Entertaining: local groups collaborate for art exhibitions

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Two art exhibits opening this weekend are the result of an initial collaboration between two local organizations as well as a number of other groups from across Canada.

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Center H’art’s “Connecting Canadians: Freshwater” will have an invitation-only opening Saturday inside “The Mix,” its new gallery, while “Our Great Lakes: Celebrating our Freshwater Resource” will open Sunday at the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes.

The idea behind the thematically linked exhibits originated about a year ago, when Katherine Porter of H’art teamed up with the marine museum’s programs and communications manager, Michelle Clarabut.

“It really started as an effort by the navy museum to increase access to our programs,” Clarabut said. “I worked to integrate the arts, first of all, into our programs, and I saw this as an opportunity to work with an organization that tries to bring access to arts and education and that is a very strong community partner in terms of collaboration.”

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Clarabut, who has worked with H’art in the past, came up with the idea to comply with Canada’s Water Act, Porter said.

“And so it was instant inspiration because the participants (at H’art) work from a theme every year and the water was perfect,” Porter said.

It was then that Porter contacted other inclusive art studios and allied arts organizations in Canada to see if they would be interested in contributing, since water is a common theme for all of them.

Ten other groups — two from British Columbia and Alberta and six from Ontario — immediately joined, Porter said. She said she is so inspired by this project that she plans to reach out to more organizations across the country and bring them together for a Skilled Artists Conference here in two years.

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“So in addition to everything we’re doing here with the naval museum,” Porter explained, “this connection across Canada was building and the end result is a fantastic visual representation of the connection and honoring fresh waters across Canada.”

And now, more than 50 pieces have resulted from the collaboration.

Part of the marine museum project stems from the 10 weeks of art workshops he held from June to September. H’art members would be there on Wednesdays and there were workshops for the public on Saturdays.

The Naval Museum exhibit features paintings, wood carvings, upcycled crafts and a mural.

“It’s global,” Clarabut said, “and everything comes together to create a diorama-style art installation representing the Great Lakes.”

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Center H’art’s “Connecting Canadians: Freshwater” opens Saturday inside “the Mix.” This will be the first exhibition inside the 4,000 square foot space located at 237 Wellington Street. Although the opening reception is by invitation only, public tours will be offered every Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. from October 28 to December 2. .

The opening of the Musée de la Marine will take place on Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and will include, among other things, a performance by H’art artists. The public is invited to visit the exhibition on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. until the end of the year. For more information and to register for the opening event, visit marmuseum.ca/ourgreatlakes.

A symposium on the former Prison for Women – titled “P4W 20+ Years Later” – is taking place in Kingston this weekend, and there are a few events open to the general public.

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On Friday afternoon, a video installation will be installed in Isabel’s Art and Media Lab on the third floor. Inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, “What Fools These Mortals Be” is the creation of 14 formerly incarcerated women in British Columbia. It will be on display from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday.

Saturday evening will see the screening of the newly restored 1981 documentary “P4W: Prison for Women”.

The documentary – which sees the filmmakers go behind the walls of the only women’s maximum security prison in 1980 – will screen at 7pm in the Princess Street Screening Room. After the film, there will be a Q&A with directors Holly Dale and Janis Cole.

“Through interviews, monologues and observational footage, the film offers a sobering portrait of a closed community of women finding love, struggling with loneliness and demanding fair treatment,” reads the description. at screeningroomkingston.ca, which is the same website through which tickets can be purchased online ahead of Saturday’s screening.

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As this year’s Kingston WritersFest has passed, the literary festival is offering an “off-season” event this weekend.

‘An Evening with Ann-Marie MacDonald’ will see the author, actor and playwright discuss his new book ‘Fayne’, his first in eight years. It runs from 7-8 p.m. at The Spire, 82 Sydenham Street, and tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door.

Two Kingston musicians will be performing on the city’s soft-seaters this week.

Friday at 7 p.m. at the Isabel, Kingston’s Chantal Thompson will perform with her band — guitarist Michael Occhipinti, bassist George Koller, drummer Richard Bannard and pianist Paul Morrison — and some special guests. The performance will include songs from the jazz singer-songwriter’s upcoming album, “Temporal Spaces.” General public tickets are $55 and $64.

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While some may know Kris Abbott from duo Kris & Dee, she also plays guitar in Pursuit of Happiness, which will be joined by another CanCon staple, the Northern Pikes, for a show at the Grand Theater on Thursday night. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. concert start at $39.50 plus HST and handling fees.

The Grand and Isabel have a few other shows this week.

At Le Grand, there is a paid dance performance of Friday Creations’ Firewater Thunderbird 2 on Wednesday. It starts at 7:30 p.m.

The Italian Quartetta di Cremona perform pieces by Barber and Schubert on Thursday evening at the Isabel. The chamber ensemble concert begins at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $45 and $64 for the general public.

There are other concerts happening this week that are worth noting.

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On Friday night, popular music series Live Wire returns with its second show of the season. It’s an Americana double feature starring Ray Bonneville and Bruce Molsky. It takes place at the Octave Theater, 711 Dalton Ave., at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $25.

Meanwhile, in Seeleys Bay, the Irish Descendants of Newfoundland will perform at the Community Hall as part of the Ontario Festival of Small Halls. Tickets to see the folk group are $40 each and the show starts at 7 p.m.

If that wasn’t enough for a Friday night, Canadian indie rockers By Divine Right will play at The Mansion. Opening for Jose Contreras and company will be local act Groucho Pepe. Tickets are $15 each and doors open at 8 a.m.

On Saturday night, Hamilton’s BA Johnston, who was longlisted for the Polaris Prize in 2015, will perform his humorous tunes at the Spearhead Brewery. Reservations are recommended; to do so, email reservations@spearheadbeer.com.

And on Thursday at the Mansion there will be an international folk-punk showcase featuring Cim Dahlle & the Damage Done from Finland, Emily Davis & the Murder Police from Texas and Rich Chris from Ottawa. Tickets are $20 at the door.

The Royal Canadian College of Organists concert Sunday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. at Chalmers United Church includes a performance by Robert Hall and Harry Janzen. Tickets for “Music for the Journey of the Soul: Works for Viola, Organ and Voice” are $20 each or pay what you can at the door.



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William E. Bennett