Umbrella Summer 2021 Vol. 30 No. 2
What's Under the Umbrella? o o o
Living art-fully in Madoc, Ontario Umbrella turns 30 About town with Peter C. Newman
Visual I Performance I Literary I Heritage I Education
A publication of the
Janet Jarrell, Executive Director email@example.com Adam Gray, Creative Director firstname.lastname@example.org Fiona Campbell, Communications & Outreach Director email@example.com Andrew Gray, Graphic Designer firstname.lastname@example.org Kim Lidstone, Bookkeeper email@example.com The Quinte Arts Council is a not-for-profit, charitable organization, registration number 107869448 RR 0001. Publications mail agreement number 40667523. Published by: The Quinte Arts Council, P.O. Box 22113 Belleville, Ont. K8N 2Z5 Printed by: Mr. Print, Belleville, Ont. Material may be reprinted only with permission. Umbrella is mailed to members and delivered to distribution points throughout the Quinte Region. The information contained within is believed to be reliable, but accuracy cannot be guaranteed. We do not assume responsibility for any errors and/or omissions related to submitted content. QAC programs are funded in part by:
John M. & Bernice
PARROTT F O U N D AT I O N
MESSAGE FROM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR The QAC began publishing Umbrella 30 years ago and it’s still going strong. We asked Carol Bauer for its origins as a tabloid newspaper before it became the glossy magazine you hold in your hands. As an umbrella organization representing all artistic disciplines, we have once again curated a celebration of stories about local artists who continue to create and inspire during a still challenging year. And we have much to celebrate: When local artist David R. Maracle was asked to perform at the Honouring Ceremony for the JUNOs, he turned to the QAC for support. We reached out to the Empire Theatre to record the video. Thank you to Bay of Quinte Regional Marketing for your support in activating this project.
Despite a challenging school year, we are recognizing five exemplary students who are continuing to post-secondary education in the arts. Turn to page 40 to read about our bursary recipients.
she writes about hard things, the moving and bold poetry of Abena Beloved Green and Canadian icon Peter C. Newman (yes, he lives in Belleville!). In his words, “Artists see, musicians hear and writers feel.”
Within these pages we fondly remember that iconic edifice the Tweedsmuir, home to First It’s important to consider our Tuesday Muse, that we lost to history within a greater context: As we go to print, our fire in March. hearts are heavy after the reSpeaking of loss: the arts com- mains of 215 children were munity also remembers Kath- discovered in an unmarked ryn Fellows. Beyond talented, grave at a residential school she inspired strength, compas- in Kamloops, BC; another sion and adventure in others. 104 potential graves have been found at the former During hard times we often Brandon residential school. turn to music to soothe our The devastation is overwhelmsouls – whether it is the big ing. There is much sadness, sound of Long Range Hustle or the classical sounds of Quinte anger and reconciliation to Society for Chamber Music – happen across this country. our local music scene has it all. As we learned during the Words help us make sense of pandemic, art is there to help uncertainty, and so we share us heal. profiles of award-winning Kelly S. Thompson on why
Cover: Diane Woodward
Back: Luke Hendry/The Intelligencer
Table of Contents
Quinte Arts Council Message from the Chair + Contributors Thirty years of Umbrella
Photography The art of photojournalism Through the lens of Peggy DeWitt
Theatre Thriving in a digital life
Film Local arts residency leads to video series "Speak It" Bringing Marmora’s forgotten history to life
Music Connecting rural residents to classical music Getting personal with Long Range Hustle
Fine Art Honouring artist Kathryn Fellows Living art-fully in small-town Ontario The art of being bold
20 22 26
Literary Kelly S. Thompson on writing about hard things About town with Peter C. Newman Outspoken word
30 32 36
Heritage End of an era
Art Education Supporting the future: celebrating our 2021 arts bursary winners Inviting Everyone Under the Rainbow
Artist to Watch: Justin Anderson Sponsored by the Bay of Quinte Regional Marketing Board
Quinte Arts Council
MESSAGE FROM CHAIR OF THE BOARD On behalf of the Quinte Arts Council Board of Directors, I welcome you to the Summer edition of Umbrella. This magazine evolves in its magnificence and creativity from one issue to the next. I truly do not know how one could possibly be better than the last until I hold its glossy pages in my hands, like you do now, and it always is. This is the remarkable 30-year anniversary of Umbrella. We are so proud of the benefits Umbrella brings to our communities and our members. You will notice our commitment to diversity and inclusion, a spotlight on local writers and an unabated advocacy for the arts in this and every issue. None of this happens without you. Thank you for your readership.
On June 29 we reviewed (and celebrated!) the year 2020 with our membership during our Annual General Meeting. We shared challenges and achievements, as well as fond goodbyes as we bid farewell to two incredible arts advocates - Dan Atkinson and Jenny Woods, who were both former Chairs and Board Members of the Quinte Arts Council. We are so grateful for every contribution they made to our organization. New and wonderful things are on the horizon for 2021 and beyond. The phenomenal team at the QAC is planning artists in residence, renewed branding, podcasts, Expressions, and much much more! Keep creating, keep in touch and keep supporting your arts community.
Full bios can be found at quinteartscouncil.org/umbrella/contributors
Thirty years of Umbrella By Carol Bauer
and services offered by the Quinte Arts Council (QAC) since its inception in 1967. But the most enduring and successful of them all is Umbrella. Since 1991, this little tabloid newspaper (and now magazine) has helped spread the word about the arts in Quinte throughout this community and beyond. Many other arts councils have used Umbrella as an example on which to base their own publications. It was the Scarborough Arts Council's newspaper that inspired Susan Stevenson, QAC's Executive Director back in 1991, to set into motion the steps it would take to produce an arts newspaper for this region.
As the editor and producer, I did pretty much everything except layout. It was a lot of intense work and there were a few very late nights before each print deadline. Thanks to volunteers like Jane Mackenzie, who helped edit and proofread almost every issue, we always got 'the boards' to the printer on time. It was with great pleasure that in 2018, I handed Umbrella over to Janet, Adam and Fiona who have turned it into a full-colour glossy magazine. No one, except those of us who have worked on it over the years, will know how much time and effort goes into producing and distributing it. I feel for you guys – but better you than me!
At the time, the QAC was creating a placemat-style calendar, but Susan felt it was a poor representation of the quality of work being produced in Quinte. She secured funding to hire Jan Dolby, and so began Umbrella. Peter Davis was later hired to do layout and design. I got in touch with Dolby recently and she shared some fond memories: “The production of Umbrella made the office hum. There was always lots of action during the process: laser printer running off copy, readjusting the copy columns, editing, great conversations and laughter. Umbrella was created before the internet, email, Photoshop or InDesign, but we made a great publication. Susan was in charge of content and editing, Barb Hallam collected member information as it came in over the phone or drop-offs to the office. I was in charge of typesetting, layout and design with the help of the incredibly talented Peter Davis... He taught me so much about laying out a publication. He taught me to love an exacto knife, to use wax and rulers and to make sure copy was straight.” She adds: “The paper definitely brought the QAC closer to its membership. It was an excellent communication tool for member events, as well as for municipal and provincial arts information.” I took over Umbrella at the same time as the arts community was growing bigger and more active, and over the years, the paper more than doubled in size. 03
Quinte Arts Council
There have been many programs
The art of photojournalism
By Allen Steinberg
Hen dr y i s a
photojournalist at Belleville’s daily newspaper, The Intelligencer. His passion for photography combined with his many years of experience in journalism have made him into an expert storyteller, capturing moments with not only his stunning photographs but his way with words as well. Hendr y’s interest in photography was bor n while attending Loyalist College’s print and broadcast journalism program, which included two photo courses. After landing a job with The Bancroft Times , he gathered enough skill and experience with a camera to lure him back to Loyalist, this time to take photojournalism. From his time there, he shares one enduring quote passed down to him from his mentor Frank O’Connor: “Make your own luck.”
All photos Luke Hendry/The Intelligencer
“I came to realize if you do your homework, plan things out, know your gear, and be prepared, you'll be ready when the moment arrives,” says Hendry. “It's a great feeling when that works.” His photojournalistic journey has presented him with many once-in-a-lifetime opportunities -- and he has the pictures to go with them. Some of his most memorable moments have been shooting the inside of a burning building during firefighter training, following local veterans through their Italian battlegrounds when he was on the military beat, photographing surgery, flying over flood zones and canoeing past moose, he says. But despite all of these highlights, Hendry finds the most moving images to be ones found in the most mundane parts of life. He connects most with his pictures of ordinary people and his family because they’re what matters the most. Hendry is a storyteller and he uses his 04
camera to capture the stories of others around him: “I love working with light, capturing people’s personalities, reactions, and interactions, exploring nature and recording history. There is always more to see and learn.“
Through the lens of Peggy DeWitt
By QAC Team
Professional photographer Peggy
DeWitt, grew up on a farm near Orono, Ont. and has been a resident of Prince Edward County for most of her adult life, raising three beautiful daughters on a dairy farm near Cherry Valley. With an agricultural background, DeWitt has photographed and captured the beauty of the area in all its moods and seasons since 1992 when she embraced photography fulltime in Picton. DeWitt’s work is well known and appreciated for its distinctive interpretation with a rural flare. DeWitt demonstrates her professionalism in everything from studio photography, portraits and weddings to commercial work for the web and magazines including the original County Magazine. She has published four books of Prince Edward County: “County Scenes, A Photographic Celebration of Prince Edward County” (2001), “Sandbanks, The Golden Beaches of Prince Edward County” (2003), “The County through the lens of photographer Peggy DeWitt” ( 2008) and “A Four Season County – Prince Edward” in collaboration with Phil Norton, Rob Garden and Jason Pettit (2020). Her online gallery offers a wide array of images with over 3,700 stock photos of the favourite Prince Edward County landmarks, including the golden beaches of Sandbanks, 06
remote lighthouses, old barns, romantic vineyards and wineries, historical buildings and aerial views of the town and villages. Her note cards, matted prints or framed images can be found at many retail locations throughout PEC. DeWitt enjoys sharing knowledge about photography, having taught camera courses and leading travel workshops in Portugal and Turkey, and recently (due to COVID) a webinar on Promotional Photography - how to take better photos to promote your business. peggydewitt.com
Thriving in a digital life By Peter Paylor
Heading into last year, it seemed like Alexandra (Alex) Bell and Nathan Mahaffy were everywhere. Artists, musicians, improv comedians. Theatre creators both on stage and off. Co-producers, co-hosts, and performers with Night Kitchen Too, Belleville’s highly successful acoustic musical variety show.
The list of their accomplishments is long; their talents are vast; their momentum, it seemed, was unstoppable. The seventh year of Night Kitchen Too was chugging along nicely. They had opened for the Sadies in January with Bad Tractor, one of the region’s most popular live bands; Nathan on drums,
Alex on keyboard. The band was gigging most weekends. Grievous Angels, NDP Member of Parliament Charlie Angus’s band, had released their new album, Summer Before the Storm, with Nathan on drums. There was talk of a tour in the summer. They were regularly performing improv with the Improvmonauts, keeping audiences throughout the Quinte Region in stitches. They were into rehearsals for Mamma Mia! at the Belleville Theatre Guild where they both had parts in the pit band. “The outlook on the calendar for 2020 was looking very, very good,” says Mahaffy. “March 14, we played our last gig as Bad Tractor,” says Bell. “We played the Beaufort and it was eerie. We all showed up and we weren’t even sure we were going to play. That was on Saturday. On Sunday afternoon four of the five members of the band met because Billy MacInnis, Stompin’ Tom’s old fiddle player, was playing at the Old Church Theatre…the rest is literally history for the rest of the world. That was the day it all stopped…there were no more gigs, there haven’t been any gigs. And where are we now?” Where they are now is online. “There was a good long time when we were disconnected from a lot of social media,” says Mahaffy. “That wasn’t our game. We were always well-rooted in nature….and just sort of out of necessity started more recently branching out into that world and now here we are in 2021 where technology is how we get together and how we communicate.”
As the technical director for the Belleville Theatre Guild, Bell has a great appreciation for the technical side of theatre. “You’re just this little elf hiding away,” she says. Since August of last year, she’s been heavily involved with the Guild’s one-act, online play reading series, first on Zoom and now YouTube. “Tech in theatre is sound and lights. When you are talking tech now, it’s computers and emails and Zoom, Zoom, Zoom. And so that became something that at first was a necessity, but then it became my outlet. I really have adored being part of these shows. What happened was all these creative minds kept collaborating and slowly but surely, we all learned the technology.”
Mahaffy has spent the past year rediscovering his old love for 80’s-era video games, creating chiptunes which emulate the music from old video consoles. His album Songs for Baby Seals was released this year on Bandcamp through IdnitMedia under the moniker N8bit. “What I want to do is make people happy,” he says. “I put out an album that has a cute little seal on it that’s fifteen minutes of feel-good tunes.” In May he released his first music video, Orange Twilight, featuring Dreyfus the baby seal. “I guess my ultimate dream would be to have my music in video games and my art in video games,” he says.
When I spoke to them in May, Night Kitchen Too was about to go online as well. “It’s been a big change for us, adjusting to digital life,” says Bell. “We’re doing all of our art and music exclusively online now. It’s been an interesting year for us, a shift for us creatively.” Bell talks about being part of a creative couple. “When you do create, not only do you get to do that, but there’s this beautiful thing where you get to watch the other person doing what they’re so good at and it’s awesome. I think we both really enjoy that, watching each other kind of find these pieces of ourselves.” Bell was born into a musical family in Brampton, Ont., where she attended Mayfield Secondary School for the Arts, playing trumpet with the jazz band. She moved to Belleville in 2008. “I was not doing well when I moved to Belleville,” she says. “I had been going to the Organic Underground and there was a poster up for My Name is Rachel Corrie…I was new to town and thought, well, that may be a way to meet some people, so I auditioned, and that started a year-long journey.” Bell got the part in the one-woman, two-act show which eventually toured through Ontario and Quebec. “Rachel Corrie was an American activist who had been killed doing non-violent, direct human intervention in Palestine and Israel…That was it for me. I saw the power of what that art form could do and what the collective art making process could be and I was sold…getting involved in the magic of it, the collective of it, and the power of what the message of theatre can be.”
Mahaffy was born in Belleville where his family supported his creativity right from the start, first as a visual artist and later as a musician. “Music being the steady backbeat pumping through,” he says. “Deep down in my heart I’m a drummer.” Mahaffy recalls the encouragement he received for a painting he once did as a child: “That was always something that I was motivated to do but also encouraged to do from the people around me who loved me. They saw that talent in me and nurtured it. It’s just always been present with me and I think, like many or any creative person, you go through waves of inspiration, and also things happen in life…when the stars align so that you can be a creative person…I always try to take advantage of those moments.” Nathan Mahaffy
Local arts residency leads to video series “Speak It” By Jennifer Shea
“amazing,” “incredible” and “awesome” with a bright gleam in her eyes, Georgia Papanicolaou describes the experience of her artist residency with the Prince Edward County Arts Council.
for a whole month felt like a dream come true. “To have a space for a month that I have access to from 7:00 in the morning until 10:00 o’clock at night without anybody else using it, it felt really good.”
As an artistic director/director with Shatterbox Theatre, a small, not-for-profit County-based theatre company, Papanicolaou is accustomed to performing in a nomadic fashion wherever space can be found. Having a dedicated space in The Armoury building in Picton, Ont.,
Papanicolaou’s project for her artist residency was the production of a three-video series, put together using one-on-one workshopping with actors and writers and recorded in The Armoury space. The creative juices flowed unchecked and the end result is 12 recorded videos with the
potential for up to 30 in total. “I’m pinching myself still about how much was actually accomplished,” she says.
“It’s already spreading and people are really interested in participating in the future." The video series – “Speak It” – features three different themes: Mental health, so-
The open-door policy of Shatterbox Theatre extended to this project, with all interested community members welcomed, whether they had acting experience or not. Papanicolaou was particularly pleased with the turnout of young people. “I think it’s difficult for some of the younger kids and teenagers to get involved with the arts now, so having the opportunity to work one-on-one was very appealing to them. And the fact that we do work that sparks conversations; they want to get their stories and voices out. This was a comfortable way for them to do that.”
She’s proud of the end result, and she looks forward to sharing the videos on YouTube, the Shatterbox Theatre website and Instagram. Papanicolaou has a long-term vision as well, including potential live performances that involve multimedia video clips and some of the newfound local “Speak It” talent. “I’m hoping this will spark something. It’s already spreading and people are really interested in participating in the future.”
Papanicolaou’s training in film and directing at Queen’s University and Theatre Ontario led her to create Shatterbox Theatre in 2017. She has put all of her hard-earned skills to work in the “Speak It” project, including directing, videography and post-production for each video. 13
She has nothing but praise for the Prince Edward County Arts Council’s artist residency program and she hopes her experience opens the door for more performing artists to apply: “The artist’s residency can make a world of difference for somebody that wants to have a space where they can dedicate and focus themselves, and people who have the same passions will gravitate towards that.” shatterboxtheatre.com
cial justice and education. Actors, writers and community residents were asked to contribute subject matter along these themes, and Papanicolaou was amazed that 15 people from the ages of 6 to 70 stepped up to take part. “About 80% of our participants have written original material. We have pieces that are quite dramatic and some that are funny. They kind of go through an emotional ride and people can connect with them.”
Bringing Marmora’s forgotten history to life
B y Ad a m G ra y
Sean Scally has quickly
become one of the best known documentary filmmakers in the Quinte Region. He has won the Best Local Film Award at Belleville Downtown DocFest twice, and his films are always among DocFest audience favourites. Scally has a unique gift for telling local historical stories in a compelling and accessible way. His films take obscure stories from dusty historical bookshelves and breathe new life into them. These forgotten stories and people emerge from the past onto the screen like ghosts embedding themselves
in our collective memory. Scally is a man driven by passion for his art form not by profit. He loves what he does.
Ironmasters of Upper Canada, Scally’s latest documentary, tells the story of Charles Hayes’ epic battle to create and maintain Marmora’s Ironworks in the early 1800s. The film paints a vivid picture of a driven man, facing enormous odds in the brutal wilderness of Upper Canada. The audience is taken on a 200-year journey through Marmora’s history from a sparsely populated colony to the charming village it is today.
The film is based on André Philpot’s book A Species of Adventure and commissioned by the Marmora Historical Foundation for Marmora’s 200th anniversary. Scally had worked with local historian and artist Anne Philpot on a previous film Lumberbaron: The Gilmour Years, during which Anne gave him a copy of her husband André’s book and Scally fell in love with the story. “How do you not like a story that involves John A. Macdonald, Anthony Manahan, the Riel Rebellion and all that stuff?! It’s a great story that connects so much Canadian history. Everything clicked for me.
Film When they asked me if I would be interested in making it into a film I jumped at the chance.” Raised in Kirkland Lake, Ont., a town with a rich history of mining, Scally’s grandfather and uncle worked in the mines. The entire mining town aspect of Marmora’s story really spoke to him. He dove deep into the research: “It’s the part of the filmmaking process I love the most. Each little discovery is a victory and gives me a feeling of satisfaction that only a historian or a detective can understand.” Hundreds, if not thousands, of hours are put into a film like Ironmasters and Scally’s obsessive interest in such topics makes the work pleasurable. “It takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup,” Scally laughs. “In the end it’s so sweet!” In a style reminiscent of American filmmaker Ken Burns, Ironmasters uses a treasure trove of historical images and archival material intercut with an indepth interview with author/historian André Philpot, voice actors and some 15
stunning cinematography. The film was set to be screened in-person on Marmora’s 200th anniversary; unfortunately, COVID-19 restrictions foiled those plans. Eventually the Marmora Historical Foundation decided to do an online release on YouTube, their website (marmorahistory.ca), as well as a screening at DocFest 2021. Public reaction was immediate and overwhelmingly positive. “People have personal connections to these films, they know the names, they have been to the places - that makes it special,” says Scally. “The payoff for me is when I watch the final edit of a film,” says Scally. “I have been working on it for a long time; seen it hundreds of times. If I can have a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye at the end, I know I can get that reaction from everybody else.”
Ironmasters of Upper Canada and its companion piece Moving Mountains can be viewed at seanscally.ca and his YouTube channel.
Connecting rural residents to classical music By Vic Schukov
for Chamber Music (QSCM) makes classical music performances by accomplished artists accessible to rural communities. The registered Canadian not-forprofit charity was founded in 1985 by Bonnie Sallans, Chair, and three choir members at St. Paul's United Church in Stirling, Ont. “Many people in rural Ontario have never heard a professional performance of classical music,” says Sallans. “I grew up in Prince Edward and Hastings Counties. Although my professional journey is not small, my heart belongs to rural life.”
The QSCM books world class professional musicians into intimate community events where locals can meet the musicians. When you speak to a musician and hear of their hard work in that life chosen, says Salans, it builds a grassroots following: “When the talking is done, and the musicians step up, hearing the music come to life is what matters, for people who have never or rarely had that experience.” “Given the rural population, we cover a wide territory to grow a substantial audience in these regions,”says Sallans. “Many people cannot go out of their way
Pictured: The Madoc Quartet
to hear their first symphony orchestra. But when it happens in your local venue, perhaps one where you volunteered, you just might come out.” According to Sallans, fundraising in rural communities is a challenge, as local businesses are stretched in committing to local charity groups. Thanks to private individuals and local businesses, the QSCM perseveres with volunteers who sometimes even house visiting performers. A 2018 grant from the Ontario Arts Council allowed QSCM to stage a piano and cello concert at St. Paul’s. Last year, municipal grants from the township and Centre Hastings provided for two more. The Society plans to expand into Marmora, Tweed and further north. “Classical musicians are expensive, dedicated professionals,” says Sallans. “Their fees are largely our cost. Canada is churning out world class musicians. We need to hear their incredible gifts, a part of our cultural legacy. Rural people are entitled to enjoy it all.”
Music COVID-19 has disrupted QSCM’s calendar because it takes years in advance to book high-calibre musicians: “Funding does not like uncertainty. Thankfully, our local donors have been generous. When someone falls down in rural areas, those still standing help them get back up.” During the pandemic, QSCM expanded online programming with two virtual performance events on their website; a third is in the making. They also launched a kids’ zone created by their youngest volunteers. The QSCM hopes to return to outside performances, within allowable numbers, by September. “Art is about reaching out from the self to the self in everyone, to find the best in ourselves. People turn to the arts, especially the classical, in times of trouble and uncertainty,” says Sallans. Artists are, by nature, finely tuned human beings. Humanity must be about how we connect with each other in a way that makes us better as individuals, a culture, a world. We go forward in a way that is caring and giving – very important in these times.” qscmusic.com 17
Getting personal with Long Range Hustle Music
By Andrew Gray
It is rare and beautiful when music reaches you at just the right time. Long Range Hustle have released three enigmatic singles from their upcoming album and they are a balm for the soul.
"Comeback Kid" and "American Cash" have been making their way onto playlists across the interwebs this spring, building anticipation for the full release this fall. With verses about “killing time in the living room” and choruses sardonically lamenting the inedibility of “new ideas and designs,” these new tunes cleverly speak to a sense of melancholy and angst many of us can relate to these days. But rather than wallow in despair, they articulate nuanced emotions and burst with infectious energy. Their latest "Wait For Me" captures their particular brand of what I like to call sweet sorrow pop.
They played weekends throughout college and by 2015, the five-piece indie rockers released their first album, From Seedlings to Saplings. In 2019, they joined forces with veteran Scottish producer Tony Doogan (Belle and Sebastian, Mogwai) and their sound hit the stratosphere with Town. Now with New York label AntiFragile Music their star is rising fast. LRH are master builders of high-arching rock ballads that move from the intimate to the expansive. The slick design of atmospheric soundscapes and warm harmonies, lyrical imagery, eclectic
For many in the Quinte Region, Long Range Hustle (LRH) needs no introduction. Hailing from Stirling, Madoc and Tweed, lead singers/songwriters Paul Brogee (strings) and Jay Foster (keys) formed the band in high school with Paul’s brother Mike (bass), guitarist Ryan Pritchard and drummer AJ Fisico. 18
arrangements show the breadth of influences from a group trained in classical, jazz, folk, and of course rock n’ roll. And yet there is a distinct small town Ontario charm and attitude in their songwriting. Beyond the imagery of salted roads, ice hanging off the trees and the wry wit of descriptions like “A town even Timmie’s forgot,” you can tell the tight-knit group are having a good time on every track. The camaraderie is on full display in their Christmas-themed video as they harmonize and hold microphones on hockey sticks for each
other. There is a good-natured authenticity in their stories that grounds them even as the instrumentation often lifts the sound to more fantastical realms. An evocative line from "Comeback Kid", “I am alive, only if you say I am” feels like an allusion to the strange predicament performance artists have found themselves in under the thumb of COVID-19. Foster speaks to the difficulty of maintaining a sense of identity and being creative away from the stimulation of crowds during the isolation of the pandemic: “I’ve always thought of us as a band who plays in front of people. We definitely miss the thrill of performing on stage and interacting with an audience.”
[with Tony] and then you’d have a few weeks of anxiety, just sitting with blunt criticism,” says Foster. Brogee summarizes it as, “More time to write but also more time for dread.”
LRH describes their latest collaboration as “full of emotionally-turbulent lyrics, piano driven hooks, striking drums and bass, lush synths, ear catching guitar riffs and unforgettable four-part harmonies.” But it’s more than that.
During one tense moment during the production, Doogan thought one of the songs was too long so Brogee said to himself, “Okay, it is super songwriting time!” and headed to the kitchen with an acoustic to work it out. “It was nerve-wracking but it was also an exciting pressure to be under.”
“Every album is a celebration of life”, says Brogee, “and perhaps a form of emotional processing. On this new one we’ve become more comfortable being personal. While we do get into darker material at times, it is somewhat offset by the upbeat music. There is a through-line of hope.”
With perseverance, LRH met the challenges of recording an album during the pandemic at Tony’s Bathouse Studio near Kingston, Ont., while corresponding remotely with the Glasgow-based Doogan. “It was a pretty crazy time,” says Brogee. “Discussing the production over Skype forced us to really hone in. It went smoothly, but there was less margin for error.” Doogan is known to be fastidious and frank. “You’d get feedback over Skype 19
Honouring artist Kathryn Fellows By Kiki Carr
Staying within the lines
of art and life was not how Kathryn Fellows lived. As an artist, a community member, and a top-producing Investment Advisor with RBC Dominion Securities, a traditionally male-dominated field, she earned one of the highest levels of qualifications in her industry: Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute. Her friends describe her as a person who donated her time, resources, and art whenever someone needed it. She supported the community and honoured her own goals simultaneously. “She was one of those people constantly learning and pushing boundaries,” says Dona Knudsen in regards to her friend and peer artist from Gallery 121. She explains how Fellows always pushed herself to learn more and encouraged everyone around her to do the same.
She speaks fondly of Fellows and the way she took risks with her art, taking chances with texture and colour. Knudsen says Fellows had a special talent of making anyone feel welcome and knowledgeable, no matter where they were in their artist journey, in what they liked, what colours they were drawn to and how art made them feel.
“never stop pushing - there’s always something new to discover" Much like the way she continually learned about the avenues she was enthusiastic about, there were lessons she imparted on those who knew her. Knudsen says there are three in particular that left an impact. 20
The first: never stand still when you are creating - try something out of the box and unexpected. The second: never stop looking for teachers of all kinds - you are never done learning and expanding. The third: never stop pushing - there’s always something new to discover. Fellows also belonged to the Belleville Art Association with friend Sharon Bower who describes her art as always full of lively, bright, and bold colours: “She used various subject matters and was willing to experiment or try anything.” When sharing stories of travel, art classes, and memories of Fellows, Bower recounts “she always put a smile on your face,” as she herself was smiling.
On Fellows’ artist page on the Gallery 121 website, she expresses her art in her own words: “I'm most satisfied with contrasting a bold palette of colours against the softness of the watercolour medium, with intermingling hints of realism merging into impressionistic environments.” It could be said that life imitates art in the way Fellows pushed through boundaries and placed herself in states of expansion and growth. She has been painted as a person who was a bold trailblazer in her career, against the softness of her passion in creating art, with intermingling hints of her kind and giving volunteerism in the community. Kathyrn Fellows died at home on March 3, 2021 after a battle with cancer. She was 81. 21
Living art-fully in small-town Ontario By Scott Williams
Oh, those face masks! You don’t go far in Madoc, Ont. without seeing them: at the LCBO, the Foodland, the Home Hardware – and on people just walking down the street. Eye-popping colour and painstaking attention to detail: the hallmarks of their creator, artist Diane Woodward.
A cancer diagnosis and successful treatment in late 2019 left Woodward feeling grateful and wanting to give back. When the pandemic hit, she hesitated only briefly before completely upending her life: after painting every day for 44 years, she stopped cold turkey and began sewing masks: “What better thing could I do for my medical friends than help people not get sick?” She’s now made well over 3,000 and has given most away for free – just shy of 2,000 in Madoc (posted population of 1,350) alone. Perhaps no coincidence that the village has been left largely unscathed as the pandemic swirls around it. The woman does nothing by half measure. At the age of five she was already an active craftsperson, and by seven was selling marionettes and paper flowers through a boutique in Old Montreal – once staying up till 2:00 a.m. on a school night to complete an unexpected midweek order for 125 flowers. Studying art at Dawson College 22
and Concordia University was an “accelerator,” getting her through “25 years of garbage in five years.” Building her career over the subsequent two decades in Ottawa, she describes herself as “relentless” and “completely uncompromising,” building a body of work numbering in the thousands of pieces, while also co-owning one gallery and helping manage another. A resident of Madoc since 1999, she describes herself as calmer now – but still works up to 18 hours a day. “I’m a shark,” she says. “If I stop, I drown.” Understandable, then, that #LabourIntensiveArt is one of her favourite hashtags on Instagram, her preferred social media outlet. Her work is immensely varied – from tiny wooden items that look like refugees from an eccentric, erotic chess game, to enormous painted tableaus on wood or canvas. Each item is unique, but immediately identifiable as Woodwardian. Animals feature prominently, as do many Hindu deities,
Fine Arts reflecting her profound respect for that faith tradition. (She has painted in ashrams and temples around the world, and has taught yoga in her own studio for years.) Her art is hypnotic and endlessly fascinating, managing to be both inyour-face and mystical at the same time. “I’m comfortable with paradox,” she says, laughing. Colour is everywhere: startling reds, yellows, and purples explode from the canvas. Whether a piece is large or small, it needs to “suck all the energy in the room and blast it back at you.” Being in a room with her art is both challenging and invigorating, engaging you intellectually and on a more elemental, gut level.
Every time I make a painting there’s huge pressure to do something that makes a difference. I want to show people things they haven’t seen before.”
That engagement is, of course, deliberate, and Woodward has high expectations for her work. “When normal people go into therapy they want to be happy; when artists go in they want to save the world,” she says, in an admission, perhaps, that she is anything but normal. “Saving the world is a high bar, but I don’t want to do something frivolous. 23
Her process to get there is immersive. Virtually every surface in her home is painted, every wall adorned with past work. For all that she paints to inspire others, she also paints for herself. “I’m
looking for magic,” she says. She cheerfully admits that once she’s begun work on a piece, she can be obsessive. She literally sleeps with her works-inprogress, carrying smaller pieces up to the bedroom, and sleeping in her studio with larger pieces: “I live with my stuff. It’s got to be the last thing I see and the first thing I see.” That process has occasionally posed challenges for personal relationships. Partners, she says, “have to be comfortable with someone looking over their shoulder.”
Mr. Happy Seat
Woodward describes herself first and foremost as a painter but is also a skilled woodworker, and brings the two together in one of her latest approaches, which she calls distillationism: “I take everything that I’ve done, distill it into 1”x6” ingots, and then I put it all together.” The finished assemblages strikingly combine abstract and realistic imagery in the same piece. Artwork and frame flow one into the other – as they do in much of her work. (The subjects of her paintings often reach off the canvas, while other visual elements can 24
be found just about anywhere – in the main piece, on the frame, or extending beyond both.) As her artwork overflows from the canvas, so Woodward’s artful life overflows from her studio and her home into the surrounding community. Whether it’s the “Beer Here!” sign for the local craft brewery or the ubiquitous face masks, Woodward continues to make her mark on Madoc – inviting and challenging each of us to see the world in a new and different way. IG: @dianewoodwardart
The art of being bold By Lin Parkin Gone Fishing
“Art is me. I have
been creating stuff since I can remember. There is something inside of me that inspires me to create,” says Belleville, Ont.-based artist Sarah Winn. Winn describes her style as expressionism coupled with modern surrealism. It is edgy, unapologetic, authentic, bold, and saturated with colour. As a testament to this, at her Artists & Artisans Gallery & Studio solo show in March 2020, her collection included intimate portraitures of real people, including circus performers, punks, dominatrixes and drag queens. “Being bold speaks to me. It allows me to express myself freely and create art that most people are afraid to, not because they can’t physically do it, but they choose not to. Boldness, to me, breaks down taboos and 26
stereotypes,” says Winn. “I have always lived on the edge of society’s norm, so, with my art, I want to bring a voice and shed light to the viewer that we are all people, regardless of what we do.” Winn’s parents, also artists, are huge supporters of her work. “My Mum went to art school and studied fine arts. She is an amazing artist and is still creating beautiful pieces. She is one of my top fans and supports my art endeavours full-heartedly. My Dad paints more realistically, and he loves to build things. He makes working models of trains from scratch. He also supports my art, and although some of it is not his ‘cup of tea,’ he loves that I keep going.” Originally from Southampton, England, Winn’s family journeyed across the ocean in 1965 on a passenger ship
called Maasdam. They disembarked in Montreal and moved to London, Ont. Winn then lived in Kingston for many years but was drawn to Belleville’s vibrant arts community, the area’s natural beauty, and its variety of people and cultures. She made Belleville her home about 10 years ago. “You get the best of both worlds; the convenience of living in a city and a short car ride away to visit all the beautiful beaches, parks and conservation areas,” she says. “I love the contrast between urban and rural, the grittiness and funkiness of the architecture in Belleville. Just walking around, you can find a pristine house right next to a worn building with lots of character and stories to tell. Belleville is beautiful, and dark, and dirty all at the same time.”
Eye did it
100 Days 2019
Artistic expression has helped Winn through many difficult times. She has struggled with depression, anxiety, and PTSD since she was young, but art helps her wade through it. Winn explains, “By being able to create all of the time, I have gained confidence in my work. It has been a really long road with all kinds of twists and turns, but I can say this: Art is my saviour.” A few years ago, Winn unexpectedly suffered a stroke, narrowly avoiding a devastating blow to her identity as an artist. Fortunately, she survived with her motor skills intact. “It messed up my head a bit, but I fell back on my old friend, art. It became my therapy, something that I can control.” Through time and persistence, her self-esteem grows. “I had a big breakthrough recently when I bravely created a big painting called “Being Me,” which is a self-portrait of who I am. Bold and beautiful, warts and all. It was so freeing.” For the past three years, Winn has participated in the “100 Days Project.” In 2019, she created a new 5X7 painting each day, and in 2020 she made it an eye/I theme. 28
Fine Arts Karma
“I like the challenge! It forces me to create something great every day for 100 days, which is almost a third of a year. It helps me expand my creative horizons and growth, experimentally and intellectually.” In 2021, she turned to social media for inspiration. “I posted on Facebook asking for help for a theme or idea. My friend, Krystal McKinnon, came up with the idea to take a photo and make it into a puzzle and then paint the pieces
every day. I loved the concept, so I ran with it. I decided to take my own photograph and not just paint each piece as they look, but to use unconventional materials and paint for more interest.” With her signature warmth and kindness, Winn says, “With all humility, my art and where it has led me, to this very day, would not be possible without so many around me cheering me on. Sure, I do the work, but there are so many 29
people and organizations in my life that have contributed to my journey in art. I am not speaking about monetary contributions, but to opening doors and believing in me.” “From the bottom of my hear t, Thank you.” IG: @likemypaintings
Kelly S. Thompson on writing about hard things Literary
By Fiona Campbell
A ward -winning
author Kelly S. Thompson doesn’t shy away from writing about hard things. Her first memoir, “Girls Need Not Apply: Field Notes from the Forces” (McClelland & Stewart, 2019) was about harassment and sexism in the Canadian military. Her second, “Still I Can Not Save You” (McClelland & Stewart, May 2022), is about grief, addiction and the loss of her sister to cancer.
sister because it’s the book I needed when she died. And it didn’t exist. And, I think this is true for a lot of writers, it’s how we move through the world and try to understand it no matter what” she says.
Chatting with Thompson from her current home in North Bay is like connecting with a friend you haven’t seen in a while but the conversation picks up effortlessly. There is an unbridled joyfulness when talking about craft, and a confidence from writing her way through the fire. And yet she’s open (both in speaking and in her writing) about her mental health struggles, notably her anxiety and depression. Given this, I’m curious about her motivation for memoir and tackling hard things: “When I’m having a really hard time writing, I will ask myself, 'Who needs this book?’ I’m writing this book about my 30
I first connected with Thompson for the Prince Edward County Arts Council’s 3rd Annual Wind and Water Writing Contest. She lived in Trenton between 2014 and 2019, and launched the con-
These moments of connection, especially those birthed in a place of honest and vulnerable writing, are foundational to Thompson. In an essay called “Keeping it Together when it’s Falling Apart”, she says: “Baring my tender belly in writing often results in readers nodding and saying, ‘Uh, I get that.’ I write memoir so others feel less alone. I write memoir so that I feel less alone too.” There is also an altruistic motivation for writing: change comes from speaking out. “Rarely does a week pass, even now, when I don’t hear from a woman (especially), or a man, who says, ‘I want to help support women in the military and your book has helped me do that,” says Thompson. “If they [women currently serving] don’t have the power to speak up, I now do without any fear of repercussions. And so I do it for them. And now, bases all over Canada are inviting me to speak. We’re recognizing there is a problem and now we’re inviting people to talk about it - and that’s why
I still love the military. We’re starting to see people want change and it has to start somewhere.” Memoirists, especially women, have long been criticized for over-sharing or making the personal public. Katherine Angel notes in a recent essay for Aeon, that “Women who write about their pain suffer a double shaming: once for getting injured, twice for their act of self-exposure.” I ask Thompson about the reception to her book that not only pulls back the curtain on the typically shrouded culture of the military but exposes the reality of sexual misconduct - especially as she comes from a military family. “I would say for every bad email there are 10 beautiful ones. I’ve had men write to me saying they hope I get raped silent. I wish it was only once I received that. But for the women who write me and say, ‘I’m getting help now because you talk about getting help’ makes it 100% worth it.” She adds: “The response has been so much nicer than I thought it would, which is a horrific statement, but it has been nicer. And what a beautiful thing that is. It keeps you going even when you’re talking about really hard things.” Thompson wrote her first book almost a decade after leaving the military; she wrote her second about her sister dying while her sister was dying. (She had her
first draft two months after Meghan’s death.) I asked if she needed to write her story before her sister’s: “I don’t know if I need to write my own personal story first because I think with memoir your whole goal is to collect experiences of your life around a theme and write about those themes. The themes that relate to my sister are very different.” She says, however, that she needed the experience (writing and emotional) of writing about something further in the past to prepare her for the “the intense challenge of writing about something that is still happening that is a kazillion times more painful.” But capturing the hard moments before her brain could block or soften the memories (a natural response to trauma) offered not only a place for legacy but understanding. “When you look at books on grief and examine loss, we often don’t get access to that actual moment the person dies. I think it’s because it’s so horrific to sit with that. And yet what can come from that? To really sit and settle with the actual moment my sister died, to really look at what grief was and how we cope with that - I didn’t want to turn away from that. The benefits for me from writing about things that were actually happening in that moment.. there was this palpability to it… I think you feel that experience in your throat when you’re reading it,” says Thompson. “When my sister was dying, and she was in hospice, she liked the sound of me typing. It was very calming. And then she would ask, ‘Are you writing the book about us?’ and I’d say, ‘Yes.’ She’d say, ‘Do you think someday someone will read this and it will help someone?’ and I said, ‘If it doesn’t, what are we doing here?’”
Kelly S. Thompson has an honours BA in Professional Writing from York University, an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, and is a PhD. candidate in Literary and Critical Studies at the University of Gloucestershire. Her work has appeared in Macleans, Chatelaine, and Maisonneuve, as well as in various anthologies. She writes and teaches from North Bay, Ont. kellysthompson.com 31
test while volunteering as a response to a dearth of programming for local writers. (She’s still a judge.) While Thompson is a retired military officer, her husband still serves, which means frequent moves. Volunteering, she says, “puts me in touch with community and community that is like minded with something you love.”
About town with Peter C. Newman By Janet Jarrell
Peter C. Newman around town was a “Wow!” moment. It was late 2012, during a local author event at Greenley’s bookstore in downtown Belleville, when in walked Peter in a dapper suit jacket and his unmistakable sailor cap. He quietly made his way around the room, mixing with the crowd and donning a school boy smile to everyone, before being warmly greeted by local historian Jerry Boyce.
they met and married in Vancouver. Alvy was looking for a ‘good European Gentleman’- and she found that in Peter. They have lived all over the world, including Europe and Barbados, and spent many years in Toronto. Her stories include an A-list of friends like poet, educator and Canadian nationalist, Doug Beardsley and his wife Rosemary Sullivan, Leonard Cohen, Irving Layton, and Al and Eurith Purdy.
That changed when I was working at the local courthouse and Peter walked in asking for a court date about a minor traffic offense. We talked at length about his writing, and then I asked if he would sign some of his books when he returned for his court date. He said he would and he did, even giving me his business card.
“Some people you meet in life simply leave you in awe at their knowledge, skill, breadth of talents and simply amazing personal character”
Years after that first encounter, I set out to discover: “What is Peter C. Newman doing living here in Belleville?”
In 2010 Peter and good friend Dr Joe MacInnis sailed from Toronto to Kingston as Alvy drove the scenic route
I continued to see him around town, but I didn’t approach and get his picture or autograph, or even say “hello.”
Seeing Canadian icon
Born in Vienna Austria in 1929, Peta Karel Neumann emigrated from Nazioccupied Czechoslovakia to Canada in 1940 as a Jewish refugee. He credits his father and this move as saving his life. After graduating from Upper Canada College, he joined the Canadian Navy Reserves, moving up the ranks to Captain. He is passionate about Canadian culture, and was editor of Toronto Star and Maclean’s. In 1978 he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada, and promoted to Companion in 1990. Recipient of seven honourary degrees and author of 36 books on Canadian history, businesses and politics, including his 2005 autobiography Here Be Dragons that spans an impressive 733 pages, he seems more Canadian than many born here. I started my inquiry with his wife Alvy (Bjorklund) Newman, who has an impeccable memory, recounting stories in great detail from 20 years ago when
Luke Hendry/The Intelligencer
best literary paper in the area). Jerry would circle the articles he thought Peter would find most interesting, then the two of them would sit and talk. Richard Hughes says Peter has shown a keen interest in local heritage since moving here: “When we began our fundraising campaign to build the new Community Archives back in 2012, he immediately came forward and accepted to be Honourary chairman of the fundraising committee. He attended events, encouraged major donors and gave us such helpful support. It was a totally successful campaign and made a major contribution to the amazing Archives that we enjoy today.”
on Highway 2. Having sailed in this area for over 50 years, Peter knew and loved the bays like any veteran navy officer would. He also loved Belleville: the beautiful heritage homes, and the art community. It was a good location for Alvy’s work (she has a Ph.D in Health Psychology) and for Peter, who was researching his next book on the United Empire Loyalists. A year later they moved here, and so began the stories I was looking for.
One of the first locals to connect with Peter was author Michael Maloney, meeting one day at ‘the Cozy’ where Peter was reading the Globe and Mail. Michael approached, confirmed it was Peter and asked what he was doing in Belleville? “Well, I moved here.” “Whatever for?” Peter gave the usual explanation about his research and writing. Michael offered up any help and Peter took it - not necessarily for the book though. Peter said he needed introductions – a doctor, a dentist, but also the historical society, writers, artists. After that the friends met once a week to talk, Michael always bringing a guest. Local author Orland French also helped Peter make connections for his research, introducing him to Eban James Sr, Roy Bonisteel and Maurice Rollins to name a few. Orland was surprised to find Peter taking notes when he spoke to the locals about their history.
Alvy fondly speaks of ‘Wednesdays with Jerry,’ the day Jerry Boyce would arrive with the latest copy of the Wellington Times (that he and Peter considered the 34
Andy Sparling, a former reporter on Parliament Hill, had a chance encounter with Peter on Front Street. There they spoke of their shared love of jazz (Peter played drums in his band with the cheeky name ‘Peter Newman and the Bouncing Czechs’), and that led to a series of co-hosted radio programs:“It led to lots of visits and chats about the big bands, particularly juicy tales arising out of his close friendship with the late bandleader Stan Kenton, a giant of the big band era, and whose many hundreds of recordings Peter collected.” That chance meeting also led to Peter’s attendance at Commodores’ concerts, his voluntarily writing the liner notes on a CD for Andy, and also freely supplying program notes for the Prince Edward County Jazz Festival. Paul and Elizabeth Dinkel were neighbours of the Newmans. Paul, who came to Canada in the 60’s from Switzerland, had many discussions with Peter about their European descent, the rich history and beauty of this area and the country, and the importance of historical preservation. They shared a love of the Old East Hill homes and both believe it is crucial to preserve every square inch. Elizabeth, an artist, invited Alvy to sit for a life drawing class. Alvy sent Peter instead. The portrait that Elizabeth painted now hangs in the Newman home, along with portraits by local artists Judy Clarke and Chris Finkle.
Richard Hughes sums up the sentiment from so many people I spoke with for this article: “Some people you meet in life simply leave you in awe at their knowledge, skill, breadth of talents and simply amazing personal character. For me, I consider myself so fortunate to have known and shared some moments with Peter C. Newman, a great Canadian.” There is no doubt that Peter came to this small town, treated it with grace and respect, quietly integrated with the locals and had an impact that goes far deeper than most will ever know or remember. And yet Peter’s answer to my question is simply this: “What I wanted in coming to Belleville is to spend less time behind the typewriter and more time on my boat.” Jennifer Bowman
By Ardith Racey
Abena Beloved Green
is no stranger to odes and accolades. Her most recent publication, titled Ode to the Unpraised (Pottersfield Press, 2020) is a testament to the lives and stories of 26 women – friends and family of Green’s – whose stories would not otherwise be told. “After a missed opportunity to gather her grandmother’s personal reflections,” Green decided to collect and reflect about the lives and issues of multigenerational women from Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Ghana. The work first transcribes brief conversations about everything from housework to courage, and Green’s poems provide an additional layer of meaning that is a “mix of their words, a response to what they said or something previously written.” The result is an empowering read that offers insights in recorded prose conversations and Green’s own poetry about the “personal essence” of being female. Green recently moved to the Quinte area. She grew up in Nova Scotia and spent a “year abroad in Ghana” which
“Poetry – both written and spoken - is about saying exactly what I’m trying to say. Dance is a way to convey meaning for things for which you have not yet formed the words.” she considers “the best year of [her] life.” It was during this time that she took a creative writing course at the University in Ghana and was inspired by a teacher who told her not to adopt other people’s fears as your own. The same teacher also admonished her for wordiness – a lesson 36
that she considers important when crafting her own work, both written and spoken. Although Green’s roots are with traditional written poems and stories, she also “enjoys the craft” of spoken word poetry because “it allows you to say what you need without considering form. It allows me to speak more freely and creates a different connection. It allows you to be wordy.” But Green says that “it is dance that really frees me. Dance is a form of resistance and a powerful element of communication. Dance can be very interpretive – you can use dance to convey meaning for things for which you have not yet formed the words.” This idea is precisely what distinguishes Green from other poets because she is apt at expression on so many levels.
Green’s spouse is in the military – hence the move to this area. The mother of a fiveyear-old who “still plays outside which gives her hope,” she says that although 37
she “dreams about post-pandemic, she is really thinking about family right now.” She performed virtually on First Tuesday Muse’s Poetry Night in May and is beginning to make connections with other writers and arts groups in the area. She’s also “hoping to organize a book launch soon and to invite those featured [in Ode] to take part,” as well as teaching writing workshops. The recipient of several awards (including the 2016 Nova Writes Poetry Prize), she has recently been nominated for the Golden Beret Award for lifetime achievement and community contribution in spoken word, via the League of Canadian Poets. In 2019, she spoke and shared her work at the Kingston WritersFest. You can find Green’s first book of poetry titled The Way We Hold On (2018), as well as Ode at the Novel Idea bookstore in Kingston, and online. IG: @a_belovedgreen
End of an era
By Peter Paylor
I t wasn' t that long
ago that I would have been able to write that every small town has a Tweedsmuir. An old hotel tavern with a small group of regulars you’ll find there every weeknight and live music on Friday nights and Saturdays when the place really starts coming to life. Local bands. Cover bands. Tribute bands.
Open mics. A bit of a bad reputation not always deserved. Almost every band who has ever really made it has started out playing places like that. Places like the Tweedsmuir are getting harder to find and now you won’t find the Tweedsmuir at all. It burned to the ground on March 10, 2021. “There’s no place left like it between Peterborough and Perth,” says musician Billy
Piton who made his first visit to the Tweedsmuir 40 years ago. Piton and partner Lynn Marriot (pictured) had the Tweed Video Centre across the road. “There were always newbies to Tweed…in the 70s and the 80s and the 90s. We were the Come From Aways of the 80s,” says Piton. “The tavern was a place where we met and kind of got to know each other. For me and a lot of other people – poets and musicians – it was a place for us to play.” Piton started taking pictures of the bands in exchange for a free beer or two. The pictures were later framed and displayed around the bar. “It was always a treat when Peter Spratt hired a band. I knew that getting him on stage to pose with them afterwards was going to be a trip. He was such a big guy. They all looked like kindergarten kids next to him.” I asked Piton for a favourite memory. “Valdy,” he says without stopping to think. The tribute bands were fun… you know…the guys who cover AC/ DC and The Hip…bands like that… but I remember the night that Valdy was there and Carlos del Junco came to sit in with him. That was a special evening. Listening to those guys.”
The open mics at the Tweedsmuir were legendary. Outdoors on the patio on Saturdays in the summer. Indoors on Thursdays when the weather got colder. The Elvis Open Mic during the Tweed Elvis Festival. For a while there was an acoustic open mic every third Tuesday hosted by Marriot, the other half of Tweed’s Lynn & Billy. Billy plays harmonica; Lynn plays guitar and sings like she knows how you’re feeling.
Piton recalls a Tuesday night five years ago when he went in for a beer and hardly anyone was there. He asked Peter Spratt, who was the owner at the time, if he’d be interested in having a poetry night on Tuesdays. “At first it was just a way of drinking for free once a month,” Piton tells me. “When I came up with the idea, I knew there was one
person on the planet to run it past, and he’s never said no.” That person was his friend Peter Snell. First Tuesday Muse was and still is a genuine phenomenon. Dozens of people flocked to the Tweedsmuir on a weekday night to read and to listen to poetry with a few regulars huddled in the back, patiently, waiting for the light to go back on over the pool table. Hosted by Snell, First Tuesday Muse attracted many of the region’s finest poets and spoken word artists. It’s an established institution now. It’s going to live on. In fact, two months after the Tweedsmuir was reduced to ash, First Tuesday Muse hosted their first online performance on Zoom supported by the Quinte Arts Council. And yet if there’s a lesson to be found in this story, it’s this: If you have a place like the Tweedsmuir in your town, treasure it. If you have a venue for live music or poetry or theatre or comedy or dance, support it. “I go past it every day,” says Piton. “It’s really such a shame that it’s gone.”
Luke Hendry/The Intelligencer
Supporting the future: Celebrating The arts are a critical
part of a well-rounded education. The importance of investing in creativity is well documented: studies show that students who take arts courses have higher verbal and math SAT scores, as well as gains in both critical and abstract thinking and decision-making. Anecdotally, we know how important the arts have been to weathering the pandemic. So many of us have turned to books, films, music and art to soothe, inspire and bring joy.
In 2011, UNESCO declared the fourth week of May International Arts Education Week, and since then arts and learning communities have shared the far-reaching impact that arts education has on children, their futures and our societies. The Quinte Arts Council considers arts education a core part of our mandate. Our Artists in Schools program helps to fill gaps left by funding shortfalls and connects students with practicing artists; our Bursaries for Graduating Students help support next generation artists
as they further their post-secondary education in the arts. “Students have demonstrated incredible tenacity and resilience during the past year and we are so happy to support these incredible emerging artists as they take their next steps,” says QAC Executive Director Janet Jarrell. “Supporting arts education for students of all ages gives credibility to art as a viable career. Art is an essential part of the human experience.” We are proud to announce this year’s recipients of six bursaries:
Andie Csafordi of Bloomfield is a graduating student of Centennial Secondary School and is this year’s recipient of both the Quinte Arts Council and Hugh O’Neil bursaries. Andie is extremely involved in the arts in and outside of school, serving as VP of Centennial’s Art Council as well as being a youth member of Quinte Arts Council and Prince Edward County Arts Council respectively. In the fall, Andie is pursuing Material Art and Design at OCADU where she ultimately plans to bring greener alternatives to the fashion industry. “My hope is to develop new ways to reuse materials and minimize waste and demand on our natural resources,” she says.
Andie Csafordi Marina Sproule of Trenton is graduating from St. Paul’s Secondary School and is another winner of the Hugh O’Neil bursary. She has been accepted into Algonquin College’s Animation and Illustration program where she aims to pursue her lifelong passion for drawing. “I know I want to be an animator / illustrator because it is all I know, and all I have ever dreamed of since I was first asked what I wanted to be as a child,” says Marina. In the future, she dreams of bringing her creations to life at companies like DreamWorks or the Cartoon Network.
Marina Sproule 40
our 2021 Arts Bursary winners Heather Jones of Consecon is graduating from Centennial Secondary School and has also been awarded the Quinte Arts Council bursary. Heather is a true performer, combining her talent in both music and drama in her several appearances in local musicals. Musically, she has training in musical theatre, classical and opera. She has accepted her offer from Wilfrid Laurier University for their Bachelor of Music Honours program where she plans to carve out a career for herself in performing, despite the challenges:“ I’m not exactly sure what I’ll be doing as a career after graduation, but I do know music will be the driving force that shapes my future.”
Ella Reed of Belleville is graduating from Centennial Secondary School and is the recipient of the Elaine A. Small bursary. Ella’s artistic merit runs in the family as her mother teaches art and her father teaches music. These influences have shaped her into a versatile artist as she’s skilled in painting, drawing, printmaking, pottery and photography and has a keen interest in makeup and fashion. Ella aims to learn more about how the business and art worlds intertwine as she has accepted her offer from Ryerson University to attend their Creative Industries program in the fall.
Ella Reed Sarah MacDonald is graduating from Centennial Secondary School and is this year’s recipient of the Susan Richardson bursary. Sarah has a particular passion for musical theatre and loves how the mediums of music, dance and acting come together to create a magical experience for the audience. She ultimately hopes to bring people joy with her art in the future. “If someone is feeling down and I can cheer them up by doing the thing I love most, that would make me so happy.” Sarah will start her journey in the fall as she has accepted her offer from St. Lawrence College to attend their joint Musical Theatre program with Queen’s University.
Sarah McDonald 41
Inviting everyone under the rainbow By Fiona Campbell
is Pride month,
a time when LGBTQ2S+ communities around the world celebrate the freedom to be themselves. And so the Quinte Arts Council proudly hosted the third annual Everyone Under the Rainbow show.
Sarah Winn, Daniel Fobert, Ella Wagner, Rosyln Dechert and Yuan-Quin Ingrid Kao in our Gallery Window.
But Pride is about more than just rainbows and parades. Pride month is rooted in a history of oppression, harassment and violence against the LGBTQ2S+ community, and this month’s celebration is an antidote, of sorts, dedicated to uplifting and amplifying LGBTQ2S+ voices, celebrating their culture and supporting LGBTQ2S+ rights.
While there are dozens of different pride flags, representing a spectrum of sex, sexuality, attraction, and gender, we displayed the under three flags: the six-striped rainbow flag, a symbol of LGBTQ2S+ pride, the transgender flag and the pansexual flag. Our intention is to foster new connections with artists in our LGBTQ2S+ community in Quinte to provide a safe place for them to showcase and celebrate their art, and provide a safe place for them to be.
While the QAC gallery was still closed, we hosted a celebration of art in a variety of mediums – sculpture, oil, acrylic, collage and digital – that reflects, respects, features and speaks to our LGBTQ2S+ community and allies. We featured artists Luis Cisneros,
“LGBTQ2S+ representation matters, and seeing artists, allies and advocates who proudly embrace their identities contributes to education, increased acceptance and ultimately community building,” says QAC executive director Janet Jarrell.
Yuan-Quin Ingrid Kao, Breadwinner
Luis Cisneros, Awakening
Sarah Winn, Queen
Yuan-Quin Ingrid Kao, Ladyfingers
Daniel Fobert, Under the Rainbow (detail)
“Art increases visibility of the LGBTQ2S+ community as opposed to being rendered invisible. Art affirms that the LGBTQ2S+ community exists, it matters, and is worthy of love, respect and inclusion.”
Daniel Fobert, Under the Rainbow
While Pride is celebrated in June, it’s imperative to work towards a more diverse, inclusive and educated community year-round. The QAC is proud to be part of the LGBT+ Tourism Strategy Working Group led by the Bay of Quinte Regional Marketing Board (which came out of a Destination Audit by Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC)), that is working towards the goal of creating a welcoming region for LGBT+ travellers and providing a voice (and safe space) for the local LGBT+ community. quinteartscouncil.org/ rainbow-virtual-show_2021
Roslyn Dechert, Early Light of June
Luis Cisneros, Confidence
Ella Wagner, This is Me
was born in Banff, Alta., and raised in Brighton, Ont., and started DJing when he was 13. He got the radio bug early on but only decided to take it further once he realized despite spending most of his time playing drums, guitar and piano, being a famous rockstar drummer wasn’t his calling. Anderson’'s early interests while attending ENSS in Brighton were arts and music, which led to his career specializing in electronic dance music. Before completing the radio broadcasting program at Loyalist College, he was privileged to intern in NYC with the "Howard Stern Show". Today, Anderson is well known to the Belleville airwaves as host of the "Afternoon Drive" radio program on Mix97. Anderson’s photography grew from his interests in wildlife and nature hikes. Recapturing a special place of beauty through the camera lens using light and shadows became so intriguing. His work has won awards and been featured in commercial advertising and tourism. Anderson is taking a new step with his drone photography. He hopes to share his experiences with his 16-year-old son. IG: andersonMix97 FB: Justin Anderson Photography
Content created in collaboration with the Bay of Quinte Regional Marketing Board