Out of the Trenches

Confederation Centre of the Arts has revealed the title for the upcoming 2018 Symons Medal Lecture, ‘The Lion’s Cub: The First World War and the Evolution of the Canadian Nation.’

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As previously announced, the 2018 Symons Medal will be awarded to internationally-acclaimed historian and author Dr. Margaret MacMillan, C.C. The award will be presented to Dr. MacMillan at the Centre on November 23, 2018.

The Symons Medal is one of Canada’s most prestigious honours and recognizes an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to Canadian life. Since 2004, the Centre has honoured 17 distinguished Symons Medallists. Held each fall, the medal ceremony creates a national platform for a prominent Canadian to discuss the nation’s current state and future prospects.

MacMillan’s lecture title refers to the emergence of Canada as a nation during the First World War and – within the theatre of war. and political cartoons in particular – Great Britain’s role as the paternal lion and Canada and commonwealth nations as the cubs who follow.

Professor of history at the University of Oxford and former Provost of Trinity College at the University of Toronto, MacMillan is one of the world’s most distinguished specialists in modern international history. She is known as a historian whose published work is engaging for both experts and general audiences. Also known for her insightful contributions to public discourse, she is a sought-after commentator on pressing international issues of our time.

MacMillan recently concluded a tour with the BBC’s Reith Lectures, an internationally renowned series now celebrating its 70th year. She delivered five lectures exploring the relationship between humanity and war in London, York, Beirut, Belfast, and Toronto, which are now available to stream online at BBC Radio 4.

The 2018 Ceremony will take place in the Homburg Theatre at Confederation Centre in Charlottetown, P.E.I. The medal ceremony and lecture will be livestreamed on the Centre’s YouTube channel and available on confederationcentre.com shortly thereafter. Tickets for this important event will be available to the public via the box office on Saturday, November 3 at 10 a.m. There is no cost to attend but a printed ticket is required for admission and the booking limit is two tickets per person.

As always, Confederation Centre donors receive priority access to tickets; Founders’ Circle members will be able to book their tickets beginning November 1. For more information and to become a member of the Founders’ Circle for as little as $25 please visit www.confederationcentre.com/membership. For more information, please visit confederationcentre.com/heritage/symons-medal-and-lecture-series and follow event updates on social media @confedcentre and via hashtag, #Symons2018.

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Bound for Calgary

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The TD Confederation Centre Young Company is hitting the road again. After a busy 2017 season that saw two troupes crisscross the country, the 2018 company has been invited to perform at the Future of Child Welfare in Canada: National Child Welfare Conference 2018, October 23 to 26 in Calgary, Alberta.

The conference is a Canadian first that brings together the Provincial and Territorial Directors of Child Welfare with the Annual Prairie Child Welfare Consortium conference, and the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Social Work. A central theme is the need to address child welfare within an Indigenous context and to consider ways to move forward in light of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations. It is estimated that nearly half of Canadian children in foster care, under the age of 14 are Indigenous, and that, overall, Indigenous children comprise 30 to 40 percent of children in care.

Thanks to the generous support of Indigenous Services Canada, Confederation Centre is bringing 11 company members to Calgary, all of whom appeared in The Charlottetown Festival production of Aqsarniit (“awe-saw-nee”) this summer. These young artists come from across Canada and will be performing excerpts from Aqsarniit, the Inuktitut word used to describe the northern lights. This high-energy musical re-examines Canada’s past through the varied lenses of today’s youth and shares some of the stories they hope will be told in the future.

“Confederation Centre is at the forefront of engaging in a national dialogue and this event is reflective of the art we are creating at the Festival and the Centre,” says Mary Francis Moore, associate artistic director of The Charlottetown Festival. “It is an honour to be invited.”

The Young Company will have the opportunity to perform for an audience of stakeholders from every province and territory. The troupe will appear as part of the opening keynote address and just before the closing keynote from Senator Murray Sinclair, former chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. During the opening keynote, the troupe will perform excerpts from Aqsarniit and also participate in an audience Q+A with company members discussing what they wish to see for Canada’s future.

 “We are continuously proud of the work of our emerging artists and creative team with the Young Company,” says Steve Bellamy, CEO of Confederation Centre. “The National Child Welfare Conference is an important new initiative and we are humbled that our musical production, which speaks to the realities of Canadian history and this country’s efforts towards Truth and Reconciliation, can contribute to these proceedings in such a meaningful way.”

For more on this inspiring conference, visit their website. The Centre wishes to acknowledge the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Government of P.E.I., and the City of Charlottetown for their continued support. The title sponsor of The Charlottetown Festival is CIBC. Program sponsor for the Young Company is TD.

 

Women Doing Big History

Historian and author Margaret MacMillan is the 2018 Symons Medal receipient.

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Her research focuses on British imperial history, international history of the 19th and 20th centuries, and the causes of war, specifically World War One.

Here’s an article from a few years ago on women who work in the field of history:

Lifting the Curtain

A fiery redhead. A grieving son. A gregarious family on the Rock. The musical pull of the Atlantic. A young woman’s search for family. Sit a spell. Have we got a story for you! Confederation Centre has announced the playbill for The Charlottetown Festival–the largest musical theatre festival in Atlantic Canada.

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Sponsored by CIBC, the Festival will commence June 28 with the much anticipated return of Kronborg–The Hamlet Rock Musical. This original Canadian work has become a cult favourite for Islanders who recall the 1975 production starring Brent Carver and Beverly D’Angelo. This remains the only production in the history of the Festival to be produced on Broadway.

Based on the Shakespearean tragedy Hamlet, originally written by Cliff Jones, this musical rocked the rafters in 2017, selling out a concert presentation at the Historic St. Mary’s Church in Indian River and later packing the Homburg Theatre. Next summer’s fully realized production will weave the story of a prince who plots revenge on his uncle for taking his beloved father’s life.

Festival favourite and Island son Aaron Hastelow, coming off rave reviews as the lead in this season’s Jesus Christ Superstar, will return to star as Hamlet next year. Additional major casting information will be revealed later this fall, when the Centre offers a ‘Buy-1-Get-1’ sale for a limited time only, from November 17 to December 1. The Festival will also announce production information on the 2019 Confederation Centre Young Company.

The Festival’s crown jewel Anne of Green Gables–The Musical™ will return for its 55th consecutive summer, a testament to the global appeal of a classic inspired by a classic. This enduring story of an orphan girl who came from away and changed the Island forever will run June 29 to September 28.

A mother, a daughter, three possible dads, and a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget! Back to the Centre by popular demand, it’s Mamma Mia! This sunny ABBA-driven tale follows a daughter’s quest to find her father by inviting three men from her mother’s past to her wedding. Presented as a co-production with the Grand Theatre in London, Mamma Mia! will play on P.E.I. from August 9 to September 28.

Over at The Mack, the Festival is thrilled to welcome Tara MacLean’s Maritime love-letter, Atlantic Blue. This celebration of East Coast songwriters previously played at The Guild, and will show from August 2 to September 28. MacLean explores the place and people behind classic songs like ‘Sonny’s Dream’, ‘Put Your Hand in the Hand’, ‘Fare Thee Well Love’, and more. The Island songwriter celebrates those who found a way to create beauty from the challenging experiences in their own lives. With the addition of members of the Festival and its orchestra, this new production will make every Atlantic Canadian proud.

From July 20 through September 28, Spinning Yarns will shine a light on Newfoundland and Labrador in the early ‘80s: a world of raucous adventures, death defying escapades, and dubious childcare! This hilarious evening of story and song stars festival favourite, Stephen Guy-McGrath (Evangeline, Million Dollar Quartet). Through it all shines a fierce love of family and a boundless longing for home.

The Centre wishes to acknowledge the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Government of P.E.I., and the City of Charlottetown for their continued support. Media sponsors are The Guardian, Hot 105.5, Ocean 100, and CTV.

Dial M Busts Out

Watermark Theatre is thrilled to announce that box office revenue for the recently completed 2018 summer season was up by 10% over last year. Productions of Dial M For Murder and A Moon For The Misbegotten both exceeded expectations while season subscription passes increased as well. In fact, Dial M For Murder became the highest grossing production in the history of the company. The productions’ success is attributed to the extremely high quality of work from all the artists involved, wonderful word-of-mouth throughout the Island, a successful marketing plan, and exceptional reviews from both The Guardian and The Buzz.

This marks the third year in a row that box office revenues have increased for Watermark since Artistic Director Robert Tsonos and General Manager Andrea Surich took over the company in the Fall of 2015.

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Robert is of course thrilled with how audiences have responded to his programming. “We seem to have reached a tipping point where word of mouth across the Island has boosted our audience numbers. People have started to spread the word about the work we do here in North Rustico and it’s very satisfying to see so many full houses. People are driving from across the Island now to see our shows and letting tourists know how to find us. We feel like we really have the support of the whole Island behind us now. It’s a great position to be in”.

Andrea Surich says that the theatre has become an economic engine for the community. “The restaurants and shops in North Rustico and surrounding area keep getting busier and busier. We help them out by luring new visitors to the area and they help us out by allowing our patrons to have a bite to eat or do a little shopping before one of our shows. A full summer evening’s experience.”

Programming for Watermark’s 2019 summer season will be announced very soon.

For more information please contact Andrea Surich at 902-963-3963 or generalmanager@watermarktheatre.com