Tag Archives: Confederation Centre of the Arts

Last Spoonful This Weekend

It’s the final countdown for three companies of performers at Confederation Centre this weekend as three productions come to a close. The critically-acclaimed musical, Spoon River has just three performances – two evenings and a Saturday matinee – remaining while the Confederation Centre Young Company and Confederation Players (or ‘the Fathers’) both wrap up Saturday afternoon.

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Spoon River has enjoyed a late summer push at The Mack of late with large crowds and some shows selling out. It was recently announced that the Edgar Lee Masters’ inspired musical will head to New York next summer as part of Canada 150 celebrations playing Off-Broadway.

Sponsored by Scotiabank, the song-cycle is produced in association with Soulpepper Theatre Company. Spoon River features a stacked cast of 11 performer/musicians, including Alana Bridgewater, Matt Campbell, Jonathan Ellul, Susan Henley, Richard Lam, Amanda LeBlanc, Mary Francis Moore, Alicia Toner, Brendan Wall, Daniel Williston, and Sandy Winsby. Heather Lewis is stage manager and Charlottetown’s Mike Ross composed and directed the music and co-adapted the production with Director Albert Schultz.

The Charlottetown Festival is far from over, with four more performances each of Anne of Green Gables-The Musical™ and Glenda’s Kitchen on deck until the end of next week, and Mamma Mia!, sponsored by Tim Horton’s, playing until September 3.

A Night to Remember

You were amazed by their stellar performances this summer as actors, dancers, and musicians in Spoon River, Mamma Mia!, Anne of Green Gables–The Musical™, Glenda’s Kitchen, and the Centre’s youth troupes. Now, The Charlottetown Festival Company and Confederation Centre staff invite you for a fun-filled night of music, laughter, and fellowship — the 40th Annual Maud Whitmore Benefit Concert

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This Sunday, August 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the Homburg Theatre, the staff, cast, and crew will volunteer their talents to raise money from ticket sales for the Maud Whitmore Scholarship Fund. These scholarships assist selected performers, designers, musicians – both emerging and established – in achieving proposed professional goals, such as new artistic training or workshops.

The show will be hosted by beloved Festival veteran, Glenda Landry, who played in countless Festival productions and for many years played the role of Diana Barry. Some of the performances slated this year (no Anne™ pun intended) include P.E.I.’s Aaron Hastelow singing a medley of Fleetwood Mack tunes, Susan Henley (Spoon River) delivering her rendition of ‘Both Sides Now’ by Joni Mitchell, the Confederation Players and the Confederation Brass coming together for a short selection of Victorian standards, Mamma Mia! and Anne™ company member, Josh Doig performing his own choreography to an Alanis Morissette song, and much more.

Tickets for the 40th annual Maud Whitmore Benefit Concert cost $20 and are available at the Confederation Centre Box Office at 1(800) 565-0278 or at charlottetownfestival.com.

Last year, the Roddy Diamond Scholarship for a focus in technical theatre or stage management was awarded to Seren Lannon, company manager for the Young Company in 2015 and 2016. “Through winning the Maude Scholarship,” says Lannon, “I was able to spend a weekend in NYC receiving training from top-notch Broadway Stage Managers, and learn first-hand what it would be like to work at the Gershwin Theatre. It was an experience that was invaluable from a career perspective. Had I not won the scholarship, I would never have been able to afford to go, and I could not be more grateful.”

The concert is named after the late Maud Whitmore, a veteran Canadian actor, who endeared herself to audiences from 1965-1977 at the Festival in Anne of Green Gables–The Musical™. Her years of commanding performances inspired many to enter into careers in the musical theatre industry.

Choir! Choir! Choir!

Canadian music scene darlings Choir! Choir Choir! will take over Memorial Hall next week with a special one-off fundraiser performance for Charlottetown’s outdoor visual arts festival, Art in the Open. On August 26 at 8 p.m., the Toronto-based choral group will teach and guide the assembled crowd in singing ‘Ahead By A Century’ by the Tragically Hip in the natural echo chamber that is Memorial Hall at Confederation Centre of the Arts.

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Choir! Choir! Choir! is led by creative directors Nobu Adilman and Daveed Goldman. The duo takes a non-traditional approach; there are no auditions, and the audience is the choir – just show up and they will teach you an original arrangement to a song you love. No choral or performing experience is required, just a love of music and singing with a large crowd. In some recent performances, more than 1000 people have shown up to sing together.

The total capacity for this event is 300. These spontaneous concerts are often captured on video or cell phone and become viral hits online and with traditional media, such as this recent video example from the Luminato Festival.

Tickets are $20, all included, and the proceeds go towards Art in the Open Festival, of which the Confederation Centre Art Gallery is a co-presenter. “Nobu Adilman has a long connection to P.E.I., and he has been interested in participating in Art in the Open for years,” says Confederation Centre Art Gallery Curator and Art in the Open Co-Curator Pam Wendt. “We are really excited to kick off this year’s festival with Choir! Choir! Choir!, and especially to present it at Confederation Centre. Memorial Hall will be a spectacular location for this truly memorable event.”

Founded in 2011, Choir! Choir! Choir! has amassed a dedicated and passionate community of singers and a thriving international fan base on YouTube. In June 2016, the New Yorker said of the group “Choir! Choir! Choir! has fashioned a profound way for people to connect and interact.”

The ensemble has performed with renowned artists such as Patti Smith, Tegan and Sara, and Rufus Wainwright, and onstage at New York’s Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall with the likes of Debbie Harry and The Flaming Lips. Choir! Choir! Choir! exists to celebrate music and push the boundaries between practice and performance, artist and audience, offering therapeutic benefits with the ultimate side effect: a powerful community.

Choir! Choir! Choir! will be offered for $20, all included, on Friday August 26, 2016 at 8 p.m. All ages and levels of musical training are welcome. Bar service will be provided and the doors open for Memorial Hall as of 7:30 p.m.

Parallel Journey’s Landon Mackenzie Speaks

Landon Mackenzie is a celebrated Canadian artist, admired for her large-scale paintings on canvas and ink and her watercolour creations on paper. As part of a national tour, Landon Mackenzie: Parallel Journey is currently showing at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery (CCAG), and this week the Vancouver-based creator will present two talks at the Centre.

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The first talk will take place on Thursday, August 11 at 7 p.m. in the Gallery; wine will be available for purchase and this will be an illustrated talk using examples of Mackenzie’s works. The following Thursday, August 18 at 11 a.m. the artist will offer a tour and talk of Parallel Journey, followed by tea and coffee provided at the end. Both tours are offered complimentarily and the exhibition space can be found in the Upper West Gallery.

Born in the U.S. and raised in Toronto, Mackenzie studied printmaking at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax. Her strengths as an artist are her inventive energy, her intellectual restlessness and curiosity, and her love of imagery, maps, language, and history. Some of her student etchings are included in the show including layered works often featuring text, which shed light on some of her mature painting practice, in which she often writes words and phrases into the painting that later get covered over by marks and images.

Landon Mackenzie: Parallel Journey shows until September 25 at the CCAG. Parallel Journey is accompanied by a multi-authored, full-length book published by Black Dog Publishing in the U.K. (with special support from the Audain Foundation). The Gallery is open Monday-Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursdays until 8 p.m.

Portrait of Landon Mackenzie by Susan King.

Champion at the Showcase

Cheryl Champion has been a glass artisan for over 15 years. She started using traditional stained glass techniques and was later introduced to the art of fused glass. Cheryl is self-taught in the art of glass fusing. She spent a lot of time experimenting and developing her talent and over time started creating her own unique designs.

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In designing, Cheryl gets most of her inspiration from her surroundings – the sea, the land and nature. Lighthouses, fishing boats, local birds and sea creatures are often the focus of her artistic pieces; the perfect memory of a day in the Maritimes. She often combines traditional stained glass with fused glass to add another design element. And recently added recycled wood framing to some of her pieces for a more rustic look.

Cheryl has a stained glass studio next to her home in Meadowbank and has been operating Paragon Stained Glass Studio since 2008. The business started off teaching the art to hobbyists, selling glass and supplies, and offering custom pieces for sale. In 2013 her husband Rick joined her in the studio and they expanded the business to market a selection of stained and fused glass collectibles, gifts, home décor and tableware to retail gift stores. This year they started selling their products outside of the Atlantic Provinces in various retail gift shops from coast-to-coast.

The Showcase opened in 1965, the year after the Confederation Centre opened, and has enjoyed three locations and a variety of expansions over the years. We are part of Confederation Centre of the Arts, a not-for-profit, charitable organization, with volunteers assisting the gift shop staff. All profits from The Showcase go back to the Centre to support arts programming.

Star-Studded Line-Up Lined Up

Confederation Centre has unveiled a stacked Sobeys LIVE @ the Centre lineup for 2016-17. From Thanksgiving through to the spring thaw, the Centre presents a captivating range of rock, comedy, dance, bilingual programming, choral music, and family fun across five unique stages.

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The ‘16-17 season launches October 14 with a farewell tour stop from international smash hit, The Nylons. Known for their dazzling a cappella sound and hypnotic harmonies, the jazz quartet’s wide appeal has taken them across North America, Europe, China, and beyond. The Juno nominees’ farewell tour includes their classic arrangements of ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight,’ ‘Happy Together,’ and ‘Na Na, Hey Hey.’

October also includes the first Island performance from the inimitable Canadian icon, Tanya Tagaq. The pride of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Tagaq fuses traditional Inuit throat singing with electronica and experimental influences. She has collaborated with artists as varied as the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Björk, and Owen Pallett, and collected the Polaris Music Prize and a Juno Award in recent years.

On October 18 Confederation Centre welcomes back globally-acclaimed duo Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy. This fierce fiddling combo commands stages worldwide, infusing traditional roots music from Cape Breton and rural Ontario with an explosive celebration of raw energy.

Other fall highlights include a classical music performance from Grammy-winning violin virtuoso James Ehnes; children’s entertainment from TV’s Toopy and Binoo; a double-dose of folk-pop prestige from siblings Jill and Matthew Barber; and a classic thumper of a rock night on the mainstage, with B.C. road warriors, Theory of a Deadman.

“On behalf of Board Chairman Wayne Hambly and our staff, I would like to invite all Islanders and visitors to experience a performance this fall and winter LIVE @ the Centre,” says Chief Executive Officer, Jessie Inman. “Once again, Darcy Campbell and his team have assembled a thrilling program for patrons celebrating the best in Canadian live music, dance, comedy, and family entertainment—join us for something wonderful.”

Perennial favourites Classic Albums Live return for two more epic rock recitals, presenting Abbey Road from front to back November 5 and Hotel California on April 6. Christmastime offers a brand new holiday family musical from Adam Brazier – to be announced in August 2016 – as well as the return of Mittentime Christmas, a popular solstice revue featuring an all-star cast: Rose Cousins, Tanya Davis, Kinley Dowling, Jenn Grant, Daniel and Patrick Ledwell, Catherine MacLellan, and more.

Other hallmarks include seasonal choral music from the Youth Chorus and Confederation Singers, under the direction of Donald Fraser; showcases and musicals from the blossoming talent of dance umbrella; and the return of the popular Songwriters Series at The Mack, with separate soirees from Mo Kenney; James Hill; and The Lion, The Bear, The Fox.

For ticket information and the entire Sobeys LIVE @ the Centre calendar see addendum, visit confederationcentre.com/live, or contact the box office at (902) 566.1267. Tickets for all shows go on sale to the public Friday, July 29, 2016.

Appreciation is extended to Sobeys, the returning title sponsor for LIVE @ The Centre. Confederation Centre wishes to recognize 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, and Ocean 100.