Elly on the Arts: Go your own way – to Johnny's tribute show

“Hot time, summer in the city…” Perhaps not exactly with the weather we have been getting but, Flin Flon is still a happenin’ place for arts and culture in July. In the next two weeks, we have a couple of fine events for your enjoyment of the region. First up is the NorVA Centre’s Summer Retreat in Denare Beach, Sask.

Each year, NorVA artists invite their colleagues in Manitoba and Saskatchewan to our little piece of heaven to learn, practice and grow in their preferred artistic media. Artists come and stay in the region for a week and go to the Denareplex each day to make art. They engage in painting and watercolour, batiks, printmaking and raku pottery firing, among others. There have been puppet-makers and writers involved. Any artistic pursuit is honoured. The artists swap techniques and try new things in service to their art.

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They create during the days and early evenings but always stop to enjoy communal meals that each artist prepares and brings to the site once during the retreat week, on a rotation. They each have an assigned work area within the Denareplex building and may work outside as well (in the case of the raku firing, this is necessary) but they may wander to other stations to learn and to chat.

If you are driving out that way, you can stop in to see their progress and perhaps offer some words of encouragement or take them a treat to eat. The dates of the retreat are July 15-20. On July 20, the artists will host their open house at which they will display and sell their completed artworks. That happens from1p.m to 4 p.m. at the Denareplex.

On that same weekend, July 19-20, you don’t want to miss “Rumours: Fleetwood Mac & Crime of the Century: Supertramp” at Johnny’s Social Club at 177 Green Street. The Anti-Social Club Band will play with some fabulous singers and they will perform both of these incredible albums in their entirety. Yes, we did say both albums. According to Mark Kolt, they are around 45 minutes long, “...about the length of a set, so we will do both.”

Each of these albums is astonishing in its own way. Crime of the Century, released in 1977, marked the breakthrough to superstardom for Supertramp. In 1978, it was listed as No. 108 on the World Critics List of the 200 best albums of all time. By 1989, it was ranked 10th! Funnily enough,itwas always much more popular in Canada than anywhere else in the world. Guess we always did know our prog rock!

In 2005, the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die included Crime of the Century. With songs like Dreamer and Bloody Well Right, you’re gonna love it!

Rumoursby Fleetwood Mac is one of the biggest selling albums of all time, with over 40 million copies sold worldwide. It was also released in 1977. At that time, Fleetwood Mac had reached star status with the hit Rhiannon from the album Fleetwood Mac and had been touring non-stop, but it had taken a real toll on their personal lives. The band had lost one of the founding members and added Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. Before the album was recorded, John and Christine McVie got divorced, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham were off more than on and fighting all the time.

They managed to continue to write the songs for the album, mostly fueled by cocaine and arguments, but what an album they created. Songs like Go Your Own Way and Dreams are part of the lexicon of pop. Come on out to support local musicians and the Blueberry Jam Music Gathering, the happy recipients of the benefit concerts.


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