It’s fair to suggest 2016 was a bleak, and somewhat dark year. I’ll venture that 2017 bursts out of the gates on a high note. The momentum is growing. Our scene has changed, we have changed, and both are stronger.
Happy New Year! The weather outside may be frightful, but don’t let that stop you from exploring because arts and culture events in Waterloo Region continue year round. Bundle up and let’s take a look at some of the events happening in the next few weeks.
The Whole Shebang: debating the collection
Saturday, January 27th 3 – 8 p.m.
Idea Exchange, Queen’s Square, Cambridge
It’s very rare that you’ll ever get the opportunity to see an art gallery’s entire collection on display all at once and in the same space. Cambridge Art Galleries is giving you that opportunity with the research project called The Whole Shebang. The vaults have been emptied and over 200 + fibre based arts works from over 115 Canadian artists are currently on display. The show is on display until February 11, but on January 27th, not only will you be able to go on a tour of the show, there will be an afternoon talk with writer/critic Martin de Groot, as well as an evening debate featuring guest panelists discussing the in and outs of public art collections and art preservation. Both sessions are free to attend, but registration is required as seating is limited.
AltCon 2018: The Alternative Conference for Emerging Arts & Culture Professionals
February 25 – 27
THEMUSEUM, Downtown Kitchener
The idea for this conference had been percolating since 2016. It stemmed from an identified need in the museum community to create professional development opportunities that were geared towards young professionals . The idea grew from there to include all arts and culture professionals. Although the conference is geared towards emerging professionals in arts & culture and people starting out in their careers, anyone can attend and benefit from the information. In addition to including some local speakers, the thought leaders were carefully selected to be representative of different fields, genders, ages, cultures etc. The organizers are expecting an audience of 75 to 100 people and hope that at least 25%-50% of attendees are from outside Waterloo Region. They intend to grow the conference to be an annual event.
Green Light Arts presents Touch
February 22 – March 4
44 Gaukel Street, Kitchener
Green Light Arts is a producing theatre arts company based in and serving Waterloo Region. They produce live theatrical productions, arts education programming, and community building events, using the performing arts as a tool for positive social change. As part of their 2018 programming, they are presenting Touch , a play written by award-winning Kitchener based theatre artist and writer Ciarán Myers. Touch premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2015 where it received high critical acclaim. The play was further developed at the 2016 Stratford Festival Playwrights’ Retreat. For Myers, theatre is about connection. Touch is a play about our responsibility and how we can connect with those who need it most. He describes it as a “mental health play.” His hope is that after seeing the play everyone, regardless whether they struggle, feels as though they’ve been supported and seen and connected to by the time they go home.
Volume II: Night Circus
Saturday, March 3rd 8 p.m. – Midnight
Idea Exchange, Queen’s Square, Cambridge
Come one, come all, the circus calls! The Ringmaster struts the floors and sets the stages… Magicians, musicians, mystics, muses, acts by the marvelous and mighty, dancers, minstrels, poets, miraculous elixirs and menus. Cotton candy, capes, costumes, confetti, contests, and clowns. Tents, tricks, tastings, travelling troupes, and magic trunks. These are but a few things you may find to cheer, when out of the dark, a Night Circus will appear. Idea Exchange in Cambridge held its successful Volume I in 2017 with 416 attendees and over $25,000 raised. For Volume II, attendees can expect more wandering entertainers, and interactive activities – ideas inspired by feedback from Volume I. Funds raised will go towards the delivery of Cambridge Art Galleries’ art programs. The programs engage, embrace and empower people of all ages and abilities, from diverse ethnic, social, and cultural backgrounds. The organizers anticipate another sold out crowd in this year, so get your tickets now for a vintage circus night of dazzling alchemy of charms and curiosities, fabled food and fantastical feats. Circus themed and steampunk costumes are welcomed.