways and special remote guests.
- Citadel Theatre (ongoing): Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre is presenting the “Citadel Stuck in the House Series,” a series of live performances from Edmonton artists who have lost income due to cancelled projects or gigs.
- Tika (7pm ET Fridays, ongoing): Musician Tika is hosting a weekly performance showcase she’s dubbed “Tika’s Circle.” Each week she invites a different curated selection of musicians to join her on Instagram Live and share their work. Artists so far have included Desiire and Jordan Alexander.
- Urgnt Live (7pm ET Fridays, ongoing): This live series was created to support Toronto-based musical artists and DJs being affected by the cancellation of all live events. A crowd-funded endeavour, its hope is to raise resources and recognition of these performers. Performers include Skratch Bastid and Clairmont the Second.
- TO Live (ongoing): TO Live is presenting “Living Rooms” featuring local Toronto artists performing from their homes. The first episodes online include tap dancer Travis Knights and dance artist Irma Villafuere.
Art classes and tutorials
- Donald Robertson (ongoing): Toronto-born artist Donald Robertson is posting cheeky art classes out of his California studio in his signature bright, poppy style. Try your hand at a Kermés bag!
- Canadians Create (daily): Edmonton-based artist Amy Dixon and calligrapher Brittany Dakins launched this online Facebook group where artists across Canada will be hosting 30-minute live art tutorials and “paint-alongs.”
- The National Ballet of Canada (ongoing): Principal dancers Jurgita Dronina, Guillaume Cote and Heather Ogden are delivering ballet classes from home. Check the National Ballet and Dronina’s Instagram accounts for class times and updates. Her first class was an hour-long workout — on pointe!
- Mend It (7:30pm ET Wednesdays): Toronto-based designer Emily Nicole Neill has created a virtual weekly workshop where people can work on hand-sewing skills, mend clothes and make new friends. Up this week? Learn how to repair socks!
Talks series, movies and festivals
- Social Distancing Festival (ongoing): A self-described “TV Guide of exquisite art,” the Social Distancing Festival is Toronto playwright Nick Green’s response to the raft of cancelled and postponed shows around the world.
- TIFF Stay at Home (7pm ET Fridays, ongoing): Miss watching movies with other human beings? TIFF is here with a new weekly screening series and conversation. Every Friday at 7pm, Cameron Bailey sits down for a Q&A with someone connected to the selected film of the week and then you get to watch it on Crave and tweet about it with everyone else whose tuned it. More here.
- Virtual Paradise Theatre (ongoing): Toronto’s newly restored Paradise Theatre may be shut down for the time being, but they’ve risen to the occasion by teaming up with New York-based distributor Film Movement and industry group Arthouse Convergence to bring art house movies to your homes. Check out this week’s lineup here.
- Revue Cinema and Designing the Movies (ongoing): As part of their Designing The Movies series, the Revue Cinema is hosting live tweet-alongs to films. On Wednesday, April 8, series host Nathalie Atkinson will take over Revue Cinema’s Twitter account to live-tweet along to the 1968 film The Thomas Crown Affair starring Faye Dunaway and Steve McQueen (and directed by Norman Jewison!). “There will be trivia, fashion history, sartorial debate, a virtual door prize, and ticket giveaways to future IRL screenings! ” More details are on their Facebook page.
- iskwē (7pm ET nightly): Every night, the award-winning musician iskwē is hosting a series of Instagram live conversations from her living room called, appropriately enough, Live from My Living Room, with guests drawn from the music and arts worlds (appearances so far have included Lights and Anthony Carone of Arkells).
- Rose Beef Turns To The Internet With: Nihilism (8pm ET Mondays, ongoing): Featured on the most recent season of CBC Arts series Canada’s a Drag, performer and activist Mikiki is taking to the internet for the next few Mondays with paint-alongs, readings, sermons, hijinks and virtual screenings of The Golden Girls.
- Remote Art Talks (ongoing): Artifier and Partial Art Gallery are presenting Remote Art Talks, a web series focused on artists. Lineup to be announced shortly on their Instagram.
Dance and viewing parties
- Club Quarantine (9pm ET nightly, ongoing): This online queer dance party created by some inspired Toronto folks has already become wildly popular nightly fixture of COVID life (Charli xcx and Kim Petras have even stopped by). You can join in every night on Zoom by finding the code on their Instagram. Entry is free, but do consider making a PayPal donation.
- Connected Reggae Party (9pm ET Thursdays, ongoing): If you’re hungry for some roots rock reggae, lovers rock and a little dancehall, this is the virtual party you’ve been looking for. Featuring DJs Noble Works, Shai and Roots Redemption, this party happens every Thursday on InstaLive at 9pm.
- Daybreak (8am ET Monday-Friday, ongoing): If you need some music in the morning to help you start your day, look no further. Chris Dubbs is usually heard on Toronto radios, but during the lockdown you can also catch him spinning reggae tunes on Instagram Live. Tune in Monday to Friday from 8am-9am.
- Allysin Chaynes and Champagna’s Weekly Drag Viewing Party and Uma Gahd’s Weekly Drag Race Viewing Party (8:45pm ET Fridays): Just because we’re watching RuPaul’s Drag Race from home doesn’t mean we can be entertained by some of Canada’s best queens in the process.
- Agha Khan (ongoing): The Agha Khan has launched a 3D virtual tour of their Bellerive Room, and they have more lined up to come. Visit their website to see the online collection of their archives and for their full #MuseumWithoutWalls program.
CBC Arts understands that this is an incredibly difficult time for artists and arts organizations across this country. We will do our best to provide valuable information, share inspiring stories of communities rising up and make us all feel as (virtually) connected as possible as we get through this together. If there’s something you think we should be talking about, let us know by emailing us at email@example.com.
No crowds delight art lovers in Italy at re-opened museums – CityNews Toronto
FLORENCE, Italy — The Uffizi Galleries, the most-visited museum in Italy, is open after three months of COVID-19 lockdown, delighting art lovers who don’t have to jostle with throngs of tourists thanks to new social distancing rules.
Uffizi director Eike Schmidt told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the government-ordered closure of museums during coronavirus containment measures meant 1 million fewer visitors and 12 million euros ($13.2 million) in less revenue for that period. Now, at most 450 people at one time are allowed in the Uffizi’s many galleries, chock full of some of the art world’s greatest masterpieces.
That means visitors no longer have to elbow their way to admire such masterpieces as Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus.”
First in line to enter was Laura Ganino. She was studying in Florence when the lockdown was declared in early March and now was finally about to leave the Tuscan city, since Italy on Wednesday dropped restrictions on travel between regions in the country.
Schmidt said tourists from overseas weren’t expected to come to Italy in large numbers likely before 2021. Ganino took advantage of the smaller number of visitors. Crowds, she said, pose “an obstacle between me and what I’m observing.”
Right behind her in line was Patrizia Spagnese, from Prato in Tuscany. With crowds, “I get distracted, I tend to tire easily,” she said, so with her husband she was eager to savour the beauties inside the Uffizi, which she had never seen in its entirety despite many times being in Florence.
Schmidt said social distancing heralds a new era in art experience. Without being surrounded by rushing crowds, art lovers can better “feel these emotions that these works of art always transmit,” he said.
Visitors to the highly popular Vatican Museums, which reopened two days earlier after lockdown, similarly could appreciate opportunities rarely available in the past. These include enjoying Michelangelo’s frescoed ceiling in the Sistine Chapels without many other tourists jockeying for a spot where they can crane their neck to observe the masterpiece overhead.
As an added bonus, the Vatican Museums visitors can now see work by Raphael which had long been attributed to that of his artistic workshop but that after several years of delicate cleaning and restoration, experts decided were really painted by him shortly before his death in 1520.
Two female figures, each with one breast bared and serving as allegorical representations of justice and friendship decorate one of the walls of the Hall of Constantine.
The Vatican had planned to unveil the ‘’re-discovery” of Raphael’s work at an international convention of art experts in April. But the coronavirus outbreak forced that plan to be scrapped.
Instead, rank-and-file art lovers who visited the rooms of the Vatican decorated by Raphael, one of the highlights of the Museums tour before they reach the Sistine Chapel, can now admire the feminine figures. Raphael painted the figures with oil-based paint, very unusual for mural painting at the time.
Frances D’Emilio reported from Rome.
Follow AP coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
Trisha Thomas And Frances D’Emilio, The Associated Press
Grad Profile: Architecture as art – Dal News – Dal News
When Kristina Bookall left her home in Jamaica to attend Dalhousie, she was unaware that several years before her a relative had made a similar voyage.
“I later found out that my aunt, who moved to Canada, studied nursing at Dal,” she says.
Kristina, who recently graduated from the Masters of Architecture program, says her Dal experience has helped prepare her for jumping into the field right away.
“Dal architecture keeps it realistic,” she says. “It also allows you to be a significant contributor to the field just after graduating.”
A coastal experience
Kristina spent a summer in Cape Breton as a part of the Coastal Studio team, a research project at Dal that embeds students in different coastal communities around rural Nova Scotia with a focus on the development of innovative design and construction techniques that marry new technologies with traditional methods and materials.
“That was by far one of the best experiences,” she says.
Not only did she find the landscapes “absolutely stunning,” she says she also got the chance to get to know her classmates better as they all lived together over the summer.
For Kristina, architecture is an amalgamation of her artistic interests. “I do a lot of artistic design, and illustration and architecture bring all those interests into one thing,” she says.
Before coming to Dal, she worked as a graphic designer for the British Broadcasting Commission.
“I studied production-design for film and television in the United Kingdom and went on to work for the BBC,” she says. Kristina has contributed to several TV commercials and miniseries, like Dancing on the Edge, Family Tree, and Hunted.
Adjusting and adapting
Despite having studied and worked in the UK, Kristina still had to adjust to her new life in Canada. “I had to get used to Canadian culture and the Canadian architecture student culture, which is another animal itself. Also, I was implanted into an existing class, which was tricky to navigate because being the new kid is never fun.”
She says she also started out her program as “a minority in every sense of the word,” but that there’s been a lot of more diversity developing in that area over the past few years.
Kristina says she also worked to overcome challenges that came with holding down a job while studying.
“Working while in school was another struggle. Architecture school is intense and requires a lot of work, and the quality has to be to a certain standard to maintain good grades,” she says.
Now that she’s done her degree, Kristina says she plans to spend some more time gaining experience in Canada before eventually returning home.
“My immediate plan for the future is to get through quarantine and further my architecture experience here in Canada and when the weather gets too cold, fly back to Jamaica.”
Kelowna Art Gallery offers free admission for June – Kelowna Capital News – Kelowna Capital News
You can now cruise the halls of Kelowna’s Art Gallery for free for the month of June.
On June 2, all four exhibition spaces reopened for visitors to enjoy. In celebration, the gallery decided to offer free administration to everyone this month.
“I am delighted that our professional team worked together to reopen the Kelowna Art Gallery to the public as quickly and as safely as possible,” said Nataley Nagy, executive director at the Gallery.
“During these trying times, we know that art and creativity are a welcome respite for all of our residents.”
Visitors will notice additional signage as well as reduced capacity due to COVID-19 concerns.
The Gallery has also made a few changes to its hours of operation. The Gallery is now open Tuesday and Thursdays, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Wednesday and Fridays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The first hour, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., has been set aside for seniors and for those who may have health concerns.
For more information about the exhibitions on view and to find out “what to know before your visit”, please see www.kelownaartgallery.com.
The Kelowna Art Gallery is located at 1315 Water Street in the heart of the Cultural District in downtown Kelowna, BC.
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