Archive for category Arts and Culture
Just last week, I was honoured to be a speaker at a Tedx Event here in Toronto! In case you’re not familiar with Ted, these events bring together people with inspiring messages from all over the world, to share their ideas with a live audience. The speeches (each around 18 minutes) are broadcast live on the web, and the often appear on the Ted.com website afterwards. I was asked to speak on the subject of ‘How to Do Business Like an Artist’. I shared with the audience the story of what it was like for Craig and I to set up Centauri, and how difficult it was to find campers in the first couple of years before we had established our reputation. I spoke about how Centauri has enabled us both to spend our lives doing all the things we love – working with young people, inspiring others, designing arts programs, heading a vibrant and supportive arts community and still working on our own creative projects throughout the year. In fact, I even shared a story about camp that no one has heard before: how I got stuck in a window on the first day of our very first summer (ask me about this at camp and I’ll tell the story!)
One of the most thrilling things about Ted events is the incredible people you get to meet. There was a scientist at the event who spoke about her work with severely disabled children, who cannot move at all and have no way to communicate with the world. She has devised a way of measuring involuntary changes in the human body – such as changes in heart rate and pulse. She interprets the changes emotionally, and transfers them into pieces of music. The parents of these children used to ask her whether their children even knew they were in the room. Now, when they enter, an emotional change in the child causes an orchestra to play! You can imagine how may lives this will transform. I also got to meet a guy who designs software for George Lucas, and a very inspiring entrepreneur who has created a food recovery program, pairing big hotels with homeless shelters so that no food ever goes to waste. There was an art show which included work from young people all over North America, performance poets, and a visiting band from Shanghai. The Ted event easily qualifies as one of the most inspiring non-camp days I’ve ever had (though I also admit that for different reasons, every day at Centauri can feel as inspiring as this!).
The Tedx Event had a lot of Centauri connections! The host of the youth portion of the event was Rob S., who has been a camper with us for years. The host for the adult speakers was a camp parents who said some wonderful things about Centauri as she introduced me. Even the principal of the school where the event was held used to teach play writing with Centauri, years ago!
Of course, if you put this event together with everything that’s currently happening for camp, you’ll realise what a crazy few days we have had! In just ten days, Craig and I held two Information Sessions, opened bookings for the International Tour (which is now close to full), took almost 200 camp registrations, lived through the 2 days of the Ted event, AND held the fundraiser for our school in India! Things calmed down a little this past Sunday, though the inspiration all this has created will last a long time. What did we do Sunday? We went to see the new Mayan exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum – and we’d really, really recommend that, too!
Our Seventeenth International Tour was a HUGE Success! Here’s a little diary of what we did, for anyone interested!
After an overnight flight from Toronto, we arrived at Gatwick, London, in a state of exhausted excitement! Our coach was waiting, and took us to our group hostel at Thameside, just a five minute walk from the Tube. It was modern and newly renovated, with glass walls and a brand new reception area. We took a few moments to freshen up, then began our adventure! We took the Tube to Westminster, emerging in the shadow of Big Ben, and crossed Westminster Bridge to the London Eye. Half an hour later we were in the air, slowly revolving over the city in one of the biggest ferris wheels in the world! We were able to pinpoint many of the famous places we’ll see over the next few days – including Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey. We enjoyed some free time on the South Bank, during which the sky clouded and rain came down in bucketloads! We charged back to the Tube and headed to the hostel for a late dinner, and bed. Today was thrilling, but by 10pm our rooms were silent – thanks to jet lag!
Today camp was transformed into a village in North Yorkshire, England, circa 1140 A.D.!
It all began last night, when we converged at campfire as the sun was setting, to hear the story of the sinking of the White Ship, and how the drowning of Prince William plunged England into civil war. Then, after a sleep-in and some free time, we set up a midsummer fayre in our village of Centaurthorpe. Campers enjoyed a village picnic, then spent an hour helping to set up the fayre attraction of their choice. Some helped a travelling ‘herballist’, creating actual ”remedies” that were used in 1140. Others set up genuine medieval board games, or active challenges. A group of campers learned to operate a working model of a trebuchet, while others learned medieval dances, practised songs, rehearsed a mummers’ play, mastered the quintain or gained skill in archery or the spear throw. Contributing to the magic of the day were 14 actor-combatants from Blackthorn Theatre Productions, who brought along medieval artefacts, gave us fight demonstrations, operated key attractions and wandered around in costume all day.
Our day was varied and exciting. In addition to exploring our self-created medieval fayre, we survived a siege, watching the actors ‘fight’ and attended a feast in the evening, presided over by King Stephen himself. The day ended with a “battle” in which half the camp fought for Empress Maud and the other half on the side of King Stephen. We finished as we started – with a story at the campfire pit. This time, we heard about the ending of the English civil war, and the restoration of peace in the land. Finally, we drank hot apple cider and ate home baked cookies, then collapsed into bed… grateful for another sleep-in tomorrow morning!Julie HartleySee more photos at http://www.centauriartscamp.com/media/Galleries/2011/index.htm
Centauri Summer Arts Camp
Over the past three weeks Craig and I have been travelling in Europe – a vacation, before we begin focussing intensely on the up-coming camp season. We spent time in Rome, where we were excited to be able to meet up with two of our fabulous campers – Val and Costanza. We met them outside The Pantheon, and they took us for some of the best gelato we’ve ever tasted! It was amazing to see them both again.
We managed to include many arts experiences in our trip. We visited Alexandria in Egypt, where we were able to tour the awe-inspiring new Biblioteca Alexandria - as a writer, this has been one of my dreams! We saw Roman amphitheatres in several cities including Taormina (Sicily), and our love of art was well satisfied by a couple of days in Barcelona, where we enjoyed Gaudi’s unique architecture and sculptures. In Malta, we toured one of the oldest theatres in Europe, designed and built by the Knights of St. John. As you can see, there was even an antique wind machine! Wind machines continues in use until audio recordings for theatre made them obsolete. On the wall behind you can see a thunder machine – and she got to work a nineteenth century rain machine as well.
Now we’re back in Toronto, we’ll be spending the next couple of weeks putting together the camp schedule as staff confirm the exciting banquets, festivals and evening programs they are busy planning for the coming summer! Space on camp is now filling fast, with spots full or close to full in the whole of session two.
Only 12 weeks now until our seventeenth summer season begins!
Centauri Summer Arts Camp
Sprockets – Toronto International Film Festival for Children and Youth starts this week.
Sprockets 2011 Opens With World Premiere Of Pixar’s Hawaiian Vacation.
With more than eighty films from twenty-seven countries spanning all genres, Sprockets brings the world of cinema to Toronto’s audiences, along with an exciting slate of special guests, hands-on family activities and showcases for young filmmakers.
Check out their web site at http://tiff.net/sprockets?sdate=6/4/2011
Check out the Film Camps and Summer Film Programs at Centauri Summer Arts Camp. Located near Toronto, we offer residential film camps and film acting programs for youth ages 8 to 18.
Every summer, we host about fifty young writers who tell us again and again how few opportunities there are for young people interested in creative writing, in their home communities. In addition to those fifty, we have dozens and dozens of campers at Centauri who have an interest in creative writing and choose to take writing workshops, even though their main specialty may be in something else. So… this post is for all of you!
The Toronto Public Library offers some really intriguing events in the arts – particularly in creative writing – and this one is completely free! Incidentally, Souvankham Thammavongsa is a poet published by Pedlar Press, which is run by Beth Follett, who taught writing at Centauri for years.
14 March · 14:00 – 17:00
Sanderson Library 327 Bathurst Street (at Dundas)
Register at 416-397-5970, or email@example.com
Work with Toronto poet Souvankham Thammavongsa and learn to see ordinary objects anew to make still life ‘drawings’ with words. You will truly write what you see! Souvankham Thammavongsa was born in 1978 in Nong Khai, Thailand. She is the author of two poetry books from Pedlar Press, Small Arguments and Found. Small Arguments was described as “quiet, beautiful jeweller’s-eye lyrics” and won the ReLit award for poetry in 2004. In 2009, Found was made into a short film that screened at film festivals in North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Two events to tell you all about in late February that are being run by Centauri Program Directors!
The first was sent to us by Valerie Buhagiar, our “Acting for Film” program director:
Talk film and eat at Harbourfront (Toronto) !
Love food? Love film? In this workshop, participants will learn how to prepare a dish inspired by a film. Enjoy the meal while you watch and discuss the film with our facilitator; Canadian actor, film director and television host, Valerie Buhagiar. This course is offered in partnership with Liaison College.The first date is February 26th at 6pm. See the Harbourfront website under ‘Workshops and Courses’ for more details.———————————————————————————————————————————
Secondly, this was sent to us from Darwin Lyons (our International Tour Program Director):
What You Will, by William Shakespeare
After a sold out run at The Cameron House in January, Written On Water Theatre in Association with The Phyzikal Theatre Company brings What You Will to a bigger venue for all of those who didn’t see it and/or loved it the first time!
When? February 25th, 26th and 27th at 8pm
Where? The Annex Theatre, 730 Bathurst St, Just south of Bloor on Bathurst, Toronto, Ontario
How much? $15, and can be reserved through e-mailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook invite link: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/event.php?eid=196818587012068
Website link: http://writtenonwatertheatre.com/main.html
Young Voices, Toronto Public Library’s magazine of teen writing and visual art, is looking for artwork, photographs, stories, poems, rants, reviews and other writing by teens 12 to 19 years old.
Pick up a submission form and drop off your writing and visual art at any Toronto Public Library branch, or submit online. Deadline for Young Voices 2011: April 2, 2011.
Write what you want to write! It can be a poem, story, essay … whatever you like.
Submit only your own original work.
Submissions are not returned, so keep a copy of your work.
Toronto Public Library has one-time print and electronic rights to all work selected for publication, as well as the right to excerpt from the work for purposes of promotion.
Written submissions will be selected from each of the following age categories: 12-14; 15-16; 17-19.
Artwork will not be categorized by age for the purposes of choosing what to publish.
For further information, to go: http://ramp.torontopubliclibrary.ca/secondary/expressyourself/writinggonewild/youngvoicesmagazine/three-content.jsp
Each month, we try to suggest some of the best around-town arts events and workshops for our local campers in Ontario. Apologies to the many campers we have who live too far away to take advantage of these events… though please do email us with arts events you would like to recommend in your communities, and we will post your suggestions.
If you love dance, check out Dance Ontario’s DanceWeekend 2011 here in Toronto! The event features contemporary, b-boy, ballet, belly dance, Bharatanatyam, jazz, flamenco and African styles of dance. These live performances will engage and inspire – and promise to warm January’s frosty days! Events take place at Harbourfront, and cost only $10. For more information, go to: www.danceontario.ca
If you enjoy musicals, don’t miss Billy Elliot! It’s coming to town at the start of February. For more information, go to: http://www.mirvish.com/shows/billyelliot
This Winter, anyone aged under 25 can experience a key exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario absolutely FREE. The exhibition is called Maharaja: The Splendour of India’s Royal Courts and includes some of the most magnificent works of art from India’s royal culture. Don’t miss this! The exhibition runs until April 3rd. For more information, go to: www.ago.net .
If you’re aged 12-19, and acting is your thing, then you may be interested to hear that the the Toronto Public Libraries has a workshop coming up in March with a professional make-up artist. The subject is make-up for films. Space at their workshops fills up fast because they are usually low cost, or free. For more information, go to: http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/search.jsp?N=37867+37849
Older campers may also be interested to learn that Toronto Public Libraries now has audition postings on its blog! For their listings, you can go to: http://torontopubliclibrary.typepad.com/arts_culture/audition-postings/
… more suggestions coming in February!