Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 30/3/2017 (1029 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Call it Comic Con Lite.
The Manitoba Comic Con and Sci-Fi Expo, taking place April 1 - 2 at the RBC Convention Centre, is a relatively lightweight affair compared to the bigger, better C4 Comic Con we’ve grown accustomed to seeing every October. Replacing the Central Canada Pop Culture Expo in name, it offers a "more intimate" convention experience.
The only notable actor guest for this weekend’s con is Emma Caulfield, best known as Anya on the series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The con also features cosplayer Destiny Nikelsen and animators Phil Ortiz and Tom Cook.
The one-day ticket is $12.25 and a weekend pass is $20.25 at Ticketmaster or at the door.
— Randall King
There is no better place to get a feel for the current state of local hip hop than the Good Will Social Club on Friday, March 31.
That’s when five Winnipeg-based acts will take the stage as part of the Manitoba Music 204 Hip Hop Showcase, including rap trio 3PEAT, MCs Len Bowen and Chris Bxnnxtt, soul/blues/dub hip hop artist Wynrush and CJ the Grey (an alum of the hip hop-based after-school program Studio 393).
Each of the five performers has been "building buzz with new material and packed shows," says a news release. 3PEAT, for example, released their self-titled debut EP in September 2016, and have found their feet as festival performers, locking in sets at Festival du Voyageur, Rainbow Trout and SpaceLand 2, among others.
More information about each artist is available at www.manitobamusic.com/hiphop. Tickets for the showcase are $10; doors open at 9 p.m.
The next day, April 1, Manitoba Music will continue to put the spotlight Winnipeg’s hip-hop scene with a roundtable discussion at 1 p.m., the aim of which is open a dialogue on the "successes and challenges for the local hip-hop community." FACTOR’s project co-ordinator for sponsorships and outreach, Taiwo Bah, will be in town from Toronto to speak at the event.
The discussion is free and open to everyone working in hip hop, including artists, promoters, producers, labels, videographers, DJs, graphic designers and more. The event, and the mixer that follows, will be held at the Manitoba Music offices, 1-376 Donald St.
— Erin Lebar
The life and work of one of Canada’s foremost poets will be celebrated Tuesday, April 4, at 7 p.m. at McNally Robinson Booksellers in conjunction with the release of a new collection of essays on his poetry, prose and criticism.
Robert Kroetsch: Essays on His Works, edited by University of Windsor professor Nicole Markotić, brings together more than two dozen voices to comment on and analyze writing of the Alberta-born poet, who spent many years writing and teaching at the University of Manitoba before retiring and moving back to Alberta. He died at age 83 in a car accident outside Edmonton.
Kroetsch was instrumental in shaping and fostering Manitoba’s writing community — as well as Canadian literature in general — in ways that continue to resonate. In this new book, authors who revered and/or knew Kroetsch, including Gary Geddes, Roy Miki, Aritha van Herk, Nathan Dueck and others, examine the writer’s literary legacy in his poetry, fiction and essays.
Highlights of Kroetsch’s writing career include winning the Governor General’s award for his 1969 novel The Studhorse Man, another nomination in the poetry category for his 2001 collection The Hornbooks of Rita K., and his 2004 induction into the Order of Canada. Since 2007, Insomniac Press and Matrix magazine have presented the annual Robert Kroestch Award for Innovative Poetry.
Leading the celebration of Kroetsch’s writing will be Markotić, poet Dennis Cooley, who authored a book of his own about his cohort (2016’s The Home Place: Essays on Robert Kroetsch) and Charlene Diehl, director of the Winnipeg International Writers Festival.
— Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson
An old style of singing is suddenly a new thing in Winnipeg.
Shape-note singing, also known as sacred harp singing, a musical form that originated in the American South in the 19th century, was introduced to city choristers in February at a singing workshop. It’s gained enough of a foothold for singers to host another gathering, to be held Friday, March 31, at 7 p.m. at Crescent Fort Rouge United Church (525 Wardlaw Ave.).
Shape-note singing gets its name from the note shapes on the written music from the Original Sacred Harp songbook first published in 1844. Triangles, ovals, circles and squares correspond to the four-part harmonies that give the musical style its structure.
Many of the songs have religious significance, but the sound generated by a shape note congregation differs greatly from hymns performed by traditional choirs.
It’s also more of a participatory art than a performance art. It only requires a handful of people to get started, but videos on YouTube show choirs and congregations of dozens of people taking part in full voice. It gained some prominence when a shape-note choir was included in the score for the 2003 film Cold Mountain, which was set during the U.S. Civil War. (Tim Eriksen, a music consultant on the film, taught a shape-note singing workshop at the Winnipeg Folk Festival in 1996.)
"There’s a greater sense of participation and that we’re all in it together," Crescent Fort Rouge musical director Michael Cutler said in a Free Press story prior to the February workshop.
— Alan Small
Spring is in the air, and in Winnipeg, the change of seasons always feels… funny.
Part of the spring-scented silliness could be related to our shared sense of glee at the knowledge that the cabin-fevered cold months have finally come to an end, but a large part of the credit for the lightening of the local mood belongs to the Winnipeg Comedy Festival, which arrives each April with a reliably ridiculous roster of shows and performers bringing a rising tide of laughter to the city.
This year’s event, the festival’s 16th edition, has a "Buy Local" theme that celebrates the fact that world-class comedy can be found right here in River City. Along with the big-name imports who will host and populate the galas and special shows throughout the week, comedy fans will also see the best of the Winnipeg standup and sketch scenes performing alongside the A-list comedy talent.
Among the highlights of the 2017 Winnipeg Comedy Festival, which runs April 3 to 9, are the annual taped-for-TV galas, each tailored to a specific theme, at the Pantages Playhouse Theatre. The schedule opens with Lady Like (Thursday, April 6), hosted by Canadian comedy favourite Nikki Payne, continues with a pair of Friday (April 7) shows — Virgin Territory, hosted by Gavin Crawford, and Good Neighbours, hosted by Tommy Chong — and wraps up with a Saturday (April 8) double-header that includes I Heart Love, hosted by Will Sasso, and Hot Mess, hosted by Howie Miller.
Other noteworthy shows on this year’s fest schedule are Muslim Interrupted (April 5, West End Cultural Centre), a one-man show featuring Ali Hassan of CBC Radio’s Laugh Out Loud; Alicia Tobin’s art-themed Come Draw With Me (April 7, West End Cultural Centre); the return of Bruce Clark’s talk-show-styled Tales From Late Night (April 7, West End Cultural Centre); and Shazia Mirza’s pop-culture-literate and politically incorrect The Kardashians Made Me Do It (April 9, West End Cultural Centre).
Of course, "Buy Local" also means laugh local, and the focal point of the festival’s made-here mirth is the annual Winnipeg Show (April 6, West End Cultural Centre), hosted by Bruce Clark and featuring performances by Chad Anderson, Carole Cunningham, Tim Gray, Andy Noble, Dana Smith, Dan Verville and Ben Walker. Winnipeg talent will also be showcased April 3 and 4 at the WCF’s The Upper Deck shows at Jekyll & Hyde’s Freehouse, and in the annual High School Improv Show (April 4, Vincent Massey Collegiate).
The full festival schedule and ticket information are available at www.winnipegcomedyfestival.com.
— Brad Oswald