Monthly Archives: June 2011

Music and Art in York Region and Aurora Festival News

New: Blog Talk Radio

Joel Krivy interview – artist on Sunday line up for the Aurora jazz Fest July 29 – 31st 2011. Check it out and send to friends – all music by artists of the festival!–


Why Move To Canada?


I know a family who were born and raised in a desert, who moved to Barrie, Ontario, twelve years ago.  And the smile has never left their lips since then. ‘Why?’ The answer is simple: Canada has it all. 

I’m not talking about climate and scenery and all those ‘external’ things we believe bring us happiness; I’m talking about more meaningful things like care, support, security, freedom, safety, opportunity and most of all – love.

To all the new immigrants out there – Happy Canada Day!

Aurora Jazz Festival is a GO!


Hello music lovers! Mark your calendars; enjoy a Stay-Cation right here in Aurora for the August 1st long weekend! Save gas, invite family – enjoy your home area with friends… July 29-31st  

3rd annual Aurora jazz+ Festival now run by the newly formed Aurora Festival of the Arts, a non-profit organization, supported by The Ontario Trillium Foundation, Town of Aurora, 88.5 The Jewel…visit our site for more sponsor info.

The festival had over 5,000 visitors last year at its gated event.  It brings visitors from York Region and Greater Toronto; some from as far away as Europe, Washington and Florida to visit their York Region families during this music festival!   

2011 Festival is better than ever with more music, artisans and community involvement.  Aurora jazz+ Festival boasts Ontario’s finest talent (musical and visual artists); two stages; beer/wine garden; non-stop music; great food in a beautiful fully accessible heritage setting.

Entertainment line-up will be posted and artists featured at and at York Scene Blogs!

Town Park has great area for kids at the Sand Park and Water Park and organizers plan more activities for children.  2011 Festival includes the baseball diamond to enable festival growth and a place for our artisans and vendors.

GO!  Town Park is close to Go Station – lots of parking and within easy walking distance to festival.  Also close to Aurora Cultural Centre and our Library to visit more of Aurora while you are here!   See Boogie Boy Blues educational/interactive show July 31 at 3pm at the Aurora Cultural Centre.

Festival also supports two local charities Safehaven and CCAA – Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness and offers a community information booth to local service clubs.

Aurora Festival of the Arts: July 29, 30 and 31st in Aurora’s historical Town Park – visit for more details and sign up as on of our friends and followers to receive updated information.  Visit us at the Aurora Farmers Market any Saturday 8am-1pm.

Fee: Nominal daily fee of $5 per person, children 12 and under free. 

Friday July 29 6pm-10pm; Saturday July 30 2pm-10pm; Sunday July 31 1pm-10pm

Town Park – Mosley & Wells Streets, Aurora

Volunteers needed – Students Welcome!! Contact

Sponsors – Become an Offical Festival Hot Spot – Get involved!


Aurora jazz Festival FaceBook page become a fan and follow on twitter!!


2011 – LINE UP


6PM: Caribana North Reggae/Soca – Brian Huntley & Friends – Band shell

7:45 Steve Hunter – 2 Men from Earth – Mobile Stage

8:45 Moonwalker – Alex St. Kitts – Band shell

9:15 George St. Kitts – Sounds of Motown – Mobile Stage



SATURDAY – July 30th – World Music

Pre-Festival – Yoga/Fitness and Music at the Market in the Park Starting at 10am

2pm After Hours Big Band – Band shell

2:45 Bob Rice – Latin Jazz – Mobile Stage

3:30 Jamie Miller Folk – Band Shell

4:15  My Jam Space  – Mobile Stage

4:45 Stacey Kaniuk – Band Shell

5:30 Courtenay Fields – Mobile Stage

6:00 Rob Tardik – Band Shell

6:45 Hot Rocks – Mobile Stage

7:45 Shugga Band – Band Shell

8:45 Spider Jones Band – Mobile Stage

9:15 George Olliver and Band – Band Shell


SUNDAY – July 31st

1pm High Ground – Mobile Stage

1:45 Zim Zum Jazz Band – Band Shell

2:45 John Ebata – World Music  – Mobile Stage

 3-4pm Boogie Boys Blues at Cultural Centre

3:30 Joel Krivy – Band Shell

4:00 Not Affiliated Big Band – Mobile Stage

4:45 Julian Troiano Band – Band Shell

5:15 Missy Knott – Mobile Stage

6:00 Michael Massaro – Band Shell

7:00 Martin Acouin Band – Mobile Stage

8:00 Alex Ciccone –  Band Shell

8:30 Neil Chapman and Robin Banks – Mobile Stage


Writing Beyond My Means

Some people live beyond their means. I write beyond my means. What I’m saying is that I write songs that are sometimes too complicated for me to easily perform.

I recently went into the studio with a really accomplished pianist, Marilyn Lerner. She was my first-ever piano player, just a kid fresh out of music school, but who’d been taking piano lessons since she was tiny. She moved on into jazz and improvisational music and new music, but her playing is always full of heart and emotion. (Listen at

But me, well, I’m not a schooled musician. I had three years of violin as a kid, which I begged for, because my parents were both tone deaf and music wasn’t a big deal in our home. And that was it for my formal musical education.

In my early 20s, having learned some chords on guitar, I ended up in a folky band called Stringband ( A few years later I took a summer course at the Royal Conservatory for grades 1 & 2 theory – I figured it might improve my songwriting. But in the band we mostly worked things out by ear, and all that theory ended up out the window. So a few years later I took some piano lessons. I wrote some pretty cool songs on the piano, but I couldn’t really play the thing because I’m about as coordinated as a jellyfish.

Now for me, it’s all about the lyrics, and I often write complex songs with irregular structures and throw in extra bars and odd chords — whatever the words and story dictate. But then when it comes time to perform them, well, I can’t count beats worth a damn, especially while I’m singing.

So recording with someone like Marilyn who can sight read and who’s got a chart (written out by my producer, definitely not by this musical illiterate!), while I have only a lyric sheet with little chicken tracks in pen on it, the tracks representing the number of beats between lines or places where the words are actually a pickup, or need to be stressed – well, it can get embarrassing when I screw up. Which I did fairly often the night we recorded together, in part because the song is also very new, so it’s not burned into my brain yet.

So that’s what I mean by writing beyond my means. The only thing that saves me is that Marilyn and other schooled musicians I’ve worked with really like those complicated, quirky songs of mine, and seem to find the patience to deal with my musical ignorance.

And for that, like others who live beyond their means, I owe them a huge debt!


Marie-Lynn Hammond is a co-founder of Stringband, a seminal Canadian folk group, and a critically acclaimed songwriter living in York Region. In past lives she’s written plays and magazine articles and hosted national CBC radio shows. In between working on two new CDs, she freelances as an editor of both fiction and nonfiction.






O What a Night!

June 9th – Aurora Festival of the Arts celebrated its second annual Hollywood Style Black Tie Gala in style!  Guests dressed up in zoot suits, fedoras, boahs, diamonds and gowns – bedazzled with all the fun and glitz that Hollywood infers!

It all started with a Red Carpet Press Conference featuring festival featured artists George St. Kitts, George Olliver, Rob Tardik, Robin Banks, John Ebata, Joel Krivy, Courtenay Field, Hot Rocks taking photos with organizers, guests and being interviewed by the press including Rogers: Diana Ciccone, SNAP: Cindy Shaver and Nic from The Era Banner.

By 6pm the Mansion was buzzing with excitement as guests arrived in anticipation of a wonderful night for the Arts!  Cameras snapped out photos on the Red Carpet capturing Artists, Organizers, Charities and Guests.  What a wonderful guest list it was.   Included were MPP Frank Klees, Ontario Trillium Foundation representative Merwat Rashwan, York Region Chief of Police Eric Joliffe, Mayor Steve Pelligrini of King, Markham Councilor Kanapathi, Aurora Councilor Humfryes, York Region Arts Council Executive Director Nancy Bodi, Michael Bowe & Denise Anderson of the Multi Media Film Festival of York Region, Herbert & Danielle Pryke of Artcures, television and radio personality Spider Jones, Rogers television personality Diana Ciccone, Catherine Matheson and crew from 88.5 The Jewel (88.5 car parked in front!),  business leaders, former councilors, a table full of artists as mentioned, real estate personalities – Michele Denniston, Merilyn McCart and Judy Kendall and festival’s two charities representatives of Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness and Safehaven making the event a microcosm of this year’s festival.

The night was filled with fun and dancing to the sounds of George St. Kitts Band and guest artists Alex Ciccone, Robin Banks and Spider Jones.  Silent Auction was filled to the brim and bidding continued into the night raising funds and awareness for the Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness.   A guessing game for a fantastic 22K Blue Topaz necklace hung elegantly on a strand of luminescent pearls, valued at $3500 donated to the Aurora Festival of the Arts by Kavar Jewellers was part of the excitement of the night.

MPP Frank Klees and OTF representative Merwat Rashwan presented AFA Board with the Ontario Trillium plaque, speeches were made and then the celebration the arts in York Region carried on until after midnight.

O what a night for the Arts indeed!  A perfect opportunity for art supporters to get to know one another better and cook up more ideas on how we can support the arts while stimulating local economy and tourism!

Thanks to all who supported the 2011 Hollywood Style Black Tie Gala fund raiser for the Aurora Festival of the Arts!

Join us July 29, 30 and 31st in Aurora’s Town Park at the Aurora jazz+ Festival

Sher St. Kitts – AFA – Chair


Images From the event!


Artists of Aurora Festival of the Arts – Please listen to June 4th show

Here is the June 4th Music Arts Marketalk Show – Blog Talk Radio with Sher – promoting the festival and the arts!

June 4th Music Arts Marketalk episode with Rob Tardik, Michael Massaro and Missy Knott – Please click on url above and listen to today’s show!