The past week or so has seemed almost normal here in Flin Flon, with all of the events we have to report on. The Northern Juried Art Show had its opening in The Pas. The Flin Flon Writers Guild and the Flin Flon Public Library co-presented the 19th annual Poetry Night and Trevor Gordon Sytnick presented Loaded Mic 10 at Johnny’s Social Club (of course they were all remote presentations - we are still in the midst of “The Final Shutdown”.)
Life really does go on. The Northern Juried Art Show was completely online, with artists submitting pictures of their artworks for the jurors’ feedback. As we have come to anticipate, Flin Flon, Creighton and Denare Beach were well represented on the list of awards for the exhibition. Laura Bryson, Ann Marin (Cranberry Portage), Donna Champagne, Ron Watt and Sandra Dixon received awards in oil painting. Catherine Joa, Susan Knight, Brandy Bloxom, Monique Rainville and Susan Gunn Saray received awards in the acrylic/mixed media category. Crystal Banting and Ann Marin, for two different pieces, got awards for watercolour painting. Rosimeire Anjos won in the drawing/printmaking category and frequent NorVA exhibitor Avery Ascher was second - she is from Clearwater Lake near The Pas, but is a member of NorVA.
Bloxom won first and third places in photography. Donna Hurst was second for her mukluks in one three-dimensional art category and Randy Beever, Elaine Angelski, Doug Dmytriw and Tamra Martin won awards in another three-dimensional category. Fibre art was swept by artists from Thompson and Lynn Lake dominated in the youth category. The Best in Show prize was awarded to James Dean of The Pas for his piece, “I Wish I Were a Superhero”.
It is so wonderful that our artists continue to produce work and to seek feedback and guidance for their craft during these trying times. Keeping on means that the rest of us can continue to enjoy your talent, even if only online.
The Flin Flon Writers Guild Poetry Night was a tremendous success, with Harry Hobbs sharing that 21 readers provided both original and better-known poems for an audience that stretched from coast to coast and into the United States. Ann Ross and Doug McGregor provided original poetry and song and Toastmaster Doreen Roman was the able emcee, with technical assistance, from Winnipeg.
Poetry Night has long been one of our favorite events. Just the idea of our little mining town taking an evening to devote to poetry readings is so appealing. Going high tech and presenting it virtually is testament to the wizards among us. We are hoping that it can happen with a live audience next year, but they can retain the internet link to all their new fans far and wide.
Lastly for this column, we had yet another splendid Loaded Mic night at Johnny’s Social Club. That was also online, this time on Facebook (Poetry Night was on Zoom) and completely within the guidelines set by public health. Courtney Lycan and Craig Bancroft played a sweet duet they learned quite separately but brought together beautifully. Holly Freeborn and Lyle Walllaker - who always, even though we don’t have favourites and we never write reviews, make us cry with their song choices - played John Hartman and John Prine. Mark Kolt accompanied a new, young duo of Kaiti Keramydas and Bobby Smith singing “Let It Be” which, we have on good authority, was no problem for these youngsters. Jen McLean, with Cameron Baggins on fiddle and Mark Kolt on keys, performed a tune by Matt Heckler, an Americana nouveau performer, which sounded great. Kristin Imrie and Kim Jones, with the astonishing Erick Bergman on guitar, sang a stellar version of Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock” which ought to be heard far and wide. Host Trevor Sytnick did double duty as accompanist to both Natalie Milligan (who reminded us why we love Celtic nights with her bouncy version of “Anything for You”) and Joanna Dauk who rocked the rhythm and bluesy tune “Cry to Me”. A wonderful evening all-around.