As Sudbury opens up, so does city’s arts scene

Do you remember the pre-COVID days when there were so many events, it was impossible to attend them all?

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Like Rip Van Winkle, we are all about to wake up from a long sleep known as COVID-19. As of Feb. 17, cinemas, theatres and concert venues are allowed to open with 50 per cent capacity. This means event calendars heading into the spring and summer should start to fill up. Do you remember the pre-COVID days when there were so many events, it was impossible to attend them all?

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  • The Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) Sudbury will hold a virtual fundraising event while we wait for a return to something close to normal.

Take a day trip to Tuscany from your living room Saturday, March 5, at 10 a.m. CFUW Sudbury, in partnership with YWCA Sudbury and LEAF Sudbury, presents a ZOOM conversation with Debbie Travis, the author of “Joy: Life Lessons from a Tuscan Villa,” live from Italy.

Travis is well known for her popular television decorating shows. She owns a wellness retreat in Tuscany and has written a book about the benefits of living a slower lifestyle with an emphasis on good food, wine, family and friends.

Tickets are $20 and details for registering or for purchasing Travis’s book can be found at cfuwsudbury.com.

Celebrate Women raises money for scholarships to promote post-secondary education for women, safe housing and support for women and children escaping intimate partner abuse, and advancing understanding of women’s equality rights.

  • The show goes on at Sudbury Theatre Centre with the presentation of a dark comedy written by Sudbury’s talented Matthew Heiti. “Ever Falling Flight” was originally scheduled for February. Opening March 3, the play runs to March 13.

The play is inspired by Amelia Earhart’s 1937 record-breaking round-the-world trip. Ruthie Nkut stars and STC’s artistic director John McHenry directs.

Nkut is a gifted actor, singer, and musician who has appeared in numerous YES productions. She studied at George Brown Theatre School and the Broadway Dance Centre. Growing up in Sudbury, she studied classical singing and piano and won many awards at the Kiwanis Music Festival.

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  • The 2022 Sudbury Music Festival, formerly the Kiwanis Music Festival of Sudbury, will be held in April.

The Kiwanis Club of Sudbury sponsored the event for 75 years. Like many service groups, its membership has declined. This prompted music teachers and enthusiasts to form a new organization known as Sudbury Music Festival.

The festival will be online in 2022 as COVID-19 precautions continue to restrict the size of social gatherings. Instead of performing live for an adjudicator, participants will film their performances, and upload the videos to YouTube.

Musicians and vocalists must register by Feb. 28; the deadline for video submissions is March 22. Information is available at sudburymusicfestival.ca or events.solarislive.com/Sudbury-Music-Festival.

Louis Simão will be overseeing the 2022 competition as festival co-ordinator. Simão, until recently located in Toronto, is a multi-instrumentalist and composer who has worked with distinguished artists and ensembles. He was named “World Solo Artist of the Year” in 2017 by the Canadian Folk Music Awards. Sudbury is now this outstanding artist’s home.

  • YES Theatre is looking for talented young people aged eight to 15 to audition for its summer music theatre festival.

Applicants must prepare an audition video that includes an introduction and one song. All submissions need to be sent in by March 1 at 1 p.m. Callbacks will take place in person with specific material from the selected pieces during the week of March 7. More information is available at yestheatre.com.

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  • Organizers of the 10th annual Lions SuperSTARS Vocal Competition, to be held at the end of May, are looking for aspiring vocalists aged six to 19.

The competition will be virtual, and competitors are asked to include a video along with their registration before March 15 to cafeheritage.ca/who-we-are/.

  • Sudbury Arts Council (SAC) invites amateur and professional photographers to submit images for a 2023 desk calendar to be produced by Journal Printing.

The theme is Naturally Sudbury. Submissions should focus on the natural beauty of the seasons. Thirteen colour images will be selected by members of the arts council board, one for each month and a cover shot. The deadline for submissions is June 1.

More information regarding submissions is available at the SAC website: www.sudburyartscouncil.ca.

  • The arts community lost a veteran member this month. Visual artist Ray Laporte passed away on Feb. 4 at the age of 71. A celebration of life will be held on July 21.

Laporte studied art at Cambrian College and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Some of Laporte’s bigger projects include a mural at the New Sudbury library and an installation of suspended rock fish at the McEwen School of Architecture in 2017.

The arts council also notes the passing of Patricia Kemp in December. Kemp was a volunteer co-ordinator for Northern Lights Festival Boreal for many years. An unsung hero of the arts community, Kemp donated hours of her time working at charity bingos to raise money for the summer festival.

State of the Arts is presented by the Sudbury Arts Council.

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