Tag Archives: Confederation Centre of the Arts

Art, Party, and the Glam Bat Cave

One night only, the Confederation Centre Art Gallery will be transformed into a sprawling dance party and showcase of artist creativity for afterimage, an event that animates the gallery at night. This promises to be an unforgettable night in Charlottetown, and a completely new way of experiencing contemporary art in the stunning architecture of the art gallery.

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The CCAG is in between exhibition cycles this month, hence the event title; a brief window in time where the gallery will be redefined visually and conceptually. “This will be a truly special night,” says Gallery Director Kevin Rice. “We are excited to bring a new audience into the gallery, to see what an amazing space it is, and experience it in an entirely new way.”

Stretching across multiple galleries – even including a service elevator – afterimage features a variety of artists from P.E.I., New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia and installations ranging from themed spaces, projections, and video works; to live music, guest DJs, and interactive games.

Belfast, P.E.I. painter and media artist Damien Worth is creating an interactive piece that allows users to navigate a virtual landscape. Another featured guest is Montreal’s Pascal Dufaux, who recently relocated his studio to the Guild, known for his interactive sculptures that capture the movements of partygoers through motion sensors. The galleries will also include a dance floor showcasing the music of guest DJs Willow Bell (Whaleskin) and DJ Lucy MOD (Kate Walchuk), as well as performances by Nathan Gill, Andrew Cairns, and some surprise off-Island guests.

afterimage is one night only and runs from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on May 13. The entire gallery team as well as other Centre staff and over a dozen artists will be working full tilt to make this an unforgettable combination of party and art experience, and a true showcase of talent from around the region. Event tickets are $20 (plus tax and service fees) in advance, via the Box Office, and $25 (plus tax and service fees) at the door.

Other highlights include an interactive installation dubbed ‘The Glam Bat Cave’ featuring creations by Halifax’s Mitchell Wiebe, and Island artists Ali O’Sullivan and Andrew Cairns, a wheel of prizes hosted by Tamara Steele and Charlottetown comedian Lennie MacPherson, a new projection work from Becka Viau, and a multimedia installation in the gallery elevator designed by Charlottetown’s Monica Lacey and Devon Ross. A more relaxed lounge area with specialty cocktails, a playlist by Colin Buchanan, and a Lucy van Pelt-inspired ‘advice booth’ will contrast the live performance space.

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Symons Medal Medalists Shaping Up

On Monday, June 6, 2016 Confederation Centre of the Arts, Canada’s national memorial to the founding of the country, will announce this year’s recipient of the Symons Medal, one of Canada’s most prestigious honours.

The Symons Medal is presented annually by Confederation Centre to recognize distinguished persons who have made an exceptional contribution to Canadian culture and heritage.

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Since 2004, Confederation Centre has honoured 15 distinguished Symons Medalists. Past recipients include His Royal Highness Prince Charles, Prince of Wales; His Excellency Governor General David Johnston; former Prime Minister Paul Martin; President of the national Inuit organization, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Mary Simon; broadcaster and environmental leader, David Suzuki; and Canadian actor and director Paul Gross.

The annual presentation of the Symons Medal is an opportunity for all Canadians to recognize an outstanding contribution to national life, and to reflect upon their country and its future. As part of the medal ceremony, the celebrated recipient delivers a major address on the state of Canada, and its place in the world.

The Symons Medal Ceremony will take place this year on Friday, November 4, 2016 at Confederation Centre. Held each fall to mark the 1864 meetings of the Fathers of Confederation in Charlottetown, the medal ceremony creates a national platform for a prominent Canadian to discuss the nation’s current state and future prospects. Canada’s only national memorial to the Fathers of Confederation, Confederation Centre’s mandate is to inspire Canadians to celebrate the founding and evolution of their country.

The opportunity to take in the recipient’s medal ceremony and lecture will be made available through the Confederation Centre Box Office at a later date. For more information, please visit confederationcentre.com/symonsmedallecture and follow event updates on social media @confedcentre and via #Symons2016.

The Symons Medal is named in honour of Professor Thomas H.B. Symons, a long-time supporter of Confederation Centre and a Board Governor. Professor Symons, the founding President of Trent University, is widely recognized for his work in the field of Canadian Studies, particularly within public policy, heritage, and education.

Island Lad Debuts as Gilbert

For the first time in the 52 seasons Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™ has run in Charlottetown, an Islander will play Anne’s beau. The Charlottetown Festival has announced that Aaron Hastelow will debut as Gilbert this summer opposite P.E.I.’s Jessica Gallant as Anne. This also marks the first time two Island natives have held the storied production’s romantic leads.

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Hastelow is no stranger to local audiences, having essentially grown up at Confederation Centre and performed in numerous productions, including in Ring of Fire, Anne & Gilbert, two seasons with the Young Company, and as the male lead in the Christmas musical, Cinderella. He recently spent three seasons at the Shaw Festival and is currently performing in Evita for The Vancouver Opera.

“Playing Gilbert is the pinnacle of full circle moments for me,” he remarks. “Having started with the Centre as a child of Avonlea when I was eight years old, to now, finally stepping into Gilbert’s boots — it really doesn’t get much more meaningful. This is the role that inspired me to become an actor, and I can’t tell you what it means to me to be given the opportunity to play this iconic Islander.”

Gallant and Hastelow are both alums of Sheridan College and performed together in the 2010 Young Company. “I am so proud to be from here, and sharing the stage with my dear friend and fellow Islander, Jessica, just makes the moment even sweeter,” he continues. “I feel like we are in for a truly golden summer!”

The Charlottetown Festival is presented by CIBC and Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™ begins previews on June 29. Directed by Wade Lynch, Anne™ plays select dates until August 27, 2016. Hastelow will also perform in the ensemble for the ABBA-inspired mega-musical, Mamma Mia!, which begins previews on June 1.

Says the Centre’s Artistic Director Adam Brazier of the latest addition to his company, “It is always so encouraging for us to welcome Islanders back home to our festival. We take great pride in supporting and training the next generation of artists from our province. As one generation exits the stage, another must enter. It is our continued goal to help see that next generation flourish and grow.”

Confederation Centre wishes to recognize Tim Hortons as the title sponsor for Mamma Mia! and 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.

Exploring Northwest Coast Art

Whether a longtime resident of P.E.I., a new Islander, or a visitor, you may have spent some time examining the Tsimshian totem pole in the Confederation Centre concourse and wondered about the story behind this impressive object.

Found in the outdoor courtyard, the pole is titled Man and Dogfish, and was carved at New Hazelton, British Columbia by Alfred Joseph of the Ilagwiloit First Nation. A project of the First Citizens’ Fund and the B.C. 1971 Centennial Committee, it was donated by the First Nations people of B.C. to Confederation Centre to mark the centenary of B.C.’s joining Confederation in 1871

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Art historian Ron Hawker, who has relocated to the Island in the past year, will shed new light on the totem pole, and put it in some historical context in a free lecture in the Art Gallery. The talk will introduce the history of Northwest Coast art, identify the key media, genres, styles, and both historic and contemporary artists, with a particular focus on totem poles — his current subject of research. This free event will take place Thursday, April 28 at 7 p.m. and all are welcome.

Hawker most recently taught at the Alberta College of Art and Design following time spent educating at the University of British Columbia, Emily Carr University of Art and Design, the American University of Sharjah, and Zayed University in Dubai. He is the author of Tales of Ghosts: First Nations Art in British Columbia, 1922-1961 (UBC Press 2002), Traditional Architecture in the Arabian Gulf: Building on Desert Tides (Wessex Institute of Technology Press, 2008), and Yakuglas’ Legacy: The Art and Times of Charlie James (University of Toronto Press, 2016).

Pinch a Penny

The Pinch Penny Fair is an established Island tradition of spring hosted by the Friends of Confederation Centre. The annual fundraising event helps support the Art-to-the-School Program, the Festive Wreath Contest/Exhibition, the Confederation Centre Youth Choir, children’s art activities, and special projects for the Centre.
picture-of-piggy-bank-with-pennies-photoThe Pinch Penny Fair is more than a giant flea market — shoppers can explore the silent auction, plant tables, and baked goods, as well as locally made arts and crafts. The Kids Zone will feature games, face painting, balloon twisting, prizes, carnival treats, and The Music Man, Michael Pendergast, will be performing for kids of all ages at 10:30 am and 11:30 am in this area. There will also be live entertainment from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. featuring Judy MacLean Dancers and Angelina MacKinnon.

The 48th annual Pinch Penny Fair is taking place this Saturday, April 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Confederation Centre of the Arts.

Donations are being accepted until April 21 at the Centre’s Richmond Street entrance. Admission is $2 and children 12 and under are free. For additional information call 902-628-6141 or email friends@confederationcentre.com.

Super Troupers Come Trooping

Additional casting has been revealed at The Charlottetown Festival for the international smash, Mamma Mia! Inspired by ABBA’s unforgettable collection of hits, the musical is a celebration of mothers and daughters, old friends and newfound family. The Festival recently announced Katie Kerr as Sophie and co-starring as her free-spirited mother is Dora-Award nominee Eliza-Jane Scott.

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Audiences will remember Scott for her 100-megawatt smile and delight as the White Queen in last year’s Alice Through The Looking-Glass and roles in Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™. The Kingston, Ontario native has performed with Soulpepper Theatre Company, the First National and Canadian Tours of The Producers, and for Theatre 20, Stratford Festival, and more.

Donna owns a small hotel on a beautiful Greek island, and she is about to let go of the spirited daughter she has raised alone. For the wedding, Donna invites her two lifelong best girlfriends – practical and no-nonsense Rosie and wealthy, multi-divorcee Tanya – from her one-time backing band, Donna and the Dynamos. Sophie has secretly invited guests of her own however, bringing back three men from Donna’s past to the paradise they visited 20 years ago. Over 24 magical hours, new love blooms on this lush island full of possibilities.

“I am so excited to be back to play Donna,” exclaims Scott. “It’s so meta! This summer I am playing a woman who escapes to a beautiful island to make a living and support her family and here I am, a woman coming to beautiful P.E.I. to make a living and support my family! What? Am I the winner and did I just take it all? Yes Rose!”

Joining her as the Dynamos are Nicola Dawn Brook (Rosie) and Jan Alexandra Smith (Tanya). Smith co-starred in Alice last year as the Red Queen and has appeared in Anne™ in Charlottetown over multiple seasons as Miss Stacey, Mrs. Sloane, and Mrs. Spencer. The Toronto native has performed across Canada, including with the Shaw Festival, Theatre Calgary, Stage West, Theatre 20, and more. This marks Brook’s debut with the Festival, having recently played ‘Trish’ in Mirvish’s blockbuster Kinky Boots. She has also performed in her native U.K. on London’s West End and others with Prince of Wales, Victoria Palace, and Theatre Cymru, as well as film and TV roles in Sweeney Todd and The X-Factor.

Supported by production sponsor, Tim Horton’s, Mamma Mia! plays from June 1 to September 3, 2016 in the Homburg Theatre. Confederation Centre wishes to recognize CIBC as the returning title sponsor of The Charlottetown Festival. The Centre also acknowledges the Department of Canadian Heritage; the Government of P.E.I., through the Department of Education, Early Learning, and Culture, and the City of Charlottetown for their continued support. Media sponsors are The Guardian, Hot 105.5, Ocean 100, and CTV.

Ian Sherwood Makes the Mack

Pop and folk songwriter Ian Sherwood is in a constant state of creative motion. When not touring his high-energy act across the country, he’s often penning tunes for other artists and writing music for theatre, film, and TV.

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A masterful storyteller and charming performer, Sherwood was named Contemporary Singer of the Year by the Canadian Folk Music Awards in 2013, and comes to The Mack on April 8. The venue is a regional favourite for the Halifax-based tunesmith, who hit the stage many times as part of the hit group, The Jive Kings.