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Thursday, June 15, 2006

In the Fringes

Tara Thorne shows us that with Dope Show, more is more.

Posted By on Thu, Jun 15, 2006 at 9:49 AM

The 16th annual Atlantic Fringe Festival drops on August 31 of this year. (No word on what the celebratory delicacy will be.) If you’re thinking that you can’t endure the craziness of this broad event, look to Tony-winner The Drowsy Chaperone for inspiration—it started in the Toronto Fringe. Urinetown? New York Fringe. Start small and blow up big, or at least for 10 days, by applying for a spot in this year’s fest. The “accessible and affordable,” event, in the words of mastermind Ken Pinto, is “a free market for artists—unjuried, uncensored, with an anyone-can-put-on-a-show, anything-goes attitude.” Just like digital filmmaking!

There are a number of ways to procure yourself the official form: call 435-4837, email, visit or pick one up at Neptune, the Shoe Shop, the Dal theatre department or any library.


The Atlantic Filmmakers’ Co-operative has announced the recipients of its brand-new animation scholarship program, FrameWorks. Mad props to Krista Davis, Mark Findall, Dorota Forfa, Jacqueline Pool, Joey Adrian MacNeil, David Armstrong, Siloen Daley, James MacSwain and Namir Ahmed, who once toiled in The Coast’s trenches (though not in our animation department).

The winners will receive intensive instruction over the next few months, each producing an animated short to be screened at an event next March. “With the rise of digital technology, classic film animation has become rarer and rarer,” says AFCOOP’s executive director Walter Forsyth. “The idea behind FrameWorks is that experienced filmmakers in our community will be able to pass along their knowledge. It’s exciting to develop a new generation of animators working with film.”

Trucks in a row

Art history professor and artist Nancy Nisbet has been on the road for the past few weeks, literally trucking her belongings across the country. For a travelling exhibition called Exchange 2000, Nisbet has been making her way from Vancouver, parking an 18-wheeler truck outside galleries nationwide. Once stopped, she opens ’er up and lets visitors take one object each, as long as they leave her an object and tell her the story behind it. Exchange 2000 stops at the Mount Saint Vincent University Gallery on a rare open Monday, June 19.

“Coolest trade, hmm,” muses Nisbet, emailing from Montreal, where the truck has been stopped for two days. “The dog tags from an American soldier, or the uncut emerald from Afghanistan.”

Heavier than it sounds, the show is more than just a trade fair. Nisbet, who’s an associate professor at the University of British Columbia, and her team have been tagging every item as a Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID) so that they can be tracked. RFIDs, considered by some to be a spy tool, have become more popular since September 11 and the subsequent security measures implemented. RFIDs “use radio frequency signals to track moving objects and are emerging as a popular means of tracing consumer spending patterns. RFID technology is used in livestock management, pharmaceutical labelling, libraries, public transportation, credit cards and, in some countries, passports.”

Nisbet’s blog—at—explains that Exchange is “a technology-tracked performance concerning privacy, a border-crossing critique of NAFTA, an experiment in identity through possessions.”

As far as life on the road goes, Nisbet’s finding herself well-acquainted with Canadian truck stops. “Hard, cool, terrible coffee,” she writes. “Noisy—all those refrigerated units (reefers) running all night long!”

For more info on Nisbet’s visit, hit or call 457-6160.

Pro winner

Halifax author Vicki Grant keeps racking up the nods with her second novel, Quid Pro Quo, about a 13-year-old boy trying to unravel the mystery of his missing mother. Grant, who earlier this year was nominated for an Edgar Allen Poe Award by the Mystery Writers of America, won Best Juvenile crime book at the Arthur Ellis Awards, given out by The Crime Writers of Canada in Toronto June 8.

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