Elly on the Arts: Stage, books and visual arts abound

At the risk of sounding repetitive, there is a lot going on in Flin Flon this weekend. It still amazes that it is still true.

We are wrapping up International Women’s Day (which was seriously International Women’s Week) with a Local Routes performance on Friday at Doug and Ann’s Magical Cabaret (okay - I made that up but it really does need a name). Doors are open at 7 p.m. and the entertainment is free. There will be snacks courtesy of the International Women’s Day Committee and tea and coffee courtesy of Ann.

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On this same weekend, Ham Sandwich Theatre presents 1984 in play format. This dystopian novella was written in 1948 by George Orwell and the title was originally written as “Nineteen Eighty-Four”. The leading character is Winston Smith, who is a bureaucrat working in the Ministry of Truth revising history to make it fit with the Party line. He falls in love with Julia, but as their affair develops, he begins to realize that the system he lives in is wrong, and he is soon arrested to be “re-educated” by the Thought Police.

This is a big step forward for Ham Sandwich Theatre. Comedies are wonderful and fun but theatre can and should educate and expand the mindset of the audience. The theatre troupe has worked very hard to professionalize their offerings and this new production is a testament to their work and talent. It will be a good – if gruelling – experience for all, so go out and support it. The show will be at the RH Channing Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $20 and are available at Northern Rainbow’s End.

I hope you made it out to NorVA on March 1-2 to the Book Launch of Flann!, a graphic novel completely created by Danita Stallard. The book takes off from the Flin Flon story in “The Sunless City” to tell the tale of boy prospector James, who is looking for a river of gold but only finds a pocket watch. He meets the incredible Flann! (the exclamation point is explained in the graphic novel) Toba, a girl with marvelous powers who is searching for her cousin Flynn.

You can still purchase Volume One from the author by contacting her at danitastallard@gmail.com. It is a beautiful book to look at and we sincerely hope that Volume Two will be here soon.

We don’t devote a lot of time to the authors in our communities in this column, usually because we have lots of performances to talk about, but Judy Pettersen, Linda Sonnenberg-Jackson, Jerry Hamm, Harry Hobbs and the astonishing Brenda Schmidt, former Poet Laureate of Saskatchewan, deserve our attention and our praise. They are all wonderful contributors to our arts and culture mosaic.

The new art exhibition coming up at NorVA Centre in March and April is very exciting. Back in 2017, renowned artist Diana Thorneycroft provided an extensive mentorship for nine area artists. This group formed The Northern Nine Artists Collective to support each other and their work.

They are now ready to mount a show and have engaged a curator – Winnipeg’s Amy Karlinski – to assist in this process.

The Northern Nine Collective includes Avery Ascher (Clearwater Lake), Marg Britton (Flin Flon), Fran Cooper (The Pas), Karen Clark (Flin Flon) Matthew Enns (Flin Flon), Patty Evans (Flin Flon), Cris Hogarth (Flin Flon), Catherine Joa (Denare Beach) and Katie Kozak (Creighton).

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