Arts

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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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Sobey Art Award longlist announced

Posted By on Wed, Apr 19, 2017 at 2:37 PM

Melanie Colosimo: Transmission Tower I, 2016 - Air mesh fabric, cut-out, 457.2 x 295.74 cm - Installation view at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia via sobeyartaward.ca - STEVE FARMER
  • Melanie Colosimo: Transmission Tower I, 2016Air mesh fabric, cut-out, 457.2 x 295.74 cmInstallation view at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia via sobeyartaward.ca
  • Steve Farmer


The longlisted artists for the $50,000 Sobey Art Award—Canada's pre-eminent contemporary art award—have been announced and of course we are celebrating extremely hard on behalf of the five Atlantic artists: Eleanor King, Graeme Patterson, Lisa Lipton, Melanie Colosimo and Ursula Johnson (complete list of artists below).

The prize is given annually to an artist aged 40 or under who has exhibited in a public or commercial art gallery within 18 months of being nominated. A $50,000 prize will be awarded to the Sobey Art Award winner, along with a $10,000 prize to each of the shortlisted artists, and a $500 prize to each of the remaining longlisted artists.

This is the award's 14th year, and in case anyone out there is listening, an Atlantic artist has NEVER WON the Sobey Art Award. And yet we are the only region to call all plastic bags "Sobeys bags". Anyway, I've said it before but I have a good feeling about this year.

ATLANTIC
Eleanor King
Graeme Patterson
Lisa Lipton
Melanie Colosimo
Ursula Johnson

QUEBEC
Annie Baillargeon
Dan Brault
Jacynthe Carrier
Kim Waldron
Ludovic Boney

ONTARIO
Bridget Moser
Erika DeFreitas
Jean-Paul Kelly
Nadia Belerique
Sameer Farooq

PRAIRIES & THE NORTH
Amy Malbeuf
Divya Mehra
Erica Eyres
Kara Uzelman
The Ephemerals

WEST COAST & YUKON
Babak Golkar
James Nizam
Jeneen Frei Njootli
Raymond Boisjoly
Rebecca Brewer

The shortlist of five artists will be announced  June 6, and the winner will be announced October 25 in Toronto. Trust me, I shall be hitting the Canadian art meme accounts hard this afternoon.
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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

May the fourth be with you: watch this local Star Wars fan film

Posted By on Wed, May 4, 2016 at 2:48 PM

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In March, we posted this Jedi mind trick (i.e. casting call) for actors to audition for a local Star Wars fan film to be entered in the 2016 Star Wars Fan Film Awards. Today, from a galaxy not that far away, director David Connellan presents his official entry, The Mask of Leia. 

Written by Ian Wilson, and starring Halifax actors Britney Canzi as Princess Leia and Fox Lidstone as a remarkable Han Solo lookalike (check him out in our 2015 Hal-Con photos), the five-minute short is set after the battle of Endor. It's a dramatic piece with an impressive use of digital effect and Jabba the Hut. I've got a good feeling about this. May the fourth be with you!





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Friday, April 22, 2016

Jordan Boneparty is recording things that go bump in the night

The Night Time Podcast explores the mysterious side of Atlantic Canada

Posted By on Fri, Apr 22, 2016 at 12:13 PM

ANDREW D
  • Andrew D

Jordan Boneparty had always thought about creating his own podcast, but the idea didn’t move forward until he got involved in a mystery of his own.

While walking home from work on Joseph Howe Drive last year, he noticed some papers on the side of the road. Sitting among them was an old journal:  “It just looked like something that some kid had tossed on the last day of school,” says Boneparty. But when he had a closer look, it turned out to be much older than it appeared. A mention of the death of King George VI as a current event dated the book to 1952. Boneparty researched every fact he could find in the journal to track down the original owner. With the help of Reddit, he located the author in just two days.

Two weeks later, as reported by the CBC, he was able to reunite the journal with 76-year old Eva Smith MacKay. She had not seen the journal in 63 years. Boneparty contacted the Mysterious Topics podcast—a favourite podcast of his—to tell them about the journal mystery. They invited him on as a guest to share his story. At the time, as well, Boneparty had been researching and compiling material about his grandfather’s story of his UFO sighting from the 1970s.

“My initial thought was interviewing my grandad, and trying to make a short documentary,” he says. He had also considered packaging the material as an audio story and submitting it to the Mysterious Topics or Astonishing Legends podcasts. But bolstered by his recent success, he decided to release the story on his own, as the first episode of The Night Time Podcast.

As a first-time podcaster, Boneparty had to rely on diverse skills to get his show off the ground.

“I do it all, man. The music, everything. I’m a musician as well,” he says, “Not a good one, but good enough to make that intro.” Boneparty’s background as a musician helped him with audio editing.

He started by recording himself playing guitar on a tape deck with a four-track recorder. When he and some friends formed a band, he got his first taste of digitally editing audio.

“I just got good at it. The way you edit a podcast is the same way you would edit guitar,” he says. The equipment he uses is leftover from his days as a musician. Boneparty had also dabbled in photography; he’s used his skills to create visuals that help set the show’s eerie tone. While the show now has a consistent look and sound, Boneparty admits he didn’t have a master plan.

“When I started it, I just thought it was going to be a podcast that my friends and I would listen to," he says. Now, he's got over 16 episodes uploaded on the podcast's creepy website with topics that range from mysterious disappearances to paranormal accounts and activity in the region. 

For each epsiode, Boneparty lets himself get wrapped up in each story he comes across.

“If something comes up that I’m interested in, I just obsess about it. Read about it. Find out the whole history,” says Boneparty, “And then a month later I’ve completely forgotten about it.” He says some of the topics he covers are more ‘out there’ than others. But Boneparty, who describes himself as a skeptic, is careful not to weigh in on whether or not he doubts a guests’ claims.

“It’s not for me to judge whether or not what someone experienced is real,” he says. “I want to have guests tell their story, and let the listeners have the conversation about what to believe.” By following his passions, Boneparty seems to have discovered a winning formula. The Night Time Podcast was ranked 49 in iTunes’ Society & Culture section, outpacing both of his major influences Astonishing Mysteries and Mysterious Topics. Eventually, he says, "I’d like to be able to find something I can do and do it well. But it’s probably not podcasting. It’s probably raising my son.”

He says his three-year-old son is responsible for the name of the podcast. "Really it’s called The Night Time Podcast because when my son’s asleep, that’s when I have an hour or two to do this.”

_ _ _ _ 

Fueled by fandom


Before starting his own show, Boneparty was an avid podcast listener himself. “Pretty much everywhere I go, I walk and I’m listening to podcasts,” he says. Here are a few of his favourites.

Mystery Show
A show involving small-scale mysteries, such as tracking down the original owner of a one-of-a-kind belt buckle.

Astonishing Legends
This podcast about strange happenings brings a research-based approach to the topic. It's a “must listen” for Boneparty.

Mysterious Topics
Another podcast about the unexplained. “They inspired me, because it’s just two guys talking about stuff they like,” he says.

The X-Files Files<
Comedian Kumail Nanjiani and a guest discuss their favourite cases of the X-Files. As a fan of the TV series, Boneparty describes himself as, "more of a Scully, trying to be as Mulder as possible."

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Meet the Atlantic artists longlisted for the 2016 Sobey Art Award

Posted By on Thu, Apr 21, 2016 at 3:23 PM

William Robinson is on the longlist - MEGHAN TANSEY WHITTON
  • William Robinson is on the longlist
  • Meghan Tansey Whitton

Update June 1, 2016: William Robinson was announced as the shortlisted artist from the Atlantic region. He joins the other finalists Brenda Draney (representing the Prairies & North region), Jeremy Shaw (West Coast & Yukon), Charles Stankievech (Ontario) and Harja Waheed (Quebec). The prize is awarded in November at Ottawa's National Gallery.

Since 2002, the Sobey Art Award has been the largest prize for contemporary artists in Canada in the history of Canadian art. Established by The Sobey Art Foundation and named for collector and grocery magnate Frank H. Sobey, the prize is now worth $100,000, with $50,000 going to the winner and $10,000 going to four finalists who make up the shortlist. The five finalists represent the best in artistic provocation, innovation and overall conceptual merit, selected from a five-person regional list (West Coast & Yukon, Prairies & North, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic). 

Hosted by the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia since its inception, it was announced last December that the Sobey Award will now be hosted at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. While Nova Scotia will lose that annual national spotlight, the move centralizes the art award to the nation's capital and also allows the AGNS to dedicate more time to programming. 

While one finalist from each region is selected for the shortlist, an Atlantic artist has yet to be awarded the grand prize. But this year, like every year, the Atlantic offers exceptional talent, and last year's Atlantic finalist Lisa Lipton has been longlisted again, along with four other artists: Halifax's William Robinson, Jerry Ropson, Ursula Johnson and Jordan Bennett

"I'm stoked about being longlisted for the 2016 Sobey Art Awards, who wouldn't be?," says Lipton (AKA Frankie Frankie), the Halifax-based multidisciplinary artist. "It's a pretty significant year to be highlighted. I'm gearing up for the premiere of THE IMPOSSIBLE BLUE ROSE this fall." The film is a highly conceptual artistic experience that incorporates performance art (Bayside Jaguars VS Deep Chaos), complex installation pieces and an auto-biographical cinematic multi-series. 


THE IMPOSSIBLE BLUE ROSE by Lisa Lipton | Unofficial Trailer from Luma Quarterly on Vimeo.


"I'm almost finished the final chapter and feature film," she explains of the diverse project that she's been working on for three and a half years. The film stars fellow artist Josh Salter and a number of Halifax locals. "I can't wait to put it out in the world and finally pronounce THE END." 

Joining Lipton on the longlist is Halifax-based William Robinson, a grant-winning multimedia artist whose work has been shown at various Halifax galleries, with an upcoming performance at the OBEY Convention and a solo exhibition at Gallery Sans Nom in May in Moncton, NB. 

"Representing the Atlantic region, as one of the longlist nominees, evokes a strong feeling of gratitude for the people, communities, and organizations throughout Atlantic Canada who have supported and inspired my artistic development and practice," he says. His work often challenges the properties of materiality and aural movement. His installation Young Prayer was shown in churches in Australia, Toronto and Halifax, described as an "electronics-based kinetic sculpture that functions as a guitar smashing and feedback machine" to celebrate unique auditory effects. 


Young Prayer at Scotiabank Nuit Blance in Toronto (2011) - JEFF BIERK
  • Young Prayer at Scotiabank Nuit Blance in Toronto (2011)
  • Jeff Bierk

"The Sobey helps to introduce and expose a nominated artist's work to a wider national and international audience, which can only positively benefit their career," Robinson says. Past award winners and nominees have gone on to worldwide acclaim; he's excited to be among them.

"Ursula, Lisa, Jerry and Jordan are all unique and intriguing artists. I admire all of their practices and achievements," he says. You can view the full list of nominees here. The shortlist of nominees will be announced in June, and their works will be on view at the National Gallery from October 6 to February 5, 2017. The winner of the 2016 Sobey Art Award will be held at a gala in November.

 
"Mi'Kmaq Artifact" from Newfoundland's Jordan Bennett - JORDAN BENNETT
  • "Mi'Kmaq Artifact" from Newfoundland's Jordan Bennett
  • Jordan Bennett
L’nuwelti’k from Mi'Kmaw artist Ursula Johnson - TRY MAMER
  • L’nuwelti’k from Mi'Kmaw artist Ursula Johnson
  • Try Mamer
"as previously seen" by Newfoundland mixed-media artist Jerry Ropson - JERRY ROPSON
  • "as previously seen" by Newfoundland mixed-media artist Jerry Ropson
  • Jerry Ropson


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Monday, April 4, 2016

Canadian icon Jeanne Beker coming to NSCAD's Epoch show

Posted By on Mon, Apr 4, 2016 at 12:53 PM

click image You're my obsession - JEANNEBEKER.COM
  • You're my obsession
  • JeanneBeker.com
Canadian fashion icon, Globe & Mail columnist and former host of Fashion Television, Jeanne Beker will be this year's special guest at the Epoch Fashion Show at NSCAD's Port Campus on April 16 (7pm). The runway will debut the spring collections of senior NSCAD Textile/Fashion students, including Maggie MacCormick, Cai Ripley, Leanne Hansen and a dozen more. 

“I feel this incredible responsibility to encourage this next generation of emerging designers. It’s such a different time now and it’s tough,” Beker says in a press release for the event. “I want to be there to offer my support and applaud innovation.” For decades, Beker has been at the forefront of Canadian fashion journalism and reporting, including 27 years as host of Fashion Television, the author of five style books and three seasons as a judge on Canada's Next Top Model.

Tickets are on sale nowEpoch is billed as two events in one. The Port Campus will feature a 100-foot runway for the collection walk ($20 general/$10 students and unwaged) and a cash-bar. The waterside studios overlooking George's Island will feature a separate runway, complimentary refreshments, gifts, door prizes and a VIP party with the designers, models and Beker ($100). I can't wait; I've been obsessed with Beker since 1993.



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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Found: Lost Documents, Halifax's newest poetry publication

Posted By on Thu, Feb 11, 2016 at 4:00 PM

Halifax's newest poetry publication - C/O LOST DOCUMENTS
  • Halifax's newest poetry publication
  • c/o Lost Documents

While trying to encourage local writer and musician Daniel Long (The Cannisters) to publish his poetry, Bijoux Wilcox (Faw Haja) noticed it might be easier for her and her buddies, namely Dylan Jewers and Grant Mitchell, who also all write poetry, to just do it themselves.  

"It became apparent that if we all contributed a few things, it would be a chance for a handful of people to get their stuff out there pretty quickly, and it could be an interesting project," Wilcox says. "So Dylan and Grant started collecting poetry, and worked on layout, drawing help from a few people, like Johnny Shaw, and we fronted the money ourselves for paper and printing." 

Last November, the first issue of Lost Documents was launched at Plan B. Many featured writers attended: "They read their stuff, which was very compelling to see and hear," describes Wilcox. "Don Logan is a poet of interest. He hangs out on Portland Street in downtown Dartmouth handing out poems to people, trying to sell them or trade them. His poems are really good." 

Other writers in the first issue include musicians, artists, poets and zine-makers like Josie Stevens (formerly of Vixens), Australian poet John Grey, activist Char Char, J.D. Walowksi, Dartmouth's Rob Kenney, Tyler Denty, Ontario's Tanya Korigan and more.

The Lost Documents group started to receive many more submissions but realized the costs of printing would grow while the availability of print was limited, so the project took a new form. "The website idea started brewing because we wanted to reach more writers and readers. Since I don't know how to make a great website, I want to employ someone to do that." 

Last month, the group launched a GoFundMe campaign to fund the creation of Lost Documents online: "We would like to use the funds to pay for the website to be built and maintained for one year," the campaign reads. "Our physical copies will continue to feature what we feel is the strongest work submitted within three-month time periods. We feel the encouragement and support of Lost Documents is important for long-time and new writers." 

"Volume two is out in a month or so," says Jewers, who co-edits the works with Mitchell. "Poetry and prose, a mix of local and international writers. The issues sell for five to eight dollars at New Scotland Yard, CD Heaven, Plan B and The Dart Gallery." In the meantime, writers can submit work for consideration to lostdocuments.ns@gmail.com, as well as contribute towards the $1,000 goal by clicking here. "Please support our quest!" says Wilcox. Discover something lost! 

Martyr'd 
Foolish man
Who attempted
The most impossible of tasks
Self appointed, bar is higher
Than the heavens
With a stomach of Mexican cerveza
Could perhaps this saintly snake
Slither a zig zag
Over the province where
Louis Riel was martyr'd
- Dan Long 

Untitled #3
slip to sleep
& there will be strong arches
slip to sleep
& there will be bottomless skying
- Odelia Lemon

Untitled
There is a flower in the back of my mind
rigid from leaf to vine
The possibilities that keep it stiff
are the distractions on its skin that itch. 
It cannot claw, nor does it scratch
it bends around corners for light to catch.
But in my head there is not but shade,
cool, collected, unevenly grey. 
But for a single beam it twists its head,
and bends until it breaks. 
Disappointed, ends.
- Tyler Denty



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Monday, December 7, 2015

A Couple Photos from the Crafter's Society Winter Show

Posted By on Mon, Dec 7, 2015 at 12:47 PM

Halifax Crafters Society Winter Sale
  • Halifax Crafters Society Winter Sale


The Halifax Crafters Society
held their winter show this weekend, Friday to Sunday, at the Olympic Hall. The community sale featured jams by CKDU 88.1 FM, baked treats, sausage rolls and lemonade (Lemon Dogs), leather goods (Old Birch Workshop), prints and visual arts, glass wears and ceramics, beautiful jewelry, locally spun yarn and knitted materials, t-shirts, sweatshirts and so much more. The Coast snapped a few pics of the fanfare, got some holiday presents and kissed some babies. If you saw some goods but didn't get to buy them, you can contact the Society and get in touch with your favourite crafter. Most do custom work, as well! 

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A Peek at the new Khyber Centre for the Arts

Posted By on Tue, Nov 17, 2015 at 4:23 PM

Last night, the Khyber Centre for the Arts hosted a grand opening at its new location (1880 Hollis Street), with the show "Equipment" by Kyle Alden Martens. My immediate reaction? It really rules having the Khyber downtown again! With a glorious storefront at the NSCAD Granville Campus, it feels a little like the old Khyber. For over a year, one of Canada's oldest artist-run centres struggled with its Cunard Street location, from noise complaints and awkward space to unreasonably high rent. This month, the Khyber was able to secure the former Christmas By the Sea spot, making the Centre visible as a community art space, venue and bar. It's as if the ballroom of the Barrington Street Khyber and the vibe of the Cunard Street Khyber had a baby. A baby Khyber. Director Hannah Guinan plans to start a Member's Store soon, which will sell art, band merch and other doodlies of the membership. Consider becoming a member, volunteer or patron, and either way, just go check it out. Congrats to the Khybie. ♥

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Khyber Board Boy Band (Andrew McLaren, Noah Dalton, Nathan Doucet)
  • Khyber Board Boy Band (Andrew McLaren, Noah Dalton, Nathan Doucet)

Nick Dourado & Khyber Director Hannah Guinan
  • Nick Dourado & Khyber Director Hannah Guinan

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Visit here
for more info about the Khyber. 

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Monday, November 2, 2015

Last week to check out NSDCC members exhibition

Posted By on Mon, Nov 2, 2015 at 4:04 PM

"Warrior" Plate by Gina Etra Stick
  • "Warrior" Plate by Gina Etra Stick

If you're down at the Halifax Seaport Farmer's Market anytime this week, this is your last chance to check out the Nova Scotia Designer Craft's Council's member exhibition at the Mary E. Black Gallery (1061 Marginal Road, #104), a branch of the Nova Scotia Centre for Craft and Design. Closing on November 8, the exhibition features a representative survey of works (44 works by 25 fine craftspeople, to be exact) that will inspire and delight. The event is also part of Craft Year 2015, "a year-long nation-wide festival aimed at promoting craft as a key player in Canadian culture." Selected by a juried NSDCC panel, the exhibition features Kate Church, Neil Cronk, Brad Hall, Trish Hirschkorn, Jan Hull, Alexa Jaffurs, Steven Kennard, Debra Kuzyk & Ray Mackie, Wendy Landry, Karen LeBlanc, Alexandra McCurdy, Beverley McInnes, Margot Metcalfe, Rhonda Miller, Rachel Morouney, Mengnan Qu, Lynette Richards, Rosi Robinson, Chris Shute, Allyson Simmie, Carol Smeraldo, Kay Stanfield, Gina Etra Stick (pictured above), Isako Suzuki and Deborah Wheeler. While at the Market on Saturday picking up local fruits and veggies, might as well swing by and check out local artwork. For more information, you can visit NSCCD here

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Photos: The Sobey Art Award Gala at AGNS

Posted By on Thu, Oct 29, 2015 at 11:44 AM

Last night at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax and Canada's artists and art patrons gathered for the announcement of this year's Sobey Art Award winner, a $50,000 prize that recognizes the best in contemporary Canadian art each year since 2002. Born in Tehran, raised in Toronto, representing Ontario, Abbas Akhavan was awarded the prize among his competitors Raymond Boisjoly (West Coast), Sarah Anne Johnson (Prairies/North), Jon Rafman (Quebec) and Lisa Lipton (Atlantic) AKA Frankie. According to the jury, Akhavan's work is rich in "generosity and empathy" in both domestic and natural spheres. Each artist's work is on view at the AGNS until January as part of the Sobey Art Award Shortlist Exhibition. I took photos.


The 2015 Sobey Art Award finalists - ADRIA YOUNG
  • The 2015 Sobey Art Award finalists
  • Adria Young

2015 Sobey Art Award winner Abbas Akhavan - ADRIA YOUNG
  • 2015 Sobey Art Award winner Abbas Akhavan
  • Adria Young

Atlantic nominee Lisa Lipton (right) & friend - ADRIA YOUNG
  • Atlantic nominee Lisa Lipton (right) & friend
  • Adria Young

Patrons at the AGNS - ADRIA YOUNG
  • Patrons at the AGNS
  • Adria Young

ADRIA YOUNG
  • Adria Young

Kate Walchuk (Anna Leonowens Gallery) & Coast copy editor Laura Kenins - ADRIA YOUNG
  • Kate Walchuk (Anna Leonowens Gallery) & Coast copy editor Laura Kenins
  • Adria Young

Hugh Stewart, Melanie Colosimo (director, Anna Leonowens Gallery) & Sarah Fillmore (chief curator, AGNS) - ADRIA YOUNG
  • Hugh Stewart, Melanie Colosimo (director, Anna Leonowens Gallery) & Sarah Fillmore (chief curator, AGNS)
  • Adria Young

Halifax Liberal MP Andy Fillmore & Jennifer Fraser (BDCBC) - ADRIA YOUNG
  • Halifax Liberal MP Andy Fillmore & Jennifer Fraser (BDCBC)
  • Adria Young

Coast cartoonist Paul Hammond (left) & friends - ADRIA YOUNG
  • Coast cartoonist Paul Hammond (left) & friends
  • Adria Young

Fred Fountain CM & Andrew Neville - ADRIA YOUNG
  • Fred Fountain CM & Andrew Neville
  • Adria Young

Hannah Guinan (centre; director, Khyber Centre for the Arts) & friends - ADRIA YOUNG
  • Hannah Guinan (centre; director, Khyber Centre for the Arts) & friends
  • Adria Young

Andrew Mazzerole & Allison Higgins - ADRIA YOUNG
  • Andrew Mazzerole & Allison Higgins
  • Adria Young

Paul Pettigrew (AGNS Young Patrons Circle) & other guy - ADRIA YOUNG
  • Paul Pettigrew (AGNS Young Patrons Circle) & other guy
  • Adria Young

Merray Gerges, Emerging Critical Art Writer-in-Residence, AGNS/VANS - ADRIA YOUNG
  • Merray Gerges, Emerging Critical Art Writer-in-Residence, AGNS/VANS
  • Adria Young

Danika Vandersteen & Scott Grundy - ADRIA YOUNG
  • Danika Vandersteen & Scott Grundy
  • Adria Young

2014 Sobey winner Nadia Myre & 2015 Sobey winner Abbas Akhavan - ADRIA YOUNG
  • 2014 Sobey winner Nadia Myre & 2015 Sobey winner Abbas Akhavan
  • Adria Young

Shortlist Exhibition - ADRIA YOUNG
  • Shortlist Exhibition
  • Adria Young

Shortlist Exhibition (Abbas Akhavan) - ADRIA YOUNG
  • Shortlist Exhibition (Abbas Akhavan)
  • Adria Young

Shortlist Exhibition (Abbas Akhavan) - ADRIA YOUNG
  • Shortlist Exhibition (Abbas Akhavan)
  • Adria Young

Shortlist Exhibition (Lisa Lipton) #greysville - ADRIA YOUNG
  • Shortlist Exhibition (Lisa Lipton) #greysville
  • Adria Young

Shortlist Exhibition (Lisa Lipton) #greysville - ADRIA YOUNG
  • Shortlist Exhibition (Lisa Lipton) #greysville
  • Adria Young

DJ Festive Special (Andrew Neville), after-party at The Seahorse - ADRIA YOUNG
  • DJ Festive Special (Andrew Neville), after-party at The Seahorse
  • Adria Young

It's me in a bathroom, after-party at The Seahorse. - ADRIA YOUNG
  • It's me in a bathroom, after-party at The Seahorse.
  • Adria Young

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

"Directed by Women" takes erection out of direction, apply now

Posted By on Wed, Oct 14, 2015 at 3:01 PM

Sofia Coppola, movie director (also a woman)
  • Sofia Coppola, movie director (also a woman)

AFCOOP,
the Atlantic Filmmaker's Cooperative, is now accepting applications for new program, "Directed by Women," supported by Arts Nova Scotia. According to the call, "The program will provide eight women with training and mentorship from established female filmmakers on the topics of screenwriting, directing, working with key crew, pitching and marketing. The focus of this workshop series will be addressing the challenges inherent in transitioning from shorts to features. The final component of the program will include a ‘speed dating’ meet-and-greet with local producers at WIFT-AT’s annual Women Making Waves conference (March 2016). AFCOOP and WIFT-AT’s goal is to prepare eight emerging female filmmakers to direct their own feature films." Can't contain my excitement. This rules.

Deadline is Friday, October 16 @ 5pm. Criteria for application includes: 

• Must be emerging (completed at least one short film) to mid-career filmmakers
• A commitment to working professionally in the domain of narrative filmmaking

Applicants are asked to include a current CV, a one-page treatment for a feature film concept and a letter of intent. Submissions should be sent to office@afcoop.ca. See afcoop.ca for more. 

This program comes at a time when people are starting to realize — and even attempt to change — the horrendous imbalance of women in most entertainment and business professions, but especially film. According to Deadline Hollywood, in the US, "Women currently receive only 16% of the episodic TV directing jobs, and last year directed less than 5% of the major studio releases." Even though that 5% grew from the 0.5% of 1983, that's still quite fucked. And then when major studios make deliberate decisions to hire all-female crews and casts, people (mostly men) shit their pants over it. In 87 years, only four women have been nominated for a Best Direction Oscar. And then when women earn opportunities to work in film, they deal with enough garbage to fill a Tumblr. I'm sure most audiences don't even realize when their favourite films are female-directed. And then — when female directors get a fair deal — they have to work harder to prove their voice is valid. Or they have to defend aesthetic choices in ways men never do. 

For instance, at the September Atlantic Film Festival premiere of Beeba BoysOscar-nominated director Deepa Mehta introduced her 2015 Sikh-gangster action film in exasperation: "I am tired of defending myself," she told the Halifax audience, "I wanted to make Beeba Boys because, as a women, I wanted to make a kick-ass film." At its various premieres, people couldn't get over her command of gangster tropes and male-focused action. Yeah, like it's really that hard to grasp. For one thing, the market is saturated with those types of film. And for another, why can't a women direct action films? The whole premise of her defence is ridiculous, but it's still questioned, even though gender doesn't imply any preferences for taste. I think the emergence of female directors in genre films (like horror) proves this as long overdue

Basically, Mehta wants a world where defending herself for being a woman making an action film isn't at all necessary. We should only question artistic choices because the art straight-up sucks, regardless of gender. But to assume that women't aren't capable of any artistic or creative pursuit is absurd, whatever the genre, medium or expression. Like for fucks sakes. 

But you know this already, and yet we're not even close to gender parity in these professions. So hey, read this list. And then hooray for AFCOOP. This is a great program and an awesome opportunity. Pass this along to anyone who might be interested. If you're interested, apply now! 




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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

CAPACOA Conference to come to Halifax, January 21-24

That's the Canadian Arts Presenting Association, FYI

Posted By on Wed, Oct 29, 2014 at 9:43 AM

The CAPACOA Conference features an artist interview with Natalie MacMaster
  • The CAPACOA Conference features an artist interview with Natalie MacMaster

The 27th annual CAPACOA Conference will take place in Halifax this year, bringing representatives from the arts presenting and touring sector from all over the country to the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel from January 21-24.

The theme is "culture of convergence" and although this event is pretty inside baseball regarding the professional commercial art world, there will be public showcases and performances at a variety of local venues for the duration of the conference, and that could be a great way to meet the folks who decide what arts programming takes place in a community. CAPACOA also provides the opportunities for presenters to do "block booking" of touring artists, thereby deciding what programming may occur throughout an entire region. Canadian arts presenters can wield a lot of power, as they have an instrumental role in shaping the cultural landscape in our country.

There will be over 250 presenters, agents, managers, artists and other performing arts professionals at the conference, networking away. CAPACOA is encouraging delegates to program showcases at a number of venues (click to see the list) so that they might win over influential arts presenters' hearts.

The CAPACOA conference keynote speaker is Richard Evans and the conference will feature an interview with Natalie MacMaster. This is the first time the conference will take place in Halifax.

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