NAC Goes National

The National Arts Centre (NAC) is announcing an unprecedented collaboration with partner organizations across Canada – including Confederation Centre of the Arts – in support of the Canadian music scene. The ambitious initiative called NAC Presents Across Canada will help support nearly 40 concerts in 10 cities across Canada in 2017-2018 to help build the careers of emerging Canadian musicians.

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As part of this program,  Confederation Centre will present celebrated Canadian pop icons, the Barenaked Ladies, on Monday October 16. This show has been selling very strongly all spring, yet some tickets still remain. Visit the Confederation Centre box office online at confederationcentre.com, in person at 130 Queen Street, Charlottetown, or toll free at 1 800 565 0278.

 The creative force behind this project is Heather Gibson, the new Executive Producer of NAC Presents, who joined the NAC six months ago after a successful career in the music industry.  Immediately upon her arrival in Ottawa, Gibson saw the opportunity to build a network of live music organizations to support the career development of emerging Canadian musicians. She began travelling the country in her new role, and within a few months had made partnerships in St. John’s, Charlottetown, Halifax, Montréal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary, Vancouver and Whitehorse.

 “NAC Presents is a fantastic all-Canadian music series that was founded six years ago here at the National Arts Centre.  It brings some of Canada’s best emerging musicians and songwriters to the NAC stages in Ottawa,” said Gibson. “NAC Presents Across Canada will start to build a network of music organizations and community promoters that work together to promote talent, help artists develop audiences across Canada, and create touring opportunities and will build national networks for both the artists and the organizations involved,” said Gibson.

 NAC Presents Across Canada concerts will showcase a wide variety of Canadian emerging musicians in all genres. The series is programmed collaboratively between Heather Gibson and the artistic leadership in each partner organization. The programming will focus on emerging Canadian talent.

The National Arts Centre is Canada’s home for the performing arts, and NAC Presents across Canada will allow the institution to deepen its engagement with the contemporary music scene in every region. NAC Presents Across Canada will also help support the development of emerging artists, and in turn, will support the development of audiences in Canada for emerging music, which strengthens the artistic life of our nation.

 NAC Presents Across Canada will mirror the NAC Presents series of all-Canadian music at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa where throughout the year more than 90 concerts by emerging and established Canadian artists are presented on all four of the NAC’s performance stages.

 NAC PRESENTS ACROSS CANADA PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS:

 1)     Confederation Centre of the Arts, Charlottetown, P.E.I.

Confirmed programming with NAC Presents Across Canada includes: Barenaked Ladies, October 16

 2)     Yukon Arts Centre, Whitehorse, Yukon.

 3)     Vancouver Folk Music Festival, Vancouver, British Columbia.

 4)     Calgary Folk Music Festival, Calgary, Alberta.

 5)     Regina Folk Festival, Regina, Saskatchewan.

 6)     Winnipeg Folk Festival, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

 7)     Lula Lounge/Lula Music and Arts Centre, Toronto, Ontario.

 8)     Phi Centre, Montréal, Québec.

 9)     Halifax Pop Explosion, Halifax, Nova Scotia

 10)   Arts and Culture Centres of Newfoundland and Labrador.

 

Tim Moxam at the Victoria Playhouse

There’s a comforting sense of familiarity in Tim Moxam’s music, like the feeling of a soft summer breeze after the passing of a cold, grey winter. It’s his soulful voice that floats over twangy acoustic guitar; his vivid storytelling of lost love; his breezy, warm atmospheric tones that swell and crash.

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Yet when it comes to conjuring Moxam’s predecessors, contemporaries and influences – no one comes to mind. He exists in a world that deftly explores the space between country-rock and folk, with a talent for carving out memorable melodies in unlikely places. On his debut LP Soft Summer, Moxam shows he’s a singer-songwriter wholly of his own.

Tim Moxam is at the Victoria Playhouse on August 14th.

Spring Fever On Tap

Spring Fever 2017 is showcasing the talents of the Somerset Dance Studio under the direction of Marlys Maclaren featuring dancers ages 2 and up featuring Creative Movement, Reels, Jigs, Strathspeys and special guest appearances by Marlys and Her Irish Group and Sony award winner, singer-songwriter Tara MacLean featuring a preview of her summer show at the Guild, Atlantic Blue .

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Come join us for an afternoon of toe tapping music of song and dance ! Spring Fever is at the Harbourfront Theatre on Sunday, June 25th at 2 PM.

Chas Mike Pete at the Victoria Playhouse

Long-time PEI favourites, Chas, Mike and Pete are accomplished musicians creating their own songs and musical scores. They will come together this night only for a very special musical event. If you are already familiar with these musicians you’ll know to expect a great show, and if not you are in for an unexpected treat!

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Chas Guay is a singer/songwriter/musician who called PEI home for 35 years. He has recently relocated to Ottawa, ON. Chas has recorded three albums of original songs and is a recipient of the ECMA award for Musical Achievement. He has performed and recorded with many east coast and international artists and has contributed music to television and film.

Mike Mooney is an award-winning singer-songwriter from Charlottetown. He started his music career with the Troubadors in the early 1970s, playing folk music in and around the Confederation Centre. In the late 70s Mike and co-conspirator Chas Guay started the seminal PEI rock band, Touch ‘n Gone, which brought in Pete Richards on bass guitar. Touch and Gone continued into the 80s and eventually morphed into The Dogs, with Chris Corrigan, Sean Ferris, and Dale DesRoches. Mike, Chas, and Chris wrote and recorded an album of original songs under the name of Bird House in 2002. Mike continues to play with former comrades and on his own.

Pete Richards has had a musical life which began with a high school rock group and continues to this day, interrupted only by decades of raising a family and running a business. In one musical chapter, Pete played bass in a group with Chas Guay and Mike Mooney. He has played on a number of albums by Island performers and released an album of his own songs, The Women All Were Dancing, in 2015. He now enjoys playing a little bluegrass but continues to write and record.

Chas, Mike and Pete are happy to be reunited for this special collaboration at the Victoria Playhouse on August 7th.

Mothers and Daughters On Stage at the Watermark Theatre

Barefoot in the Park and Mrs. Warren’s Profession, the two plays on this summer at North Rustico’s Watermark Theatre, both feature a mother-daughter relationship at their core, and Leah Pritchard and Gracie Finley will play daughter and mother in both plays. A unique situation that has both actresses thinking of their own mother-daughter relationships in their own lives.

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Leah Pritchard: “When I think about what connects myself and the characters I will be playing this summer, I believe what we share the most is the stage at which we find ourselves in life. Vivie Warren, Corie Bratter, and I are all at an age where we are learning to establish ourselves as adult women in the world. And I think one of the most surprising and challenging aspects of that growth, is figuring out how you relate to your parents as an adult. In particular, how you relate to your mother as a woman. We’re trying to assert our independence, and prove that we are different from our mothers, all the while trying to understand who our mothers are as women. Personally, my mother is one of the most important people in my life, and I love how complex our relationship has always been. No one supports me like my mom, but I also don’t argue quite so frankly with anyone else. I am looking forward to seeing how the complexity of that mother-daughter dynamic lends itself to my understanding of my stage mama, Gracie Finley. Just like with my mother, I share such mutual respect and trust with Gracie, from our many summers playing mother and daughter on stage, that I know there will already be trust, and a loving familiarity between our characters this summer.”

Gracie Finley: “When tackling a mother-daughter relationship in a play, all those dimensions and layers from my personal life come into play and this can certainly help on many levels in establishing a believable relationship on the stage. It can also be a problem. Not all relationships are based on my own personal experience of trust and unconditional love and sometimes these instincts have to be fought if the play asks for something else. I have a very close relationship with my own daughter, though like all mother-daughter relationships we have our differences, and one of the toughest lessons for me to have learned is that my daughter is a very different person from me. I have had to learn to accept, support and ultimately respect that, unconditionally. This will be my 4th season working with Leah. We were the only two girls in the company during her first season when she played my adopted daughter in “The Lion In Winter”. We shared a dressing room and quickly found we were kindred spirits in many ways. I have seen her grow in confidence and ability as an actress, and mature and develop as a person. We have developed a trust and bond I know we can bring to the stage. She is a lovely girl and a dynamite actress. I am so proud of her on so many levels.”

Performances of “Barefoot in the Park” begin June 27th and “Mrs. Warren’s Profession” gets going on July 7th.

Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On

This summer’s mega-concert musical, Million Dollar Quartet is set to open at The Charlottetown Festival at Confederation Centre next week. Sponsored by Tim Horton’s, the most anticipated Island production of the year has been on fire at the box office all year and promises to wow theatregoers when the curtain lifts on June 14.

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 In December 1956, a 20 yr. old Jerry Lee Lewis, 21 yr. old Elvis Presley, 24 yr. old Johnny Cash, and 24 yr. old Carl Perkins stepped into the legendary Sun Record Studios under the direction of Sam Phillips and created an evening of musicianship that, by today’s standards, would have taken months to arrange and negotiate.

 “Imagine what it would have been like to be a fly on the wall and experienced that evening first-hand,” enthuses Director and Choreographer Tracey Flye. “The comradery, the competition, and the opportunity to get a private glimpse into the lives of these young men — out of the spotlight for a few precious hours and able to simply be themselves and revel in each other’s musical talents.”

 That is what Million Dollar Quartet promises — a momentary glimpse into these four extraordinary lives, under ordinary circumstances. Four young musicians unaffected by their public persona for an evening, able to play for the pure joy of playing. “How lucky are we that the producer and architect of that evening, Sam Phillips, had the foresight to make it all happen!? “ exclaims Flye.

 The cast includes Greg Gale (Cash), Matthew Lawrence (Elvis), Jefferson McDonald (Jerry Lee), Ed Murphy (Perkins), Alicia Toner (Dyanne), and Stephen Guy-McGrath (Sam Phillips). Additional accompaniment is provided by Trevor Grant (Fluke, the drummer) and Evan Stewart (Brother Jay Perkins, bass).

 Million Dollar Quartet is musically directed by Bob Foster, with sets and costumes from Corey Sincennes, lighting by Michael Walton, and sound design by Peter McBoyle. The original concept and direction is by Floyd Mutrux, with the book by Colin Escott and Mutrux. Adam Brazier is Artistic Director for The Charlottetown Festival.

 Special thanks are extended to the Government of Canada for their support of Confederation Centre; production sponsor, Tim Horton’s; and The Charlottetown Festival sponsor, CIBC. Appreciation is extended to media sponsors Ocean 100, Hot 105.5, CTV, and The Guardian.