Episode Eight: 8 is for Innovate

Ian Sutherland is dean of the School of Music at Memorial University and was on the west coast for a couple of reasons, including to attend Grenfell’s convocation ceremonies and I’m glad he found time to record this episode of the show.

Ian and I started as Memorial deans at around the same time and it’s certainly been great for me to be able to share that experience with Ian and for our two Schools to continue to find ways to collaborate and work together. The fact is, Memorial’s two ‘arts’ Schools are separated by nearly 700km of geography and that can make things, well, difficult. Ian has been a tremendous collaborator and kindred spirit.

One of the exciting projects I’ve been happy to work on is an “Arts Innovation Strategy” for Memorial, a strategy that looks to foreground notions (and practices) of creativity to the innovation agenda (something the provincial government has also begun to explore) as well as encourage us to work in more meaningful ways with our communities.

Memorial’s School of Music is world-renowned and you can find more about all that they do and offer here.

We also mention that the province, through the Department of Culture, Tourism, Industry and Innovation, is devising a new cultural plan for the province. I encourage you to take part in that process, either by attending the public sessions being hosted around the province, or write into the department with your ideas. More on that here.

Episode Seven: Together in Eternity

Adam Brake is the Associate Director of Theatre Newfoundland Labrador, and runs the Sara…h McDonald Youth Theatre. Adam is directing Romeo and Juliet with his group of students (and some other invited guests) and we talked about theatre for young audiences, Shakespeare, and performance more generally speaking.

Adam is a very bright, and very passionate, person and theatre artist and it was a blast to talk to him (as always). Adam also instructs in the theatre program at Grenfell, so it was interesting to talk to him about his approach to Shakespeare, and text, performance techniques, directing and how to engage students (and others) in the creative process.

The Sara…h McDonald Youth Theatre program is a cornerstone of theatre training on the west coast, that provides an incredible opportunity for young people to get involved in the theatre and it’s great to see them thriving.

TNL is also gearing up for their summer season in Cow Head, and you can find more about that, and the Youth Theatre at their website.

This is also a rare opportunity to plug an event before it happens, and here’s a link to the Romeo and Juliet Facebook Event Page.

And, why not, here’s a link to Grenfell’s BFA Theatre Program!

Episode Six: Wiki’d

Crystal Rose, Public Services Librarian at the Ferris Hodgett Library and Cameron Forbes, Assistant Professor at Grenfell’s Visual Arts Program, joined me to talk about the “Art + Feminism” Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon that happened recently here on campus.

Did you know that less than 10% of Wikipedia editors are women? Neither did I. The Art+Feminism campaign is trying to correct this imbalance, and we had a fascinating conversation about Wikipedia, the representation of artists, particularly female (trans and cis) artists here in Newfoundland, and the construction of our online narrative.

The Art + Feminism movement is running Edit-A-Thons internationally, and you can find out more about what that’s all about here.

The Ferris Hodgett Library is, in many ways, the heart and soul of Grenfell Campus and in addition to being a top-notch university library, host an amazing number of events, like this one, throughout the year.

Cameron Forbes has just recently joined the faculty of the visual arts program, you can find out more about Cameron here, and the Visual Arts Program is right here.

Episode Five: The Lady of the Falls

A milestone! Well, five episodes is something, right?

If you live in the Corner Brook area you may have had the opportunity to see “The Lady of the Falls” a new show by Tara Manuel (and featuring the stunning work of Michael Rigler, Louise Gauthier, and Adam Brake – under the direction of Michael Waller) at the Arts and Culture Centre recently. Tara is a deeply convicted artist who has has spent the last decade developing a puppet theatre here in the region. I’m really grateful that she could take the time to talk to me and, as I think you’ll hear, her dedication, determination, and passion are inspirational.

Tara also mentions that the recent production was a workshop, a testing out of the story and the techniques involved in bringing the show to life. So, here’s hoping that we all have the chance to see the show again – I’m really looking forward to the next iteration!

ps. As I’ve mentioned before, this recording a podcast business is all very new to me. It’s great fun, but the learning curve is steep! So, you may notice some clips and distortion – I’m struggling with recording levels, and think it’s getting solidly better, but I do apologize if you notice any audio hiccups this time around!

Episode Four: Catstravaganza

Dance Studio West is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and produced Cats in celebration of that fantastic milestone. I sat down with Amy Andrews, owner and Artistic Director of DSW, along with Allison Crowe and Daniel Tucker to talk about the Studio and what it’s like to produce a mega-musical here in Corner Brook. I’ve know Amy for a long time and this was perhaps the first time we’ve talked about her career in dance and what that all means, so I really appreciate that. And I’m grateful to Allison and Daniel, who shared their thoughts on why dance (and music) is important to them.

If you’ve been listening you’ll know that this podcast isn’t really meant to be promotional (it just takes me too long to get shows up for that to be effective), nevertheless we do talk about the upcoming show which, of course, has closed. Hope you saw it, it was fabulous, but Dance Studio West is still in the midst of its anniversary year, and have more events planned – and you can find out all about that right here.

Allison Crowe joined me to talk about Cats, but her career is incredibly varied and prolific and you can find out more about what she’s up to at her website.

The show is now on iTunes, and you can subscribe right here!

Episode Three: What Was Needed Most

Robert Chafe was in town before Christmas, on tour with “What Was Needed Most”, a collaborative project with The Tuckamore Music Festival. As Robert explains, it’s a difficult show to sum up in a few words – ostensibly monologues set to music, Robert explores issues of Newfoundland’s confederation with Canada, it’s a tremendously heartfelt piece that’s as much about family and legacy as anything else.

And it’s set to music! The Tuckamore Festival is dedicated to chamber music, and What Was Needed Most features new compositions by Duane Andrews, Bekah Simms, and Aiden Hartery.

I can’t say enough good things about the piece, and while the tour is long over, if you ever do get the chance to see it, do it!

Robert is also the Artistic Director of Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland, and you can find out more here.

Tuckamore is under the Artistic Directorship of Nancy Dahn and Tim Steeves, and you can find out more about all that they’re up to right here.

Episode Two: The Best Laid Plans

I hesitated very briefly before posting this episode; the project that Ruth and Allison talk about with the Faculty of Medicine has been put on hold (temporarily, we all hope). But in listening back to the conversation, we cover a lot of other ground, including verabatim theatre and ‘collective creation’ and really think it’s still an interesting enough chat on its own terms (and hope you do too).

Ruth and Allison are also doing tremendous things in the theatre/film scene here in the province, and I was really very happy to spend the time talking to them, and sharing that with all of you.