MORE ART & RECONCILIATION AT THE NATIONAL ARTS CENTRE OTTAWA: Going Home Star, Florent Vollant, & 100 Years of Loss Exhibit closes a full month of Indigenous programming

TRC Commissioner Marie Wilson moderates a panel of cultural provocateurs speaking on Art & Reconciliation. 

“It’s time for the rest of Canada to do the heavy lifting” ~ I Lost My Talk composer John Estacio

On Thursday, January 14 the National Arts Centre hosted a panel discussion on ART & RECONCILIATION prior to the opening night of I Lost My Talk, a performance inspired by the poetry of Mi’kmaq elder and poet Rita Joe. The response to this event was tremendous. Hundreds of people swelled up the stairs from the lobby where the 100 Years of Loss exhibit on the impact of Residential Schools is installed until the end of this week. The event also drew political support. In attendance was the Prime Minister’s wife Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau, the Governor General’s wife Sharon Johnston, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Perry Bellegarde and former Prime Minister The Right Honourable Joe Clark. I Lost My Talk was a commission by Clark’s family for his 75th birthday. A moving and lovely gift that we all got a chance to participate in and benefit from.

Canadian writer Joseph Boyden speaks on his commission to write the libretto for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Going Home Star. 

It’s encouraging to see a National cultural institution take such a leadership role in implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. It’s also poignantly symbolic to have a National cultural institution recognize, in the present moment, a fact that history has tried to obscure. Both the panel and the performance of I Lost My Talk opened with the National Arts Centre acknowledging that “we are on UNCEDED Algonquin territory.”

On the panel, along with Canadian writer Joseph Boyden and John Estacio, the composer for the musical score of I Lost My Talkwas Rachel Maza, “acclaimed Australian theatre director of Jack Charles V The Crown.”  I had the opportunity to attend this incredible play that delved into the impact of assimilation policies on Indigenous people in Australia. Over the course of 75 minutes Jack charmed us with his beautiful way of presenting his biography – a life full of identity confusion and much loss but also an amazing amount of grace due to Jack’s own incredible resilience. I left with many mixed emotions. Find out more about the play…

Jack Charles receives a standing ovation at the closing of his performance of Jack Charles V The Crown at the NAC. 

Going Home Star opens this week in Ottawa at the National Arts Centre.

As this month draws to a close the NAC is hosting Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s production of Going Home Star. 

“Going Home Star – Truth and Reconciliation is the brilliant result of a star-studded collaboration between the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, award-winning Canadian author Joseph Boyden, acclaimed choreographer Mark Godden, and renowned Canadian composer Christos Hatzis. Going Home Star was ten years in the making, first envisioned by late Cree elder/activist Mary Richard and RWB Artistic Director André Lewis. Searing and sensitive, this powerfully emotional classical ballet is the deeply resonant love story of Annie and Gordon, a pair of contemporary Aboriginal young people coming to terms with a souldestroying past. Hatzis’s multi-layered score incorporates music by Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq (winner of the 2014 Polaris Music Prize), Steve Wood, and the Northern Cree Singers.” Read more…

The creative team and performers of Going Home Star speak at the NAC about the ballet during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission gathering in May/June 2015

Going Home Star runs from Thursday, January 28 to Saturday, January 30 and then will continue its tour in Vancouver. Click here for performance dates and tickets. Tickets will be given to Residential School Survivors, more information can be found here.

Also, this weekend at the NAC is Innu author, composer and singer Florent Vollant performing on Saturday, January 30.

“born in Labrador in 1959 and grew up on a reserve named Maliotenam, east of Sept-Îles. He began his musical career in the middle of the 80s and helped to create the Festival Innu Nikamu, which, since its founding, has brought together many musicians and singers from various Amerindian nations.” read more…

And the National Arts Centre has more in store so be sure to follow along with their 2016 programming around Indigenous Storytelling on their website, Facebook  and Twitter @CanadasNAC.

Photography by Leah Snyder for Mixed Bag Mag.

 

One Day Get Away from the GTA: Hamilton SuperCrawl 2013 This Weekend

Event Poster for Hamilton SuperCrawl with list of performers, artists and events

Music, Visual & Performance Art in James Street North area of Hamilton, Ontario.

There is always lots to do in the city but there is also always a reason to get away and this weekend  Hamilton’s SuperCrawl 2013 offers as good a reason as any because this successful festival, now in its 5th year, is expected to draw of crowd of over 80,000 and will feature music, visual and performance art!

SOME OF THE SUPERCRAWL HIGHLIGHTS:

1. Brooklyn Artist Jason Krugman

Jason Krugman is an artist who invents new applications for LED lighting technology. His work combines materials with electronics, referencing nature through accumulation and modularity. His studio produces large-scale LED cable systems as well as installation artworks for public spaces and events.  Read more…

Visit Jason’s website

2. Quebec’s BGL Collective

BGL is a collective of three Québécois artists (Jasmin Bilodeau, Sébastien Giguère and Nicolas Laverdière) whose productions find their pleasure in breaking down the distance between art and audience, bringing the viewer into a vivid and active experience. Read more…

3. Canadian Muralists Alexa Hatanaka & Patrick Thompson
Colourful murals of hands and faces on the side of one story wood buildings

Alexa Hatanaka and Patrick Thompson’s work encourages individuals who see, interact and move through their artworks to rethink, contemplate and renew their relationships to their environment. They are a team that values public art and collaboration, and together they paint large-scale murals using latex and aerosol. Their work combines colourful figures and stream-of-consciousness mark-making. Read more…

4. Circus Orange

“Our show at Super Crawl this year will be a custom ensemble of a number of our more awesome show components fit together seamlessly to create a spectacular twenty-five minute long performance. The show will consist of the following elements: Our pedal powered flying Pyrocopter, a flying opera singer with a dramatic pyro waterfall, our truly original flamethrower trampoline act, a crane based aerial silks performance (suspended underneath the Pyrocopter), fire/pyro performers and our animated hydraulic lift stage. All this will be staged with special effects and high-elevation pyrotechnic highlights. It will be great!” Read more…

Shows starts at 8:05 Saturday, Sept 14 at the Circus Orange Event Area

advertisement for women's roller derby5. Superbrawl by Hammer City Roller Girls

This year the Hammer City Roller Girls are excited to hold their annual outdoor roller derby bout as part of Supercrawl, Hamilton’s premier festival for music, arts, and performance – and now roller derby! SuperBRAWL will place on Saturday, September 14 at 2:00 pm on the skatepad at Hamilton Waterfront Trust’s Pier 8, as part of Supercrawl’s new Waterfront stage.

Read more…

Hammer City Roller Girls’ Website

 

as well as a SuperStar lineup of Musicians!!! View full line up here.

A screen capture of small images of all the musicians playing at SuperCrawl

Take the GO Train to Hamilton’s Supercrawl!

With all of Lakeshore West options, it’s easy to go to Supercrawl in Hamilton on September 13 and 14.

Take any Lakeshore West train and connect to a route 18 GO Bus at Aldershot GO Station, or, from Union Station, take the regular express GO Bus route 16 to Hamilton GO.

On your way home, take any regular trip, or board special trains from Hamilton GO at 12:20 a.m., making all stops to Union Station and arriving at 1:42 am.

Special SuperCrawl Go Train Service Schedule Here

Visit SuperCrawls’ website and follow on Facebook & twitter @SuperCrawl

HOT TICKET: First Thursdays at the Art Gallery of Ontario

First Thursdays text and Art Gallery of Ontario's logo
Flyer for art event with various listings of the night and photographs of the performers

Re-contextualizing and re-energizing the Art Gallery of Ontario space with a eclectic and provocative set of performances.

At the tail end of 2012 AGO introduced a new event – 1st Thursdays – that has been running the first Thursday of the month ever since. And it is always SOLD OUT. What to expect? Interactivity, performance, unique giveaways, live music, and a well dressed crowd. And of course, art. For the price of the ticket ($10) you get full access to the Gallery as well as entertainment by provocative Canadian acts like the Yamantaka Sonic Titan (self described as a multidisciplinary hyper-orientalist cesspool of ‘east’ meets ‘west’ culture clash) and Indi DJ collective A Tribe Called Red.

“Their innovative blend of underground club sounds with pow wow music has reached a much wider audience than they’d imagined when they started throwing their monthly parties in Ottawa in 2008. And no one could have predicted the role they’d play in promoting a wider dialogue around aboriginal rights.” (read more on www.nowtoronto.com)

Tonight the AGO snagged “Godmother of Punk”, Patti Smith, as the performance of the month to coincide with AGO’s show Camera Solo an exhibition of Patti’s beautiful photography.

“Smith, known for her improvisational approach, looks for process-based accidents. Going through the exhibition, I was reminded of a line from “25th Floor,” a song on her second album Easter: “The transformation of waste is perhaps the oldest preoccupation of man.” It is certainly Smith’s preoccupation, an imbibing of Mapplethorpe’s Catholic attachment to the object-world, and to a belief in transubstantiation, resurrection and other forms of metamorphosis.” (read more on www.canadianart.ca)

A definite unique time, if you want to get to next’s month 1st Thursday, plan ahead!! Follow @AGOToronto & #AGO1ST to catch the moment tickets go on sale for April’s event.

Read reviews on 1st Thursdays:

BlogTO

Torontoist

She Does the City

People putting up collage on wall with paste in buckets
Man added collage to blue wall using brush with paste
Two woman and a man working on pasting paper up to a blue wall and collaborate on a collage
Pieces of paper and printed photographs pasted to blue wallParticipatory art – getting engaged with Local artist Shannon Gerard leading “interactive wheat pasting and cityscape sketching workshops”.

Art installation using discarded strips of wood to build a wooden wave where a painting of boy rides atop
image of two people fencing in a dual spray painted on plywood boardsInstallation by Aaron Li-Hill in the Galleria Italia.

3 male deejays performing with turntables and screen behind them with reappropriated and remixed images of Native Americans
3 male deejays performing with turntables and screen behind them with re-appropriated and remixed images of Native Americans and First Nations people.A Tribe Called Red performing in front of the Baroque Stair. All images by Leah Snyder for Mixed Bag Mag.

PLANET INDIGENOUS @ HARBOURFRONT: Sunday by the Lake

First Nations dancers performing at Harbourfront's Planet Indigenus Festival

The weekend wrapup for Summerworks & Planet IndigenUS!

The rain never came this weekend and it was a good thing as MIXED BAG MAG was all over the city! Saturday was www.summerworks.ca and Waawaate Fobister’s “Medicine Boy” along with www.queenwestmusicfest.com over at Trinity Bellwoods Park.

Figuring we would pay for the forecasted rain that never came on Saturday, it was a welcome surprise when Sunday turned out to be as stunning as the day before. With the combination of stellar weather and the closing of Planet IndigenUS, Harbourfront was packed out. MIXED BAG MAG attended Canadian-Mexican artist Rodrigo Marti’s tour of the PowerPlant’s current exhibit “ Tools for Conviviality” then headed over to take in 3 exhibits at Harbourfront Centre –  “Not So Fast | NSF”, “BORN AGAIN: Repurposed City”, and ”This We Know” an exhibition of recent work by the students in the Aboriginal Visual Culture Program at OCAD U.

Next it was all about relaxing – listening to music performed by Aboriginal artists with the backdrop of the lake, chatting with tourists then drinking fresh coconut water that made one feel like a tourist languishing somewhere in a more tropical locale rather than Lake Ontario!  Planet IndigenUS ‘s finale was First Nations dancers wrapping up the festival by getting the crowd engaged in a round dance that shifted happily into something not so circular but nonetheless organic and full of life.

But that was not the final moment for MIXED BAG MAG. Sunday ended later on that evening with another www.summerworks.ca  play  – “FRANCE or the Niqab” at Theatre Passe Muraille.

This is what MIXED BAG MAG loves about Toronto – you can experience the world in a weekend!

First Nations dancers performing at Harbourfront's Planet Indigenus Festival
First Nations dancers performing at Harbourfront's Planet Indigenus Festival
First Nations dancers performing at Harbourfront's Planet Indigenus Festival
First Nations dancers performing at Harbourfront's Planet Indigenus Festival
First Nations dancers performing at Harbourfront's Planet Indigenus Festival
First Nations dancers performing at Harbourfront's Planet Indigenus Festival
First Nations dancers performing at Harbourfront's Planet Indigenus Festival
Planet Indigenus Logo

Photography by Leah Snyder