Winning Hearts for the Arts

The Confederation Centre’s Find the Heart for the Arts fundraiser will launch a new and improved format beginning this Monday, February 1. Under the new format, ticket holders do not need to be in attendance at the weekly event, and can win from home.

6796990

Tickets for the Tuesday night game will now be on sale at the Centre’s Box Office, Monday to Saturday, from 12 to 5 p.m. The weekly event remains on Tuesday nights in Studio 1 from 7-9 p.m., with the live draw at 8:45 p.m.

The Chase-the Ace jackpot currently stands at $2,424.00. Chase-the-Ace tickets are available at $2 each, with discounts based on the number of tickets purchased. Full rules and regulations as well as a full ticket price list is available at http://www.confederationcentre.com under the Chase-the-Ace icon.

For all information, rules and ticket prices, please visit the web site. Proceeds from the lottery will be go towards the $ million dollar cost of Phase Two improvements to the Homburg Theatre. The theatre closed in December for four months of essential restoration work to the back-of-stage, including rigging, hanging, fly systems, access and safety equipment, and needed infrastructure upgrades.

Bringing the Bluegrass

Husband & Wife Bluegrass Team Bring The Noise To The Mack

Comprised of New Brunswick’s John and Lisa McLaggan, quirky folk duo Tomato/Tomato present their signature take on old timey roots music at The Mack on February 20.

image009

The couple’s unique sound, strong vocal harmonies, and colourful outlook on life have led to them becoming one of the most sought-after acts in Atlantic Canada. Tomato/Tomato’s dynamic live show features John on vocals and guitar and Lisa on washboard, bass-drum, vocals, and tambourine. It’s not unusual to find her performing all four at once!

Island audiences may recall the group from 2015 Festival of Small Halls appearances in Tracadie and Long Creek, one of just 60 gigs they performed across the Atlantic provinces last year. Other stops included Harvest Jazz and Blues, the Larlee Creek Hullabaloo, and two weeks filling in for David Myles as guest hosts of CBC Radio’s East Coast Music Hour.

The duo released their debut album last year, So It Goes, a strong set of original music that embodies their patented musical style and clever and comedic writing. The album was nominated for multiple accolades and earned the pair an East Coast Music Award for 2015 Roots/Traditional Album of the Year and three Music New Brunswick Awards.

“Their music is bound to put a smile on your face,” says a Here magazine review, while The Musicnerd Chronicles describe the group “striking a wonderful balance between playful and serious at virtually every turn, helping ensure you’re back for another listen by the time the record is over.”

Tomato/Tomato are on deck at The Mack on Friday, February 20 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the box office at (902) 566-1267, toll free at 1-800-565-0278, or online at confederationcentre.com.

Appreciation is extended to Sobeys, the returning title sponsor for LIVE @ The Centre. Media sponsors are The Guardian, Hot 105.5, and Ocean 100.

Popalopalots Appears (and Appears) at The Guild

The eight-person Popalopalots comedy group will host P.E.I.’s first-ever improv comedy marathon, Popalopalooza, Jan. 29–30. They’re making it up as they go along.

Improv is comedy created on the spur of the moment without a script, usually as short sketches or games driven by audience suggestions. “Even as I say it, it sounds — like, what am I doing?” Rob MacDonald of Popalopalots told CBC Radio Island Morning host Matt Rainnie.

popalopalots-comedy-troupe

All proceeds go to the Cancer Treatment Centre at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to purchase new heated seats for patients.

“Everybody is affected by cancer and a couple of the Popalopalots have or have had people go through there,” Mr. MacDonald said. The marathon will start at The Guild in Charlottetown on Friday Jan. 29 at 8 p.m. and run until the following Saturday night at 10 p.m.

“It terrifies me, and I’m looking at it as a sort of sociological or psychological experiment,” Mr. MacDonald joked.

Members of the group will take turns on stage so everyone will get a chance to take a break over those 26 hours.

Admission to the show is by donation for the first 24 hours. Tickets for the final two hours, from 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday, are $15.

Stamina is required. Even if the audience is nonexistent at 4 a.m., the show will go on, promises Mr. MacDonald. “I’m going to try to be on stage for as many minutes as are humanly possible,” he said.

Participants are now scheduling themed hours so they have a rough plan to follow.

“Saturday morning, I think we’re going to be doing fairy tales for a couple of hours,” said Mr. Macdonald. The group is calling the section from midnight to 4 a.m. “the filthy and the dirty” and tailoring it to crowds coming in from local bars.

The Popalopalots suggest the best time to check out the action is on Jan. 30, from 2 to 4 p.m., when they plan to improvise a complete full-length 2-hour movie slash play, which they’re already promising will be “terrible.”

Predictions are that by the end of the 26 hours the actors will be fighting with one another and sobbing from exhaustion. Members of the brave crew include Rob MacDonald, his son Cameron MacDonald, Graham Putnam, Dylan Miller, Jordan Cameron, Ben Hartley, Kelly Caseley, and Alicia Arsenault.

‘Holding the Pose’ Opens at Confederation Centre’s Art Gallery

Portraits are often thought of as a fairly straightforward kind of art work. The goal is to produce a likeness of the subject, whether physical or psychological, mediated by the interpretation of the artist. But those portrayed are rarely passive actors in the exchange that takes place when a portrait is made. Through pose, attitude, costume, and other means of self-presentation, sitters always influence the end result.

image006

The active involvement of subjects in the creation of any portrait is the focus of Holding the Pose: Portraits From the Collection, a new exhibition presented by the Confederation Centre Art Galleryopening on January 27th.

Featuring works from the gallery’s permanent collection by artists from across Canada, the show demonstrates the complexity of the interaction between artist and sitter through a wide variety of portraits in various mediums. From P.E.I. painter Brian Burke’s evocative portraits of local literary figures Milton Acorn and Libby Oughton to the work of David Blackwood, Marion Wagschal, Edward Poitras, and others, the exhibition reflects the richness of the art of portraiture in Canada.

The Gallery’s collection also includes a significant quantity of works by one of Canada’s definitive portrait painters, Robert Harris, and the work of Harris will feature prominently in the exhibition.

“In the work of Robert Harris, we encounter an incredible richness and subtlety brought to bear on the craft of portraiture,” says Gallery Director Kevin Rice. “In the context of this exhibition, we have a great opportunity to see how the artist approached the vibrant subjects of his paintings, and how they played a role in the final result.”

Curated by the Gallery’s Pan Wendt, Holding the Pose will be on display from January 27 to November 27, 2016. The Gallery is open Wednesday to Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, 1-5 p.m.

For more information visit http://www.confederationcentre.com.

 

Aces Are High

Play has resumed for Charlottetown’s first large-scale Chase-the-Ace Lottery. The Confederation Centre’s ‘Chase-the-Ace for the Arts’ fundraiser for theatre improvements is held every Tuesday night in Studio 1, beside Mavor’s. Ticket sales run from 7 to 8:35 p.m. each night, with full bar service and board games on offer. The winning draw is held at 8:45 p.m.

Ace-of-Hearts

Chase-the-Ace is a classic card game that caught fire as a charity fundraiser in the Maritimes over the past year. The game is similar to a 50/50 draw, but has a twist — weekly ticket sales are split with 50% going to the fundraising charity, 30% being pooled into the jackpot, and 20% going to the weekly winning ticket holder, who also gets the chance to draw a card from the deck.

As weeks go on without the Ace of Hearts being drawn, the jackpot grows and the deck diminishes. The Centre has chosen an Anne of Green Gables themed deck of cards, with the hearts suit as jackpot trigger, hoping for good fortune with ‘hearts for the arts.’

Proceeds from the lottery will be put towards the $5-million cost of Phase Two improvements to the Homburg Theatre. The theatre closed in December for four months of essential restoration work to the back-of-stage, including rigging, hanging, and fly systems, access and safety equipment, and needed infrastructure upgrades.

While the public areas of the 1,100-seat theatre recently underwent significant restorations, the stage facilities and back stage areas have not seen major enhancements since the Island’s largest theatre first opened in 1964.

Setting the Stage

Watermark Theatre’s Board of Directors announced that it would be naming its stage for newly retired founder and artistic director, Duncan McIntosh. McIntosh, whose contribution to dramatic arts in Prince Edward Island and throughout Canada is well‐known, retired this past summer after bringing the Watermark into its most successful season to date.

Duncan1

Past chair of the Watermark Board of Directors, Mary Crane, commented at a recent celebration in honour of Duncan: “During my time as Chair of the Board, I came to truly respect the talent and passion Duncan brought to every aspect of writing, directing and theatre development. No challenge defeated him and every season was a triumph.”

“Duncan’s respect for the people with whom he engages is admirable and much appreciated,” remarked Lois O’Neill, current Board Chair. “His energy, creative mind and nature, and his determination to build an exceptional classical theatre in our province are inspiring. We are fortunate, indeed, to have had him to lead us to this point. Naming our stage in his honour is tangible recognition of his exceptional gifts, all devoted to nurturing this Theatre since its opening in 2008. At that time, it was to honour the 100th Anniversary of the publication of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables; since then, he has held true to presenting professional and classical theatre on Prince Edward Island.”

Mr. McIntosh’s visionary perception of Canadian theatre led to the creation of ReIgnite Inc., a unique Watermark endeavour focused on the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Canada’s confederation talks that took place on PEI. Its production of ‘Canada 300’ presented nine short original plays in twenty‐one venues across Canada from February to April, 2015.

Each play, grounded in an historical or current facet of Canada, contemplated the future unfolding of Canadian society. Following every performance, audience members discussed the plays and their own wishes for Canada in the next 150 years. The process continued as part of last summer’s Watermark season where it was well received.

In September, this year’s Palmer Conference at UPEI further explored considerations for Canada in the next 150 years. There were thought‐provoking presentations, panel discussions, and opportunities to engage in discussion with delegates from each of the twenty‐ one communities in which ‘Canada 300’ played last winter. From examination of First Nations concerns and immigration, to discussion about what Canadians should consider if we are to thrive as a nation, this year’s Palmer Conference was the brainchild of Mr. McIntosh.

David Bulger, an actor in several Watermark productions, observed that McIntosh is a master at building enthusiasm and collegial atmosphere within a theatre company. “Watermark was the best place I had ever worked at in my many years, and that it was owing to Duncan’s ability to create a positive working and learning environment”, he said.

The Duncan McIntosh Stage will be a reminder for future casts, crews and audiences of Mr. McIntosh’s remarkable legacy. Without a doubt, his artistic vision will continue to touch others for years to come.