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Fall Arts at a glance 

Fill that lonely ol' day planner of yours with over 40 dance, literary, theatre, film, music and visual art events this fall

The Periodical Project
  • The Periodical Project


November 12-13,
The great thing about Hal-Con is not just that it brings big names in sci-fi and fantasy to Halifax but that it also gives local institutions a bigger stage to spread the geek word. Like last year, Hal-Con's 2011 convention is a mix of Halifamous and Hollywood famous, featuring guests such as Fat Apollo (of Geeks vs. Nerds fame) and Nicholas Brendon (AKA Xander from Buffy). The fact that Hal-Con manages to stay true to its Halifax roots while at the same time giving the experience of a big sci-fi con makes it unique from other conventions. On top of gaming tournaments, panels, workshops, and autograph sessions there will also be a silent auction to raise money for the IWK. So, if last year you lost out on a signed Kate Beaton print because someone kept upping the price (you know who you are), this might be the year where you come out ahead. —SF

Ivan Coyote
November 3 at The Company House
November 5 at Making Waves 2011: A Gay/Straight Alliance Conference,
No one tells a story quite like Ivan Coyote. Her work resounds with all ages, genders and sexualities. Deeply personally, yet uniquely universal. Coyote can make readers laugh and cry---consecutively. Coyote's back in town as the keynote speaker at Making Waves 2011: A Gay/Straight Alliance Conference at Halifax West High School.

"If I can play even a minor role in inspiring youth to treat each other with care and respect, well, then I feel like that will make a huge difference in the lives of many kids, and very well might save a life," says Coyote. "That is no little thing, and I am grateful." With over six award-winning collections of stories, one novel, three albums and her latest endeavour, Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme, edited with partner Zena Sharman, Coyote is always on the prowl for a good story. While Coyote is in town, expect an evening of storytelling at The Company House on November 3. —SWC

The Periodical Project
Is print dead? Natalie Slater and Chris Foster, the pair behind The Periodical Project, say no. The Periodical Project is a new local publication, to be printed in black and white on 11x17 newsprint, which will showcase work by Halifax-based artists--- like a curated gallery on paper. “Print is very exciting and powerful. We hope this publication will allow us to access a large audience and develop and nurture a thriving economy for emerging artists in the city,” says Foster. The first issue will be available for free during Nocturne on the first floor of the Khyber featuring painting, collage, drawing, photography, text, film stills and more---all linked by the theme of Economy. The paper will be funded by an Arts Directory, where for 20 bones artists, creatives and art-appreciative businesses can promote themselves. For more info or to submit to the directory, contact by October 5. —JF


There's jewellery riding around the city in a van, and it's not a Brinks truck, with Fervour's Own Fervour Jewelery Mobile on Saturday, October 1 (rain date Sunday) noon-3pm. Parked off Brunswick Street by St. David's Church, there will be tea, there will be snacks and there will be sexy-looking jewellery made with repurposed items. Check out the bound pendant for a Blair Witch vibe that is surprisingly appealing. The trailer may make an afternoon move to a north end location for a couple of hours, location TBA. Find Fervour's Own Jewellery on Facebook for more info.

Alderney Landing's Bluenose Ghost Fest (October 7-8, 13-15, 19-31) offers the next best thing to sticking your hand in a bowl of cold cooked spaghetti or fondling peeled grapes with events like a Fear the Darkness haunted house, a chance to their winning horror movie trailer entries, a Geary Street Cemetery interactive media tour and more.

New Yorker contributor and writer Adam Gopnik is coming to the Rebecca Cohn October 14 for this year's CBC Massey Lecture, commemorating the Massey Lectures 50th anniversary. Gopnik's subject is winter--- the season, the space, the cycle. If there is anything that will make you look forward to snow and slush this fall, this may be the ticket.

Your fall zine quota (what, you don't have one of those?) can all be conveniently spent in one place during the Halifax Pop Explosion Zine Fair, the best collection of tables east of Montreal this October 22 at Saint David's Church Hall, brought to you by the Anchor Archive Zine Library in the Roberts Street Social Centre. Also at the little red house on Roberts Street is new shed resident Anne-Francoise Jacques from Montreal (to October 9). Jacques plans to use homemade microphones, cassette recorders and homemade cassette loops to record sound samples around Roberts Street and create an ephemeral sound installation in the garden.

If you fail to get your shopping done at this year's Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council Designer Craft Show or the Halifax Crafters Festival, expect a lot of disappointed faces during the holidays, namely your own, dummy. Don't miss out on the handmade goodness November 18-20 at the Cunard Event Centre (NSDCC) and December 3-4 at the Olympic Centre (Halifax Crafters). —SJ


Symphony Nova Scotia's Maritime Fusion series
September 30 to April 13,
There's nothing like seeing one of your favourite artists embodied in the lush arrangements of Symphony Nova Scotia's Maritime Fusion series. This season's line-up includes two nights with Juno-award winner maestro of Canadian pop music Hawksley Workman September 30 and October 1; Halifax Pop Explosion presents Amelia Curran October 21; Nova Scotia's Men of Song, November 25; Catriona McKay and Chris Stout, March 2-4 and ethereal songstress Sarah Slean on April 13.

While Halifax once claimed her as our own, Amelia Curran has recently returned home to St. John's. After 12 years away, the city of legends reclaims its lyrical songstress and her heart found its rightful place amongst the fog.

"I can't imagine my move back to Newfoundland would surprise anybody," says Curran. "My 12 years in Halifax were at times heartbreaking, at times infuriating, and at times simply and perfectly delicious. I love that town. Halifax gave me my 20s, gave me my musical start."

While Curran settles back to life on the Rock, pondering the meaning of it all over bottles of India beer at The Ship, she's working on a follow-up to Juno Award-winning album Hunter, Hunter. She can't help but wistfully daydream of her once wounded-wing bird songs carried on the wing span of the orchestra.

"It's something I've never done before and something I can't imagine having the opportunity to do again. As a folk musician who performs almost exclusively as a solo artist, this is like walking on the moon for a moment."

Local songwriter, composer and arranger Erin Costelo has been furiously scoring the arrangements for Curran's performance since the spring, with some help by Phil Sedore and Rebecca Pallate.

"I'm excited to perform my work without having to play guitar. It's a bit terrifying, and a bit of a personal throwback to old theatre experiences," says Curran. "Definitely exciting and perhaps most obviously, but impossible not to say, is the chance to be part of a symphony orchestra. That's an entirely different world that I have never set foot in as a performer." —SWC

CKDU 88.1FM Funding Drive
October 1-7, various locations
Conor Purdy has an ulterior motive for organizing CKDU's 2011 funding drive. While he's as eager as anyone to raise money for equipment and repairs, he also wants to make sure his sketch comedy show continues to have a home station. CKDU is holding events like a pizza and vinyl party (October 3, 7:30 at Tomavino's Cellar Ristorante), an all ages show at The Khyber (October 6), a dance party at The Company House (October 6), a mystery show at Gus' (October 7) and Salon de Refuses Merrytime Edition at The Fickle Frog (October 8) to bring in the cash.

Purdy reminds people the money goes to a good cause.

"CKDU is an important medium for the city that allows anyone, regardless of social status, wealth, race, gender, technical know-how or sexuality to have their voice heard," he writes. "But we're also a place where a jackass like me can get on the air once a week and make fart and dick jokes for an hour."

For more information on events, visit or call 494-6479 to donate.—SF

Halifax Pop Explosion
October18-22, various locations,
The other day my friend told me that she had made up a spread sheet for her Pop Explosion itinerary. This sounds completely intense...that is until you take a gander at this year's HPX lineup. The city's annual international music festival is about to erupt upon all of us, bringing its usual plethora of musicians, both local and come-from-away, for live music galore and conference enlightenment. This year we're talking Thee Oh Sees, JEFF the Brotherhood, Titus Andronicus, Timber Timbre, Fucked Up, Dan Mangan, plus local lovelies Rich Aucoin, Dog Day, Cold Warps...and so so so many more. It's no wonder those wristbands are nearly gone (hint: go get yours, NOW!) And new this year: a free show at Grand Parade featuring Stars, Carmen Townsend, Plants and Animals and Papermaps on October 22 at 3pm. So there you have it. Go forth, and explode. —AS

Nova Scotia Music Week
November 4-6, various locations in Yarmouth,
Hotel pools. Showcase after showcase. A tangle of lanyards. Handfuls of drink tickets. Waking up in a stairwell. We're not saying this describes every Nova Scotia Music Week, but it's not unheard of. Guaranteed there will be lots of wild times for the 15th annual NSMW, the last in Yarmouth. Schmooze with the best of them, sport fashionable sunglasses and clap---quietly please, some of us are nursing a hangover---during the Industry and Awards Brunch (November 6 at Rodd Grand Ballroom), get decked out for the Gala Awards show (November 6 at the Mariners Centre) and see performances at the various stages by the likes of Audrey and the Agents, Black Moor, Bad Vibrations, Jon Mckiel, The Town Heroes and so many more. A week hardly seems long enough. —SJ


If idle hands are the devil's tool, god knows what idle ears are. Better not chance it---be sure to surround yourself in sound this fall. OG Jerry Granelli plays the gracious host for the first ever 1313 Music Festival (October 7-9), featuring Turtleboy, Dragos Tara and Diatribes, a creative music workshop and The Granelli Trio, of course. There's also ample opportunities to get classy with Classified with guests Royce Da 5'9" and Shad (November 10 at the Halifax Forum) and classical with the St. Cecilia Concert Series featuring Jasper Wood, Jelena Milojevic, Duo Benzakoun, a performance of Carmen and a metric tonne of others (see for info). The Camerata Xara Young Women's Choir presents Fatty Legs, a collaborative exploration of Canada's residential schools through choral music and storytelling, followed by a talk (October 30, for info). If you like them big tickets don't miss Jeff Beck (October 12, Metro Centre), Matthew Good (October 13, Halifax Forum) and La Avril (October 20, Metro Centre). —SJ


Time Frames
September 29 to November 24 (Thursdays from 1-3:30pm), Bloomfield Centre, 2786 Agricola Street, 456-0861
Not all histories worth studying are found in books and Gerard McNeil recognizes that. As the education and outreach curator at Veith Street Gallery Studio Association, McNeil's very familiar with programs that pair art and community development...but he noticed a void when it came it came to seniors in our community. So about a year ago he got to planning Time Frames, a 10-week program that would cater to adults over 55, allowing them to reflect upon their histories using art.

"I guess it came down to recognizing that there's a lot of knowledge and wisdom to be gained from working with elders in the community," says McNeil, who received a grant from the Department of Seniors' Positive Aging Fund to make Time Frames a reality. The program, which kicks off September 29, is split into past, present and future. The first portion focuses on personal and community histories. Participants will share stories about themselves, and where they're from, through paint, collages and photos. The present section will deal with issues of place, putting emphasis on specific communities. The future will bring in youth to partner with the seniors for an intergenerational skill-share, where they'll create "future maps," stepping outside the traditional idea of a map to create public installation pieces.

"There is a curriculum, but I'm really letting the seniors do their thing," says McNeil. And really, it's all about sharing. McNeil points out that the last week of each section is dedicated to a review of work and that skill sharing will play an important role, making sure that participants can help each other with specific techniques. You'll have a chance to learn from these histories, too; finished products will be exhibited at the Bloomfield Centre after Time Frames wraps. The program will also be remounted in January, for another 10-week string of reflection through art in Dartmouth. —AS

October 1-November 1, 1313 Hollis Street opening reception October 1 from 5-7pm
Kyle Cunjak and Aaron Mckenzie Fraser have combined their photographic forces for Carny/Sappy, a portrait exhibit that will be presented as part of Photopolis, the city-wide photography festival. Cunjak’s Carny traces his travels over the past five years, capturing raw and beautiful shots of carnival employees both locally and in the US, Mexico and Vietnam. In contrast, Coast contributor Fraser’s Sappy showcases another side of travelling for work. His body of street portraits were snapped at Sackville, NB’s Sappyfest over the past two summers, bringing the warmth of its contributors and loyal supporters to life on film. Oddly enough, carnies and musicians is a pairing that works. Both shot on film, the photos, seemingly simple, pack major narrative. —AS

Culture Days
September 30 to October 2, various locations,
All across Canada for three sweet days, artistic and cultural events are kicked into high gear, with an event aimed at encouraging professional and amateur artists and the public to interact on a grand scale. There are many family friendly events on the go---be sure to check out the SNS Brass Quintet performing at the Discovery Centre October 1 at 11am (with an instrument petting zoo), make a square for the paper art quilts at Alderney Gate Public Library (Friday to Sunday), help CBC celebrate 75 years with meet and greets and tours (October 1, 11am-3pm, 1840 Bell Road) or stop by Pier 21 (October 1, 10am-5pm) for the kickoff of the museum's Discover Culture programs. —SJ

MSVU P+ART+Y, Rubbish Rubbish
October 8-November 20, MSVU Art Gallery, 166 Bedford Highway
This year, the Mount Saint Vincent Art Gallery turns the big 4-0. Keep your eyes peeled in November for an event called P+ART+Y, which will also celebrate milestones of the galleries at Dalhousie, Saint Mary's and NSCAD. In preparation for the confetti showers, why not check out Rubbish Rubbish, which runs at MSVU from October 8-November 20. Curator Stefan Hancherow wants you to reconsider the warped, tossed aside cardboard box: in this case, it's the box itself, not what's inside, that gets attention. Artists Chris Foster, Lorenzo Pepito, Roula Parthenjou, Kate Walchuk, Zeke Moores, Nicole Raufeisen and Ryan Witt have created models of cardboard boxes from bronze, wood, paint and other materials and methods of bricolage or making stuff from whatever is on hand. The results are illusions of the real thing, so convincing you'll be tempted to grab one and fill it with your junk. —JF

Saturday, October 15, 6pm-midnight, various locations This is the fourth year for the nighttime art festival, and it promises to be a highly interactive experience, full of treats and surprises. Get ready for a diverse mix of exhibitions at galleries and alternative spaces, along with a whole whack of special independent projects.

Unsure where to start? Consider a simulated scrub at Gallery Page and Strange’s Happy Wash, where Shelley Mansel, Lia Rinaldo and Helena Roxy Rae have dreamed up substitutes for each stage of a car wash. Participants won’t get wet, but don’t be surprised if you emerge feeling a little more sparkly. Nocturne audiences may remember Scott Saunders and Ariel Nasr’s previous outdoor installation, where a video of a Kabul, Afghanistan, market was projected onto the Roy Building. Saunders and Nasr connect Halifax and Kabul again with You Wanna Play?/Channel 5, which will transform the space around the AGNS into a maze of full-size video screens depicting inhabitants of Kabul dancing.

At Alderney Theatre in Dartmouth, check out Heather Rappard and Robert Drisdelle’s Analog Stereograms from Synthetic Space!, where psychedelic effects are achieved by plugging things in the wrong way. Ella Morton delivers a poetic twist on a walk along the Halifax waterfront with You Are Here by posting a series of glow-in-the-dark arrows and curious phrases on the ground and sides of buildings. Allow yourself to be transported at Lisa Lipton’s Strangers in the Night at Seasons, which investigates the effects of lounge music.

At NSCAD’s Port Loggia Gallery, Gerard Choy explores language with Migrant Sounds, where participants are invited to sound out classic movie lines in Cantonese by using phonetics. And if you’ve always wanted to see an electric guitar smashed in a church, don’t miss William Robinson’s Young Prayer at St. Matthew’s United, which uses a pulley system to recreate rock exhibitionism.

Navigate the festival by bus, walking tour or bike tour. Park your bike (or stroller or skateboard) in style at the free valet service in front of the Spring Garden library. —JF


Don't miss The Khyber's dance and DJ-filled membership party September 30 ($5/$10 for a membership). Let the party be a reminder to go back and check out Montreal-based Stacy Lundeen's Left Wing Tics. Opening October 15 during Nocturne to November 25. The exhibit explores the notion of political and personal ideology through a secular invention.

From October 15 to November 27, Manitoba's Larry Glawson presents famous portraits of queer couples and families to the Saint Mary's University Art Gallery. Curated by JJ Kegan, the retrospective includes portraits of Doug Melnyk, Glawson's lover of 30 years and photographs and video works to present a "queer revisionist history."

Eyelevel Gallery and the Centre For Art Tapes host Céline Jouenne, directing manager of Videospread (Marseille, France), in the October-long program 3X3X3, uniting three curators, three artists and three public sites in HRM. All three curators will be working with artists who explore the degradation, juxtaposition or technical implications of the moving image, set in relation to the photographic image. For info see eyelevelgallery.caSJ


DaPoPo’s Live-In
To October 22, TNS Living Room, 2353 Agricola Street
 2011 marks DaPoPo Theatre’s third annual Live-In---a month-long event that features a play-reading series of new works by local established and emerging writers (DaPlay Readings) skill-share workshops and talks for theatre artists and the public (DaWorkshops), social events (DaParties), and DaPerformances. Six playwrights including Natasha MacLellan, Griffin McInnes and Kim Parkhill will showcase their work and performances will include DaPoPo’s very first show Four Actors in Search of a Nation. There’s also a huge selection of advance registration required workshops that include everything from puppetry to clowning. Participation in the Live-In is by suggested donation at the door. —KW

Lohifi Productions' Epic in a Box
October 6-7, 8pm, Argyle Fine Art, 425-9456
This touring show is literally theatre at your fingertips, or rather at the fingertips of Christopher Little and Theo Pitsiavas. The two make up Lohifi Productions (remember 2010's Grandma Noda's Tigers?) and are bringing their new table-top show, so itty bitty it fits in a box, into the living rooms of theatre lovers across the province. Inspired by a somewhat secret box of treasures Little's brother showed off to him as a child, Epic in a Box uses trinkets he's been collecting to tell a story that promises comedy, adventure, romance and more. "Theo and I were eager to explore something smaller and more intimate, where the objects were close enough to touch and we could borrow people's hands when we needed to," says Little of the show which will follow in successful footsteps of house concerts. The tiny 40 minute show graces Argyle Fine Art for two shows (October 6 and 7 at 8pm) call 425-9456 for tickets. To host *Epic in a Box* contact —-AS

October 30-November 5 at The Bus Stop, 2203 Gottingen Street
 The idea for The Doppler Effect’s CU2morrow was ripped from the headlines. It began with the story of the so-called “suicide nurse”---a Minnesota man arrested for being an accessory in the deaths of several people he had met online. Playwrights Annie Valentina and Michael MacPhee (who also star in the production) recently took their project to Norway to be workshopped with a director at The International Theatre Lab. The result is a powerful exploration of criminal responsibility and just what it means to live in an age where strangers can become “friends” through the computer while remaining essentially anonymous. —KW

The Passion of Adèle Hugo
November 6-20 at the Neptune Studio Theatre
  Eastern Front Theatre’s outgoing artistic producer Scott Burke commissioned this play with book and lyrics by David Overton and music by Zachary Florence back in 2008 and has returned to direct the production. It’s a musical based on the “outrageous but true” story of novelist Victor Hugo’s daughter’s doomed romance with a caddish British soldier. Adèle pursued the object of her affection from Britain to the garrison town of Halifax where he ultimately rejects her. Still consumed with passion, she follows him to Barbados and ultimately returns to Paris where she is placed in an asylum. “It’s a story of magnificent obsession.” says Burke. —KW


Lion’s Den Theatre presents The Underpants (September 28 to October 2, 8pm, Sat. matinee at 2pm The Bus Stop Theatre) adapted by one Steve Martin. You know the one. It’s just a play about a woman’s underpants falling down and an absurd look at gender roles, fame and relationships, no biggie. For info or tickets, contact

Love is in the air and on the boards with Don Hannah’s While We’re Young, directed by Margot Dionne October 12-15 at the David MacK. Murray Studio for DalTheatre. While We’re Young, follows the stories of six young people (but not in a creepy way) from Confederation to the 21st century as they confront love’s charms and challenges.

If you don’t love musicals then I don’t want to know you, but if you do, you’ll be pleased to hear the musical theatre company DGM Music Inc. are bringing RENT to town (October 13–15, 8pm, The Spatz Theatre) in support of the AIDS Coalition of Nova Scotia.

The very intriguing sounding Tecumseh as a Doorstop tells the tale of four “roommates thrown from the saucepan” (um, whut) and the laughter and tears that go along with such an event. Directed by Dorian Lang, it runs November 16-17 at the Living Room (8pm, weekend matinees at 2pm). For info

2b Theatre simultaneously quenches your desire for both travel and romance with a double bill of The Russian Play and Mexico City by Hannah Moscovitch (East of Berlin) at the Neptune Studio Theatre November 29-December 4. The plays explore love and relationships against Stalinist Moscow and the back alleys of Mexico City. —SJ



Live Art Dance
Trial and Eros: Four Quartets. Sep 29-Oct 1, Sir James Dunn Theatre, 6101 University Ave, 8pm, $17-25, 494-3820,
This year Live Art Dance turns 29. The two-person operation (artistic director Paul Caskey and general manager Gay Hauser) has managed to, yet again, reel in a varied lineup of contemporary dance that, for the most part, you'd never be able to see without travelling to do so.

"The touring companies that Paul was most excited about were all available this year," says Hauser, who notes this is the first time they've had three shows at the Cohn. The season kicks off on September 29 with three nights of Montreal-based Trial and Eros' Four Quartets, a one-woman show from the company's founder Deborah Dunn. "I love the humour that she brings to her dance work," says Hauser. "She's very engaged with the audience and the material. When there's some humour in a piece, it brings the whole audience into the dance."

Dunn's work will give the audience the chance to read poetry in a new way---her choreography utilizes music, as well as TS Eliot's own Four Quartets. A recorded reading of the poems will accompany the performance. The fall also brings Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie's In Paradisium and O Vertigo's Onde de Choc to the Cohn. The excitement continues into the new year, with a world premiere from Mocean Dance, an Atlantic debut from La La La Human Steps (which Hauser calls "the biggest show and biggest company Live Art has ever brought in") and a performance from New York's Terrain Dance. —AS

Ballet Jörgen
A World to Shake, October 22, 3pm. Ballet in the Studio, October 29, 7pm at Lillian Piercey Concert Hall, Chebucto Road, $15-$21
Toronto-based Ballet Jörgen's mandate is outreach. It aims to be a company that makes ballet "a relevant, comfortable part of growing up, part of the fabric of regular life, as community-friendly as hockey or curling." The Halifax leg of the company's fall tour includes two performances: A voyage of discovery revolving around snow globe called A World to Shake and Ballet in the Studio, a show that offers a chance to see some of the company's newest works.

Be sure to be on the look out for Halifax's flame-haired ballet star Hannah Mae Cruddas, recently hired to dance with Ballet Jörgen. —KW

Flamenco Fest
October 22-30,
The best of Spanish music, dance and culture will be on display during the sixth annual Fall for Flamenco Festival. The festival kicks off with a showcase of flamenco guitar that features both local and international guitarists. Get your Latin groove on with workshops for beginner and experienced dancers and guitarists. One of the high points in this action-packed week is sure to be a dance/theatre production at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium called De España con Amor (From Spain With Love), produced and created in Halifax under the award-winning theatrical direction of Anthony Black (2b Theatre). The festivities end with The Frightening Fiesta, a Halloween-themed closing party at The Seahorse Tavern. Olé! —KW

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