Northern Lights, in Other Words

Aqsarniit: 2018 Young Company tells Canada’s story

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Getting Ready to Dream

Take hip hop, spoken word, and folk. Blend it with contemporary and Indigenous dance, and experience a new musical, full of original Canadian music, dance, and story. The Dream Catchers is a Canada150 Signature project, featuring the TD Confederation Centre Young Company, that will take you on a one hour quest to find hope for the future and dare you to believe that no dream is too small.

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The show is a vibrant music and dance-filled spectacle that explores the dreams of young Canadians through a lens of reconciliation, inclusion, and the environment. The musical features brand new original works from a host of Canadian artists: Paper Lions, City Natives, Fred Penner, Emm Gryner, Kinnie Starr, Khodi Dill, Nikki Payne, Carmen Braden, Tiny Emperor, Daniel Maté, Riley Simpson-Fowler, Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory, Caroline Savoie, and Twin Flames.

Funded by the Government of Canada, sponsored by TD, and produced by Confederation Centre, The Dream Catchers is written by Mary Francis Moore with direction by ahdri zhina mandiela, choreography by Barbara Diabo, set/costume design from Rachel Forbes, sound design from Bobby Smale, and musical direction by Scott Christian. The original project idea is based on a concept by Yvonne Mosley.

The musical opens on National Aboriginal Day, June 21, in the Outdoor Amphitheatre at Confederation Centre. At the exact same time, a second touring company will open The Dream Catchers at the Museum of Canadian History in Ottawa. The two companies will both spend time touring the nation and performing in Charlottetown this summer.

Company members are from every province and territory and represent a wealth of different backgrounds. The company debuting in Charlottetown includes: Nadia Haddad (of P.E.I.), Josh Graetz, Randy Plain Eagle, Garrett Woods, Kira Fondse, Germaine Konji, Laura Coulter-Low, Ria Kapur, Kirkland Doiron, Colleen Nakashuk, Morgyn Davies, Kevin McLachlan, and Keira-Dawn Kolson.

The company debuting in the nation’s capital includes: Madison Bernard (of P.E.I.), Faly Mevamanana, Rachelle Block, Stephen Thakkar, Emily Meadows, Rohan Dhupar, Clarence Jura, Kaitlyn Post, Erin LeBlanc, Jerry Laisa, Danik McAfee, Alita Powell, and Christopher Mejaki.

For complete touring and local schedules, or for more information, please visit: dreamingcanada.ca.

Dream Catchers Goes On Tour

It’s off to the races for the creative team behind The Dream Catchers, a national touring production and signature initiative supported by the Government of Canada’s Canada 150 Fund.

For the next eight weeks, an artistic team from the Centre is traveling coast to coast to coast, facilitating creative workshops and engaging more than 260 young people. These workshops will take place in each province and territory, tapping into the visions that youth have for our country, with a focus on the environment, inclusion, and reconciliation.

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The 13 workshops launch this weekend Saturday, February 4, at the Trinity United Church Community Hall in Summerside, P.E.I. with partner organization Generation XX. Each of these sessions will be led in collaboration with regional artists, including Fred Penner, Emm Gryner, City Natives, and in Summerside, the Island’s own Paper Lions.

Close to 300 dreamcatchers, encapsulating the dreams of Canada’s youth, will be created by the end of workshop tour each workshop and integrated by Indigenous visual artist Nick Huard into a stunning national dreamcatcher, exhibited in the Centre’s crown jewel, Memorial Hall, all summer long.

Mary Francis Moore, associate artistic director of The 2017 Charlottetown Festival will be guiding all of these workshops alongside Huard. Other collaborating artists include Romesh Thavanathan (Tiny Emperor) from Hey Rosetta!, Twin Flames, Kinnie Starr, Khodi Dill, Daniel Maté, Nikki Payne, Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory, Carmen Braden and Riley Simpson-Fowler.

After engaging young people across Canada in workshops and through digital submissions, The Dream Catchers creative team will produce a vibrant musical for an expanded 2017 Young Company. Thirteen new pieces of performance art – music, stories, spoken-word, dance and more – will be created between now and April and woven into a brand new musical premiering at the Centre on National Aboriginal Day, June 21. Presented by both a touring company and a Charlottetown-based troupe, this production will also travel across the country this summer.

For more information, please visit: dreamingcanada.ca Follow hashtag #Centre150 for tour updates on this and other 2017 commemoration projects at Confederation Centre of the Arts.

Catch a Dream

Calling All Dreamers! Confederation Centre Launches Website and Submission Page for ‘The Dream Catchers’

Confederation Centre’s signature project for Canada’s 150th anniversary next year is The Dream Catchers, a national touring production in two stages, funded by the Government of Canada through the Canada 150 Fund. Between February and April, an artistic team will travel to each province and territory to facilitate workshops, exploring young people’s dreams for themselves and Canada, with a focus toward the environment, inclusion, and reconciliation.

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Youth across the country will also be able to submit their dreams online, sharing their hopes for the future. The Dream Catchers website is now live and ready to receive dreams for a brighter future and applications to be part of the exciting workshops.

The website and dream submission page for youth age 17 and under to apply to be part of The Dream Catchers can be found in both French and English at dreamingcanada.ca or capteursdereves.ca.

Applicants may submit artwork, short videos, or text proposals and be as plain or poetic as they feel. The key to a good submission is the core idea and not the style, length, or format at this stage.

In the workshops actual dreamcatchers will also be created by the youth in each community and integrated by Indigenous visual artist Nick Huard into a large national dreamcatcher exhibited at Confederation Centre next summer.

Huard and Mary Francis Moore, associate artistic director of The 2017 Charlottetown Festival, will lead the sessions in collaboration with local artists in each region, including Fred Penner, Twin Flames, Nikki Payne, Romesh Thavanathan of Hey Rosetta, City Natives, and more.

“Our youth are our future ancestors and their dreams are impressive,” states Huard. “This project encourages them to imagine, gives them a voice and a chance to represent themselves. We want to remind them to keep dreaming because dreams can become reality, and The Dream Catchers reminds them to pursue the dream the creator put in their hearts.”

Gleaned from the workshop ideas and online submissions from Canada’s young people, the creative team will produce a vibrant and movement-filled musical for an expanded Confederation Centre Young Company. A troupe of 26 emerging artists will be cast to present this exciting new theatre production both on P.E.I and nationally throughout the summer of 2017.

Festival Announces 2017 Fare

Confederation Centre of the Arts has announced a dazzling lineup for next summer’s Charlottetown Festival, presented by CIBC. The 2017 Festival will run June 3 to September 24 and include the 53rd season of the international sensation Anne of Green Gables–The Musical™; the iconic rock ’n’ roll mega-concert Million Dollar Quartet; the return of two beloved Festival-spawned musicals, Bittergirl and Glenda’s Kitchen; and a new Young Company production that will tour the country.

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Million Dollar Quartet is a hit musical inspired by the true story of the famed 1956 recording session in which producer Sam Phillips brought together the “godfathers of rock ‘n’ roll” – Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Elvis Presley – for one unforgettable jam session. Set in a Memphis studio, this story-and-song musical brings to light an extraordinary tale of broken promises, secrets, and a once-in-a-lifetime celebration of four friends that is both poignant and heartwarming. Featured are such hallmark hits as Blue Suede Shoes, Hound Dog, Fever, Great Balls Of Fire, Walk The Line, Folsom Prison Blues, and many more.

Presented in rep with Quartet is the Island festival’s crown jewel, Anne of Green Gables–The Musical™. For the first time, the internationally acclaimed musical will be directed by Artistic Director Adam Brazier, leading a company of 23 amazing triple threats from across the nation. Having delighted more than 2.5 million people over 3,200 times at the Centre, Anne of Green Gables–The Musical™ remains the quintessential Canadian musical, and Brazier is thrilled to put his creative stamp on the iconic piece.

“2017 is a year to celebrate Canada and being Canadian, and this storied musical rests at the very heart of our national identity,” says Brazier. “Searching for love and belonging in a time of strife and strain, Anne represents all Canadians coming to this country, or those searching for light every day in their own trials.”A Misfortune

He continues, “Million Dollar Quartet is an electrifying true story perfectly built for our Homburg Theatre and our Island audience. Presley, Cash, Lewis, and Perkins — this is one unbelievable studio session that changed rock’n’roll forever.”

Back at The Mack is the howlingly funny cabaret show on getting over getting dumped — Bittergirl: The Musical. This Canadian-made comedy virtually sold out its entire run when first premiering at the Festival in 2015. Having now played Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre and headed for Winnipeg and a tour of British Columbia, it will return in 2017 with new songs and scenes, and the same great soundtrack of doo-wop favourites, including I’m Gonna Make You Love Me, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, I Will Survive, and Too Many Fish In The Sea.

Also playing The Mack, will be the world premiere of a new Canadian musical, A Misfortune. The story follows a young lawyer and a married woman in pre-revolutionary Russia on a walk through the woods; their friendship has reached an impasse. Soon they gather with three friends for a night in the country, discussing the inanity of their lives over an evening drink—and with each drink, more sordid secrets are revealed. Adapted from a short story by Anton Chekhov, one of the world’s most celebrated and enduring writers, A Misfortune is a romantic, bittersweet musical about small moments and momentous decisions.

Returning to the intimate Studio 1 theatre is Glenda’s Kitchen offering curious patrons a taste of the Island, literally and culturally! Festival icon, Glenda Landry and The Charlottetown Festival Orchestra lead this charming musical, exploring the many bounties of P.E.I.’s people, deep-seated traditions, and world-famous food. This afternoon cabaret is a must-see for Islanders and travelers alike and will feature new tunes and tales from Glenda and cast.

The Centre has already announced a new national touring production for the Young CompanyDream Catcher. With support from the Canada 150 Fund, the Centre will engage youth from across the country to create a new musical inspired by their dreams for Canada’s future. Around 20 young professional artists, who reflect the country’s cultural diversity, will be cast in two Young Companies – one touring and one on P.E.I., supported by TD. Participants will meet with Indigenous artists who will speak to them about the symbolic importance of dreamcatchers in their cultures. Small dreamcatchers will be created and integrated into an immense visual that will be on display outdoors at the Centre in 2017.

“We are thrilled for the 2017 Young Company to hit the national stage to celebrate the dreams of our nation’s founders, those of our youth, and those of the Indigenous Peoples in Canada, with a Canada-wide tour and original musical theatre project,” says Jessie Inman, CEO.

“Continuing our long history of national touring, Dream Catcher will seize the momentum of Canada’s sesquicentennial and engage young people from every province and territory, channeling their bold hopes and dreams for our nation’s future.”

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.

Lunch with the Voices of Canada

The Young Company have been drawing huge crowds all summer to the amphitheatre with their noontime production “The Voices of Canada”.

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Their final performance is August 20, make sure you get in to see one of the final performances of the summer!