LSM Newswire

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Harbourfront Centre announces the 2008 recipients of Canadas most prestigious commissioning awards

TORONTO, Wednesday, December 10, 2008 William J.S. Boyle, Chief Executive Officer of Harbourfront Centre, today announced the five collaborative artist projects that will each receive a $20,000 Harbourfront Centre Fresh Ground new works commissioning award to assist with their creation, and development for presentation during Harbourfront Centre's 2009-2010 season. Presented to artists working collaboratively across disciplines, Harbourfront Centre's commissioning awards were introduced as part of its 30th anniversary celebrations in 2004. With the generous support of individual donors, the Imperial Tobacco Canada Arts Fund and the Canada Council for the Arts, Harbourfront Centre has now awarded $300,000 toward the creation of 15 new, Canadian works to date.

The 2008 Fresh Ground Award-Winning Commissions

Ģ An Imaginary Look at the Uncompromising Life of Thomas Smith (Vancouver): a provocative performance of recollection of the life of a war photographer as seen through his own eyes as it flashes before him in his last moments.

Ģ Neighbourhood Diaries. Stories from where I live (Toronto): a unique community exchange project between Toronto's literary community and the Toronto District School Board that will feature the creative writing of students from particular neighbourhoods.

Ģ Shared Resources (Sidney, BC): a dynamic exhibition that will balance the traditions of First Nations with forward-looking design solutions to develop new methods that respect and elevate local traditions.

Ģ voice-box (Toronto): a competitive concert in a boxing ring showcasing some of Canada's top vocal performers and playing with the power dynamics of controlled aggression.

Ģ What's Your Obsession? Art & Science Fair and Exhibition (Toronto): encourages amateur exploration into art and science in a creative atmosphere of friendly competition.

"As Canada's foremost centre for contemporary culture, Harbourfront Centre is proud to support Canadian creativity and cultural invention by providing awards that foster innovative cross-disciplinary collaboration and excellence in the creation of exciting, new artistic works," said William J.S. Boyle.

This year, over 130 groups from across Canada submitted proposals to the Fresh Ground new works programme. Submissions must be from a collective headed by a Canadian, and involve various artistic disciplines and/or other fields in a cross-disciplinary collaboration to be premiered at Harbourfront Centre. For additional information on the Fresh Ground awards, visit

Additional information on the 2008 Fresh Ground Award-Winning Commissions

An Imaginary Look at the Uncompromising Life of Thomas Smith by Boca del Lupo will examine the life of a fictional conflict photographer who wrestles with his reality of standing behind the lens taking pictures, instead of in front of it taking action. It will begin by collecting arresting images, interviews and situations from the memories, imaginations and current realities of contemporary journalists from across Canada and around the world; the most profound and pertinent of these will form the basis of a live performance experience focusing on the seamless integration of mediums at pace with the modern day tempo of information, but with the ability to take pause to consider its beauty, its horror and its impact on they way we live our lives.

Neighbourhood Diaries. Stories from where I live is a social networking project aiming to create a permanent, free one-on-one writing-tutoring centre for children taught by members of the city's literary community; the project leaders advocate that children have a need to express more than they need to consume, emphasize that writing is a meaning-making-learning process, and believe that neighbourhoods must be expressed in order to be seen. It will begin with an experience at Harbourfront Centre that serves to assemble the community for a demonstration of these three assertions and will then use the assembled community to create a permanent location. Neighbourhood Diaries. Stories from where I live Creative Team: Robin Uchida, Carolyn White and Gillian Lind.

Shared Resources aims to maximize the economic and cultural value of forest resources while protecting the health of forest ecosystems through unprecedented craft and design collaborations. The dynamic exhibition will balance First Nations traditions and forward-looking design solutions, developing new methods that respect and elevate local traditions. Through a unique cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural collaboration, the exhibition explores traditional knowledge and practices (such as the harvest and weaving of cedar bark) to seek modern product applications (furniture, home accessories, etc.) for underutilized forest resources. Shared Resources Creative Team: Michael Erdmann, Patty Johnson, craftspeople from the Heiltsuk and Haida First Nations, with support from the Centre for Non-Timber Resources at the Royal Road University, Victoria and Coastal First Nations Turning Point Initiative.

voice-box: a competitive concert in a boxing ring by interdisciplinary collective urbanvessel. Featuring some of Canada's most unique vocal performers in the worlds of jazz, cabaret and opera, voice-box draws upon vocal techniques ranging from scat-singing and sound poetry to throat-singing and gospel. voice-box plays with gender and power dynamics, as vocal improvisation and boxing bring body and voice together in a battle for victory. Audience members engage with the work through interactive roles as judges, fans and gamblers, while performers shift fluidly between boxers, coaches, referees and commentators. voice-box Creative Team: choreographer Julia Aplin, writer Anna Chatterton, composer Juliet Palmer and new media artist Jim Ruxton.

What's your obsession? Do you live in a different world from everyone around you? Do you spend all your free time inventing, collecting, drawing, writing, theorizing, or somehow tinkering with your obsession? Whether its games, fashion, math puzzles, bicycles, insects, architecture, fantasy worlds or string theory...WHATEVER your obsession is, we want you to share it with the rest of us at the Art & Science Fair.

What's Your Obsession? Art & Science Fair and Exhibition encourages amateur exploration into art and science and celebrates the creativity of individuals who might not normally be involved with the gallery system. The project has two components: an Art & Science Fair and an exhibition in the main gallery featuring the work of five winners from the fair. Participants in the fair and exhibition will be selected on the basis of originality, depth of inquiry, creative innovation and the element of surprise. This project is a unique opportunity for visitors to Harbourfront Centre to engage with and explore creations by people who are inspired by their obsessions. What's Your Obsession? Art & Science Fair and Exhibition Creative Team: Sally McKay, Nancy MacDougall and Von Bark.

Harbourfront Centre's Fresh Ground new works commissioning awards are made possible by the generosity of several individual donors, who have actively assisted in the creation of new Canadian works: Robert and Anne Marie Canning, the late John Harkness, George Myhal, Jim and Sandra Pitblado, Michael and Sonja Koerner, Wil and Judy Matthews, Peter Allen, Margaret and Jim Fleck, Lionel F. Conacher and Joan Dea and grants from the Imperial Tobacco Canada Arts Fund, Canada Council for the Arts and J.P. Bickell Foundation.

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