By Carol Feeney – Culture Days 2013 has three days chock full of free events that will engage, inspire and entertain people of all ages. Whether you and your family would like to view or try your hand at visual arts, enjoy live music by local artists, visit heritage sites, hear poetry, readings and other literary events, or take in some fine films, there is something for everyone from Friday, September 27 to Sunday, September 29, in communities across Canada.
One of the largest Culture Days events (third in the province according to Provincial Culture Days organizers) is happening in Belleville, thanks to the BDIA (businesses of Downtown Belleville), OCAF (Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund) and members of the Belleville Culture Days committee.
The annual Art Walk will be on September 27 and 28, from 10 am to 7 pm. Participating venues will include the Core Gallery, John M. Parrott Gallery, Quinte Arts Council Gallery and Gift Shop, Belleville Art Association Gallery, Fusion Canada Eh Gallery, Thomas Estevez Design, The Belleville Club, Bob House Photography Studio, and Gallery One-Twenty-One.
The Ritchie Room at Capers Brasserie will feature an invitational art show. Artists confirmed to date are Doug Comeau, Melissa Schatzmann and Robert Huffman, with informative talks from a professional juror on Friday and Saturday.
Sculptor and artist, Jack Skidd, in association with the Quinte Arts Council, will have an interactive art installation at the Market Square, of rain sticks made of recycled materials, that will have acoustic properties while teaching children about the environment.
Art workshops will be offered on September 27 and 28 in the John M. Parrott Art Gallery, on the third floor of the Belleville Public Library. These free workshops will be taught by local artists and will be run in partnership with the Belleville Art Association.
The Quinte Arts Council will present watercolour workshops, with artists Kathryn Fellows and Sue Walker, for youth ages 8 to 15, on September 29, from 1 to 4 pm.
Barratt’s Office Pro will have Plein Air demonstrations on September 27 and 28, and plans are underway for a student art show, as well as an emerging artist group show.
On Friday, September 27, you can catch some great music from 7 to 9 pm, such as acoustic rock/indie artist, Vince Thornton, at Sans Souci. Jazz artist and trumpet player, Blair Yarranton, is at Paulo’s Restaurant and acoustic folk/indie group, The Belle Regards, is at Capers Brasserie. The Belleville Club presents the soft jazz of the Starpainters Duo, featuring David Reed and Andy Sparling, acoustic guitar and trombone. The New Belle Pub has Rye and Silence, an alternative hard rock quartet, from 10 to 11 pm, and there will be a ‘pedal steel rock and roll experience’ by Ken Tizzard with Bad Intent, from 11:30 pm to 1 am.
Theatrical and Performing Arts
Angela Maracle School of Dance has a concert from 5 to 6 pm on September 27 and free dance workshops and flash mob outdoor performance on Saturday and Sunday, from 9 am to 6 pm. There are beginner workshops for children (aged 4 and up) and adults, as well as primary, Grade 1 and intermediate classes in ballet, jazz, hip hop, contemporary, bollywood and tap. There are informative sessions, with a Q&A, with Gizella Witkowsky and lectures on the history of ballet.
The Belleville Theatre Guild is also planning to host an event at the Pinnacle Playhouse during the weekend.
Literary and Film
Author, Nick Foley (Celebrate the Hero and Act Like You’ve Been There, Rules for My Brother) will present a writing workshop on Saturday, from 2 to 3 pm, at Capers Brasserie.
Belleville Downtown Docfest will present a screening of Revolution, on Friday, September 27 at 7:30 pm, at The Core Arts and Culture Centre. Revolution is a film about changing the world. The true-life adventure of Rob Stewart, this follow-up to his acclaimed Sharkwater documentary continues his remarkable journey; one that will take him through 15 countries over four years, where he’ll discover that it’s not only sharks that are in grave danger – it’s humanity itself. There will be a discussion and Q&A following the film, with either the filmmaker or a local environmental expert.
DocFest is also hosting a screening of Muscle, a film written, directed and produced by Colin Gray that features a number of local students on Saturday, September 28 at 7:30 p.m. After an argument with his parent’s, a headstrong teenager decides to exert his independence by purchasing his first car without their permission. Meanwhile, his colourful group of friends are making plans for their final day of high school classes and first night of summer vacation. A series of comedic adventures, close calls, pranks and mischief take them throughout the beautiful city of Belleville for a crazy day and a wild night they’ll never forget.
“MUSCLE is a comedic coming of age film that explores cars, music and high school culture as it existed in the early 2000s in Belleville Ontario. It is also a love letter to my hometown and the halcyon memories shared by me and many of the people involved in the making of this film. I have strived to present the Quinte area in a complimentary manner and hope all who watch will be left with fond impressions. Enjoy! Colin Gray
The Quinte Film Alternative will present matinée screenings of Miss Supertest and The Belleville McFarlands by Peter Lockyer, on September 28, with Peter in attendance. Lockyer has also produced a number of informative and entertaining vignettes of local history and culture that will be featured before the show and at various locations involved in Doors Open.
Doors Open takes place on September 28, from 9 am to 5 pm, in partnership with Heritage Belleville. Come to see and hear about historic buildings and points of interest in our downtown, including Plug N Playland, the Belleville Public Library, Cat’s Meow, The Belleville Club, Quinte Arts Council, Earl & Angelo’s, Bridge Street United Church, Glanmore House, the Military Museum, St. Paul’s Anglican Church, City Hall, Belleville Chamber of Commerce, the Belleville Art Association and the Loyalist College Parrott Centre.
For complete details on what is happening in Belleville, go to www.bellevilleculturedays.ca.
There are also Culture Days events happening in the greater Quinte area.
The Tweed & Area Studio Tour
The Tour takes place September 28 and 29, from 10 am to 5 pm, with more than 23 artists and studios participating. There will be paintings in oil, watercolour, oil, ink and acrylic, woodcarving, from wooden bird houses to decorative wood art and functional pieces, wheel-thrown porcelain and hand-built pottery, as well as fibre and textile arts, old world Santas, jewellery, glass art, native crafts, mixed media, concrete garden art, basketry, fabric sculpture and photography. Check out www.tweedstudiotour.org for artist information and a free brochure.
Brighton Arts Council Artist Village
On September 28 and 29, visit Brighton Arts Council’s Artist Village in the King Edward Park Community Centre, 75 Elizabeth Street, Brighton. There you can engage in book readings by local, published authors, participate in workshops for all ages, and purchase unique pieces of artwork, created by Brighton Arts Council members. Details at www.brightonartscouncil.org.
Bloomfield Centre for Creativity
On Sunday, September 29, the Bloomfield Centre for Creativity is hosting a Hands-On Art Fair, from 10 am to 3 pm. The purpose of the fair is to give the public an opportunity to get interactive with a variety of art forms. From pottery to fibre arts, from carving to painting to jewellery making, there will be opportunities to explore your creativity. There will be a diverse group of artists and creators spread throughout the Baxter Building. This event is open to people of all ages. Info at www.bloomfieldcentreforcreativity.org.
Since its start in 2010, Culture Days has seen an impressive growth in participation across the country, with an estimated 850 communities participating this year from coast to coast to coast. Artists, and art groups, are encouraged to celebrate the arts in their community. There is still time to register your event and take advantage of the national and international promotion provided by the Culture Days website and national promotional partners. For more information, go to www.culturedays.ca.