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Elly on the Arts: Looking back on a busy year

This is the last column of 2018, so Happy Holidays to all! It has been an amazing year of arts and cultural events in Flin Flon and area, but hold on to your hats because, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!” Last year kicked off with a bang.

This is the last column of 2018, so Happy Holidays to all!

It has been an amazing year of arts and cultural events in Flin Flon and area, but hold on to your hats because, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!” 

Last year kicked off with a bang. We had a Loaded Mic night produced by Trevor Gordon at Johnny’s Social Club, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) Film Their Finest at Hapnot’s Dorothy Ash Theatre, the incredible Quartetto Gelato at the RH Channing Auditorium and our Amisk Tours trip to Winnipeg to see the exceptional production of “Come From Away” at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. That trip included a stay at the Inn at the Forks, dinner at Smith restaurant and a fabulous question and answer session with RMTC artistic director Stephen Schipper. The NorVA exhibition was Joseph Reys: Fever Dreams and a show of bird prints by Beth Gillespie. And that was only January.

In February, we had the amazing Del Barber – a beautiful songwriter – the TIFF Film Franz, the Flin Flon Public Library fundraiser and the Derina Harvey Band from Edmonton via the east coast.

March brought The Onlies, the TIFF Film Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, the Youth Arts Council event with the band Speed Control, the NorVA exhibit My House as a Life by Jane Gateson and Broadway Night at Johnny’s Social Club.

April saw the Northern Lights Dance Academy recitals over two nights, Red Tail Ring from Kalamazoo, Mich., NorVA Night at Johnny’s Social Club with the exhibition of Flin Flon artists for the Northern Juried Art Exhibition at NorVA and Kenzie Jane from Winnipeg playing Johnny’s Social Club. 

In May, the Flin Flon Arts Council presented Le Grand Opéra with tenor Dustin Hiles, for which the whole audience was dressed to the nines and sipped champagne. NorVA presented Scutelliphilly, a show of badges by various artists. We also saw the Flin Flon flutist Mikylo Odut perform, Logan McKillop and Madeleine Roger at Johnny’s and three nights of Pink Floyd courtesy of the Antisocial Club Band.

We didn’t slow down as June started up our summer with Imrianna Jones and Donny Parenteau doing shows at Johnny’s, and an impromptu Northern Juried Art Exhibition at NorVA to accompany the Trout Festival.

July saw another offering from the Flin Flon flutist, a concert by Jenn McLean; Exploring Self, by Gabriela Aquero at NorVA; and a show by Wax Mannequin at Johnny’s Social Club.

In August, the beautiful Kari Rutherford presented a recital while Indigenous artist Allen Chapman was on display at NorVA and we saw our first overwhelmingly successful Blueberry Jam Music Gathering take place over three days and two stages at the Flin Flon Campground. Plans are underway for an even better time in August, 2019. 

September brought the incredible Jennifer Hanson home for two shows at Johnny’s. We were also treated to an evening by Joanna Dauk and Janeve Masson and Home Routes presented Mama’s Broke from Halifax, NS. Takeshi Iwasaki was the artist on display at NorVA. He showed gorgeous, playful paintings, embroidery and collages. Of course, September would be nothing without Culture Days, which saw Flin Flon take second place in the country for number of events presented.


In October we saw the TIFF Film A Man Called Ove, a marvelously successful concert/pool fundraiser by Local Roots performers at the community hall, four sold-out nights of the Beatles by the Antisocial Club Band and the brilliant Adam Karsh all the way from Montreal.  NorVA Centre held another amazing Square Foot Auction with a live tattoo demonstration.

November brought a classical music house concert (though we used the glorious Steinway on the stage of the Community Hall) with Lisa Rumpel on piano and Matt Robinson on saxophone, the Ham Sandwich production of Treasure Island, The O’Pears from Toronto and stellar Rolling Stones shows at Johnny’s. Local artist Lynn Burroughs had the show at NorVA.

December hosted Joanna Majoko and the Flin Flon Community Choir and friends singing their way to our hearts, and the Christmas season would not be complete without Borealis Chamber Choirs service of Lessons and Carols at the First United Lutheran Church.

Next year kicks off with an amazing conference facilitated by the North Central Canada Centre for Arts and Environment group. Three incredible women will be in Flin Flon to present Inspiration II: Knowledge and Development. This is the follow-up to Inspiration: Building Knowledge, held in September 2017.

The Flin Flon Arts Council will bring Janice Price, president and CEO of Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity; Dorothy Dobbie, owner and publisher of Pegasus Books; and former MP and Jean Giguere, president emeritus of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet board of directors and winner of the Ramon Hnatyshyn Medal for Volunteerism in the Arts; to speak on using arts and culture to diversify the economy. Stay tuned for more information.

For regular readers, you will recall that we left the Canadian Folk Music Awards on Dec. 1 before the results were in. We are so happy to report that Lynne Hanson, who will be playing two dates in Flin Flon on Feb. 8 and 9, won in two of the five categories she was nominated in – best ensemble performance and best songwriter (English language).

Do keep that in mind and email or for seats to her shows. Tickets are $20 and all funds go directly to the artist.

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