Polaris Prize Reveals the 2017 Winner – Lido Pimienta

Monday night at The Carlu in Toronto the Polaris Music Prize was awarded to Lido Pimienta (left) for the album La Papessa.

The annual prize awards $50,000 to the Canadian Album of the Year, based solely on merit, regardless of genre, or sales numbers.  A Grand Jury of independent music journalists, broadcasters, and bloggers determine a long list of albums,  released between June 1, 2016 and May 31, 2017 before narrowing it down to the short list of 10 albums.

To determine the Album of the Year, the Grand Jury is also reduced to a short list of 11 jurists who then award the Polaris Prize.
In addition to the $50,000 awarded to the winner, the remaining 9 finalists each receive $3000 from Slaight Music.

The 2017 runners-up include;
A Tribe Called Red – We Are The Halluci Nation
Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker
Gord Downie – Secret Path
Feist – Pleasure
Lisa LeBlanc – Why You Wanna Leave, Runaway Queen?
Tanya Tagaq – Retribution
Leif Vollebekk – Twin Solitude
Weaves – Weaves

The Polaris Gala was hosted by CBC Radio 2 morning host and Polaris juror Raina Douris and featured performances from 6 of the Top 10 finalists; including include Lido Pimienta, Weaves, Leif Vollebekk, Tanya Tagaq, Feist and Lisa Leblanc.  The evening also featured the exclusive worldwide debut of Leonard Cohen’s new video for “Leaving the Table,” directed by Christopher Mills.  To watch highlights and more music from the Polaris Prize Gala visit cbcmusic.ca/polarisprize

Lido Pimienta joins the illustrious list of Polaris Prize Winners; Kaytranada (2016), Buffy Sainte-Marie (2015), Tanya Tagaq (2014), Godspeed You! Black Emperor (2013), Feist (2012), Arcade Fire (2011), Karkwa (2010), Fucked Up (2009), Caribou (2008), Patrick Watson (2007) and Final Fantasy (Owen Pallett) (2006).




Boca del Lupo presents These Are The Songs That I Sing When I’m Sad

Boca del Lupo is known for its experimental theatrical productions and spectacular outdoor presentations.  Their upcoming show, These Are The Songs That I Sing When I’m Sad, continues this mission. Part of  Boca del Lupo’s Micro Performance Series, These Are The Songs That I Sing When I’m Sad, is produced by the award-winning theatre company Nightswimming.

Boca del Lupo - Sad SongsThe production is an intimate, interactive performance by the remarkable singer Jane Miller. Through storytelling and songs, Jane explores the sad songs that have played a role in her life and delves into the link between deep emotions and the musical elements that make these songs so addictive. Audience members are drawn into the action when their favourite sad songs are requested and, in some cases, played by Jane in real-time. Sad Songs examines why we identify certain songs as sad or melancholy, and others as joyful, beautiful or triumphant, and how they weave themselves into our lives.

Co-creator and performer Jane Miller is a Dora Award-nominated actor, singer, and composer who specializes in a cappella and vocal ensemble music. Jane has opened for Jeff Buckley, Moxy Fruvous, and Ani Difranco. Co-creator Brian Quirt is one of Canada’s leading dramaturgs, as well as a director, playwright and the founder of Nightswimming.

Nightswimming and Boca del Lupo are collaborative theatre companies with similar missions to create and present extraordinary experiences in theatre, dance, and music.

Boca del Lupo’s Micro Performance Series is an umbrella to bring together diverse projects and experiences for small audiences, allowing them to be immersed in the production forming a intimate relationship between artists and audience.

These Are The Songs That I Sing When I’m Sad runs June 7 – 10, at The Fishbowl on Granville Island. Performances are 8pm nightly, plus a 4pm matinee on June 10. Tickets are available at the door or online at bocadellupo.com

Theatre Passe Muraille brings Elle to Firehall Arts Centre

Severn Thompson stars as Marguerite de la Rocque de Roberval photo credit: Michael Cooper

Toronto’s Theatre Passe Muraille brings its award winning play, ELLE, to the Firehall Arts Centre in Vancouver until February 18th. ELLE tells a tale of the real-life Marguerite de la Rocque de Roberval, a 16th century French noblewoman who spent a number of years marooned on an island in the New World. Having set sail with her uncle the governor of New France, on one of Jacques Cartier’s expeditions, de la Rocque de Roberval’s libido got the notice of the pious General.  As punishment for taking a lover, but more likely as a way to embezzle her inheritance, the Uncle abandons his niece, her lover and maid on a desolate island in the Gulf of St Lawrence.

ELLE stars Jonathan Fisher & Severn Thompson
photo credit: Michael Cooper

Over the centuries and through varying interpretations Marguerite’s herstory has taken on almost mythic proportions.  Elle is adapted from Douglas Glover’s book of the same name, by the star Severn Thompson who portrays the heroine as a headstrong, resourceful women who doesn’t let circumstances get in the way. The one woman show (along with one man Jonathan Fisher who provides the soundtrack and makes a short but pivotal appearance in the story) is set in both Marguerite’s present and past as the ‘present-day’ character recounts her story for the audience albeit with some possible flask induced embellishments creating an entertaining and dramatic piece of work.  Simple staging, bold dialogue and creatively choreographed movement, along with Fisher’s subtle music allow the audience to create the vivid picture of Marguerite’s life.

ELLE plays at the Firehall Arts Centre until February 18, 2017

3rd Canadian Screen Awards Winners

CanadianSCreenAwards2015-03-01 19.54.52On Sunday night, the 3rd Canadian Screen Awards were presented at the Four Seasons for the Performing Arts in Toronto.  The awards gala telecast was hosted by Canadian comedy legend Andrea Martin.
Since 2013 the Canadian Academy of Film and Television has merged the awards formerly presented in the individual Gemini and Genie Awards and added Digital Media to be recognized in the newly formed Canadian Screen Awards.  With nearly 100 awards to be presented, the last week has seen a number of awards presented in a series of galas during Canadian Screen Week in Toronto culminating in the 2 hour CBC telecast.
The movie Mommy lead the film division with 13 nominations and Orphan Black lead television also with 13 nods.
At the end of the night, Mommy walked away with 9 “Screenies” from the week’s galas including Best Picture and Orphan Black took away 10. The film Pompeii was also a big winner with 5 awards.

Some of the major categories went to:

Motion Picture: Mommy
Direction: Xavier Dolan for Mommy
Actor in a Leading Role: Antoine Olivier Pilon in Mommy
Actress in a Leading Role: Anne Dorval in Mommy
Actor in a Supporting Role: John Cusak in Maps To The Stars
Actress in a Supporting Role: Suzanne Clément in Mommy
Original Screenplay: Xavier Dolan for Mommy
Adapted Screenplay:  Nicholas Billon for Elephant Song
Feature Length Documentary: Super Duper Alice Cooper
Achievement in Music-Original Score: Howard Shore for Maps to the Stars
Achievement in Music-Original Song:  Manjeet Ral for “Dal Makhani” from Dr Cabbie
Claude Jutra Award (first time director): Jeffrey St Jules for Bang Bang Baby
Golden Reel Award (biggest box-office): Pompeii

Drama Series: Orphan Black
Comedy Series: Call Me Fitz
Lifestyle Program or Series: Income Property
Reality/Competition Program or Series: Amazing Race Canada
Lead Actor, Drama: Jared Keeso in 19-2
Lead Actress, Drama: Tatiana Maslany in Orphan Black
Lead Actor, Comedy: Don McKellar in Sensitive Skin
Lead Actress, Comedy: Joanna Cassidy in Call Me Fitz
Supporting Actor, Drama: Jordan Gavaris in Orphan Black
Supporting Actress, Drama: Ali Liebert in Bomb Girls
Supporting Actor, Comedy: Jonathan Torres in Mr D
Supporting Actress, Comedy: Lauren Ash in Spun Out
National Newscast:  Global National
National News Anchor: Lisa LaFlamme for CTV National News
News Information Series: The Fifth Estate

Original Program or Series, Fiction: Space Riders: Division Earth
Original Program or Series, Non-Fiction: A Short History of Highrises (NFB/NY Times)
Cross-Platform Project, Fiction: Played:Interference
Cross- Platform Project, Non-Fiction: Big Brother Canada Interactive
Cross-Platform Project, Children’s: Grojband: The Show Must Go On
Performance in a Program or Series Produced for Digital Media: Surpinder Wraich for Guidestones: Sunflower Noir

For the full winners list visit academy.ca

Bondax debut at Fortune Sound Club

UK duo Bondax have been getting a lot of buzz for their online release of the latest single “All I See” and now are set to debut the single on all platforms.

Released on Ultra Music in Canada on October 13th the duo are celebrating with a pair of Canadian shows; Vancouver, tomorrow October 8th at Fortune Sound Club and in Toronto on October 12th at Tattoo.

Check out the video for “All I See” then check out the show near you.

Polaris Prize 2014 Shortlist

Polaris_400x400Canada’s annual celebration of the country’s best music, the Polaris Prize, has released it’s shortlist for 2014.  Canada’s music press adjudicate the eligible albums without regard to genre or sales, making it one of the truest celebration of Canada’s music scene.  Past winners; Godspeed You! Black Emporer, Feist, Arcade Fire, Karkwa, F*cked Up, Caribou, Patrick Watson, and Final Fantasy reflect the diversity of Canadian music that Polaris encourages.

Earlier today, the Polaris Prize 2014 shortlist was announced in Toronto, selected from the 41 album Long List, the 10 Short List Albums are:

Arcade Fire — Reflektor
Basia Bulat — Tall Tall Shadow
Mac DeMarco — Salad Days
Drake — Nothing Was The Same
Jessy Lanza — Pull My Hair Back
Owen Pallett — In Conflict
Shad — Flying Colours
Tanya Tagaq — Animism
Timber Timbre — Hot Dreams

This marks the third Short List for Arcade Fire, Owen Pallett (Final Fantasy) and Shad.

Next, an 11 member Grand Jury, chosen from the pool of 190 media who made up the Long & Short List Jury, will determine their choice for the Polaris Prize 2014 Album of the Year and its associated $30,000 award.  The Winner will be announced September 22 at the Polaris Gala hosted by actor Jay Baruchel.

Find more information online at polarisprize.ca and follow the Prize on Twitter @PolarisPrize, Facebook.com/PolarisMusicPrize and Instagram @PolarisMusicPrize


Kobo Town gets Harrison Festival dancing

KoboTown_7133668Kobo Town – Harrison Festival of the Arts – July 12, 2014

On the opening day of the Harrison Festival of the Arts, the nightly “Evenings In The Hall” concerts series got underway with a lively performance by Toronto based, Kobo Town.  Lead by Trinidadian-Canadian Drew Gonsalves (pictured left), the band plays a blend of calypso, infused with ska, reggae, and even a hint of hip hop.
The lead singer/songwriter was engaging with witty and colourful anecdotes about his life growing up in Trinidad and Canada and what led to the writing of his songs.  Nearly from the first note, the audience took his comment that ‘the seats are optional’ and many got to their feet to dance along to the Caribbean beats.  KoboTown_2014-07-12, 20 53 45_2The mix of genres combined with the mix of self-penned, classic Caribbean tunes and re-worked standards from the 30s & 40s like “Rum & Coca-Cola”, a popular one with the older members of the audience.
In closing up their 80 minute set, the quintet of Gonsalves, Saxophonist – Linsey Walter, Drummer – Walter McLean, Bassist – Don Stewart and Guitarist – Francesco Emmanuel unplugged and wandered down into the audience to get up close and personal with the dancers.
KoboTown_2014-07-12, 22 06 10

If this is the way the rest of the “Evenings In The Hall” concerts play out, the Harrison Festival of the Arts audiences are in for a great treat.

The Harrison Festival of the Arts runs until July 20th in Harrison Hot Springs, BC.  Daytime concerts on The Music On The Beach stage, Arts Market and Art Exhibition are free but a $2 daily Festival button shows your support for the Festival.  General admission tickets to the Evenings In The Hall concerts are $25.