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Elly on the Arts: Blues and East Coast sounds await music lovers

The Flin Flon Writers Guild launched its latest compilation, Words on the Rocks , at the library on Saturday, Feb. 20. Read a copy to find out what our local poets think, dream, remember and wish.
Catherine Allen and Andrew James O’Brien
The Juno-nominated folk-pop pairing of Newfoundlanders Catherine Allen and Andrew James O’Brien will be in Flin Flon in March.

The Flin Flon Writers Guild launched its latest  compilation, Words on the Rocks, at the library on Saturday, Feb. 20. Read a copy to find out what our local poets think, dream, remember and wish.

Also, compliments to Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre and the Flin Flon Arts Council for the production of The Hound of the Baskervilles, performed the following day, Sunday, Feb. 21. Good theatre feeds the soul.

Coming up, tonight, Wednesday, Feb. 24, we have a special presentation at Johnny’s Social Club. Maria’s New Fiddle will feature special guest performer Maria Cherewyck from Brandon via St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador (and it’s actually a viola!).

Unfortunately the show is sold out. Congratulations to Alistair Calligari and all who are helping to present this wonderful show.

Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 27 and 28, guest instructor Jan Layh returns to Flin Flon for a follow-up to her introductory painting class.

Jan has many years of experience in art education and will bring accessible instruction in several techniques to both novice and experienced painters. The cost is $100 and some supplies will be included.

Classes will be held at NorVA Centre, 177 Green Street. Call or drop in for more information.

On Saturday and Sunday, Mar. 5 and 6, Home Routes brings blues master Andy Cohen from Memphis, Tennessee, all the way north to Flin Flon. Cranberry Portage and Snow Lake shows are March 8 and 9.

Andy has been playing the blues since the ’60s and he knew many of the greats of the early 20th century.

He says, “I made a point of acquainting myself with all the blues players I could, on record and in person. In my shows, I do material by Rev. Davis, John Hurt, Big Bill, Gus Cannon, Frank Stokes, Memphis Minnie, Bukka White, Barbecue Bob, Charlie Patton, Ted Bogan, Henry Spaulding or any of 100 other blues people.” 

This promises to be an amazing show from a real pro. Tickets are $20 and are available at the door(s), 19 Hemlock Drive on March 5, and 183 Murton Boulevard on March 6.

The atmosphere of a house concert has to be experienced; it’s so intimate and friendly.

Also beginning on March 5, from 1:30 to 4:30 pm, is batik with Karen Clark at NorVA Centre.

There are four classes in the series: Saturday, March 5 and Monday, March 7 running 6:30 to 8:30 pm; Saturday, March 12 from 1:30 to 4:30 pm; and Monday, March 14 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.

It is sure to be very rewarding when the instructor is prepared to put all that time into the sessions. Cost is $100 for all sessions and all supplies. Again, call or drop in to NorVA Centre to register.

Finally, the Flin Flon Arts Council presents true East Coast music duo Fortunate Ones from Newfoundland and Labrador.

This Juno-nominated folk-pop pair consists of Catherine Allen from Corner Brook and Andrew James O’Brien from Mount Pearl, on the opposite side of the island.

They met in St. John’s in 2010 after Andrew heard Catherine sing harmony for someone else (her brother).

Andrew wanted that sound to complement his burgeoning career, so while it was a road from that evening to the formation of Fortunate Ones in 2013, their beginnings are in keeping with one of the core messages they carry: that sometimes the most important decision you can make is to just say yes.

According to a bio on their website: “We put a name on something that was naturally occurring, and then we took steps to follow it up. We would share equal duties vocally, musically, and conversing with the audience. It wasn’t Andrew James O’Brien with Catherine Allan anymore – it was already Fortunate Ones.”

Plain and simple, they consider themselves fortunate to pursue their dreams. Their name reflects shared experience with audiences. It is about connecting people of all kinds, to make strangers friends, to elicit feelings of joy, hope, sadness and contemplation – and the spirit that we are all in this together.

The Fortunate Ones will be at the RH Channing Auditorium on Saturday, March 12. Tickets are available at Northern Rainbow’s End and at the Arts Council office.

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