Many, many short films—30 to be exact—make up the two and a half hours of pure smartphone film enjoyment to be had this Friday. Presented by The Coast and Eastlink, the inaugural Smart Phone Film Festival screening party and awards show goes down this Friday at 7pm at the Central Library's Paul O’Regan Hall. The films, shot entirely on those little phones we love so much, were collected from pro, am and newbie filmmakers, and the winning entries will be judged by the audience and awarded a cash prize and a Spiffy to display on their mantle forever for their efforts. Expect free beer samples and popcorn, and a chance to laugh, cry and puzzle over these tiny film offerings.
An informal pile of scattered memories from Coast staff—best office treats, best parties, most embarrassing moments, triumphs, failures, tear-jerkers—all in one post. This week marks 22 years of the paper, and while we may not be doing any keg stands (or will we?) let's all do a keg stroll down memory lane, shall we?
1. "A woman picks up The Coast in front of me at the Farmers' Market. She rips out Dan Savage's column, balls it up and takes the rest of the issue home with her #selfcensoring" —Christine Oreskovich (AKA Ori), publisher
2. "My vote for best office treat is Jacob [Boon, city editor]'s mom's carrot cake. Also, I love when Ryan [Chisholm, production designer]'s dog Bigby visits." —Sarah Densmore, account executive
3. "That staff Christmas party, when a new employee did a keg stand." —Christine Oreskovich, publisher
4. "Maybe when I meant to forward a job posting to my mom and replied to a Stephen Kimber [senior features writer and University of King's College prof] email about the Listings Editor position instead. 'OMG Mom, this is my fucking dream job. Please help me fix my resume so I can get it. Wah wah wah, I’m a sooky, unemployed baby looking for an ego stroking' and so on. He politely responded 'Good luck with the dream job', which I got." —Allison Saunders, food and life editor
5. "I started at the Coast during Snowmaggedon 2015 and waded through waist deep sidewalks to get to work for an entire week because I was eager not to miss work or screw up. One evening while I was leaving the office (that only had two other people in it) in a blizzard Tara Thorne [copy chief] yelled 'DON'T BE A HERO!' after me as I left. I came in the next day anyway and was the only person at the office for most of the day." —Lewis Rendell, listings editor
6. "The open house last summer, hugging puppies and drinking beer." —Paige Sawler, production assistant
7. "Grant [Faulkner, account executive]'s famous chip dip." —Paige Sawler
8. "Hearing Allison's very loud gasp as she realized we had printed TKTKTK in large type in the wedding guide." —Paige Sawler [fun fact: TK is common newspaper placeholder, meaning "to come". Lord knows where the quote was.]
9. "The best Christmas party I've ever been to (and also the most drunk I've ever been, WHOOPS)." —Paige Sawler
10. "My VERY first day as an intern when I went for a walk with Kyle (I had no idea who he was and asked so many stupid questions) and ended up with a bunch of free desserts." —Paige Sawler
11. "Every single time I pet Beans [Coast office dog] is the best, obviously." —Paige Sawler
12. "Attending The Coast's 20th anniversary party a couple years back along with the rest of the city and two decades of past writers. It's still humbling to know my byline is printed in the same paper as so many amazing journalists who came before me." —Jacob Boon
13. "Getting the job offer as city editor. Living in Toronto at the time, it was one of those imaginary moments that someone will call you up and offer you a great job doing what you love in the hometown you didn't want to leave." —Jacob Boon
14. "Any handwritten news tip that arrives without a return address." —Jacob Boon
15. "When I started working here I was 20 and didn't drink at all. That changed with the birthday parties. By year three I was getting so drunk at various Coast events—birthday, Christmas party, Best of Halifax—I had a 10pm curfew before I was allowed to start drinking (they hoped the freebies would be all gone by then). One XMas party I passed out on Victor Syperek's front steps and Christa [Harrie, director of sales and marketing] took a picture. Another time I took all the swag bag stickers out and put them all over my legs (one summer I was into skirts, that was weird). Another time I tried to punch Eric Duncan [former account executive] in the face—he was in sales, and my roommate, and I wasn't mad at him—but I was on a ramp so I just fell straight onto the ground and crushed my sister's cell phone which was in my pocket because she was wearing a dress." —Tara Thorne
16. "The first time I went to the Sundance Film Festival in 2003 I was really sad and lonely all the way in Utah, I had altitude sickness and couldn't talk, I didn't know anyone and was very overwhelmed. Halfway through the fest, a FedEx package appeared and it was a card with my head grafted onto various celebrities and everyone in the office had signed it." —Tara Thorne
17. "We used to joke about how if you needed to cry you couldn't do it at your desk, you had to go to the bathroom or whatever and it was so inefficient, and Kate O'Connor [former Coast art director] came up with The Crying Sack, a paper bag you put on your head so everyone knew you were crying and not to bug you." —Tara Thorne
18. "One Christmas I had a tax delinquency problem and had to spend $600 at H&R Block and at the office party Melanie [Chapman, senior account executive] pulled me aside and gave me her bonus, because she said I needed it more than she did. I went to the bathroom at the Carleton and wept. Earlier in my Coast life Jane Kansas mobilized all my freelancers to buy me an ipod, just because, and the staff to buy me Doc Martens for my birthday. (I used to have a lot of money issues.)" —Tara Thorne
19. "Fifteen years ago, Christa Harrie was my roommate and now she's my landlord! She has been a great friend through all this time and I am so glad she came back to us." —Tara Thorne
20. "Kyle [Shaw, editor] and Christine take you out for lunch every year for your Coastiversary and once instead of lunch we got New York Fries and went to see Dark Water with Jennifer Connelly. Last year instead of lunch Ori gave me a pillow with Steve Murphy, my favourite local journalist, painted on it." —Tara Thorne
21. "My favorite Coast memory was the time that I beat the Halifax Examiner himself, Tim Bousquet [former Coast city editor] at pinball. We were having a goodbye party for our old comrade Loukas [Crowther, former production manager] at the pinball place on Quinpool. I arrived fashionably late as one does, and saw that there was a contest to see who could set the highest score in Avatar, with Tim at the top. I was the last person to go and was off to a terrible start, losing two balls immediately. Things were looking dire, but then I got in the zone and started making it rain multi-balls. I managed wizard my way to victory and when I turned around I saw most of The Coast staff were behind me watching, cheering my victory. As I panned the faces in the crowd I noticed Tim, he didn’t look that impressed that I had stolen his thunder. Sorry Tim, but you got owned. —Ryan Chisholm, production designer
22. "We used to have parties for the Best of Music issue survey results every year, complete with gold spraypainted record plaques for the winners (let's have a moment for the poor saps who huffed all that paint while painting them on the sidewalk outside the office every year). One year I co-hosted with then arts editor Sue Carter and we spent a day compiling the best Phyllis Diller and Joan Rivers one liners to read off cue cards and fling into the crowd—“On my honeymoon I put on a peekaboo blouse. My husband peeked and booed," for example. I think it went over like a lead balloon but we cried laughing and that's all that matters." —Stephanie Johns, arts editor
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia director and CEO Ray Cronin will step down after seven years in the job and 14 years total at the gallery. allNovaScotia is reporting that he was fired by the AGNS board. Cronin will be replaced in the interim by Lisa Bugden, the former head of Film & Creative Industries Nova Scotia, an organization that was recently disbanded by the Liberals. Bugden starts Monday.
From a post on the AGNS website today:
“We sincerely appreciate Ray’s significant contribution to the Gallery and the arts in Nova Scotia,” said Robbie Shaw, Board Chair, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. “Ray has been steadfast in his passion and dedication to growing the province’s art collection, community and culture for many years. His leadership role in initiatives like the internationally recognized Sobey Art Award, a program of nationally and internationally touring exhibitions of senior Canadian artists with close ties to this region, a strong publications program, and numerous donations and gifts of art has provided a strong legacy for us to build on. Under his leadership the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia achieved a level of stability that finds us well poised for moving forward. We wish him well in his future endeavors.”
This morning, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and the Sobey Art Foundation announced the five shortlisted artists for this year's Sobey Art Award, a coveted prize for Canada's contemporary artists under age 40.
A curatorial panel whittled down the longlist of 25 artists to come up with five, one from each region. The selected artists' work will be exhibited at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia beginning September 26. The five artists will compete for $100,000 in prize money ($50,000 going to the winner, $10,000 to each shortlisted finalist and $500 to the remaining longlisted artists). The winner of the top prize will be announced on the evening of October 28.
Our fingers are crossed for the Atlantic representative, Lisa Lipton, who is also the Centre for Art Tapes' local artist-in-residence and will be screening two of her short films, BLUE in The Impossible Blue Rose and Horizon—excerpts from her feature film, The Impossible Blue Rose—at this week's Halifax Independent Filmmakers' Festival (screening details below). Send good vibes—in the Sobey Art Awards' 11 years of awarding, an Atlantic artist has never taken the prize. This is our year!
The shortlisted artists are:
Atlantic : Lisa Lipton
Québec : Jon Rafman
Ontario : Abbas Akhavan
Prairies and the North : Sarah Anne Johnson
West Coast and the Yukon : Raymond Boisjoly
It's a cape escape every weekend from June 26 to August 21. Instead of focusing on an actor or director, The Atlantic Film Festival's Outdoor Film Experience is going broad with a genre: superheroes. Costumes encouraged, but I doubt you needed any encouraging, really.
Now in Bedford and Dartmouth as well as on that big ol' screen at the south end of the Halifax Waterfront Tall Ships Quay, the films will be preceded by Atlantic Canadian produced short films in a joint presentation with CBC, called Summer Shorts. This year’s program will celebrate 20 years of the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative’s (AFCOOP) filmmaker development program, FILM5. (this is truly worth hauling a chair and a blanket and some snacks out early for, those films are rad).
All films are free, they begin at dusk and gates will open one hour prior to each screening. Please check for weather updates and cancellations by tuning into The Bounce 101.3 and at atlanticfilm.com. There are no rain dates.
Halifax Waterfront screenings:
Friday, July 17: Spiderman, 2002, 121min (Rated PG)
Friday, July 24: Superman: The Movie, 1978, 137min (Rated PG)
Friday, July 31: X-Men: First Class, 2011, 132min (Rated PG)
Friday, August 7: Batman, 1989, 126min (Rated PG)
Friday, August 14: Guardians of the Galaxy, 2014, 121min (Rated PG)
Friday, August 21: Marvel’s The Avengers, 2012, 142min (Rated PG)
Bedford and Dartmouth screenings:
Friday, June 26: The Lego Movie, 2014, 100min (Rated G) at DeWolf Park, Bedford as part of Bedford Days.
Sunday, June 28: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 1990, 93min (Rated PG) at Sunnyside Mall, Bedford as part of Bedford Days.
*This screening is both a “bring your own chair” and a drive-in movie.
Friday, July 10: X-Men: Days of Future Past, 2014, 131min (Rated PG) at Pondside Amphitheatre, Hector Gate, Dartmouth.
Saturday, August 8: Men in Black, 1997, 98min (Rated PG) at Ferry Terminal Park, Dartmouth.
Saturday, August 15: The Incredibles, 2004, 115min (Rated PG) at Pondside Amphitheatre, Hector Gate, Dartmouth.
The tangibility of music, and its uncanny power to move us, was made manifest last night in Speaking in Ligeti, a production by choreographer Martha Carter, presented by Live Art Dance as part of the Scotia Festival of Music.
Set to the music of Hungarian composer György Ligeti, the work brought the musicians of Microcosmos String Quartet onstage to become part of the choreography, along with talented dancers Hayden Fong, Delphine Leroux, Nicholas Lydiate and Thoenn Glover. The result was a fascinating demonstration of the relationship between music and movement.
The music took on its own physicality in this piece, filling the space between musician and dancer with a palpable force, as though the strings of Microcosmos’ instruments were extended and tied to the dancers’ limbs. This was taken to the extreme sometimes, with musicians playing tyrants to the dancers, pulling them this way and that, with the dancers left to marvel at the seemingly supernatural power of these wizards’ instruments.
The dancers were impressively nimble, and, despite the unnerving and eerie quality of Ligeti’s music, had the audience laughing at times, and always enthralled.
The only misstep in this almost flawless production was its use of audiovisual elements. Video and recorded sounds were hesitantly deployed here and there, and their purpose was not immediately apparent. The work is so strong and so cohesive without them that they serve only to clutter things up.
Speaking in Ligeti was performed to a packed Sir James Dunn Theatre last night, and it repeats tonight at 7pm. The Scotia Festival of Music runs until June 7.
Bridgetown, Nova Scotia's most bad ass textile artist and dreamweaver Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam's latest work, Harmonic Motion is on display a little closer to home than usual for the internationally beloved artist, this time at the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio as part of an exhibition that seems tailor made to Horiuchi MacAdam, Play Time
Have a look at this behind the scenes video of Horiuchi MacAdam's installation of Harmonic Motion at Rome's Museum of Contemporary Art and daydream about having one of these structures in your backyard this summer.
Presented by Eastern Front Theatre, Stages Theatre Festival packs it in June 17-28, with six full productions, family friendly events, work from new and established artists and play-readings.
Artistic producer Charlie Rhindress curated the festival and stayed true to the name. Showing plays at different stages in their development, by artists at different stages in their careers on a variety of stages across the city.
Fill your dance card now with the lineup:
Stranger to Hard Work
Written and performed by Cathy Jones
June 17 & 19-21 - 7:00pm - $20
Neptune Studio Theatre, 1593 Argyle St.
Canadian cultural icon, comedienne and one of the funniest women on television, Cathy Jones returns to the stage with her third one woman show, Stranger To Hard Work. In this new show Cathy shares her unique perspective on a variety of topics from food to money and the troublesome people in her life. It's a funny, thought provoking look at what she's learned so far. (80 mins)
Let’s Not Beat Each Other to Death (a work-in-progress)
Written and performed by Stewart Legere (a work-in-progress)
Director - Christian Barry (appears with the permission of Canadian Actors' Equity Association)
June 17-20 - 9:00pm - $15
The Bus Stop Theatre, 2203 Gottingen St.
Let’s Not Beat Each Other To Death is a play/memorial/electro-pop dance party. Beginning as a reaction to violence against the queer community in Nova Scotia, its scope expands outward and becomes a search for explanation, compassion, and catharsis on a global scale. It’s a participatory event that asks audiences to remember, celebrate, think, and dance. (75 mins)
LANDLINE: A Game Of Unlikely Rendezvous
By Dustin Harvey and Adrienne Wong
Produced by Secret Theatre and Neworld Theatre
June 27 & 28 - 2:00pm - $10
LANDLINE is a performance taking place at once in two places. Participants walk city streets, listening to an audio guide and conversing in real time with a stranger in a different city using text messaging. As the experience unfolds, individuals are prompted simultaneously to share stories, memories, and secrets. You are both audience and performer engaged in a game of unlikely rendezvous. The project largely takes place outside, using the urban landscape as backdrop for the relationship forming between two strangers. LANDLINE offers participants a curious exposure to the feeling of being alone together. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for reservation details. (75 mins)
Let’s Try This Standing
Created and performed by Gillian Clark
Directed by Anthony Black (appears with the permission of Canadian Actors' Equity Association)
Produced by Keep Good (Theatre) Company
June 25-27 - 7:00pm - $10
The Living Room, 2353 Agricola St.
Gillian Clark’s work-in-progress production of Let’s Try This Standing, tells funny, intimate, and strange stories about everything that has happened since she was hit by an SUV in 2010. Dealing with recovery as an ongoing process, the show creates a space where, together, we can be honest about how okay we are. (60 mins)
Halifax Theatre for Young People and Eastern Front Theatre present these family-friendly productions:
God’s Middle Name
Written by Jennifer Overton
Directed by Tessa Mendel
Produced by Halifax Theatre for Young People
June 18 & 19 - 10:30am
June 20 & 21 - 4:00pm
Adults $10, Students $7
Neptune Studio Theatre, 1593 Argyle St.
God’s Middle Name is the poignant true story of a mother’s journey to accept her son’s autism and the multiple challenges of living with autism. This new version of the award winning show has been crafted to help young people gain a deeper understanding of how the world is experienced for people with autism and those who are part of their lives. (60 mins)
The Queen of Paradise's Garden
Written and performed by Andy Jones
June 24 & 26 - 7:00pm
June 27 & 28 - 4:00pm
Adults $10, Students $7
Neptune Studio Theatre, 1593 Argyle St.
Told with the humour, warmth and sly wit that has made Andy Jones one of Newfoundland’s finest and best-loved storytellers, The Queen of Paradise's Garden follows Jack, the delightful, mischievous, big-hearted hero of so many island tales. Using puppets, Jones performs the story of Jack’s search for a magical fruit that will make his parents young again. (40 mins)
Ten-Minute Play Contest
Sunday, June 28 - 2:00pm - $5 suggested donation at the door
Neptune Studio Theatre, 1593 Argyle St.
Written by young people in Grades 10-12 and workshopped by professional theatre artists, four short plays will be presented in association with the Imperial Oil Foundation, Theatre Nova Scotia, and the Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre.
Play-Readings for Young Audiences
Saturday, June 27 - 2:00pm - $5 suggested donation at the door
The Living Room, 2353 Agricola St.
In partnership with Eastern Front Theatre, Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre (PARC), and Theatre Nova Scotia, Halifax Theatre for Young People will offer back-to-back readings of two great new plays for young audiences.
The Blue Dot
By Evan Wade Brown
The Pale Blue Dot is about the relationships we have with space and time, dreams, and science. The play, by local playwright, performer, technician and designer Evan Brown, will take us through fantastic places of possibility in the dreaming landscape of a woman who feels a tremendous connection to the fate of the Voyager 1, which captured an image of earth as a small, pale, blue dot.
The Amazing Melvins
By Lindsay Wilson
The Amazing Melvins, uses illusion as its central conceit - both as a theatrical device and a way to express how difficult it is to grow up under society’s expectations of gender. Now resident in Halifax, Lindsay Wilson is a graduate of the Ryerson Theatre School in Toronto, Ontario and completed her M.A. in Creative Writing at Concordia University.
Special events, all pay what you can, suggested donation $5 at the door.
Produced by Secret Theatre
Thursday, June 18 - 6:30pm
The Bus Stop Theatre, 2203 Gottingen St.
DEMOSTAGE is a curated platform of projects in development by emerging and established Nova Scotian artists. Presenters show what they’ve been working on and then the audience asks questions and offers feedback. Everyone is always encouraged to stick around and interact further. (60 mins)
Keeping Up With The Joneses
Wednesday, June 24 - 8:00pm
Neptune Studio Theatre, 1593 Argyle St.
In the Studio with Charlie is a live talk show hosted by our Artistic Producer, the very funny writer and performer, Charlie Rhindress. In the Studio celebrates prominent Atlantic Canadian artists and for Stages we have two of Canada’s funniest performers, siblings Cathy and Andy Jones. Talking about growing up in Newfoundland, CODCO, and where they are now it promises to be a lively, thought provoking conversation, live on stage. (60 mins)
Playwright’s Unit in Performance
Friday, June 26 - 8:30pm
The Living Room, 2353 Agricola St.
Eastern Front Theatre’s Playwrights Unit is a group of Halifax based writers who meet to share their progress on current works and receive feedback from their peers. Stages will feature staged readings in The Living Room from works in progress by these talented individuals. (60 mins)
Staging Film: A Variety Show of Nova Scotia Filmmakers
Saturday, June 27 - 8:00pm
Neptune Studio Theatre, 1593 Argyle St.
Known for their diverse creative talent, Nova Scotian artists have long made a living in a variety of disciplines. Given the interdependence across numerous creative sectors, professional artists from across the province have stood up to voice their support and need for a healthy film-making industry in Nova Scotia. This variety show will shine a positive spotlight on the talented film-workers who strive to brighten not only our screens, but our musical and theatrical institutions as well. Proceeds from this event will go to support Screen NS and the Actors’ Fund of Canada. (90 mins)
For tickets call 902-429-7070, online at easternfronttheatre.com, or in person at the Neptune Theatre Box Office, 1593 Argyle Street. Taxes and service charges extra.
Redesigning the North Park intersection is messy business, but the city is trying to make sure that at the end of it all there’s some nice art to show for it—sandblasted into the concrete, forever!
Right now Halifax is seeking an artist or arts facilitator for one of three planned entrance plazas on the Halifax Common, who will create a work that “reflects the unique aspects of the local LGBTQ community.” The other two plazas will feature art from the African Nova Scotian community and the Aboriginal community, and calls for artists will happen soon.
Through consultations with the LGBTQ community, a theme was chosen: “celebration and struggle as seen through the lens of history, as well as the recognition and importance of diversity and inclusion.” Broad enough for all of your artistic imaginings!
The successful artist for the LGBTQ project will participate in community discussions hosted by Youth Project and the municipality this summer.
Those interested in applying for the LGBTQ project can mail their submission to:
Kate MacLennan, Community Developer
Parks & Recreation
Halifax Regional Municipality
P.O. Box 1749
Halifax, NS, B3J 3A5
Applicants can also drop their submission off in person at the George Dixon Recreation Center, 2502 Brunswick Street, Halifax. The deadline to apply is 4:30pm on Monday, June 15.
For more info, click here
This morning, The Halifax Media Co-op announced the launch of 'Pjilasi Mi'kma'ki' (Welcome to Mi'kma'ki), a podcast for Mi’kmaq people created by Mi’kmaq people, with support from the Halifax Media Co-op.
In both Mi’kmaq and English, Pjilasi Mi'kma'ki's inaugural episode is hosted by Elsipogtog First Nation band member Annie Clair. Episode one deals with the Sixties Scoop, an issue Clair wrote about for a February issue of the Coast.
There is a dire lack of current affairs programming in Mi’kmaq and support for the language is hard to find, so Mi’kmaq people have been taking a DIY approach to keeping the language alive and accessible. Consider the efforts of another woman from Elsipogtog, Savvy Simon, who we profiled just two weeks ago, focusing on her social media campaign to keep the language thriving.
You can listen to the first episode of Pjilasi Mi'kma'ki here.
If the last few weeks of budget protests have shown anything, it's that this town has some powerful advocates for the arts. Which is great, since Halifax is looking for citizens to participate on the newly-formed ArtsHalifax advisory committee.
Approved at council’s May 12 meeting, ArtsHalifax will be composed of eight artistic minds appointed for up to three years who will meet regularly and advise the city on policy developments in support of HRM’s arts and culture scene.
Advice areas will include the $300,000 Interim Professional Arts Grant program that was initiated by HRM last year. One of ArtsHalifax’s mandates will be to help develop and oversee the peer jury which distributes those funds. Other tasks include;
-Developing a municipal arts and culture awards program
-Communicating with arts and culture youth networks
-Researching and develop recommendations on promoting the arts
-Providing guidance on developing cultural priorities
...And generally being the go-to experts for Halifax’s theatre, visual arts, music, dance, literary, film, arts administration and arts education communities.
Prospective applicants should be members of the arts and culture scene and/or have some experience working with local arts organizations. Preference is being given to established artists, professionals, cultural workers, arts administrators and anyone involved in related communities.
“Applicants should be prepared to work within the framework established by Regional Council and must be willing to participate in a positive manner in forming recommendations for consideration,” reads a release from the city. “Applicants should also have a respect and appreciation for diversity and the time and energy required for public service.”
Just for the record, the ArtsHalifax advisory committee has nothing to do with the current ArtsHalifax website or Twitter account. The city was apparently unaware of the currently-used brand when putting together this new committee, but they’re not concerned.
“We don’t think it will matter much, as it’s not our intention to develop any sort of an independent online presence for that committee,” says spokesperson Jennifer Stairs over email. Halifax already operates its @CultureHRM account for sharing arts info.
If you’re up to the challenge, applicants for ArtsHalifax can send their cover letter, resume and any additional relevant information to email@example.com (or by snail mail at the address here). The deadline is Friday, May 29 at 4:30pm.
Once the applications are in, the Community Planning & Economic Development committee will recommend the appropriate winners to Regional Council (who still have final approval).
OUTeast Queer Film Festival's 2015 program has been announced, offering a welcome chance to see some films that would never see the light of a big screen in Halifax otherwise—and puts the spotlight on queer independent cinema. We're on board. Their highlights from tonight's announcement are as follows:
Before the festival program begins, OUTeast is proud to offer a screening of acclaimed art history documentary Packed in a Trunk at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia on Saturday, June 6 at 2:00 PM. This moving film tells the story of 1920s Provincetown artist Edith Lake Wilkinson, who was committed to an insane asylum after being outed in 1924.
The official festival film program opens at the Spatz Theatre on Thursday, June 11 with the Opening Night Gala - The Amina Profile, winner of a 2015 Hot Docs International Documentary Film Festival Special Jury Prize. The incredible true love story of a Montrealer and a Syrian revolutionary spins into an unprecedented media and sociological thriller that is not to be missed. The gala continues after the screening with a Toast to Opening Night with Rosie Porter and the Gala Reception.
￼Friday’s program opens at the Museum of Natural History with the old Hollywood glamour of Tab Hunter Confidential, from OUTeast favorite Jeffrey Schwarz (Vito, I am Divine). Next up: the critical darling and very dark comedy Nasty Baby, starring Sebastian Silva, Kristen Wiig, Tunde Adebimpe and Alia Shawkat. After the screenings, OUTeast will partner with Retro @ the CoHo for dance party Pop in the Name of Love at The Company House.
Saturday morning will see the introduction of OUTeast’s conference programming, Behind-the- Scenes. With diverse panel and forum industry discussions through a queer lens, OUTeast provides further opportunities for exploration of the content and themes of the film program.
Saturday afternoon features two sensational shorts programs - at 2:00 PM, Homegrown Homos: Canadian Short Films, and at 4:00 PM All the World’s Our Stage: International Short Films. Both shorts programs are sponsored by The PostMan. At 6:30 PM, OUTeast presents the delightful Dutch coming-of-age romance Summer (Zomer).
Saturday night, OUTeast moves over to Menz & Mollyz Bar on Gottingen Street with a drag- stravaganza featuring documentary Drag Becomes Him, chronicling the adventures of Rupaul’s Drag Race winner Jinkx Monsoon. Following the screening, we’ll be hosting a Queens on Screen dance party with DJ Jules Bangsworth.
Sunday starts off with a spotlight on Atlantic Canadian creators. At OUTeats Brunch, we’re thrilled to put a spotlight on the upcoming Nova Scotian feature film North Mountain, written and directed by Bretten Hannam. Bretten will share stories from the set and give us a sneak- peek into the world of the film and its creation.
Sunday afternoon sees the world-premiere of the Work-in-Progress short films, created by a group of young filmmakers in partnership with The Youth Project and under the mentorship of Stephanie Young. In addition to these locally made shorts, the screening includes an incredible program of youth-made and youth-focused shorts from around the world.
The film program closes Sunday afternoon with Game Face, an inspiring documentary that follows the journeys of transgender MMA fighter Fallon Fox, and gay college basketball player Terrence Clemens, as they search for their place as LGBTQ athletes in America.
Out of Your Seats, OUTeast’s satellite program of short works, will be running from June 12-14 at the Museum of Natural History and at the Dart Gallery on Portland Street, Dartmouth. ￼
￼OUTeast’s Filmmaker-in-Residence Beck Gilmer-Osborne’s new film will screen as part of Out of Your Seats.
All tickets, and a limited amount of All-OUT, all-access passes are available online at outeastfilm.com, ticketpro.ca, and through Ticketpro outlets. Opening Night Gala tickets are $15, champagne reception included. All other screening tickets are $12 & brunch tickets are $10 each, with the All-OUT, All Access Festival Pass available for $60.
Last night, as a wrap up to the Atlantic Book Festival, the winners of the 2015 Atlantic Book Awards were announced. Hosted by CBC's Stephanie Domet (also a pretty snazzy writer), the sold-out event highlighted Atlantic Canadian literary talent in a range of fields. The real winners are the readers, right?
The 2015 winners:
The Atlantic Books Pioneer Award was given to Paul Robinson. Robinson has a 35-year history in publishing and helped create the Dartmouth Book Awards.
The Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children’s Literature was given to The End of the Line, by Sharon E. McKay, published by Annick Press Ltd.
The Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association’s Best Atlantic-Published Book Award was awarded to Creative Book Publishing for Island Kitchen: An Ode to Newfoundland by Chef Mark McCrowe with Sasha Okshevsky
The Atlantic Book Award for Scholarly Writing was given to The Tumultuous and Troubled History of a Great Canadian Idea by Richard Starr, published by Formac Publishing Company Ltd.
The Robbie Robertson Dartmouth Book Award (Non-Fiction) was awarded to Fire in the Belly: How Purdy Crawford rescued Canada, and changed the way we do business by Gordon Pitts, published by Nimbus Publishing
The Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing went to Perished: The 1914 Newfoundland Sealing Disaster, by Jenny Higgins, published by Boulder Publications
The Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award (Fiction) was given to Punishment, by Linden MacIntyre, published by Random House Canada
The Lillian Shepherd Award for Excellence in Illustration went to Sydney Smith for Music is for Everyone, written by Jill Barber, published by Nimbus Publishing
The Margaret and John Savage First Book Award was awarded to Eating Habits of the Chronically Lonesome: stories by Megan Gail Coles, published by Creative Book Publishing
When you’ve got a good thing going, it’s natural to want to show off. But Breakwater Studios director Ben Proudfoot, the Craft Alliance Atlantic Association and the Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council (NSDCC) found that Nova Scotian craftspeople were too busy to toot their own horns, so they decided to give them a little push. Life’s Work: Six Conversations with Makers is a series of six short documentaries profiling local craftspeople, made to shine a little light on our vibrant crafting corner of the world on a global level.
“The series was conceived of after visiting international events like SOFA Chicago, and realizing that Nova Scotia craftspeople have a limited international profile. The calibre of work is here in the province, but there are many challenges in getting a voice outside of Canada, and sometimes within ones own community,” says Julie Rosvall of the Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council. “If I wasn't working with craftspeople daily, I might never know that there is a master metal worker like Elizabeth Goluch living on peninsular Halifax, master stonemason (the only female in her field) less then an hour away, or a man like Steven Kennard who makes such intricate wooden boxes in my own neighbourhood in the Annapolis Valley.”
Settle in and watch some of these amazing documentaries, the first three profiles—Heather Lawson in Stone, Steven Kennard in Turns, Louise Pentz in Mother Earth—have been already released and available for viewing here, the remaining three will be released from now until the end of the month—Sanna Rahola and Douglas Drdul in Fibre & Wood (Tuesday, May 19), Elizabeth Goluch in Lady Bug (Tuesday, May 26) and Gordon Kennedy in Rust (Sunday, May 31) and can be seen via Breakwater's Vimeo channel or the NSDCC site.
Let’s get literal! The Atlantic Book Awards Society (ABAS) has released the schedule for a week chock full of scholarly celebration (aka the Atlantic Book Awards and Festival). Starting May 7 and continuing until May 14, events will take place across all our salty sweet Maritime cities.
After a week of bookish bliss, the finale will be the awards show at Alderney Landing Theatre hosted by Mainstreet host and #stormchip ambassador, Stephanie Domet. You will need tickets to attend the awards show but the rest of the events are free! Free! Free!
Peggy Walt, in charge of promotion for the event, says they will be presenting the ABAS Pioneer Award for the second time at the awards. It’s “kind of like the Stompin’ Tom Connors award, for someone who has been there since the beginning, working in the trenches,” of the local publishing and literary world.
These events will take place in some of your favourite places, libraries. HRM’s traditional libraries will be hosting as well as the new Halifax Central Library. “It’s really exciting,” says Walt, on the new venue available for the week, “the library in general has been so supportive.”
Events will be happening in all the Maritime provinces, click here for the full list.
Atlantic Book Festival events in Halifax:
Thursday, May 7
3pm: Richard Starr presents Equal as Citizens: The Tumultuous and Troubled History of a Great Canadian Idea, nominated for the Atlantic Book Award for Scholarly Writing, Parkland at the Gardens (5732 College Street).
7pm: Denise Adams presents Atlantic Coastal Gardening, nominated for the Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association’s Best Atlantic-Published Book Award, Halifax Central Library (5440 Spring Garden Road).
Saturday, May 9
2:30pm: Lindsay Ruck reads from Winds of Change: The Life and Legacy of Calvin W. Ruck, nominated for the Dartmouth Book Award for Non-Fiction in memory of Robbie Roberson and John Paris Jr. reads from They Called Me Chocolate Rocket: The Life and Times of John Paris Jr., Hockey’s First Black Professional Coach, nominated for the Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing, Captain William Spry Public Library, (16 Sussex Street).
2pm: Join us for the launch party of Carol McDougall’s Wake the Stone Man, winner of the 2013 Beacon Award for Social Justice Literature, Halifax Central Library (5440 Spring Garden Road).
Wednesday, May 13
12pm: Presentations by nominees for the Dartmouth Book Award for Non-Fiction in memory of Robbie Robertson: Natalie Meisner (Double Pregnant: Two Lesbians Make a Family), Gordon Pitts (Fire in the Belly: How Purdy Crawford rescued Canada, and changed the way we do business), Lindsay Ruck (Winds of Change: The Life and Legacy of Calvin W. Ruck), Alderney Gate Public Library (40 Alderney Drive, Dartmouth).
6pm: Robert Ashe and John Paris Jr. present They Called Me Chocolate Rocket: The Life and Times of John Paris Jr., Hockey’s First Black Professional Coach to local youth, Halifax North Memorial Public Library, (2285 Gottingen Street).
Thursday, May 14
12:30pm: Sydney Smith (Music is for Everyone), nominated for the Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellent in Illustration, explores the art of illustration with local students, Sacred Heart School of Halifax (5820 Spring Garden Road).