Friday, June 30, 2017

Watch Madelaine Petsch die in the Polaroid trailer

This Dartmouth-filmed movie is slated to come out in August.

Posted By on Fri, Jun 30, 2017 at 10:26 AM

  • via IMDB

Remember when a bunch of us were freaking out because Madelaine Petsch (Cheryl Blossom herself) was in Halifax? The trailer for the film she was working on, Polaroid, is finally here.

Kind of like The Ring but not, Polaroid tells is a horror flick about a group of teens who get killed one by one after getting their picture taken with this mysterious vintage camera. The Locust Harbor High School we see in the trailer is actually Prince Andrew High School in Dartmouth.

For better or worse, this movie looks campy as heck.

“What’s that?”
“It’s a camera.”

These lines happen on two occasions in this two and-a-half minute trailer. I know we’re in the age of smartphones, but are kids these days so unfamiliar with cameras? I thought Polaroids were trendy as of late.

What’s more, it looks like Petsch’s character dies pretty close to the beginning, but who knows. Maybe she comes back as a zombie or something.

I guess the moral of this story is: If you really want a Polaroid, you hipster, go to eBay or Urban Outfitters. Don’t pick that shit up at an antique store, unless you want to suffer a “tragic and violent end.”

Polaroid is expected to come out on August 25.

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Monday, June 26, 2017

Move with FUSE

New dance festival announces its Canada Day lineup.

Posted By on Mon, Jun 26, 2017 at 9:00 AM

FUSE Festival
Sat. July 1, 11am-5pm
Halifax Common

The inaugural FUSE Festival has announced its lineup of dancers set to perform at this year’s event. More than 20 groups are involved, with styles ranging from Highland dance to hip hop. The audience will even get a chance to try some moves.

“The FUSE Festival is designed to bring Nova Scotians of all cultural backgrounds together through a shared cultural dance experience,” FUSE Festival founder Maria Osende says in a press release.

FUSE is happening in conjunction with Halifax’s Canada Day celebrations. It’s free of change, taking place onstage across from the Emera Oval.

Festival Lineup

  • Diversi Team
  •  Laurie Selenzi of Serpentine Studios
  •  Nostos Contemporary Dance
  •  Diaga Irish Dance
  • Queensland Highland Dancers
  • Flamenco artist La Azulita
  • For the Love of Flamenco
  • Irish dancer Zeph Caissie
  • Liliona Quarmyne and The Maritime Centre for African Dance
  •  Sharon Paris’ Youth Dancers
  • Latispanica Cultural Association
  • Free to Move Dance School
  • East Coast Salsa Connection
  • The Mi'kma'ki Dance Troupe and drummers
  • Oriental Motion
  • South India Cultural Association of the Maritimes
  • Nruthiya Saagaram
  • The Arada group
  • The Woods

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Atlantic Film Festival is FIN it to win it

The annual fest announces its new name, plans to take over Park Lane.

Posted By on Wed, Jun 21, 2017 at 2:12 PM

  • submitted

The Atlantic Film Festival is launching into its 37th year with a new name and big plans. From here on out, the annual event will be referred to as FIN: Atlantic International Film Festival.

The festival teamed up with Revolve for the rebranding. FIN doesn’t stand for anything, but festival director Wayne Carter says its meaning is dual: It references Halifax’s connection to the ocean, as well as giving a nod to the closing titles of international films.

Ironically, says Carter, FIN is representing a new beginning for the festival.

“For us, it’s an opportunity to clarify our message.”

In an effort to make the films more accessible, FIN is partnering with Cineplex to take over Park Lane theatre for the duration of the festival. Every screen will be home to a movie that’s part of FIN.

“It’s very exciting for us that people might potentially come in off the street, wanna see a movie, look at the schedule of films” and become part of the FIN audience “by accident,” says Carter.

“Anybody can come. We want everybody who has any kind of love for movies to be a part of the film festival.”

In the same vein, Carter hopes to encourage more young people to take in FIN.

“If this gives younger people an opportunity to re-look at the festival,” he says, “that’s part of the initiative.”

“We know a lot of the stuff that we show has great resonance with young folks, but we’re not sure they see us that way.”

The festival’s opening night film has yet to be decided—that announcement is expected in July—but it will be in conjunction with Movie Nights Across Canada, a national program of Canadian film screenings happening for Canada 150.

FIN is announcing its full festival line-up at the Lord Nelson Hotel on August 16. This year’s festival will take place from Sept. 14-21.

For the future, Carter is setting his sights on the possibility of digital aspects to the festival so people outside Halifax can take part.

“I’m looking forward to the day where maybe I can issue you a digital pass,” he says. “So for a week during the festival, you can maybe be sitting in Corner Brook, but experiencing all the Atlantic content on your iPad, or on your Apple TV—or however you choose to watch content.”

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Our Common Woods resurrects trees through art

Posted By on Tue, Jun 20, 2017 at 1:54 PM

"elm elm maple elm" by Theo Heffler - CHRISTINE ORESKOVICH
  • "elm elm maple elm" by Theo Heffler
  • Christine Oreskovich

Our Common Woods
Wednesday, June 21 at 10am
The Halifax Common

Trees cut down during the North Park intersection redesign have been given a second life thanks to a new public art project.

Our Common Woods is made up of five different art pieces on the Halifax Common. These wooden sculptures are made from those cut trees—which, in ordinary circumstances, would be going to a landfill or used as firewood.

“People are meant to touch with them and engage with them physically and spiritually, or however they want to,” says Kim Thompson of The Deanery Project, which organized Our Common Woods in partnership with the municipality. The Deanery Project is a non-profit which focuses on the environment as well as arts.

“As soon as they were on the ground, people were finding ways to connect—like, fit themselves into the various pieces,” Thompson says of the sculptures.

Some of The Deanery Project’s first pieces of work involved making benches and a solar wood kiln from trees that were cut to make room for Dalhousie’s ocean sciences building.

“There’s a legacy piece and an opportunity to talk about our urban forests in that context.”

The city got wind of that project and wanted to do something similar in the wake of the roundabout construction, so Thompson got ahold of the felled trees and transported them to the Eastern Shore before the work began.

Choosing artists was “a curated process through people that had been working either with the Deanery or had experience working with live edge wood and doing value added projects.”

Art by Alan Syliboy, Erin Phillip, Theo Heffler are currently on display on the Common. Steve Sekerak’s “Bench” will be installed on Wednesday, while Gary Staple’s “Tree Ghost” will be installed over the weekend.

“Kim [Thompson] was sort of pushing these for things to be objects of play,” says Heffler, who sculpted “elm elm maple elm.”

“I felt there was also validity in things of wonder. When we look at a tree—this large object—we look up to it and it gives us a sense of wonder, or greatness or largeness.”

Heffler originally planned on his piece standing vertically, but he realized a16-foot tall structure was impractical.

“So, essentially we just said, ‘Well, what if we lay it down?’” 

It worked.

“I liked that idea, because it’s sort of like this idea of the tree standing up and then it falling down, which was very much what happened to the trees.”

Alan Syliboy brought different facets of Mi'kmaw culture to his piece. His “Mi’kmaw Sign Posts” were created to represent the eight districts of Mi’kma’ki. The posts are in the shape of canoe paddles, which Syliboy says are “symbols of how we lived in this land.”

“That was our main transportation so it was very critical to living in every part of this province.”

Together, the eight paddles form a Wigwam. A replica of the Mi’kmaq eight point star petroglyph has been placed at the Wigwam’s centre.

“I think it’s gonna make a lot of difference to Mi’kmaq people that come to Halifax,” says Syliboy. “But everybody in general will benefit from this.”

The official Common Woods unveiling will take place tomorrow morning as part of HRM’s National Aboriginal Day ceremonies.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Black Cop feature film crowdfunds post-production costs

Posted By on Wed, Jun 14, 2017 at 4:42 PM

  • via Indiegogo

The people behind a feature film about a Black police officer are crowdfunding the movie’s post-production costs in hopes of having it finished for festival season. 

The aptly named Black Cop is directed by Cory Bowles, based on the same premise as his short film of the same name. The short version recently screened at this year’s Halifax Independent Filmmakers' Festival.

Black Cop shows Ronnie Rowe as the title role in this satire-drama hybrid, portraying a Black police officer who becomes frustrated with systemic police violence. He responds by spending a day “targeting the privileged community.”

The film was shot over 12 days in Halifax last winter.

The Indiegogo campaign has five days left to reach its goal.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Sobey Art Award shortlister Ursula Johnson weaves cultural narratives

Posted By on Tue, Jun 13, 2017 at 9:23 AM

Ursula Johnson performing Elmiet - KRISTA COMEAU
  • Ursula Johnson performing Elmiet
  • Krista Comeau

Ursula Johnson could be the first Atlantic Canadian to bring home one of the country’s most distinguished art awards. The shortlist of nominees for the 2017 Sobey Art Award were announced on Tuesday, out of a list of 25 artists from across Canada. Johnson hails from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

The Sobey Art Award is considered among the highest recognitions for Canadian artists under the age of 40. The awards present an opportunity for young artists to exhibit their work at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto and receive a $50,000 grand prize.

Johnson’s Indigenous heritage serves as inspiration in her work. She is the first Mi'kmaq woman to graduate from the Nova Scotia college of Art and Design. Her multidisciplinary performance and installation art explores the ideas of identity, ancestry and cultural practice through a combination of contemporary artform and traditional Mi’kmaq techniques like basket weaving.

Other nominees on the 2017 shortlist include performance and video artist Bridget Moser (Ontario), multimedia artist Divya Mehra (Prairies and the North), photo and text-based artist Raymond Boisjoly (West Coast and the Yukon) and photo artist and videographer Jacynthe Carrier (Quebec).

The 2017 Sobey Art Award winner will be announced on October 25, 2017.
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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Xara Choral Theatre searches for stories from the Halifax Explosion

Do you have a story about a woman in the Halifax Explosion?

Posted By on Tue, Jun 6, 2017 at 4:12 PM

  • Nick Rudnicki

Xara Choral Theatre Ensemble is calling for stories of women involved in relief efforts after the Halifax Explosion. 

The Hours Turn to Nothing, Xara’s collaboration with author Ami McKay, premiered in Halifax in April. Despite the evidence that women were needed and present following the explosion, they’ve largely been excluded from the narrative.

“A number of first-hand accounts exist from medical personnel; however, stories of women and children are frequently left out of the historical record,” says a press release from Xara.

The ensemble “wants to help correct the oversights of history” and The Hours Turn to Nothing is an effort to pay tribute to those women. It spotlights their stories—specifically, those of the midwives and nurses who travelled to Halifax in the aftermath of disaster—through an interdisciplinary choral performance. The show is touring across the Maritimes over the summer.

The ensemble is now asking anyone with a family story about a woman aiding in the explosion relief efforts to contact Stephanie Kincade.

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Halifax Fringe Festival wants you to come off the beaten track

The Atlantic Fringe Festival announces name change, festival lineup.

Posted By on Thu, Jun 1, 2017 at 12:04 PM

Cinq à Sept at Good Robot
June 1, 5-7pm
Good Robot Brewing

The Atlantic Fringe Festival is going into its 27th year with a new name: The Halifax Fringe Festival. Executive director Lee-Anne Poole believes it will better represent the event, which she calls “one of the city’s biggest festivals that a lot of people don’t know about.”

When the fringe theatre event first began, it was the only of its kind in Atlantic Canada. Poole says that’s no longer the case, and since this one has always taken place in Halifax, it makes sense to say so.

It’s not really a rebranding, though: “We are exactly who we’ve always been,” explains Poole. “Our mission and values in the festival are the same.”

That mission is to put the spotlight on theatrical performances outside the mainstream, and hopefully provide a gateway for people who might be intimidated by theatre.

“There isn’t a ticket price that’s over $15.”

This year’s line-up is made up of more than 50 productions, including 20 touring shows. Among them is #KanderAndEbb by Torontonian Ryan G. Hinds. The comedy cabaret is dropping by fresh from Orlando Fringe.

Then there’s the Atlantic Canadian debut of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, a ‘70s-inspired rock musical. Allister MacDonald stars as the title character while Geordie Brown directs.

Keeping with the rock n’ roll theme, Rock n Roll Saved my Life is expected to be another highlight show. This one-woman performance is a dark comedy, “bring your own venue” show presented at Gus’ Pub. Half of the proceeds go to Avalon Sexual Assault Centre.

“It’s one of the festivals that like, until you’re in the know, you don’t know about it—because theatre happens in dark rooms behind closed doors,” says Poole. Much of the event promotion depends on word of mouth, and the result it something of a bottleneck effect.

“We start out slow, and then by the end weekend we’re selling out and turning people away.”

Fringe is aiming to up its promotion game this year with the help of a GoFundMe page. The $10,000 goal will go towards festival guides, venue signage, pop-up banners and the like. They also hope to hire an outreach coordinator.

“We’d really like to get the word out to Halifax that this fringe festival is for them.”

Tonight, the fest is raising a glass to it’s 27th year at Good Robot Brewing. All are welcome.

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