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Elly on the Arts: Looking ahead to fall and winter arts events

"Unbelievably, summer is drawing to a close. That’s hard to get one’s head around, we know, but it’s time to start reporting on what we can anticipate from arts and culture in the upcoming fall and winter seasons."
N48 Culture Days
Attendees at the 2021 Culture Days Dancing Down Main Street event stand for a photo on Flin Flon’s Main Street.

Unbelievably, summer is drawing to a close. That’s hard to get one’s head around, we know, but it’s time to start reporting on what we can anticipate from arts and culture in the upcoming fall and winter seasons. For the first time in two years, there is actually something to say.

COVID-19 has been a real challenge and we realize it is not yet over for some (we still have a lingering cough). Still, the Flin Flon Arts Council has some big plans, Home Routes/Chemin Chez Nous is roaring back, Johnny’s Social Club is delivering shows again and some of our local artists and craft clubs are gearing up to offer classes in making arts and crafts.

The Flin Flon Ars Council actually got a bit of a jump on this column, as it presented “Goldie B. Locks and the Three Singing Bears” by the Manitoba Underground Opera last Saturday at the Blueberry Jam stage area at the Flinty Campground. It was an operatic performance for children and it was extremely well-received a the large audience who came out to see it. Our roving critic (5 1/2-year-old Greyson) declared it, “Pretty fun!” and was engaged for the whole 35-minute show, which was, indeed opera. It was really well-done and a treat for children and parents. The FFAC is planning quite a season, so stay tuned for more details.

Next up, as part of the annual Culture Days celebration, is the Wild Things Market at the end of September. No word as yet on whether their usual collaboration with NorVA Gallery will take place, though we certainly hope so.

Pictures at an Exhibition has long been our absolute favourite part of Culture Days. NorVA usually brings a visiting artist to our community to display their work and Mark Kolt plays piano improvisations in response to their art. The audience is encouraged to participate in choosing the pieces of art to be expressed in this incredible collaboration of art forms. It has never failed to make us cry. Kolt has also posted many short vignettes of this style of collaboration on his YouTube page. It is well worth a listen.

Home Routes/Chemin Chez Nous has announced that they will be presenting a series of concerts over the fall and winter months, the first shows since February 2020. The organization has undergone significant change during the time of COVID-19 and they will no longer be offering house concerts - these were felt to be too risky for performers, audience members and hosts that Home Routes relies on.

The new concert series will begin in late September with folk artists touring in communities that can offer public venues like libraries and community halls. Flin Flon is particularly lucky to have a small venue like Johnny’s Social Club, which has stepped up to meet this new challenge.

Home Routes has been a godsend to our area’s folk audience and we are so glad that we can continue to see these artists here. There is some very special news coming soon about a show in November, so keep reading.

The North Star Quilt Guild is the first of our local artisans’ clubs to get their public face on and it certainly won’t be the last. The Quilt Guild is offering beginner classes for people who want to learn this art form. If interested, contact them at northstarquiltguild@gmail.com for information on how to sign up.

While there, take the time to purchase a raffle ticket for a king-size Log Cabin patterned quilt made by members of the guild. It’s really beautiful. Tickets are $5 each and the draw will be Oct. 1 by Flinty’s statue at the Museum.

We made a quilt once…long story for another day.