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Monday, September 16, 2013

Your morning in arts: Zines, tacos, awards, Chicago

But seriously, "25 or 6 to 4"? COME ON

Posted By on Mon, Sep 16, 2013 at 12:04 PM

Hi, Chicago!
  • Hi, Chicago!

Thursday's dinner and entertainment is set with Auckland, New Zealand resident Erin Fae's zine launch for Imaginary Windows #6 at the Roberts Street Social Centre (2084 Creighton Street, Thursday, September 19, 7pm, free). Imaginary Windows #6 looks at community, vulnerability and longing. There will be kimchi, tacos. Do not spill taco juice on your new zine.

Both theNova Scotia Talent Trust (NSTT) and the Atlantic Film Festival doled out some awards for jobs well done this weekend. If you got one, congrats, you.

The Nova Scotia Talent Trust 's $75,000 worth in scholarships was divided among emerging artists in the fields of dance, theatre, media (film) studies, music, visual and literary arts. Forty-five recipients were chosen from 101 applicants. See all the winners here. Nerd alert, I am a Big Brother fan, and I am pretty sure that Emmett Blois' brother Willem Blois won an NSTT Scholarship and Nova Scotia Arts Endowment Fund Scholarship for piano. Hear me mention this briefly in passing 2:30pm (today, Monday, September 16) on CKDU during my Big Brother themed radio show, Previously On Big Brother. You may think I am joking, but I am not.

Sorry for that interlude. Back to the arts. Next year it could be you, the NSTT has two deadline dates coming up in 2014: 1 March for Spring/Summer study and 1 May for Fall/Winter study. For more information, see

Atlantic Film Festival gave out their industry awards last night (more awards will be given out on Thursday, September 19 between 6:30-7pm at the Closing Gala Awards Ceremony at the Closing Night Gala Film, The Invisible Woman at Park Lane Cinemas. Here are the lucky industry winners, hitch your wagon to their stars, stat.

Best Original Score/Song: David Chisholm for Bunker 6
Presented by Hideout Studios

Best Atlantic Screenwriter: Jasmine Oore for There's Been a Terrible Mistake
Presented by the Michael Weir Foundation for the Arts

Best Atlantic Cinematographer: Kyle Cameron for There Are Monsters and Ken LeBlanc for Hive (a tie!)
Presented by SIM Digital

Best Atlantic Director: Jay Dahl for There Are Monsters
Presented by Panavision

Film Crew Excellence Award: Gary Swim
Presented by Film & Creative Industries NS

The First Feature Project: Chris Turner for Lure
Presented by Telefilm and Film & Creative Industries NS

AND ALSO CHICAGO IS COMING TO TOWN! I am excited because it was the only band that everyone in my family could agree on growing up and therefore has a special place in my heart. "25 or 6 to 4" is still my brother's go-to karaoke jam. In addition to playing Summerside and Moncton, Chicago play the Halifax Metro Centre on February 23. Tickets go on sale Saturday, September 21. Halifax tickets are $99/$75/$60 available as of 10am at the Ticket Atlantic box office, at all participating Atlantic Superstores, by phone at 451-1221 and online at

Also announced today was The Mavericks (November 16 at the Casino Nova Scotia Schooner Room) and blues-rock Tedeschi Trucks Band, the 11-piece collective fronted by husband and wife team Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi (November 21, Cunard Centre). Tickets on sale Friday, September 20 at 10am, $55 available at the Ticket Atlantic box office in the Halifax Metro Centre, at all participating Atlantic Superstores, by phone at 451-1221 or 1-877-451-1221 and online at

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Will Robinson's amp site

Robinson gives the Khyber a ring-a-ding-ding

Posted By on Tue, Jun 11, 2013 at 11:12 AM

A shot from Robinson’s Young Prayer show at Nocturne. - JEFF BIERK
  • A shot from Robinson’s Young Prayer show at Nocturne.
  • Jeff Bierk

Typically bodies respond to sound, whether it’s an ear-piercing shriek or the opening notes of one of your favourite songs. In William Robinson’s Ringing Building—Khyber Hallway Pass, the artist has reversed this common convention, so sounds will be created in response to people wandering through the exhibit.

 As part of OBEY Convention VI, Robinson turned a hallway in the Khyber building into an instrument, creating a new way for people to interact with the 125-year-old building. “I’ve been working on this sensor that has been hooked up to a micro controller, which will convert motion into sound,” says Robinson. “I think what will happen is the viewer will walk down the hall, and their distance from the sensor will translate into sound, so the body will dictate.”

Ringing Building is one of Robinson’s more spontaneous pieces of aural-meets-architectural art, and he wants the exhibit to be enjoyable for the audience. “It’s pretty simple in its idea and execution, and it’s experiential and you have to participate with it, which is fun,” he says.

 Robinson is one of the many artists whose talents are showcased at OBEY, and his artwork fits in perfectly with the experimental music and art festival’s aims to showcase artists who challenge the way in which predictable objects or spaces are used. And the Khyber building itself makes sense as Robinson’s venue.

 “It’s one unique architectural space, it has a history of being a venue for music—so it’s fitting in that sense—and each architectural outdoor space has its own parameters,” says Robinson. He says each place he works with helps to dictate his artwork, specifically how he will incorporate audio/visual components which relate to the unique space.

 Ringing Building will fit right in to this former NSCAD student’s portfolio. His previous work has involved similar explorations of the use of sound in unconventional spaces, including guitar-smashing in St. Matthew’s Church on Barrington Street, and a piano concert in Point Pleasant Park. Robinson also is preparing for an exhibit in the courtyard of Dalhousie University’s Killam Library this fall. (You heard it here first.)

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Dalhousie University to build School of Performing Arts

Thanks to $10 million donation from Elizabeth and Fred Fountain

Posted By on Tue, May 14, 2013 at 5:22 PM

Rebecca Cohn, prepare for a facelift - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS USER: SIMONP
  • Rebecca Cohn, prepare for a facelift
  • Wikimedia Commons User: SimonP

Prospective and current arts students rejoice! Dalhousie University announced the inception of a School of Performing Arts today.

“The School of Performing Arts will truly revolutionize the way Dalhousie delivers music and theatre programs through initiatives in teaching and research in the student experience. It will solidify Halifax’s and Dalhousie’s position as a national leader in performing arts and education. This school, which will be the biggest of its kind in eastern Canada, will help foster and promote outreach partnerships with other educational institutions and professional performing arts organizations,” said Dalhousie president Tom Traves.

This new school would not be possible without a $10 million donation from philanthropists and arts-enthusiasts, Elizabeth and Fred Fountain. The gift is the largest ever received by the faculty of the arts and social sciences and one of the largest in Dalhousie’s history. It will go directly to enhance the program of performing arts and to “spruce up” the Dalhousie Arts Centre.

“We wanted to do something that will impact the wider community and we wanted to do something to enhance the centres of excellence that exist here already,” says Fred Fountain.

The couple was inspired to make their donation after the "Bold Ambitions" fundraising campaign in 2011 saw an increase in funding in seemingly every program at Dalhousie besides the arts. The Fountains saw this and decided to make a difference.

“To neglect the arts is to deprive part of our soul,” says Fred Fountain.

The Fountains have proved their mutual adoration for the arts in the past with donations to Symphony Nova Scotia and Neptune Theatre in the past. This investment in the new school creates a cycle as graduates from this new program might go on to perform at Neptune or with the symphony.

Elizabeth Fountain—who Fred pointed out had a lovely singing voice—states, “I have the understanding of the desire to perform and an appreciation for the joy and beauty the performing arts bring to our lives for the performers and the audience. I do believe that our world would indeed be a very bleak place without art both performing and visual.”

The Dalhousie School of Performing Arts will officially open July 1, 2014.

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Close call! Sprinkler system glitch closes down Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

No art was damaged, heave a huge sigh of relief!

Posted By on Wed, May 8, 2013 at 2:06 PM

Note: AGNS sprinkler system is nowhere near as shown.
  • Note: AGNS sprinkler system is nowhere near as shown.

"No art or people were harmed in the making of this situation," says the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia's marketing and communications representative Donna Wellard, laughing. It's been an understandingly long day for the gallery after last night's announcement that a flaw in the sprinkler system will have the gallery's north building, including the permanent and temporary exhibits, closed for at least a week.

"Routine sprinkler preventative maintenance showed when the system changed from wet to dry some pipes were left half full of sediment," says Wellard. The fire marshall closed the gallery until everything is tickety boo again. We repeat, no art was damaged, or even slightly dampened.

"There will be a a full walkthrough with the engineers and construction crew tomorrow morning," says Wellard. "We won't have full picture of repairs until midweek, next week."

Until then, the Maud Lewis Gallery, the gallery shop and Untitled Eats restaurant in the south building will be open and the AGNS will be participating in Open City on Saturday and Telus Family Sunday this weekend. Admission is free to the Maud Lewis Gallery until the repairs are complete. Until then, "we'll keep smiling, it's spring and it's sunny," says Wellard.

For regular updates see the gallery's website at, Facebook page and Twitter feed @ArtGalleryNS

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