Dictatorship and Democracy in the Age of Extremes

Our first major event of the semester starts September 15th and runs until September 26th:

Dictatorship and Democracy in the Age of Extremes: Spotlights on the History of Europe in the Twentieth Century

Revealing a total of 190 rare photographs, newspaper clippings and political cartoons from different European archives, the exhibition “Dictatorship and Democracy in the Age of Extremes” tells Europe’s dramatic story of the 20th century,­ a past between freedom and tyranny, democracy and dictatorship. Beginning with the outbreak of World War I, the exhibition illustrates the rise of Italian Fascism and Soviet Communism, the world economic crisis and the takeover of the Nazi regime in Germany, leading to the catastrophe of World War II. It continues with the struggle of newly formed democracies after decades of dictatorships and depicts Europe’s journey from the Cold War to the Peaceful Revolution.

The exhibition was developed by the Institute of Contemporary History in Munich, the Deutschland Radio Kultur and the Federal Foundation for the Reappraisal of the SED Dictatorship. It is presented by the German Consulate in Toronto with the help of the WCGS and the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies.

Details: Sept 15 – 26, Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. in the Modern Languages atrium (i.e., right when you walk in the main doors).


Promotional posters are available. They measure 11” x 16”. We’d be happy to mail them out to you. Just let us know how many and to what address. You can also simply print out the attached poster if that’s easier for you.


Simply contact Lori Straus for more information if you’d like to bring a school class to the exhibit.

Have a wonderful weekend!

See also our previous report by Robert Tischer:

DanceWorks presents the world premiere of “elsewhere”

DanceWorks presents the world premiere of elsewhere

An adelheid dance projects production choreographed by Heidi Strauss

Toronto, (August 25, 2014) – DanceWorks, Toronto’s longest running contemporary dance series, presents the world premiere of elsewhere, an adelheid dance projects production choreographed by its award-winning Artistic Director, Heidi Strauss. This highly anticipated work launches DanceWorks’ 2014-15 season and runs September 25-27 at Harbourfront Centre Theatre as part of Harbourfront Centre’s NextSteps.

The newest work by acclaimed choreographer Heidi Strausselsewhere takes inspiration from the anthropological concept of ‘affect’ – our human capacity to affect, or be affected. The choreography maps a condition that gives everyday life a quality of continual motion, felt within impulses, expectations and encounters; an internal graph of lived intensities. A kinetic meditation, elsewhere bears witness to our resilience, posing moments of tenderness, force and surrender.

Performed by five remarkable dancers – Danielle Baskerville, Miriah Brennan, Luke Garwood, Molly Johnson and Brendan Wyatt - who lend a vivid intimacy to the work which is the company’s first independent creation for an ensemblealso bringing together talented designers Jeremy Mimnagh (sound & projection), Rebecca Picherack (lighting) and Teresa Przybylski (set & costume).

adelheid will also partner with Grimm Pictures to create a series of short films based on elsewhere, co-created by Grimm’s Laura Taler, adelheid’s Artistic Associate Jeremy Mimnagh and StraussThese will be screened in public contexts where dance is not usually seen in Toronto, including Pattison Onestop subway platforms, shopping malls, underground walkways and high-rise elevators. The films will move elsewhere into the realm of public art.

Five years in the making, elsewhere has been supported by partnerships across Canada forged in the earliest stages of research and development, including residencies at the Theatre Centre (Toronto), Public Energy (Peterborough) and Dance Victoria (Victoria, B.C.). After its Toronto premiere, elsewhere will be presented at Public Energy (Oct. 10), Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts (Oakville, Oct. 8) and Danse Cité (Montreal, Oct. 1-4). The presenting partnerships that follow the premiere represent a commitment rare in the culture of contemporary dance, where the life of a choreographic work is so often transient.

Heidi Strauss is a resident artist at the Theatre Centre. She was artist-in-residence at Factory Theatre from 2008 to 2012, during which she created as it is, the Dora Award-winning this time, and still here. Her most recent work, Everyday Anthems, commissioned by Christopher House for the ensemble of the Toronto Dance Theatre, was presented at Harbourfront Centre’s World Stage and hailed as “a triumph” by the Globe and Mail. With a keen interest in the development of the dance form, Strauss was co-artistic director of hub14 for nearly four years, implementing and facilitating new residency possibilities for research and creation, as well as performance platforms. She supports the process of other creators as an outside eye, teaches regularly in Toronto and Montreal, and has worked in theatre (Volcano, Necessary Angel), opera (Canadian Opera Company, Frankfurt Oper) and film (Mimnagh, Grimm Pictures), and as a performer (recently: Ginette Laurin, Yvonne Coutts, Sylvain Emard, Jenn Goodwin). Strauss is the recipient of the 2012 KM Hunter Award for Dance, and last year was named Toronto’s best choreographer by NOW magazine’s readership. adelheid dance projects formed in 2008 after a series of collaborations between Heidi Strauss and Jeremy Mimnagh. The two run adelheid together, with Strauss as Artistic Director and Mimnagh as Artistic Associate.

DanceWorks began as a collective of independent dance artists in 1977 and has grown to become Toronto’s leading presenter of independent dance. Strong in the belief that dance has the power to illuminate, engage and transform all who participate, DanceWorks offers seasons of eclectic, exhilarating choreography programmed to intrigue, challenge and enthral. DanceWorks adds to the theatrical experience with danceflics, Carol’s Dance Notes and post-performance conversations with artists. DanceWorks is the administrator of the CanDance Network and Dance Ontario Association.


“Strauss’ choreography… is one of both tenderness and danger, opening up doors to a whole raft of subliminal imagery.”

– Paula Citron, The Globe and Mail, 2013 about Everyday Anthems.


DanceWorks presents the world premiere of adelheid dance projects’


as part of Harbourfront Centre’s NextSteps

Choreography: Heidi Strauss

Performers: Danielle Baskerville, Miriah Brennan, Luke Garwood, Molly Johnson, Brendan Wyatt

Sound and Projection Design: Jeremy Mimnagh

Set and Costume Design: Teresa Przyblyski

Lighting Design: Rebecca Picherack

Outside Eye: Ginelle Chagnon

Film Collaborators: Laura Taler/Grimm Pictures, Jeremy Mimnagh


Thursday, September 25 to Saturday, September 27, 2014 at 8PM (Post-show Talkback: Friday, Sept 26)

Harbourfront Centre Theatre (formerly Enwave Theatre)

231 Queens Quay West, Toronto, ON M5J 2G8


Tickets: $28 – $37 Adult; $15 CultureBreak (Students under 25); Discount for Seniors and groups.

Harbourfront Centre Box Office: 416-973-4000 OR online: www.danceworks.ca

An Enemy of the People by Tarragon Theatre

Tarragon Theatre presents

An Enemy of the People

By Henrik Ibsen
Adapted by Florian Borchmeyer
Translated by Maria Milisavljevic

Directed by Richard Rose

Starring Tom Barnett, Joe Cobden, Matthew Edison, Brandon McGibbon,
Richard McMillan, Tamara Podemski and Rick Roberts

TORONTO (August 25, 2014) - Tarragon Theatre launches its 2014-15 season with an English-language rendition of Florian Borchmeyer‘s and Thomas Ostermeier‘s celebrated adaptation and production of An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen. In what promises to be one of the most exciting events of the theatre season in Toronto, this contemporary mirror for our times previews from September 16, opens September 24 and runs to October 26 in Tarragon’s Mainspace.

Richard Rose, Tarragon’s Artistic Director, explains: “I attended Florian Borchmeyer’s adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People in a production by Thomas Ostermeier at the Schaubühne Theatre, Berlin in May 2013. Their contemporary take – both in adaptation and production – spoke clearly, directly and with complexity to the current Canadian struggle of environment versus economy. With the support of Florian Borchmeyer and  Thomas Ostermeier, I am honoured that we will be able to stage a version of their compelling production.” Written in 1882, Ibsen’s parable echoes the questions of today as it grapples with how we balance our conscience and our comfort – censored scientists, environmental crises, anarchist manifestos and the pitfalls of majority rule. As Rose recalls: “Tar sands, climate change, fracking, pipelines, Walkerton, the cod and salmon fisheries, tailing ponds and ethical oil; all came to mind as I experienced this production. I knew instantly that we had to produce it.” Tarragon’s international playwright-in-residence, Maria Milisavljevic, translates Florian Borchmeyer’s adaptation which sets the classic but timely drama in a 21st-century spa town. The Chief Medical Officer of a small Norwegian town, Dr. Thomas Stockmann, has made a shocking discovery, but to go public with his test results will spell the end of his town’s prosperity. The people don’t know that the newly-built Baths are contaminated with industrial waste, and if the world finds out, it will send the community into economic collapse. What is in the public interest when what is good for the economy comes into conflict with what is good for the environment? Is democracy the form of government best suited to address environmental problems? Rose has pulled together an exceptionally talented ensemble for this thrilling work. Award-winning film, television and stage actor Joe Cobden (Tarragon’s Little One, Soulpepper’s Twelve Angry Men) portrays Dr. Stockmann; Rick Roberts (2014 ACTRA Toronto Award for title role in CBC-TV movie Jack about Jack Layton; Tarragon’s The Small Room at the Top of the Stairs, Molière, John and Beatrice) plays his brother and town councillor who is also Chairman of the Baths’ board of directors. Tom Barnett (Tarragon’s Courageous, How It Works; Theatre Passe Muraille / Mirvish national tour of The Drawer Boy), Matthew Edison (Tarragon’s The Real World?, Forests; Canadian Stage’s Amadeus, Proof) and Brandon McGibbon (Tarragon’s Forests, The Misanthrope; Broadway’s ONCE) portray the publisher, editor and reporter of the local newspaper. Richard McMillan (11 seasons at Stratford Festival; Tarragon’s After Akhmatova, Molière; four Dora Awards) is Stockmann’s father-in-law, and Tamara Podemski (first Canadian actress and first Native American to win Special Jury Prize for Acting at Sundance Film Festival, original Canadian cast of RENT then RENT on Broadway, Bruce  McDonald’s film Dance  Me  Outside) plays Stockmann’s wife. Set and costume design is by Michelle Tracey, lighting design by Jason Hand, sound design by Thomas Ryder Payne. The stage manager is Marinda de Beer.

Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) was a Norwegian playwright who authored some of modern theatre’s most celebrated plays: Brand (1865), A Doll’s House (1868), Peer Gynt (1876), Ghosts (1881), An Enemy of the People (1882), Rosmersholm (1886), Hedda Gabler (1890) and The Master Builder (1892). Ibsen is widely considered to be one of the most important playwrights of the modern era. Richard Rose is the Artistic Director of Tarragon Theatre. Prior to joining Tarragon in 2002, Rose was Founding Artistic Director at Necessary Angel (a position he held from 1978-2002), Associate Director for Canadian Stage Company, Director of the Stratford Festival Young Company and spent ten seasons directing at the Stratford Festival. He has directed plays across Canada, the United States, and in London’s West End in styles ranging from the environmental to the classical. Rose is well known for developing new work, including four plays that won the Governor General’s Award and nine other nominated plays. He is a four-time Dora Award winner for direction and production and has had numerous nominations. He has also been honoured with a Doctorate of Sacred Letters (jure dignitatus) from Thorneloe University (Sudbury, his home town), the Canada Council Walter Carsen Award for Excellence in the Arts and the City of Toronto’s Barbara Hamilton Award for the same.

Tarragon Theatre presents

 An Enemy of the People

By Henrik Ibsen

Adapted by Florian Borchmeyer

Translated by Maria Milisavljevic

Directed by Richard Rose

Starring Tom Barnett, Joe Cobden, Matthew Edison, Brandon McGibbon,

Richard McMillan, Tamara Podemski, Rick Roberts

Set and Costume Design by Michelle Tracey

Lighting Design by Jason Hand

Sound Design by Thomas Ryder Payne


Opens September 24 and runs to October 26, 2014 (previews from September 16)

Tarragon Theatre’s Mainspace, 30 Bridgman Avenue, Toronto, M5R 1X3

Tuesday-Saturday at 8pm; Sunday at 2:30pm and select Saturdays at 2:30pm: Sept. 27, Oct. 4, Oct. 11.

Regular Tickets: $27-$53 (Previews: $21-$25)

Cheap Seats: For every performance beginning September 25, 10% of the house is available for specially-priced $15 tickets at the door, starting at 6pm for evening performances and 1pm for matinees.

Tickets can be purchased through Patron Services at 416.531.1827 or by visiting www.tarragontheatre.com

Justin Trudeau on Black Ribbon Day

Statement by Liberal Party of Canada Leader Justin Trudeau on Black Ribbon Day

OTTAWA – The Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on Black Ribbon Day:   “Today, as we mark the 75th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, nations around the world join in solemn reflection of the pain and suffering endured by millions of people under totalitarian regimes.   “This pact, signed by the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany in 1939 and which carved up Eastern Europe, robbed millions of their national and personal freedoms, and subsequently led to some of the darkest days in human history.     “Many of those who came to Canada to escape Nazism and Stalinism still bear the scars of the atrocities that were committed against them and their loved ones. These Canadians and their descendants continue to strengthen our democracy and national fabric, and we must never forget their stories.   “On behalf of the Liberal Party of Canada and our Parliamentary Caucus, I urge all Canadians to reflect on the significance of this day, and to reaffirm our collective commitment to freedom, democracy, and human rights.”

King Lear extended for second time

StratfordFest 300x81 King Lear extended for second time

King Lear extended for second time;

joins Plummer and Hutt’s Tempests

as top-sellers in Festival history


August 20, 2014… Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino’s King Lear, starring Colm Feore, is entering the record books as one of the Festival’s top-selling Shakespeare productions of all time. To meet the overwhelming demand for tickets, the production is being extended until October 25.

“Antoni Cimolino’s King Lear, starring the incomparable Colm Feore, with masterful performances by our Stratford company, is one of the great productions in our 62-year history,” says Executive Director Anita Gaffney. “Like Christopher Plummer’s Prospero in 2010 and William Hutt’s farewell performance in the same role in 2005, Colm’s Lear has seized the imaginations of theatregoers, inspiring tremendous sales.

“This is the second and final extension for King Lear,the runaway hit of the season, which is helping to fuel a 25% increase in sales to Shakespeare productions.”

In the Toronto Star’s 4-star review, Richard Ouzounian declares that the production “unquestionably catapults Colm Feore into the ranks of the world’s greatest living actors.” Mr. Ouzounian adds: “If you have been longing to encounter greatness in the theatre, it’s waiting for you at the Stratford Festival.”

Mr. Feore receives high praise from The New York Times’ Charles Isherwood, who speaks of his “intense pathos” and “affecting clarity.” Mr. Isherwood states that Mr. Feore’s performance in the play’s final moments is “as harrowing as any I’ve seen.”

Similarly, The Globe and Mail’s J. Kelly Nestruck speaks of Mr. Feore’s “very fallible and fleshy Lear,” saying, “He is every centimetre a man.”

The Chicago Tribune’s Chris Jones was especially moved by Mr. Cimolino’s “rigorously human take” in what he describes as a “deeply compassionate production.”

Tickets for the following newly added performances go on sale to Members on Thursday, August 21, and to the general public on Friday, August 22:

  • Tuesday, October 21, at 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 23, at 2 p.m.
  • Friday, October 24, at 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 25, at 8 p.m.

In addition to Mr. Feore, the production features Maev Beaty as Goneril, Evan Buliung as Edgar, Sara Farb as Cordelia, Jonathan Goad as the Earl of Kent, Brad Hodder as Edmund, Stephen Ouimette as the Fool, Liisa Repo-Martell as Regan and Scott Wentworth as the Earl of Gloucester.

King Lear runs until October 25. For tickets, contact the box office at 1.800.567.1600 or visit stratfordfestival.ca.

King Lear is sponsored by Sun Life Financial. Production support is generously provided by Jane Petersen-Burfield & family, Cecil & Linda Rorabeck, Barbara & John Schubert and Catherine & David Wilkes.

Support for the 2014 season of the Festival Theatre is generously provided by Claire & Daniel Bernstein.

The 2014 season runs until October 25, featuring King Lear; Crazy for You; two versions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream; The Beaux’ Stratagem; Man of La Mancha; Alice Through the Looking-Glass; Hay Fever; King John; Mother Courage and Her Children; Antony and Cleopatra; Christina, The Girl King; and more than 200 events in The Forum.

Ethnic Media Exhibit at CNE

Ethnic Media Exhibit:

beautiful display of cultures

By William Doyle-Marshall

The first Sunday since the Canadian National Exhibition opened its gates for the 136th time. Canadians and other friends around the world are here on the grounds operated on 197 acres by the City of Toronto for 18 days up to Labour Day. The massive array of foods, rides, booths, games and culinary offerings as well as health furniture – beds, recliners and beauty products – are among attractions. Honestly you need more than one day to appreciate all that the exhibition offers.

An exhibition of more than 400 ethnic newspapers is a fairly new addition to the schedule of things to see and do. Thomas S. Saras, president and CEO of the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada says the organization represents 750 publications and 150 producers and directors of TV and Radio programs, in more than 65 languages nationwide. It is the 16th year that the council is in partnership with the CNE. Saras and his team of volunteers are proudly welcoming visitors to their space, near to the performing stage in the Direct Energy building. The exhibition is a surprise to some who see the cross-section of newspapers and magazines for the first time. However, these media outlets are serving an audience of more than five million Canadians, new and not so new, Saras says.

“There are also 156 radio and television producers and directors, serving, informing and entertaining the members of the various linguistic and cultural communities. They are the perfect tools for a company to reach the new Canadian markets and promote their products, according to the President.” Another way is the visibility, which means getting involved in the events of the communities in areas with high concentration of members of specific ethnic community,” he notes However, these media outlets are serving an audience of more than five million Canadians, new and not so new, Saras contends. “There are also 156 radio and television producers and directors, serving, informing and entertaining Communities of the various linguistic and cultural communities. They are the perfect tools for a company to reach the new Canadian markets and promote their products. “Another way is the visibility, which means getting involved in the events of the communities in areas with high concentration of members of specific ethnic community,” the organization’s chief spokesperson notes.

Maria Saras-Voutsinas, executive director of NEPMCC would love to be able to take the exhibition and spread it around the world. It is dream she doesn’t think would be realized. Looking at the collection of publication in the booth at the CNE she says passionately “you almost feels like this is the only place where you can walk into and you look at a wall and every single country that’s represented is there. We are all together, brothers and sisters. There is no conflict and it’s just a beautiful display of cultures around you. You know, it’s breathe-taking. When you stop and really look at our display you say: ‘wow. This is fantastic in such a time of strife all over the world. You just need that moment when you can just look at that wall and say ‘this is good. This is healthy’.

Community leaders, politicians and the Toronto Police Service participated in the official launch of the exhibition. Saras acknowledged the assistance they provided to his organization in making their work successful over the years. Brian Ashton, president of the Canadian National Exhibition, and Dr. Jean Augustine were among those receiving tokens of appreciation. Premier Kathleen Wynne, an ardent supporter of the council sent her greetings through newly elected MPP Hang Don who acknowledged that members of the ethnic communities depend on these publications to know about government policies and other issues related to their families. Mayoral candidate John Tory praised NEPMCC for its role in bringing people together. Dr. Tony Ruprecht, former member of Ontario Parliament, hosted the programme and he stressed the role of the ethnic community including its media in keeping Canada and preventing Quebec from separating from Canada.

Peter Sloly, Deputy Chief of the Toronto Police said it is an interesting thing to have the Ethnic Press Council at the Canadian National Exhibition which represents for many Canadians one of the greatest national symbols. “It’s a symbol of what’s important about family, what’s important about society, commerce, everything that makes a democracy work,” Sloly reflected. The ethnic press for him is equally important as a symbol that makes a democracy work. The ethnic media represents the voice of new comers, pushes a democracy to be more inclusive, focuses on human rights and inclusion. With two great symbols working together at the same time, the Deputy Chief of Police was honoured to represent the third great institution – policing. “The media need to be better, policing needs to be better, business and commerce need to be better. “As long as we keep working together things will be better in Canada,” the top law administrator said.

Dr. Mohammad Tajdolati, the council’s Ombudsman hopes all visitors to the Ex during the host of activities will come to the council’s booth and learn about the media of the different ethnic groups in Canada. “There are publications of every community here and it is interesting to see and to take the papers and have the relation with the communities through the media,” he added.

Right up to Labour Day Sara and members of the NEPMCC will be on hand to greet visitors to the exhibition and converse with them about the various publications on display. Just as booths at the CNE are offering products from around the world so too are the ethnic magazines and newspapers found at the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada’s display of ethnic publications.

August 18 2014

15th Scotiabank Buskerfest

busker1 214x300 15th Scotiabank Buskerfest
“JOHNman” from Berlin

15th Annual
Scotiabank BuskerFest

in support of Epilepsy Toronto

Announces New and Returning Acts from around the Globe!

AUGUST 21-24, 2014 throughout the Downtown Yonge Neighbourhood

Toronto, June 24, 2014 Epilepsy Toronto is pleased to present their signature fundraising event, Scotiabank BuskerFest.  In partnership with the Downtown Yonge BIA, they are proud to announce an outstanding roster of international and Canadian acts, both new and returning, for the 15th edition of Toronto’s international street performers festival. Scotiabank BuskerFest runs Thursday, August 21 to Sunday, August 24 throughout the Downtown Yonge Neighbourhood, from Queen to College Streets and surrounding areas (including Trinity Square Park and Yonge-Dundas Square).

An estimated one-and-a-half million spectators attended the festival last year – an astounding success for its first year along the downtown Yonge Street corridor. Organizers are anticipating at least as many this year, as more buskers than ever before – over 120 of the best street performers in over 50 acts from across the country and around the globe – bring their world-class talents to Canada’s most populous city.

Buskers retain proceeds from “the hat” passed after their performances except for shows on the Scotiabank Stage in Yonge-Dundas Square: for the first time ever, each performing act will be doing one performance on this stage over the course of the weekend, and all proceeds will go to Epilepsy Toronto!

Joining the previously announced FlameOz (returning) and Reuben DotDotDot (new) from Australia, and NoMaD Cirquel (new) from Austria and Les Frères Taquins (new) from Belgium, are several outstanding international acts, including:

From Australia

  • Bendy Em (returning), a pint-sized former gymnast with a wicked wit who bends and contorts her body into freakily mind-boggling positions.

From Ireland

  • Jack Wise (returning), a Molotov cocktail of comedy and magic – including swallowing a real 24″ steel sword!

From Japan

  • Ikeda Yosuke (new), a unique style of performance blending mime with graphic and acoustic arts – the lyrics of a song appear in many different ways with the music.

From Spain

  • Ale Risorio (new), an eccentric, absurd clown with a bag full of unusual and unexpected props.

From the United Kingdom

  • Billy Kidd (returning), one of the few female magicians in the world who hosts Discovery Channel’s Breaking Magic: the Magic of Science. She reads people’s minds, turns paper to money and produces the most unsuspecting things out of nowhere; and
  • Mat Ricardo (returning), an award-winning performer with incredible showmanship, razor-sharp wit, tricks nobody else in the world can do and unsurpassed sartorial elegance.

From the United States

  • Kamikaze Fireflies (returning), a triple Guinness World Record holding two-person vaudeville smack-down from Los Angeles that juggles, cracks whips and climbs on people, stacking chairs, German Wheels, and even shopping carts! Just last week they received four ‘Yeses’ from the judges of America’s Got Talent!

Among the great, returning local performers from the GTA:

  • Art $ Fortune, a one-of-a-kind fortune-telling, ‘robotic’ statue who stilt walks! Drop a coin into the booth and watch Art come to life!
  • Chalk Chick brings the streets of Toronto colourful sidewalks, love, and joy.
  • Fireguy, ever-popular with his sophisticated fire-breathing and world-class devil sticks.
  • Hercinia Arts Collective entertain with their hilarious act “Money Fish” – synchronized swimmers out of water and looking for audiences everywhere.
  • Mental Floss Side Show, a vaudevillian duo that brings exhibits from the five corners of the globe – all with a little dash of snake oil.
  • Oparty twists balloons into incredible creations – from one balloon dog to a 400+ balloon motorcycle!
  • The Silent Violinist combines balloons and mime dressed in her visually stunning balloon dress with a gigantic wing spread.
  • Stilt Guys, with their HIGH energy, HIGH stamina, HIGHLY interactive roaming stilt performances.
  • Stiltdancer & Friends, a team of dynamic stilt artists who dance and play on their gravity-defying stilts.
  • The Twisted Ones share their crazy gigantic balloon creatures with audiences – a giant spider hat, or a beautiful butterfly costume anyone?
  • Internationally acclaimed living statue Kate Mior.
  • Max T. Oz, a sleight-of-hand magic favourite who has been at each and every festival since its inception;
  • And, of course, the festival would not be complete without veteran festival busker Silver Elvis, a mechanical metal man who moves for money, honey – “thank you, thank you very much”

And new from Quebec:

  • Chasseurs de Rêves: a tribe of larger-than-life stilt puppets shines in colours and movements, with an elegant bird and majestic elephant.
  • CiRcO LoCo: Argentine tango dancers, circus artists, knife thrower and tribal belly dancing make for an awesome concoction of circus, stunts & mystery!
  • Les Vitamines: a colourful, high-energy duo that dazzles with acrobatic feats punctuated by improvised acts during which the public is invited to join in the fun.

And even more amazing buskers to be announced in the coming weeks!

Admission to Scotiabank BuskerFest is by voluntary donation to Epilepsy Toronto, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping more than 40,000 Torontonians with epilepsy, and their families, through counselling, employment support, advocacy and education.


15th Annual

Scotiabank BuskerFest

in support of Epilepsy Toronto

Thursday, August 21 – Sunday, August 24, 2014

throughout the Downtown Yonge Neighbourhood:

Yonge Street all the way from Queen to College and surrounding areas (including Trinity Square Park and Yonge-Dundas Square).


Thursday noon – 11 pm; Friday noon – 11pm; Saturday 11am – 11pm; Sunday 11am – 8pm

Admission is by voluntary donation to Epilepsy Toronto


For information, visit: www.scotiabankbuskerfest.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/BuskerFestToronto, Twitter: buskerfestto  hashtag: #SBBF


About Scotiabank BuskerFest

Since its inception in 2000, Scotiabank BuskerFest has featured hundreds of the best street performers from around the world, hosted millions of amazed spectators and helped raise much-needed funds for Epilepsy Toronto, a charitable organization that provides services to those living with epilepsy and their families. Scotiabank BuskerFest is the largest street performers’ festival in North America and is the largest Epilepsy awareness-raising event in the world.

August at the Stratford Festival Forum

August at the Stratford Festival Forum:

A celebration of Shakespeare


July 31, 2014… The Stratford Festival is hosting a season-long celebration of the 450th anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare, with five Shakespeare productions on its stages and a series of events at the Forum. Starting on Friday, August 15, the Bard will be the focus of a very special week of workshops, exhibits, fascinating talks, lively improv and performances.


The celebration kicks off with Apocrypha No More: Shakespeare’s Collaborative Plays, in which company members Graham Abbey, Jonathan Goad, Seana McKenna and Stephen Ouimette join leading scholars Eric Rasmussen and Will Sharpe to explore non-canonical plays believed to reveal Shakespeare’s hand. This is a unique opportunity to hear rarely recited texts brought to life, such as Arden of Faversham, Edward III and Thomas Lord Cromwell.


A notable highlight of the week is a two-day exhibit of Shakespeare’s First Folio. For the first time, the Festival will have Canada’s only copy of the 1623 First Folio of Shakespeare’s works on display at the Stratford Perth Museum. In conjunction, Dr. Rasmussen, who spent 20 years studying the 232 surviving copies of the Folio, will return to host Secrets of the Shakespeare First Folio, sharing stories of those who have possessed, lost, stolen and treasured these priceless pieces of cultural history.


“I’m excited to kick our Shakespeare celebrations into high gear this month with a great lineup of Forum events,” says Executive Director Anita Gaffney. “This is a rare opportunity for our patrons to explore his great work with some of the world’s leading scholars, academics and actors. From delving into rarely recited Renaissance plays to learning to improvise in iambic pentameter to the once-in-a-lifetime chance to view the First Folio, this series is sure to delight and inspire those who share our love of Shakespeare.”


Other scheduled events include dance and improvisation workshops, explorations of Shakespeare’s texts and sonnets, discussions on Shakespeare theatres and festivals, and an exhilarating performance in which a play is spontaneously created right in front of an audience.

The full schedule includes:



Apocrypha No More: Shakespeare’s Collaborative Plays

Studio Theatre, 9 a.m. to noon.

Why were plays such as The London Prodigal, A Yorkshire Tragedy and Sir Thomas More excluded from the First Folio of Shakespeare’s collected works? William Shakespeare and Others: Collaborative Plays is the first edition in over 100 years of the fascinating body of plays that has become known as “The Shakespeare Apocrypha.” Join the edition’s contributing editors, Eric Rasmussen and Will Sharpe, along with company members Graham Abbey, Jonathan Goad, Seana McKenna and Stephen Ouimette, in this full-morning exploration of issues of authorship, collaboration and attribution surrounding Shakespeare’s body of work.

Admission: $15.


Support for this event is generously provided by Dr. Jules and Josephine Harris.




Shakespeare’s First Folio Exhibit

Stratford Perth Museum, 4275 Huron Road, Stratford, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For the first time in history, the only copy in Canada of the 1623 edition of Shakespeare’s works – lent to the Festival by the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto – is on display. Scott Schofield of Huron University College will be in attendance from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. to answer questions.

Admission: $15.


Secrets of Shakespeare’s First Folio

Studio Theatre, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Eric Rasmussen of the University of Nevada/Reno spent two decades studying the 232 surviving copies of the First Folio, the collection of Shakespeare’s plays published by his friends after his death. His research resulted in a definitive scholarly work as well as a general-interest book, The Shakespeare Thefts: In Search of the First Folios. While the only Canadian-held copy of the Folio is displayed in Stratford, Dr. Rasmussen shares stories of those who have possessed, lost, stolen and treasured these priceless pieces of cultural history.

Admission: $25.


This event will be live streamed: stratfordfestival.ca/livestream.


Elizabethan Court Dance

Studio Theatre lobby, 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Learn dances from the period and how they functioned in the social order with instructor Rebecca Harper. Class size is limited so early registration is encouraged to secure a spot.

Admission: $25.




Souls Under Pressure

Studio Theatre, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

“Where is the soul in Shakespeare?” Taking King Lear as their focus, Torrance Kirby and Paul Yachnin of McGill University ask what happens to the human spirit, in Shakespeare’s time and in ours, when people are pushed to the limits of endurance. Colm Feore joins the discussion, offering insights from an actor’s point of view.

Admission: $25.


Shakespeare’s First Folio Exhibit

Stratford Perth Museum, 4275 Huron Road, Stratford, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For the first time in history, the only copy in Canada of the 1623 edition of Shakespeare’s works – lent to the Festival by the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto – is on display.

Admission: $15.





Avon Rehearsal Hall 1 (meet in Studio Theatre lobby), 10 a.m. to noon.

How hard could it have been for one man to have written Shakespeare’s canon? In this fun, engaging workshop, learn the keys to inventing your own lost Shakespeare play on the spot. Notable improviser, Second City Faculty and Shakespeare enthusiast Marjorie Malpass will help participants uncover the secrets of improvising in Iambic. Playing with imagery, inventing words, finding just the right insults – discover the power of being your own Bard.

Admission: $40.


Embodying Shakespeare’s Text

Studio Theatre lobby, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Explore and immerse yourself in the power of Shakespeare’s words. Led by Festival coaching staff and special guest artists, this three-hour workshop engages you in the processes Festival actors use to inhabit Shakespeare’s worlds.

Admission: $40.




Shakespeare’s History

Studio Theatre, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Explore the playbill’s three examples of Shakespearean chronicle: King Lear (legendary), King John (historical) and Antony and Cleopatra (Roman) with leading Shakespeare scholar Alexander Leggatt and Dr. Margaret-Jane Kidnie of Western University.

Admission: $25.


The Life and Adventures of Sam Wanamaker: The Man Who Built the Globe

Studio Theatre, 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Sam Wanamaker is best known as the visionary founder of Shakespeare’s Globe, the theatre for which he campaigned tirelessly in the last third of his life. This illustrated talk by Paul Prescott, of the University of Warwick, draws on previously unseen archival material to present key episodes in Wanamaker’s extraordinary journey as actor, director and cultural entrepreneur from Depression-era Chicago to Thatcher’s Britain.

Admission: $15.


The Playwright’s Crucible

Studio Theatre, 11:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.

As in Shakespeare’s day, watch a playwright contend with argumentative actors, demanding management and a temperamental director as they try to create his play before your eyes. Created by Joanne O’Sullivan, with company members Maev Beaty, Shane Carty, John Kirkpatrick and Brigit Wilson, director Alan Dilworth and Governor General Award winning playwright Erin Shields.

Admission: $30.




Not with the Eye

Studio Theatre, 11 a.m. to noon.

Dr. Adrienne Harris, eminent psychoanalyst and faculty and supervisor at New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, joins Dr. M.J. Kidnie, English professor at Western University and Shakespeare specialist with an interest in the politics of race, gender and appropriation, for a discussion on the aesthetics of gender – homosexuality, bisexuality, transgender and love – as portrayed on stage in Shakespeare’s time and now. This event will be moderated by Greg Kelly, executive producer for CBC Radio’s Ideas.

Admission: $25.


Shakespeare on the Road

Festival Theatre lobby, 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Rev. Dr. Paul Edmondson from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and Dr. Paul Prescott from the University of Warwick tell their story of reverse pilgrimage and shine a light on Shakespeare festivals across North America.

Admission: Free.




Talking Theatre: Paul Edmondson of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Tom Patterson Theatre, 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

In this special edition of Talking Theatre, Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino is joined by Paul Edmondson of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust for a discussion centred on the Shakespeare offerings on this season’s playbill and the extreme thoughts and emotions presented with them.

Admission: Free.


Masks, Madness and Shakespeare’s Sonnets

Studio Theatre, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Festival company members including Ruby Joy, Sara Orenstein, Gareth Potter, Tyrone Savage and Sanjay Talwar use character half-masks to explore Shakespeare’s sonnets. The masks liberate a subconscious creative inspiration that facilitates an actor’s mysterious connection between character and poetry. Shakespeare’s sonnets, spoken live, are rendered personal, intimate, powerfully moving and, above all, surprisingly lucid. Directed and compiled by veteran Canadian theatre director Guy Sprung in collaboration with master mask teacher Brian Smith, this presentation is an entertaining and informative glimpse into aspects of the use of masks in the theatre, and an innovative window on the power and poetry of Shakespeare’s sonnets and the “madness” of acting.

Admission: $25.


This event is also offered on Saturday, August 30, and Thursday, September 4.


For tickets, contact the box office at 1.800.567.1600 or visit stratfordfestival.ca.


Sustaining support for the Forum is generously provided by Kelly & Michael Meighen and the T.R. Meighen Foundation. Support for the 2014 Forum is generously provided by Nandita & Julian Wise. Selected Forum events supported by Bell Let’s Talk. Support for Peer Into the Playbill is provided in memory of Dr. W. Philip Hayman.


The 2014 season runs from April 21 to October 19, featuring King Lear; Crazy for You; two versions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream; The Beaux’ Stratagem; Man of La Mancha; Alice Through the Looking-Glass; Hay Fever; King John; Mother Courage and Her Children; Antony and Cleopatra; Christina, The Girl King; and more than 200 events in The Forum.

Montreal’s Infinithéâtre presents Kafka’s Ape

Montreal’s Infinithéâtre presents

Kafka’s Ape

as part of SummerWorks


Based on Franz Kafka’s A Report to an Academy

Adapted and Directed by Guy Sprung

Starring Howard Rosenstein


KafkaApe sm 300x225 Montreals Infinithéâtre presents Kafkas Ape
Kafka’s Ape

Toronto, July 15, 2014 – Montreal’s Infinithéâtre proudly presents the Toronto premiere of its critically acclaimed Kafka’s Ape as part of the Mainstage Series at theSummerWorks Performance Festival and runs August 7-17 at the Gladstone Hotel, a site-specific venue of SummerWorks.


“Howard Rosenstein knocks it out of the park in the title role. Bravo!” – Pat Donnelly of Montreal Gazette


Based on Franz Kafka‘s short story A Report to an Academy (1917), and adapted by director Guy Sprung from the original German, Kafka’s Ape upends the notion of civilization and what it means to be human in a world of routinized inhumanity. An unnerving satire on “otherness” and the compounding growth of private military companies, Kafka’s Ape stars Howard Rosenstein as keynote speaker – and primate – Mr. Redpeter in a theatrical tour-de-force performance. Alexandra Montagnese enthrallingly plays the silent role of Mrs. Redpeter.


Franz Kafka (1883-1924) is widely celebrated as one of the most important writers of the 20th century. Written during the darkest hours of the Great War (whose centenary is being marked across the globe this summer), Kafka’s A Report to an Academy (Ein Bericht für eine Academie) is a tale of a captured simian turned into a celebrated variety show act. In Sprung’s scathing adaptation, Redpeter ends up as a distinguished member of the “private security industry,” one of the biggest growth industries of the 21st century. In place of the “report to an academy” of early 20th century scientists, Sprung presents “a keynote address” to the shareholders of a fictitious private military corporation, Graywater. After his capture in the African jungle, the ape Redpeter realizes his only escape route is to become a walking, talking, spitting, hard-drinking member of the “Peace Industry,” the entrepreneurial world of mercenary soldiers. In his keynote address to Graywater’s annual general meeting detailing the journey of his enforced evolution from Apehood to Humanhood, Mr. Redpeter embodies the irony that he is perhaps now more animalistic and less human than he ever was as a “lower” primate.

I deliberately don’t use the word ‘freedom’. ‘Freedom’ is a powerfully seductive word which your so-called civilized world uses very cleverly, very effectively, to entrap and occupy whole continents.” – Redpeter

Kafka’s central thesis in his satire on forced assimilation – that other animals have a dignity and a respect for Mother Nature and their own species that Homo sapiens have lost – has been nudged into the 21st century. “When Kafka first wrote this short story, millions of human beings were coerced into an orgy of killing each other, provingHomo sapiens to be vastly superior to gorillas and chimpanzees when it came to mass murder and genocide. Ironically, one of the largest of the private military corporations doing business with the American government today is called Academi, formerly known as Blackwater. In a sense, it still is a report to an Academy. Was Kafka able to see into the future?” queries Sprung.

Movement coaches Anana Rydvald and Zach Fraser (also Assistant Director) helped the actors find the “ape” in themselves. Sound Design and Video is by Nikita U, Creature Makeup Design by Vladamir Cara. An excerpt from the play can be found here: http://www.infinitheatre.com/kafkas-ape.html


Founded in 1988 as Theatre 1774, Infinithéâtre‘s mission is to develop, produce and broker new Québec theatre that is as entertaining as it is relevant, beginning with the belief that live theatre is an essential part of society’s democratic discourse and that great theatre speaks to and about its own community. Artistic Director Guy Sprung is a Montreal director, writer and actor who has been practicing his craft for over 40 years. Mr. Sprung was the co-founder of Toronto’s Canadian Stage, a dream he and the late Bill Glassco, who was running CentreStage at the time, together made a reality. As Artistic Director of the other of Canadian Stage’s precursors, Toronto Free Theatre, one of Sprung’s legacies was the conception and founding of The Dream In High Park, Toronto’s annual pay-what-you-can outdoor Shakespearean festival. Rebranded for its 30th anniversary in 2012 as Shakespeare in High Park, this tremendously popular event continues to thrive.


About SummerWorks Performance Festival: As the largest juried performance festival in Canada featuring predominantly new Canadian work, SummerWorks programs a festival that uniquely reflects Toronto and Canada’s cultural zeitgeist. Since 1991, SummerWorks has continued to explore and respond to the needs and wants of audiences and the performance community. The festival has grown to become one of the country’s preeminent multidisciplinary hubs featuring a Music Series, Live art Series,SummerWorks Leadership Intensive Program (S.L.I.P.) and the National Series, showcasing works from across Canada. The festival adds new initiatives yearly, including performance based programs such as the Performance Bar. The 2014 SummerWorks Performance Festival runs August 7-17. Visit http://summerworks.ca/2014/ .


Montreal’s Infinithéâtre presents Kafka’s Ape

as part of SummerWorks Mainstage Series

Based on Franz Kafka’s A Report to an Academy

Adapted and Directed by Guy Sprung

Performed by Howard Rosenstein with Alexandra Montagnese

August 7-17, 2014

The Ballroom at the Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West

Tuesdays-Saturdays at 8pm, Sunday matinees at 2pm

Tickets: $15 (General Admission)


Advance tickets ($15 + fees) are available up until 3 hours before show time and can be purchased as follows:


Online at http://summerworks.ca (click on Kafka’s Ape and follow the “Buy Tickets” link)


In person at the SummerWorks Info Booth,

located at The Theatre Centre (1115 Queen Street West) from August 5-17, 10AM – 7PM


By phone by calling the Ticketwise Call Centre at 416-907-0468


For more information, visit http://www.infinitheatre.com/infin-kafkas-ape.html

William Berczy’s Plan a Brilliant Idea

by Rolf A. Piro

William Berczy’s plan to settle thousands of people in the Lake Erie Region was a brilliant idea to strengthen the British land forces by keeping the Americans at bay during an invasion attempt in Upper Canada.

Berczy 1 Mil 02 227x300 William Berczy’s Plan a Brilliant Idea
William Berczy’s petition to Governor Simcoe

This grand plan has been a vital element of the British American War of 1812, and while nearly forgotten deserves to be remembered

(rap) Toronto – 1794 was an eventful year in Ontario when the capital of Upper Canada was moved from Newark in the Niagara region to Toronto, thus making the capital less vulnerable to attack by the Americans. The war hawks in the United States spoke of a struggle with Britain that they believed resulted from previous war engagements.

George Washington, President of the United States of America (1789-1797) with military experience obtained in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary war was holding a peace conference with The Six Nations in 1794 hoping to win the loyalty of the First Nation in Ohio and Michigan and Upper Canada. Joseph Brant and his assistant Robert Nelles had been well informed about the political developments. The answer appeared to be in William Berczy’s proposal that would strengthen the weak land based defense forces in this sparsely populated area. In a letter to Governor Simcoe dated March 24, 1794 William Berczy submitted a petition for a land grant of 1 million acres to the Governor and Counsel of Upper Canada. The proposal foresaw settling part of that province of Ontario with German settlers from Europe and the United States Ambassador. Hammond had promised British ships and support. The Government Council found the water based initiative by the British Navy to control the Lake Erie Region to be sufficient in nature. Berczy’s proposal was to provide land settlement with people and therefore became an important element in the defense of the Great Lakes region. The failure to implement Berczy’s proposal ended in near disaster after the battle of Lake Erie on September 10, 1813 when the British Navy nearly lost control of Upper Canada. The weak defense force consisted mostly of Indians and a small number of military people that were no match for these large numbers of invading American land forces. General Procter’s supply lines were cut leaving his army without food, forcing him to retreat from Detroit and Amherstburg towards the western end of Lake Ontario for supplies.


Warning the British Forces Laura Secord style

John Christopher Reiffenstein, an army soldier, that came from the noble German family of Thurn and Taxis spent his military time with Proctor in Detroit and Amherstburg and saw Tecumseh the famous Shawnee Chief get killed at the battle of Moraviantown, at Fairfield (Schőnfeld) nearby. Reiffenstein understood the gravity of this situation and immediately hurried through the primeval forests to Burlington Heights to warn the British military in “Laura Secord style manner” of the impeding attacks, Reiffenstein was virtually doing the same as Laura Secord by reporting the military dangers of an invasion force what he believed to be 8,000 soldiers. Reiffenstein overstated the American invasion force by 2,000 American soldiers when a real count later turned out to be 6, 000. This inaccurate information apparently misled the military and a court martial was ordered that later Reiffenstein honourably acquitted. Berczy also known as the co-founder of Toronto’s plan deserves to be remembered as a strategist for his foresight in the historic developments of the Great Lakes region.


The Berczy narratives concerning an Expedition in Upper Canada for settling a part of the Province of Ontario is located in the Baldwin Room of the Toronto Reference Library. The narratives constitute an important part of Canadian history that is to be included in the history books.

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