Bobak is Back

A new exhibition is showing at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, shining light on a collection works by Bruno Bobak (1923-2012). Curated by Donald Andrus, The Bruno Bobak Bequest draws upon a selection of works bequeathed to the Art Gallery collection by the Estate of the artist.

Bobak was a Polish-born Canadian painter and art teacher. An extraordinarily fluent artist, he worked as a ceramicist, jeweler, sculptor and furniture maker. If not busy in his studio each day, or at the University of New Brunswick Art Centre where he was resident artist from 1961 to 1986, then he was outdoors sketching, gathering ‘moosewood’ and wild flowers in the springtime, with his wife, equally renowned artist Molly Lamb. Both were made members of the Order of Canada in 1995 and a small portrait of Lamb is included in The Bruno Bobak Bequest.

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This exhibition primarily showcases examples of Bobak’s printmaking skills and his drawings, together with a few examples of his watercolours and oil paintings. More of his work can be found in the Art Gallery’s collection in the form of oil paintings and drawings.
Curator Donald Andrus will present an art talk focusing on the current exhibition this Sunday November 20 at 2 p.m. in the Art Gallery.

“We can talk about Bruno Bobak as a print-maker, painter in oils and watercolour, as well one the pre-eminent draughtsman of his era,” Andrus offers. “Bobak is an artist somewhat neglected now by the ravenous contemporary art scene in Canada but one whose contributions are well worth remembering and much of whose art, created in an atmosphere of humility and human understanding, has stood the test of time.”

As Bobak’s period of work spanned close to seven decades, this bequest and exhibition draws on a slender offering from his long career. States Andrus, “What this selection does hope to achieve is to give some sense of the range of his experiences as an artist—from woodblock prints beginning shortly after his career as Canada’s youngest war artist from 1943 to 1945, through silkscreen prints, drawings, watercolours, and oil paintings during the rest of his career.”

Bobak participated in more than 250 group exhibitions and had more than 80 one-man shows around the world. His works are found in collections across Canada. The Bruno Bobak Bequest shows until January 8 at the Centre.

Build That Wall!

“Build That Wall!” — Matt Rainnie Joins ‘Robyn Hood’ as Wicked Prince John — Local actor, writer, and broadcaster to play chief villain in Centre’s Christmas musical

Enter Matt Rainnie as the artist formally known as Prince. The well-known CBC broadcaster and performer joins a stacked cast this Christmas for Confederation Centre’s holiday musical, Robyn Hood: This Tale’s Even Fairlier.

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Rainnie plays bad boy Prince John, the tousle-haired tyrant of Sherwood-Parkdale Forest, and foil to Robyn Hood (Maria Campbell) and her Fairly Merrily Men. Prince John rules the Island with an iron-fist, taxing the poor and scheming to contaminate their water and construct a wall around the entire province. The Adam Brazier-directed musical is penned by Graham Putnam and Brazier, and plays select dates, December 9 – 17.

“I’m excited to step into this bright and musical and incredibly silly world,” remarks Rainnie, “and to be the bad guy? Oh, it’s the best. Prince John is a sniveling, arrogant bully and that’s so much fun to play. I even get an awful wig, so I’m adjusting to having bangs for the first time in many years.”

Rainnie joins a fun-loving ensemble of theatre pros, Holland College/Confederation Centre School of Performing Arts students, hobby actors, and emerging talent of all ages, including Charlottetown Festival veterans Jessica Gallant and Alana Bridgewater, fellow Islanders Sarah MacPhee, Jordan Cameron, Nadia Haddad, Lexi Durant, Cameron MacDonald, Fraser McCallum, Tamara Gough, Ellen Carol, Al Baldwin, Ken Williams, and dozens more.

“I think with these shows, Adam and the Centre have created a welcome new holiday tradition,” Rainnie continues. “It can be a really busy time of year and these productions offer escape to this colourful and wonderfully ridiculous world, a chance to laugh and sing along to great tunes. Robyn Hood aims to do that again.”

Rainnie is the host of CBC Radio One’s popular P.E.I. morning show, Island Morning. Active in the community, he has also hosted countless charitable events across the province and remained connected to the local theatre scene where he was a founding member of Sketch 22, and cast member with Annekenstein and the improve comedy quartet 4Play.

“Theatre was a rewarding part of my life but I put it on hold the last few years,” he offers. “My daughters were both in Adam Brazier’s holiday show Aladdin last year. That gave me the chance to see this phenomenal crew in action and to see how much fun everyone was having both on stage and off. I knew I wanted to be part of that experience this time around.”

The broadcaster began his career with CBC PEI in 1993. He was a TV reporter and journalist before finding his home in radio. For several years, he hosted and produced the afternoon show, Mainstreet. During that time he was occasionally guest host of Sounds Like Canada and Weekend Mornings, and was host and producer of the national summer program, Lost and Found.

He has also worked as a film reviewer for CBC across the Maritimes, as a writer for stage and screen, and in animation voice-over. He lives in Charlottetown with his wife and three children, two of whom will join him on stage in Robyn Hood.

RBC Renews Support for the Arts

Confederation Centre of the Arts is pleased to announce that the RBC Foundation has renewed its funding to support the Art Gallery’s Emerging Artist Program.

The RBC Emerging Artist Program has been a highly successful element of the Confederation Centre Art Gallery’s exhibition program. RBC has been providing support for the program since 2009. This $45,000 donation will fund three exhibitions over the next three years.

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“We are thrilled to renew our long standing partnership with Confederation Centre of the Arts,” says Mary MacInnis, Community Manager with RBC. “This important program does more than advance the careers of these emerging artists, it helps build vibrant communities and strong economies. We are looking forward to taking in these exhibitions as they are presented — we know they will be excellent.”

Some of the past artist recipients include Laura Archer, Gerald Beaulieu, John Cox, Rilla Marshall, Heather Millar, and Rebecca Viau.

“With RBC as a funding partner, the Art Gallery is able to offer young emerging artists their first major exhibition in a public art gallery, providing access to a professional curator, installation and conservation support, and media exposure,” says Confederation Centre CEO Jessie Inman. “This valuable program can launch the careers of Canada’s young artists.”

The next Emerging Artist exhibition is a group show, Studio Watch, which will open in January 2017. It will feature the work of four young emerging Prince Edward Island artists. Selection of the artists will follow a series of studio visits where the Art Gallery’s curator will evaluate recent work and provide useful feedback to candidates for the exhibition.

Irish Mythen Rocks The Guild

Irish Mythen Concert: A Women’s Network Fundraiser. Award-winning singer-songwriter Irish Mythen will be rocking The Guild on Wednesday, November 16. For the first part of the evening, the aptly named Witty Mama will showcase their comedy improv skills. And during all of this, local artist, activist and community organizer Becka Viau will create live art which will be auctioned off during the intermission.

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The evening will be emceed by the talented Teresa Wright. You can also get your hands on some great gift baskets filled with fun prizes graciously donated by local businesses. Raffle tickets for the gift baskets will be sold on site before the show and during the intermission.

Get there early to take in the art exhibited in the gallery, watch Becka at work and have a look at those prizes!

Hors-d’oeuvres will be served during the intermission. Tickets are $45 (tax and fees included).

Doors to the gallery open at 6:30pm. Doors to the venue open at 7:00.

Show starts at 7:30.

Raised on Songs

John McDermott is an international recording star and household name. Besides his stellar musical career – platinum, double-platinum, triple-platinum albums and multiple Juno nominations – he is also known for his commitment to veterans’ causes – the U.S. Congressional Medal of Honour Society’s Bob Hope Award, the Ted Williams Globe & Anchor Award from the USMC and, here at home, a commendation from the Minister of Veteran’s Affairs for this ongoing work, which includes his foundation McDermott House Canada, dedicated to improving care in the final stages of terminal illness and providing a warm, welcoming place to stay for Canada’s veterans, military, first responders and their families.

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In concert, whether he is sharing the stage with a top-notch group of musical friends or touring the world as part of the famed Three Irish Tenors, McDermott continues to enchant audiences with his beautiful voice and sensitive renditions. Though time and travel have introduced him to a wealth of new material and experiences, he manages to incorporate that diversity into his performances, while retaining the beguiling sense of humour that endeared him to audiences from the beginning.

This tour features songs from his latest release, Raised on Songs and Stories, and a variety of favourites from his vast recording catalogue.

A delectable evening of story and song, delivered with charm and grace by the consummate craftsman himself, John McDermott.

“Tenor John McDermott is one of this country’s most beloved entertainers.” – Toronto Star

“John McDermott is the real thing – with a sound as pure and achingly beautiful as the ancient countryside.” – Chicago Sun Times

“His rich tenor voice is as warm and comforting as a hot toddy on a cold winter’s night.” – Kitchener Record

“McDermott has a warm and instantly recognizable voice that sometimes resonates like Gordon Lightfoot with a brogue.” – Seattle Times

“The world’s greatest Irish-Scots-Canadian tenor melted hearts and raised smiles in London yesterday.” – London Free Press

John McDermott is at the Harbourfront Theatre November 11th at 7:30 PM.