On the Bright Side

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 5, 7:30 PM at the Harbourfront Theatre
Regular Seats: $48.00

Barra MacNeils On the Bright Side

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The Barra MacNeils hit the Harbourfront Theatre stage Friday, October 5 on tour in support of their latest release On the Bright Side, an exquisite collection of everything their fans love.

As always, the 5 MacNeil siblings – Lucy, Boyd, Stewart, Kyle and Sheumas – combine on a vast array of instruments including accordion, guitar, piano, fiddle, bodhran, mandolin, banjo, Celtic harp, tin whistle – underpinned by the nimble-fingered Jamie Gatti on bass.  If you’ve ever been wowed by their Christmas show, be prepared to have the wow factor raised exponentially as the band is unleashed from the strictures of the season.

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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.

See All About It

How can an artist represent and honour beloved literature through art?

This is the question that motivated Island artist Jenni Zelin’s latest solo show, Well
Read: Literature Transformed.

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Paying tribute to literature ranging from children’s picture books and young adult novels to classic and contemporary literature, nonfiction and stage text, Zelin’s show also reflects her work in multiple media, including pieces in acrylic, ink, felt, clay, ceramics, found materials, and comic strip art. One of the pieces serves as a miniature and
functioning lending library offering books to the public to borrow, trade, or read during gallery hours.

”What started as a multi-media artistic homage to the books I’ve loved throughout my life soon morphed into an homage to some of the artists and great works of art I’ve loved as well,” says Zelin.

In Well Read, Winnie the Pooh, A Wrinkle in Time and Catch-22 mix with Edward Gorey, Keith Haring and Picasso.

Opening night is highlighted by a special event in Drag Queen Story Time with Whatshername. This creation of Nicholas Whalen, an emerging Art Queen, uses self-
made costumery and provocatively curated performance to take drag out of its traditional contexts and into the art world. The opening also kicks off a two-week silent auction of many of Zelin’s art pieces from the show, with the proceeds being donated to the Confederation Centre Public Library.

Confederation Centre librarian Roseanne Gauthier is delighted that Zelin is dedicating
her show to the library, saying, “We’re thrilled to know that Jenni considers the Confederation Centre Public Library her second home, and we’re so grateful she has offered to donate the proceeds of her art show to support the free programming CCPL offers to people of all ages and from all walks of life.”

Well Read: Literature Transformed runs from October 3-14 at The Gallery at The Guild. Please note that the show features some mature content.

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.

 

Feet to the Fire

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The first summer Doug McKinney joined the staff at the Landmark Café in Victoria, on the south shore of Canada’s Prince Edward Island, he joined at the bottom. He was a busboy. One of the first times he cleaned a table in the newer back dining room of the restaurant, he miscalculated the ceiling.

“I was clearing a mussel dish off a table, stood straight up, and hit my head,” he said. “It was like somebody hitting you right on the top of your head. I blacked out for a second.”

Doug is slightly taller than six feet eight inches. The ceiling is slightly shorter than six feet six inches. Something had to give.

He didn’t make the same mistake twice, although there were several more close calls. Almost knocking yourself out one time is often the charm, never mind any more times.

“I’ve always been the kind of person, if I don’t know how to do something, I’m going to ask, or I’m just going to go ahead and do it. Maybe I do it right. Maybe I do it wrong. If I do it wrong, I’ll probably only do it wrong once.”

An only child, Doug grew up on the eastern end of the island, near Montague. The small town is known as “Montague the Beautiful” for its river, tree-lined streets, and heritage homes. His father was a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer. In 1993 his dad was struck by a fatal heart attack. The boy was 7-years-old.

The 33-year-old man has a tattoo on his chest honoring his father.

The following year his mother and he moved to Charlottetown, the capitol city of the province.

“The RCMP relocated them, bought them a house,” said Rachel Sauve, Doug’s fiancée.

“They are good for that,” said Doug. “I went from living in a rural community to a brand new suburb. My mom spoiled me a lot, for sure. There were lots of kids my own age. I was playing sports, basketball, and we had more than two TV channels.”

By the time he was 15 he was growing more and playing more basketball. He spent early mornings and late evenings at hoops. You can’t do it by loafing around. Practice makes it happen, not just wanting it to happen, and his growth spurt, which can’t be taught, took him up a notch.

As much as basketball was becoming his life, life and death came knocking.

“I was playing in the Canada Games in 2001 when my mother was diagnosed with cancer,” he said. “I came back home, and even though she had only been given until Christmas, she made it until April.”

An inking honoring his mother joined his father’s tattoo on his chest.

“When I lost her, I put more emphasis on basketball.” Not yet grown up, he had to grow up on his own. It was get up stand up for yourself on your own two feet. He treated every day on the hardwood like every day was his last day draining a jump shot.

“Basketball was developed to meet a need,” said James Naismith, the inventor of the game.

Doug played basketball at university and professionally until he was thirty. A graduate of Charlottetown Rural High School, he played five seasons with the UPEI Panthers. Later he played internationally in Lebanon, and after returning to Prince Edward Island, played four seasons with the Island Storm of Canada’s National Basketball League.

He had his ups and downs fast breaking crashing the boards shooting floaters, like every player, since even the superstars barely shoot 50% for the season, but he knew how to recognize his mistakes, learn from them, and then forget them. He never let an opponent try harder than he did.

”It’s basically grown men who do this for a job,” he said when trying out for the Island Storm in 2011. “Everybody is strong, everybody is athletic. I just try to play hard, sweat as much as I can every day, show that I’m willing to work.” Going nose to nose with grown men means proving yourself every day.

He was named to the NBL All-Star Second Team the 2012 – 2113 season.

When his team needed him to score, he scored. During game seven of the NBL Canada Finals in 2014 he went 7 of 8 from the field, 4 of 4 from the 3-point line, threw in an assist, a steal, and three rebounds, and set a playoff record that still stands for most points scored in the fewest minutes.

Basketball is a team game, to the extent that even the best basketball players, like Michael Jordan and LeBron James, could never have won multiple championships without solid teams around them. Doug McKinney’s pro career as a power forward was solid on getting it done.

Ask not what your teammates can do for you. Ask what you can do for your teammates. Make the extra pass.

After retiring from the pro game he has continued to work with the sport. Last year he was the Minor Basketball Advisor for Basketball Prince Edward Island, helping players and coaches of grassroots programs in PEI communities.

In the meantime, he re-connected with Rachel Sauve.

“We first met in 2002-or-so,” she said. “I was dating one of Doug’s teammates at UPEI.”

Years later they ran into each other at Baba’s Lounge in Charlottetown.

“One of my Storm teammates texted me that he was there, and even though I usually never went there, I went,” said Doug. “I saw her, she gave me a big hug, we hung out for a little bit, and after I left I couldn’t stop thinking about her.”

“I don’t think either of us were looking for a relationship, but we didn’t want to pass it up,” said Rachel. ”We both are islanders and want to be here.”

“I think we both knew there was something other than the fact that I’m really tall and she’s definitely shorter, something special about our energy together,” said Doug.

Rachel was working at the Landmark Café, her family’s homemade soup signature quiche traditional meat pies hot-off-the-press seafood all made fresh daily sit-down in the heart of their small town. The produce is local organic and they make their own salad dressings. Her father, Eugene, and mother, Julia, had staked out the restaurant, several times expanded since, excavating a new basement for storage and coolers, building new dining rooms, and adding an outdoor deck, twenty nine years earlier in what had once been Annie Craig’s Grocery Store and Post Office, kitty corner from the Victoria Playhouse.

“As kids my brother and I were always helping, doing stuff at the restaurant, washing dishes, running to the freezers for ice cream,” said Rachel.

Her father’s entrepreneurship rubbed off on her.

“I sat out front at a picnic table and sold stuff,” she said. “ I was 11, 12-years-old.”

She sold wood figurines, creating faces and outfits for them. She sold bootleg Anne of Green Gables straw hats with red braids. She sold wax jewelry that she and a friend designed and molded out of leftover wax from the café.

“We had a problem with it, though, because the wax would melt in the sun. We put it in boxes so it wouldn’t start melting until the tourists had left the village.”

The family has worked together at the Landmark from the word go.

Shortly after Doug and Rachel had gone from an encounter to a thing together, the restaurant posted a “Help Wanted” for the summer season sign.

Once Doug got the parameters of the back dining room’s ceiling right, he went from busboy to server to integral part of the roster, picking up vittles in the morning, working long into the night cleaning up and closing down.

“It goes back to growing up and playing on teams,” he said. “I’ve played on good ones. I’ve played on bad ones. I’ve always prided myself on being a team player. The Landmark is the kind of place, you’re either going to swim or you’re going to sink.”

“You either do the dance or you don’t do the dance,” said Rachel.

Working for a family business is a dynamic unlike other work. Your mom and dad or grandparents started it from scratch and you’re never going to be one of the founding fathers. Sometimes it’s one big happy family at the dinner table, but sometimes it’s like the Mafia. Whatever the big cheese says is what goes, and you have to come to grips with it.

Doug spent four years at the Landmark Café.

“I was actually the tallest server east of Montreal,” said Doug. “I didn’t want to just serve anywhere, except the Landmark.”

Their lives took a turn toward the end of last winter when they came to a fork in the road and took it. They had just come back to Prince Edward Island from several weeks in Cuba. “That was our last hurrah before the summer,” said Rachel. But once at home, instead of going back to work at the Landmark Café, Doug and Rachel took jobs with Fairholm Inn and Properties.

The collection of archetypal inns in downtown Charlottetown, including the eponymous Fairholm Inn, the Hillhurst Inn, and the Cranford House, share the same grounds, gardens, and outdoor fire-pit. The Fairholm Inn is a National Historic Site, originally a large family home built in 1838 for Thomas Haviland, a many times mayor of the capitol city.

Doug and Rachel are the Jack and Jill of all trades at Fairholm.

“I do the front desk, maintenance work, a little bit of everything,” said Doug.

“They wanted me to learn how to edit websites,” sad Rachel. “Now I know how to edit websites.”

“After Rachel got hired, they needed more help on their team, and thought I could help them out,” said Doug.

“He’s been building cabinets there,” said Rachel.

“It’s awesome working together,” said Doug “We’ve found that even when we’re not working, we go golfing together, go places on the island, have adventures.”

Fairholm Properties schedules most of their days off at the same time.

“It’s evolved into us realizing we work well together. After five years we’re at a spot where we’re trying to figure out our next life,” said Rachel.

“Our next play,” said Doug. “I’m adding stuff to my tool belt, but at the same time, we want to work for ourselves.”

“It might be a tabletop, food truck, catering, something,” said Rachel. “We’re lucky on this island. We have the best local seafood and meat. I can’t see myself being out of that line of work. My dad taught me. All my cooking skills are from him. I’ve got his cooking style in my blood.”

Her father and his Landmark Café have long made the list in the independent guide ‘Where to Eat in Canada’. He is known for his fusion of Asian, Cajun, and native PEI foods, and was once known as a pioneer for his never fried and healthy fare. He is still known for his tasty healthy never fried fare.

Doug’s mother had been a manager at Myron’s in Charlottetown, which was one of eastern Canada’s biggest and most popular sports bar restaurant nightclub concert venues of its time.

“I grew up in the industry without even realizing it,” said Doug.

There isn’t much needed to make your life. It’s all within you, in your way of thinking, in knowing what you want. Being an entrepreneur is a mindset. What it takes is taking the plunge, putting everything you’ve got into being your own boss, exploiting your opportunities when you get them.

It’s jumping off the Confederation Bridge to catch a flying fish. You might go splat in the Northumberland Straight. It will test your risk aversion, but it is, at least, one way to start swimming. You might, on the other hand, land in the fish market, show you’re worth your salt, because you saw something and built your wings on the way down.

No risk no reward.

“We have ideas for our own food venue,” said Rachel, “We’re not chefs, but we’re both great cooks.”

“We eat like kings at home,” said Doug.

“I want the lifestyle, the lifestyle I’ve been living all my life,” said Rachel.

“I’ve gotten to love it, too,” said Doug. “Grind all summer and then find summer somewhere else.”

“I’m not going to sit at a desk,” said Rachel. “That’s not going to happen.”

Whatever does happen, the two of them are undeniably hand to the plow. When they were with the Landmark Café they often worked seven days a week, twelve and fourteen hours a day, most of those hours on their feet. Restaurant work is hard enough, but seasonal restaurant work is getting down to business, not a moment to lose.

“We know many people in the food industry on the island, and some of them want us to work for them, but we want to have our own thing,” said Rachel.

Although raising capital is always a problem for new ventures, especially those related to food enterprises, Rachel Sauve and Doug McKinney are willing to work steadfast persevering to achieve their ends.

“I’m not too good to wash dishes, to do whatever it takes,“ said Doug. “There are a lot of opportunities to capitalize on the food scene on Prince Edward Island in the summertime.”

“When I do a post-up of something we’re cooking at home at night, and I see the reaction, I know it’s something I should be doing,” said Rachel. “We’re trying to mold our future.”

Rachel and Doug may be on a small team at the moment, since it is only the two of them on the roster, far from first place in the standings, but they are on one another’s side, both of them no ifs buts or maybes, their minds made up to make it happen.

“That’s the difference maker,” said Doug. “When you know what you want, you can make a difference.”

Everything’s on the front burner, pots and pans, the kitchen sink, plans goals around the corner, their feet to the bright side of the fire.

Originally posted on http://www.147stanletstreet.com

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: