Mixed bag of Corktown art from ukes to theatres

UKE

The Corktown Residents’ and Business Association (CRBA) put together an innovative program for their first monthly meeting of 2013 on Jan. 8.
The gathering (at the Dominion on Queen) was the offspring of the CRBA’s Arts and Culture Committee headed by Lisa

Isert and Sandra Iskandar, and showcased eight or 10 (depending on how you count it) brief presentations by artists and groups who are either local to Corktown or have a Corktown footprint.
As Iskander put it, “we sort of draw from between Gerrard St. to the north and the Gardner to the south.” Each presenter also raffled off a draw prize.
Long-time resident painter and muralist Gary Smith started off by showcasing his original works of Corktown street frontage past and present.
He was followed by 14-year-old guitarist and songwriter Ian McCulloch out of Regent Park School of Music and Cabbagetown Community Arts Centre and the Parliament Interpretive Centre at Front and Parliament, which is currently hosting an exhibit entitled Foundations and Fire.
City-wide arts festival Luminato representative Brad Lepp described plans for increasing the festival’s Corktown presence during its June 14 to 23 run.
The Corktown Uke Jam—whose motto is “Our Bark is Loud”—shared the floor with the Corktown Chamber Orchestra. They meet every Wednesday at the Dominion and have been known to mobilize 1400 ukeleles (but not all at the same time). Spokesman Steve McNie says that an amazing number of players take the instrument up because it is “cute.”
The local theatres presented next.
Soulpepper Theatre and the Young Centre for the Performing Arts in the Distillery District, along with the George Brown Theatre School, form a nexus of performing arts excellence at the outflow of the Don. Presenters T.J. Tasker and Katie Saunoris gave some highlights of coming events.
Cahoots Theatre Company, represented by Kawa Ada and Kate Ann and located at 388 Queen St. E, Unit 3, is a theatrical company dedicated to the full spectrum of diversity–ethnic, gender, sexuality, ability and class.
The meeting ended with dance.
Coleman, Lemieux et Cie is a Francophone dance theatre established in The Citadel building at 304 Parliament St. in the heart of Regent Park. Even though it was only founded in 2007, the troupe has travelled across Canada, into the United States and to China, Mongolia and Russia. Renowned Canadian choreographer James Kudelka is resident choreographer.
Visit www.corktown.ca for more information on the CRBA.

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