Youth Auditions for playhouse Productions this February
Coming in February, area young people will have an opportunity to audition for the Youth Musical Theatre Program and Children’s Chorus at the Huron Country Playhouse in Grand Bend. (Submitted photo)
Drayton Entertainment is pleased to announce auditions for its 2020 Season Youth Musical Theatre Program and Children’s Chorus at the Huron Country Playhouse in Grand Bend. The award-winning not-for-profit theatre company has been steadily growing its training offerings for young performers over the past several years, including launching the now popular Youth Musical Theatre Program (YMTP).
“We are consistently astounded by the talent and passion we’ve seen from aspiring young performers across the province. As a professional company, we feel a responsibility to develop the artists of tomorrow,” said Artistic Director of Drayton Entertainment, Alex Mustakas. “Our Youth Musical Theatre Program sessions and Children’s Chorus opportunities help to prepare young talent for future success.”
Auditions will be used to determine participants for the YMTP in Grand Bend, and the Children’s Chorus for Sleeping Beauty: The Panto at the Huron Country Playhouse II. Young performers must sign up in advance. Auditions will be held on Sunday, Feb. 9 at Huron Country Playhouse in Grand Bend.
Now in its fifth year, the Drayton Entertainment YMTP is an auditioned training program designed to cultivate community, encourage leadership, ignite imagination, and boost confidence, while providing aspiring young performers with the opportunity to learn from professional theatre artists and develop a deeper appreciation for live performance. Students train with passionate industry professionals in singing, dancing, acting, audition technique and technical theatre.
There will be a week-long training session in Grand Bend from July 13-17 for youth ages eight to 12. Plus, the popular Pre-Professional Production Program, which has traditionally been held in Waterloo Region, will move to Grand Bend. The Pre-Professional Production Program gives teen performers hands-on insight into how a musical is cast, rehearsed, and performed. In 2020, aspiring young performers ages 13 to 18 will present a 60-minute junior version of the Disney blockbuster Frozen at the Huron Country Playhouse II. This two-week session will take place from July 27 to Aug. 7, with ten performances of Frozen JR. from August 11-15 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily.
Adapted from the blockbuster animated film, Frozen JR. follows the stormy story of true love and acceptance between princess sisters Elsa and Anna. Burdened with an uncontrollable magical power, Elsa flees her home of Arendelle when she inadvertently causes the kingdom to become frozen, and nearly kills her sister. Fearless Anna joins forces with mountaineer Kristoff and his reindeer sidekick to find Elsa, break her icy spell, and save their kingdom from eternal winter.
Associate Artistic Director David Connolly will direct and choreograph the production. Connolly’s impressive résumé includes work on major musicals like the pre-Broadway production of First Wives Club in Chicago and numerous Drayton Entertainment productions including Disney’s Newsies, Mamma Mia! and the popular family pantos Jack and the Beanstalk, Cinderella, Aladdin and Snow White.
More information about the YMTP, including tuition costs and audition requirements, is available at www.youthmusicaltheatreprogram.com.
The Children’s Chorus Program offers young performers the opportunity to audition for the youth ensemble in the company’s panto production alongside professional performers in the lead roles.
Young performers ages nine to 15 are invited to audition for the children's chorus ensemble in Sleeping Beauty: The Panto, which will be on stage at Huron Country Playhouse II from July 2-18. Youth cast in the production will be divided into teams, and will perform in the show on a rotating schedule. Auditions will be held on Sunday, Feb. 9. Advance registration is required. Connolly will direct and choreograph the production.
More information about Children’s Chorus opportunities, including show dates and audition requirements, is available at www.draytonentertainment.com/Online/article/youth-auditions.
THIRTY-SEVEN REMARKABLE CITIZENS RECOGNIZED AT LEVEE
Standing ovations, cheers, and tears of joy were shared last Wednesday, Jan. 8 in Teeswater as 37 “Remarkable Citizens” were recognized at Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson’s Eighth Annual New Year’s Levee.
“I’ve always said that there is no better way to ring in the new year – and decade for that matter – than recognizing people who make a difference in our communities across Huron-Bruce,” Thompson said.
This year’s ‘winners’ included: Mikayla Ansley, of Blyth, a legally blind young woman whose essay on Kindness won the International Lions Youth Peace Essay; Richard and Elaine Porter, of Cargill, who have fostered more than 430 children over a span of 50 years; and Barry Ludwig, of Teeswater, who has donated blood more than 250 times.
“Everyone’s achievements, and volunteer work, are truly remarkable. They make a difference, and they are all an inspiration,” Thompson added.
Others recognized were: Wes Larson, Jennifer Morin, Jordan Jarvis and Arthur McIntosh, all of Kincardine; Brenda Campbell, George and Ruth Townsend, Gwen Devereaux, Lyle Haney and Gwen Good, all of Seaforth; Bruce MacDonald, Brian and Gisele Ireland, Steve Tiffin and Adam Ireland, all of Teeswater; Gladys Van Egmond and Kaushik P. Patel, both of Clinton; Helen Varekamp, John Elmslie, Mike Dixon, and Patricia Lewington, all of Bayfield; Nicole Mackechnie, of Goderich/Bayfield; Jane Smyth, Blyth: Joanne Caldecott, Brockton; Karen Redmond, Auburn; Marilyn Freer, Sam and Heather Finnie, all of Ripley; Peggy Griffin Paetzold, of Tiverton; Ron Alton, Ruth Alton, and Sharon Nivins, all of Lucknow; and Zoellyn (Zoey) Onn, of Brussels.
To date 175 Huron-Bruce residents have received the distinction of being recognized as “Remarkable Citizens”. Thompson also applauded those who make the nominations.
“We couldn’t do this without their support.”
Editor's Note: To learn more about the award recipients from Bayfield visit Issue 547 of the Bayfield Breeze dated Jan. 1.
Alzheimer Society hosts two documentaries at museum
Every year the Alzheimer Society of Huron County selects movies for their January Awareness Month. These movies are selected to start the conversation about dementia. This year’s movies are both documentaries, depicting how people with dementia and their families are living with disease. These stories are honest, real, sometimes raw and genuinely inspiring.
The Caregivers Club (2018) steps inside the private lives of four Toronto families as they navigate through heartbreak with humor and frustration. It’s an inspiring journey of love, loss and letting go that thousands of families will take as their family members age. Audiences will get to know four middle aged caregivers – Dominic, Karen, Susan, and Barbara – each taking care of a spouse, or parent, who can no longer care for themselves. All four stories take the audience far beyond the practical problems of navigating a seemingly fickle healthcare system and into the psychological challenges of coping with the deterioration of their loved ones. Unfolding over a year, the stories told in The Caregivers Club resonate with reality for many families.
The Caregiver Club will be shown at the Huron County Museum on Jan. 22 at 2 p.m. and Jan. 29 at 7 p.m.
Alive Inside (2014), the winner of many awards including the Sundance Audience Award, is a “joyous cinematic exploration” of the capacity of music to reawaken the soul. Filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennet chronicles the experience of many people who explore the simple act of listening to the music of their youth, along with the experience of family members, friends and healthcare professionals who help make that happen. This movie is simultaneously poignant, joyful and inspirational.
Alive Inside will be shown at the Huron County Museum on Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. and Jan. 29 at 2 p.m.
All movies are free; donations gratefully accepted.
For more information, please contact the Alzheimer Society of Huron County at 519 482-1482/1-800-561-5012 or email@example.com
Once Were Brothers kicks off Livery Film Fest
Welcome to the new decade! In the winter of 2020, the Livery Film Fest committee brings four new, intriguing and delightful films from the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) Film Circuit - a great way to mark Thursdays on those new 2020 calendars!
Here are the New Year offerings: Jan. 16, Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson & The Band; Feb. 6, The Peanut Butter Falcon; Feb. 27, Official Secrets; and Apr. 9, Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love.
Once Were Brothers, the January film, is based on Robertson's autobiography “Testimony”. Robertson, lead songwriter for The Band, and the film's director Daniel Roher are both Toronto natives. Roher claims that hearing “Up on Cripple Creek” while on a canoe trip was the beginning of his journey to bring this story to the screen.
In addition to Robertson's “cautionary and occasionally humorous tale”, this film documents the collaboration of the group with music legends such as Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen, Van Morrison, Ronnie Hawkins (who is said to “steal the show”).
Archival footage and iconic songs contribute to the nomination of this new film as the Best Canadian Feature Film (TIFF, 2019). This film was the Festival opener this year.
The Peanut Butter Falcon is described as a “modern day Mark Twain fable”, telling the story of a young boy who leaves home to become a wrestler. And yes, there is a raft scene, and lots of “heart and humour”. This film has been enthusiastically received by other film circuit audiences. Critics rating on the Rotten Tomatoes website is 95/100.
All films will be screened at 7 p.m. at the Park Theatre in Goderich. Please check the website before you come, as dates may be subject to change (www.thelivery.ca).
“Thursday Tunes and Dancing” is back at the Libro Hall (arena upstairs) in Clinton from now until May 21.
Libro Hall is located at 239 Fleming Drive and the program runs from 1-3:30 p.m. All musicians, dancers and spectators are welcome. Admission is by donation.
For more information contact Angela Smith at 519 476-5922.
Bacharach tribute concert
Take 3 & Company (Submitted photo)
Take 3 & Company will be performing, “A Tribute to Burt Bacharach”, on Feb. 1 at the Grand Bend Place Centre for the Living Arts.
The trio, Theresa Wallis, Jenny Nauta and Ron Nauta will perform Bacharach's greatest hits from the 1950s to the 1980s. The audience is sure to enjoy their amazing harmonies to such songs as: Walk On By, You'll Never Get To Heaven, Alfie, One Less Bell To Answer, and I'll Never Fall In Love Again.
Door will open at 6:30 p.m. with the concert beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the centre located at 25 Main Street in Grand Bend.
Tickets are $25 and are available now from Janice Sinker, 519 238-5436; The Garden Gate, 519 238-1701; or ticketscene.ca
Provincial grant opportunities
Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson is encouraging local organizations to submit applications to receive provincial grants through various programs.
“As we begin 2020, the new year is a great time to look at what funds might be available for community projects,” Thompson said.
The MPP said The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) (www.otf.ca) is a popular program that has helped organizations and communities across the province.
“This program helps to build healthy and vibrant communities throughout Ontario by strengthening the capacity of the volunteer sector by investing in community-based initiatives and strengthening the impact of Ontario’s non-profit sector,” she said, adding that the first deadline to apply for seed money is Feb. 26.
The foundation supports programs in the arts and culture, environment, human and social service, youth development and sports and recreation. In 2018-19, the OTF invested more than $108 million through Seed, Grow, and Capital investment streams funded by the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism, and Culture Industries and $14 million through the Youth Opportunities Fund, funded by Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services.
Those eligible to apply include registered charitable organizations, a not-for-profit corporation without share capital in a Canadian jurisdiction, a First Nation, Metis, Inuit or other Indigenous community, a municipality with a population of 20,000 or less (municipalities eligible for arts and culture and sports and recreation sectors only).
Another program is the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) (www.arts.on.ca) which provides support for the creation of art to benefit and enrich the lives of Ontarians including the provision of grants, scholarships and awards. It is Ontario’s primary funding body for professional arts activity with over 60 funding programs for Ontario-based artists and art organizations. In 2018-19, the OAC invested $61.1 million to 228 communities through 2,252 grants to artists and 1,424 arts organizations.
Previous grants have been awarded to more than 2,950 individual artists and arts organizations, investing in such areas as: writing a book or a play; organizing a local concert series; arts education – artists in the schools; and professional development and career building. Applications are received year-round.
A final program highlighted by Thompson is the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund (www.ocaf.ca) which has three aims: to increase cultural tourism by providing investments to assist Ontario organizations to develop, promote and present one-off or first time events, or a significant expansion of existing activity, which are designed to attract new tourists and visitors to cultural events; increase the earned revenue capability of the applicant organization; and support events that foster economic growth and contribute to job creation.
“Each year the government of Ontario distributes millions of dollars to help promote the arts and culture in communities large and small,” Thompson said. “This is part of our ‘Celebrate Ontario’ program and I encourage everyone to take advantage of the funding.”
alzheimer awareness Library tour
January is Alzheimer Awareness Month. Representatives from the Alzheimer Society of Huron County will be visiting libraries across the county to ensure people have the information they need. They will be offering a 20-minute presentation about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Topics will include:
• Ten warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease
• What is the difference between Alzheimer’s disease and dementia?
• Should I be worried? What is the difference between “normal age-related memory change” and dementia?
• I am worried about myself or someone I care about. What can I do?
There will also be plenty of time to answer questions and provide resources and needed information.
Here is the library visiting schedule: Goderich Library, Jan. 20, 10:30 a.m.; Alice Munro Library in Wingham, Jan. 21, 10:30 a.m.; Seaforth Library, Jan. 23, 2 p.m.; Brussels Library, Jan. 23 6 p.m.; Exeter Library, Jan. 29, 10:30 a.m.; Zurich Library, Feb. 1, 10:30 a.m.; Howick Library, Feb. 7, 2 p.m.; and Blyth Library, Feb. 11, 6:30 p.m.
For more information, please call the Alzheimer Society of Huron County at 519 482-1482 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Local schools can help their community with the help of Watershed Champions grants. The Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) has extended the grant application deadline to Friday, Jan.17. The grants are for local schools to complete projects that improve surface and groundwater quality, forest cover and overall watershed health. Projects may also include a public education event or activity. The local conservation authority offers four grants of up to $500 each.
The 2019-2020 school year is the third year of the grant program. An application form and guidelines are available online at abca.ca. You may email completed applications to email@example.com by Jan. 17.
“We want to make sure our local watershed schools have the chance to apply for this program so we’re extending the application deadline into January,” said Denise Iszczuk, Conservation educator with ABCA. “Local schools have done great projects the previous two years and we want to build on that success in 2020.”
Past Watershed Champions include: Precious Blood Catholic School, Exeter; Stephen Central Public School, Crediton; East Williams Memorial Public School, Ailsa Craig; and Wilberforce Public School, Lucan.
To view videos of past school projects, visit the ABCA YouTube channel at this link: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheAusable
Watershed Champions Grant projects provide solutions to environmental challenges with measurable and manageable actions. The projects need to be completed by June 2020.
All schools with funded projects are to be notified by the end of January.
“We are excited that we can offer Watershed Champions Grants for the third year in a row, to local schools, thanks to funding from NextEra Energy Canada,” said Iszczuk. “We were really impressed by the projects completed by schools through this program and we look forward to reviewing applications for projects that help to improve soil, water and living things in our watershed community.”
Schools can apply for one of two categories: 1) Creating Awareness; and 2) Taking Action.