Starfish Properties is plotting something big for the Roy Building construction site this weekend.
Details are scarce, but the property management company has invited Toronto-based performance artist and live painter Jessica Gorlicky (aka Jessgo) to scale the scaffolding and spruce up the Roy Building’s exterior.
Josh Lerner, vice president of Starfish Properties remains tight-lipped about the details, only offering that the weekend’s art project will reflect “Halifax and its tradition and history and the evolution of downtown,” before adding, “there may be a quote up there. I don't want to give too much away.”
Capitalizing on the increased pedestrian presence on Barrington Street for Urban Outfitters’ one-year anniversary celebration, local artists will set to work on Saturday evening to begin painting “some funky stuff on the building” before Gorlicky takes over for her performance on Sunday afternoon.
Well, the province has finished crunching the numbers and this year’s budget thankfully won’t see any more cuts to the film industry. But it won’t be fattening up its wallet either. The Film Incentive Fund remains unchanged, still capped at $10 million despite the chilly reception from both the industry and the public since it came into effect.
After axing the Film Tax Credit last April, the province implemented the Nova Scotia Film and Television Production Incentive Fund. This fund allows productions to claim 25 percent of all production costs incurred in Nova Scotia. The previous tax credit covered up to 65 percent of labour costs.
About a third of the Film Incentive Fund’s $10 million was awarded over the last year. That’s prompted some film workers to call for the province to roll over the unused portion of the Incentive fund to attract bigger budget pictures to Nova Scotia. But those calls were ignored in Tuesday’s budget.
According to the budget address, the province is still honouring productions that began before the July 1 cut-off date for the Film Industry Tax Credit, stating “tax expenditures are expected to continue to occur in the 2016–2017 fiscal year, and until the 2018–2019 fiscal year.”
Off the film set, the arts are faring a little better. The creative economy will receive $2.5 million “to support our artists, musicians and publishers,” according to the budget.
The province is also investing an additional $500,000 “for major events hosting.” Scott Long, executive director with Music Nova Scotia, says he was pleased with the news. “It was definitely more than we were anticipating.”
Gallery Page & Strange is on the move. With 11 years of exhibitions under their collective belt, owners/artists Victoria Page and Victoria Strange have closed their longtime gallery space at 1869 Granville Street in favour of a new—and very secret—location.
Though Page and Strange are remaining mum on details about their next iteration, it is in the works, has some serious “Toronto gallery” vibes and should be ready for the public in two months time. For now, you can continue to peruse and purchase art from the comfort of your couch, at pageandstrange.com.
It’s lights out for Halifax’s humble hideaway for sing-a-longs, impromptu band performances and close-knit shows—at least for the moment.
The Open Mic House has run its weekly Monday night open mic from 2539 Agricola Street for the past seven years, but the venue has gone on hiatus after running into a land-use conflict with the city.
A noise complaint earlier in the year drew the municipality’s attention. That lead to an investigation which found the open mic was violating city bylaws. The municipality says it considers the property to be a business running without proper permits and business insurance. That took current organizer Heather Moore by surprise.
“We got no warnings,” says Moore. “Our landlord asked that we call the municipality and they demanded we get a permit for what we do here.”
To Moore and the members of the open mic community the venue was never about money and HRM didn’t take the time to understand the event.
“They’re not going to find any big money coming into this place because we’re not a business and we’re not running like a business,” says Moore.
Brendan Elliott, spokesperson for the municipality, says HRM is treating the open mic house the same as though it were a flea market or road side sale.
“If it’s once or twice we don’t have any problem but if it becomes a routine we look at that as a business and would want them to take the appropriate steps to become legal,” Elliott says.
The house has been a hub for the Halifax arts community for nearly a decade. The first open mic event was held in 2008 by musicians living in the house and quickly grew into a larger weekly gathering. Many musicians from Halifax and across the country have graced the small living-room stage including local band Krasnogorsk, Nick Everett, Willie Stratton and Ben Caplan. Both Jacques Mindreau (of Krasnogorsk) and Caplan were involved with the early years of the event, living in the house and hosting the event as MCs.
The open mic has received attention both locally and across Canada. It won best open mic last year in The Coast’s Best of Halifax awards, and the provincial government recognized its artistic value in a letter congratulating the event for its cultural contributions. A 2013 Globe and Mail article called it “Halifax’s worst kept secret.”
It certainly wasn’t off the radar of the authorities, though. The open mic has had several noise complaints over the years, which organizers say they always cooperated with.
Now, for the open mic to continue the event organizers will have to get business insurance and the property owner will have to apply for building code approval.
Even if that doesn’t happen, Moore says that the open mic will live on in some form. The organizers are already looking for new ways to continue the event, but they’re hoping they can clear things up with the city.
“This is a home and people are comfortable here,” says Moore. “There’s a rare time now that a stranger comes into the open mic because everyone knows about us by now.”
Nominees for the 2016 Atlantic Books Awards were announced today, and Nova Scotian authors were well represented. Locals Dean Jobb, Janet Maybee and Sarah Mian are the only writers on the list to be nominated in two different categories, and a new award has been created in honour of Cape Breton's late literary legend Alistair MacLeod.
The ABA's real story, however, is New Brunswick: Along with the launch of the New Brunswick Book Awards and a prize for poetry sponsored by Fredericton bookstore Westminster Books, for the first time the big awards night is happening New Brunswick. (Check the ABA site to get tickets to the gala, April 27 at Moncton's Capital Theatre.)
In honour of the awards announcement and as an ABA fundraiser, tonight writers Don Aker, Vicki Grant and B.R. Myers are part of a panel and creative writing presentation at the Central Library (7pm, $12). The nominee shortlist will also be presented, which will be useful for learning any tricky pronunciations. Dean Jobb, for instance. Is he a "job" like work, a "jobe" like the bible or "jobby" as in hobby? After you read the complete list of nominees below, head to the library to find out.ALISTAIR MACLEOD AWARD FOR SHORT FICTION
Nearly $300,000 in funding from the province might not be enough to keep Bill Niven’s next feature in Nova Scotia.
This week, Nova Scotia Business Inc. announced feature film Halloween Party, will receive a funding commitment of $299,143 through the Nova Scotia Film and Television Production Incentive Fund. Niven’s producing the movie, which is being written and directed by Jay Dahl.
Niven, who also produced the award-winning TV mini-series The Book of Negroes and Andrea Dorfman feature Heartbeat, says although he would love to film in Nova Scotia, he is unsure whether or not that will still be possible.
“With the local film fund gone, we might have to shoot it somewhere else.”
The funding commitment provided by Nova Scotia Business Inc. is conditional, according to Niven.
“If they feel we didn’t do everything that the fund says we should it's conceivable that we wont get the money,” he says.
While it’s unsure when the film will hit theatres, the producer recently secured a theatrical distributer. Niven and crew are now working on the final stages of development, including assembling all the requirements to begin filming—especially finances.
“Really what we are doing is finalizing the financing,” he says. “That’s the big thing right now.”
Niven describes Halloween Party as a contemporary urban thriller, but wouldn’t give away much more of the plot.
“We are very excited, it’s a great project,” he says. “We have high hopes for the film. It’s going to be terrific.”
The duo have been planning the feature for roughly two years, and Niven says production would have begun last year if the Liberal government hadn’t cut the province’s Film Tax Credit.
Last year’s provincial budget axed the $24 million Film Tax Credit for a new production incentive fund. Twelve film and TV projects over the last year have received a total of roughly three million dollars in funding from the new system’s $10 million pool of money.
Ricky, Julian and Bubbles just made an $800,000 score.
Nova Scotia Business Inc. announced Tuesday that it’s offering $810,368 in production funding for Trailer Park Boys Out of the Park: Europe, the newest television show chronicling the escapades of actors/executive producers Mike Smith, Robb Wells and John Paul Tremblay.
At close to a million dollars, it’s the largest block of funding from the province’s new Film and Television Production Incentive Fund. Feature film nineteenseventysomething, from director Bruce MacDonald and Halifax playwright Daniel MacIvor, is the second-highest funding with $320,000 from NSBI.
The Film and Television Production Incentive Fund came into being after Nova Scotia’s former Film Tax Credit was eliminated by the McNeil government last year. The tax credit system offered $24 million in credits through which film and television productions could recoup 50 percent of labour costs. The new $10 million incentive fund offers a 25 percent rebate on all production costs, including labour.
Since its creation, 10 projects (five TV series, two documentaries and three feature films) have received money from the new fund. With the $810,368 commitment to Trailer Park Boys, the province has now spent just under $2.5 million of the fund’s annually available $10 million.
Out of the Park: Europe is the latest expansion of the Trailer Park Boys’ Kardashian-like media empire, which now includes a podcast, an upcoming mobile game and the show’s 10th season that debuts March 18 on Netflix. There’s also a campaign underway for the three characters to host Saturday Night Live.
Tuesday’s press release from NSBI doesn’t include any details about the plot of the Trailer Park Boys latest, European-themed adventure, but presumably Amsterdam will be visited.
Oh! Do we not have any performance artists or live painters in in Halifax? What…