Elly on the Arts: Arts council window shops for shows

Flin Flon Home Routes is in action this week featuring Montreal blues performer Adam Karsh. He has played all across North America and has crossed Canada by train, giving performances in literally hundreds of venues. Karsh’s fourth album is called Moving Forward and will be based on his adventures on the rails. Adam’s guitar-based blues appeals to music lovers of many genres, including blues, country, rock and alternative. 

Karsh will play house concerts in Flin Flon, at 19 Hemlock Dr., tonight, Oct. 24 and tomorrow, Oct. 25, at 183 Murton Blvd. Contact rossann53@hotmail.com for seats. The hosts can always fit in extra audience members so don’t worry, just come! The cost is $20, or $10 for students, and you may bring something to eat or drink. All of the proceeds go directly to the musician, though no one gets into folk roots music for the money! Flin Flon is still the only place in Canada that supports two nights of this incredible concert series and no one ever leaves disappointed.

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The big news for members of the Flin Flon Arts Council this week happens out of town. It is Showcase, the Manitoba Arts Network (MAN) Conference. Several members of the arts council will head south to Portage La Prairie for the weekend of Oct. 25 to 28 for professional development workshops and to see the performing and visual arts shows that will be available to tour the province in 2019 and 2020. 

Flin Flon and area residents had the opportunity to participate in this conference in 2015, when it was held in town – it moves around the province each year. The MAN Board of Directors were very impressed with our audience support as over 300 people came out to see the three shows of performers in the community hall. This still stands as a record, and speaks to our love and support of our own musical community. 

This year, several indigenous musicians will be featured, both as Showcase performers and in the Indigenous Artists Development Program. The MAN has had indigenous performers in past showcases but this is the first time they have sponsored the development piece. Rhonda Head, a mezzo soprano and Blueberry Jam Music Gathering performer from Opaskwayak Cree Nation has been working as the indigenous coordinator and has found five new Manitoban performers who will be mentored throughout this conference by seasoned professionals so that they can be ready to perform at other like events across Canada.

The performers are hip hop artist Winston Chubb, songwriter, artist and producer Dale McArthur, and singer-songwriters Brandi Vesina, Sonia Eidse and Kris Paul. The mentors are through Manitoba Music’s Indigenous Music Development Program (IMDP). The artists will work with Vince Fontaine, Crystle Lightning and Wayne Lavallee over three days.

Winnipeg-based musician, composer, producer, and festival curator Fontaine has won several awards, including JUNOs, Indigenous Music Awards and more throughout his music career, and founded renowned groups Eagle and Hawk and Indian City.

Los Angeles-based artist Crystle Lightning, who was recently added to the mentors list, has earned acclaim as part of hip hop group LightningCloud. Wayne Lavallee is a singer, songwriter, and multi-JUNO Award winner and nominee based in Vancouver.

The last thing to mention for this week is a new classical music series coming to Flin Flon on Saturday, Nov. 3. This will be the first of three concerts throughout the winter and will feature Matt Robinson on saxophone, accompanied by Lisa Rumpel on piano. Matt and Lisa will present an upbeat program showcasing a wide range of saxophone-piano repertoire, each piece with a story to tell. Selections run the gamut from quirky animal sounds to hypnotic melodies, from sultry American funk to French and Brazilian theatre. Sound intriguing?  The tickets are $20 each and the show will be in the R.H. Channing Auditorium at the community hall, to take advantage of the newly-tuned Steinway piano. After all, if you’ve got it, flaunt it!

Also, don’t forget the Blueberry Jam inaugural annual general meeting in council chambers at city hall, at 7 pm on Thursday, Nov. 1, and the Flin Flon Arts Council’s major fundraiser, the Christmas Arts and Crafts Show, from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday, Nov. 3.

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