Tag Archives: yorkscene

Making Art


Herbert Pryke

By: Herbert Pryke

Opinions about art keep changing; not only today, but throughout history. The History of Taste – which is part of the History of Art – is a continuous process of discarding established values and inventing new ones. It is impossible to measure the merits of works of art as a scientist measures distances.

Art is imagination and has no boundaries. Art is the creative process of our imagination and our attempt to give it form. The hand tries to carry out the commands of the imagination and puts down a brushstroke. The result may not be quite what had been expected from the mind; partly because the image in the artist ʼs mind is constantly shifting and changing, so that the commands of the imagination cannot be precise.

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Research for a Song?

Marie-Lynn Hammond

By: Marie-Lynn Hammond

Yes, I’m doing research for a song. Because not all songs are about the writer’s navel-gazing feelings, or about love, that bottomless pit of inspiration (and too often cliché) for songwriters.

I love writing songs on unusual topics and songs that tell stories. If they tell a Canadian story, even better. So I’m now writing one about the Sharon Temple (www.sharontemple.ca), a unique heritage site in the north of York Region.

The temple, completed in 1832, was built by a fascinating sect called the Children of Peace. You could say they were the first hippies: they valued peace, social justice and equality; they lived together cooperatively in one village; they held feasts where everyone shared food; they wore colourful clothing when they marched in processions; and music and song were a big part of their worship.

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Trendspotting – Sampling Aurora’s Finest Shops

Jennifer Curtis, YRAC Arts Administrator

By: Jennifer Curtis

Once February rolls around it starts to seem as though winter will never end. Why not warm up by exploring Aurora’s unique decorative art stores. Here are three must-visit shops along Aurora’s main street.

1.Pomegranates & Clementines
15120 Yonge Street, Aurora

What will first draw you to this shop is the uniqueness of the building – tucked away into a heritage building, P & C is carefully decorated to capture heritage charm. Carrying restored furniture, woodwick candles, salvaged decorative and kids clothing from local artists, as well as work recognized designers this shop has a one-of-a-kind gift to suit even the most discerning shopper. Continue reading

The Relationship Design – An Art in Progress!

Lesley Ann Marcovich

By: Lesley Ann Marcovich

“Will you be my valentine?” Or, “Will you be my partner in designing a magnificent union that is creative, productive, awe-inspiring, and that will stand the test of time?” Sounds like a tall order, but in essence, that’s what a relationship, especially an intimate one, requires.

Like anything built to withstand traffic, climate, and erosion, the relationship needs constant inspection, maintenance, and sometimes, when things get rickety or tired, a renovation … and sometimes, when things literally crumble to the ground, a complete restoration.

Respect is the mortar that keeps the foundation solid and immovable; respect for each other’s culture, sex, roots, ambitions, dreams, and life’s journey.

Memories and experiences make up the walls which are not always straight or perfect. Some are solid, some flimsy, some temporary, some immovable. They’re there to define the stages of our shared lives which are forever changing; sometimes working with us, sometimes against.    

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Celebrating Canadian Entertainer Phyllis Marshall

Sher St. Kitts

By: Sher St Kitts

February is black history month and to celebrate we’re starting a campaign to induct Phyllis Marshall into the Canada Walk of Fame!

If you haven’t heard about Phyllis and her contribution to the arts here is a snapshot of her life:

Phyllis Marshall (1921-1996)

Phyllis Irene Elizabeth Marshall. Phyllis was born in Barrie, Ontario, November 4, 1921, The Marshall’s moved to Toronto where Phyllis grew up.  While still a teenager attending Runnymede Collegiate she was a young track star with sights on representing Canada in the 1940s Olympics which were canceled. At 15 she began her singing career with her debut on radio station CRCT. She performed with Jack Arthur and Percy Faith. She performed in Toronto’s various night clubs, including the Silver Slipper in 1938. During the 1940s she performed with many Toronto dance bands including 18 month engagement at the Park Plaza Hotel 1943-44 with her own trio. She was first approached by Fats Waller to tour with him – she was too young, but later she joined Cab Calloway’s Orchestra & toured with him in 1947-48. By 1949 she was on CBC radio’s ‘Blues for Friday’. When CBC TV first started she was a part of ‘The Big Revue’ 1952-4, and later ‘Cross-Canada Hit Parade’ 1956-9 and many other shows. In 1959 she was featured on the BBC with her own special ‘The Phyllis Marshall Special’. Over the years she performed with jazz notables such as Oscar Peterson and Bert Niosi.  She was our first Canadian Black Female TV Star.  She performed at the CNE in 1957 with Bob Hope. In 1964 she released an ‘LP’ for Columbia Records called ‘That Girl’ with such jazz stars Buck Clayton and Buddy Tate, winning an award by the precursors to the Canadian Junos.

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Where are they now? Our grant recipients continue to impress!

Jennifer Curtis, YRAC Arts Administrator

By: Jennifer Curtis  

Last fall the York Region Arts Council gave out its first round of grants to local artists. Our recipients came from a range of art genres, including filmmaking, visual art, music and theatre.

Since the grants were awarded we’ve kept in touch with the winners, and have been excited to see them continue to grow the arts in York Region.

One of the youngest recipients was Christopher Dallo, a classical opera singer. Since winning the grant he has been in the news, going onto collaborate with several established producers and professional songwriters, on the January 2010 CBC Network The Passionate Eye, which featured a documentary called The 40 Year Secret. In this documentary, Christopher co-wrote, co-produced and performed the theme song My First True Love. 

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I Want DUMB Technology!

YorkScene Blogger, Marie-Lynn Hammond

By: Marie-Lynn Hammond

Since I’m not under 25, I wasn’t born with a digital device in my hand. I got my first computer in my mid-30s, in the days when they were powered by gerbils running on a little treadmill, and they involved about 10 commands. All I wanted was a word processor to make writing easier, which it did. I had no trouble wrangling that early setup.

Also in those early days, I had a cassette recorder. When I felt a new song coming on, I’d slip a cassette in, hit Record, and let it run for 45 minutes while I tried endless combinations of chords, melodies and words while strumming my guitar. When I needed to write a line down in my notebook, I’d hit Pause. And when I was done, I’d hit Stop and then Playback. Simple. Straightforward.

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