Elly on the Arts: New ideas, productions abound

By the time you read this, we will have met the three Inspiration: Knowledge and Development presenters, Dorothy Dobbie, Jean Giguere and Janice Price and we will have attended the tourism summit at the Creighton Community Centre.

With any luck, we will have exited the deep freeze as well. Hope everyone had a great and informative time. This column will roll out the ideas generated for our communities in the next few weeks.

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Of course, the arts and cultural community in the region continues to perform or bring visiting performers into town. This weekend, Jan. 25 and 26, the great Canadian blues musician Ken Hamm is playing at Johnny’s Social Club. He has been here before with the Home Routes/Chemin Chez Nous house concert series, but that was more than 10 years ago.

Hamm absolutely blew the cobwebs out during that performance. In fact, audience members experienced the sensation of their hair being blown back in the wind from his guitar. He is incredible and well worth your time to take in. He will also do guitar workshops on Saturday afternoon for those who practise that particular discipline.

She’s baa-aack! Ann Hodges, the brilliant Canadian theatre director who gave us Les Miserables in Flin Flon is coming to town once again, to direct Mamma Mia, the Flin Flon Community Choir production to be held May 9 to 12. She will be in Flin Flon from Jan. 31 to Feb. 10 to begin working with the cast and will return in April to put the finishing touches on the show.

The whole cast will work extremely hard over the two-week timeframe she is in Flin Flon, so if you see cast members looking dazed, do take care of them.

Rehearsals will continue throughout the period between now and her return in April and the expectation will be that the whole cast will continue to improve.

This kind of dedication is what makes the musical the kind of experience of excellence it has become. Love your artists, they love you. That’s why they do it.

Ms. Hodges will be working with challenging new staging in the RH Channing Auditorium, but she has familiarity with many other aspects of the production so will have even higher expectations in this iteration. Expect outstanding sets, costumes and pit band performances from the cast and crew, all of whom are from the Flin Flon area. Almost all of the on-stage performers are local as well, with the notable exception of Seth Johnson, an actor from Toronto who will play Sky, daughter Sophie’s husband-to-be.

We have had professional dancers in the past who came in to “round out” the cast, but with choreographer Janelle Hacault working so hard with the “dancing queens and kings” already, the cast is taking on full responsibility for the “night moves.” There are many dancers in this show, and they are good. Therefore, producer Crystal Kolt has decided that we could learn more from a professional actor. We look forward to his performance.

The NorVA Centre continues to display a joint show of local artists, sculptor Doug Dmytriw and photographer Beatrice Walker. Walker’s nature photographs are fascinating and capture animals and light in natural environments.

Dmytriw works in copper, greenstone and diamond willow. His pieces are evocative of fleeting thoughts or half-memories. It is an exceptional show.

In February, Brandy Bloxom will assume control of the gallery with her culture-laden photographs.

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