LSM Newswire

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Veteran journalist Rosemary Thompson named National Arts Centre Director of Communications and Public Affairs

(Ottawa, Canada) The National Arts Centre (NAC) today announced the appointment of Rosemary Thompson as Director of Communications and Public Affairs.

Ms. Thompson, an award-winning reporter who is currently deputy bureau chief for the national CTV News, will start her new role at the NAC on November 2nd. She takes over the position from Jayne Watson, who was recently named CEO of the National Arts
Centre Foundation, the organizations fundraising arm.

Journalism is a calling, but so are the arts. said Ms. Thompson, who is fluently bilingual in French and English. CTV has let me do everything a journalist could dream of doing. But I also have a passion for music and theatre and dance. I'll be telling the Canadian story in a different way through the National Arts Centre. Į

We are thrilled to have Rosemary on board, said Peter Herrndorf, President and CEO of the National Arts Centre. She brings a pan Canadian view to the position, having lived in both the eastern and western parts of Canada. Her experience and extensive contacts will be invaluable as we continue working with artists, arts organizations and arts educators across the country.

As a journalist, Rosemary Thompson has covered it all. She was CTV's Montreal Bureau Chief in 1995 and had a seat on the campaign bus during the referendum. She was posted in Washington as CTVs correspondent in 2000 and covered the events of 9-11 and its aftermath. Then it was off to Ottawa where she has covered every leadership convention and election over the past seven years.

Ms. Thompsons western ties will be a definite asset to the NAC as it prepares to host the 2011 Prairie Scene festival to feature hundreds of artists from Manitoba and Saskatchewan.ĮĮMy journalistic roots are firmly planted in the prairies, said Ms. Thompson. CBC Winnipeg gave me my first break in television. I was a cub reporter at the Manitoba Legislature when Gary Doer was an opposition Member of the Legislative Assembly. (Ms. Thompsons has another strong prairie connection through her sister Virginia Thompson who was executive producer of Corner Gas, the wildly successful TV series set in Saskatchewan.)ĮĮAt the age of five, Rosemary Thompson's father enrolled her in piano lessons at Vincent D'Indy, a well known conservatory in Montreal. For 15 years she practised, and hoped one day she would work in the arts. I am excited to come back to the arts and to be part of the NAC team, added Ms. Thompson.

Ms. Thompson has won numerous awards during her journalistic career for her coverage of major news events, including a nod from Americas National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in recognition of her reporting of the September 11, 2001, attacks and their aftermath. She was also nominated for a Gemini for her work on Million Dollar Babies, a documentary about the Dionne Quintuplets.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

B.C. Music Legends to perform at BC Scene on May 1, 2009

B.C. Music Legends to perform
at BC Scene
on May 1, 2009

Tickets on sale January 29

OTTAWA Some of British Columbias most beloved musicians will come together on stage for a unique evening of great music and memory making as part of BC Scene, the largest gathering of British Columbia artists ever presented outside of the province.
B.C. Music Legends will be hosted by Valdy, who, with his two Juno Awards for Folk Singer of the Year and Folk Entertainer of the Year, seven additional Juno nominations, four gold albums and countless dedicated fans across the country, can truly be called a Canadian folk music icon. Joining him on stage will be lyrical singer-songwriter Barney Bentall of Legendary Hearts fame; the remarkable 87-year-old veteran blues singer Leon Bibb; folk legend Ferron; much loved singer-songwriter Roy Forbes; Will Millar, lead singer of the popular Irish Rovers; and Shari Ulrich of the celebrated 1970s band, Pied Pumkin.

B.C. Music Legends will take place at Centrepointe Theatre at 8 p.m. on May 1, 2009. Tickets for the show go on sale on January 29 through the Centrepointe Theatre website at, by telephone at (613) 580-2700, or in person at the Centrepointe Theatre Box Office at Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive in Ottawa.

This is a rare chance to catch some amazing music heroes together on the same stage for one night only. Rejuvenate your musical soul with an evening of great songs, great performers, and a couple of trips down memory lane with some of the West Coasts greatest musical performers youll be happy and humming all the way home.

The full roster of BC Scene programming will be announced at the Festival launch on Tuesday, Februrary 24 at 11:00 a.m. in the Fourth Stage at the National Arts Centre, 53 Elgin Street. To confirm your attendance or to request an invitation, please call (613) 947-7000, ext 343.

BC Scene

The National Arts Centres BC Scene will take place from April 21 to May 3, 2009. Part of a series of biennial national festivals exploring Canadas cultural panorama, BC Scene will celebrate a dynamic culture that is a fusion of traditional and contemporary, East and West, and established and emerging artists.

BC Scene will feature 600 artists from disciplines as varied as music, theatre, dance, visual and media arts, literature and culinary arts in more than 90 events over 13 days, at venues around the National Capital Region. Among those in attendance for this unique showcase of B.C. artists will be more than 60 Canadian and international presenters producers, buyers, or talent scouts discovering B.C. talent and bringing it to their own audiences.

For more information about BC Scene, visit


A multitude of public and private organizations have come together to make BC Scene a reality. BC Scene would like to thank the Government of Canada, the Government of British Columbia and Western Economic Diversification Canada for their generous support of this event.

The National Arts Centre and National Arts Centre Foundation also extend warm thank you to the B.C. Strategy Council, a group of committed individuals whose leadership, support and guidance are key to the success of BC Scene. The B.C. Strategy Council is led by Honorary Chairs Milton and Fei Wong, and Chair Donald B. Rix.

The NAC Foundation also gratefully acknowledges the support of Presenting Partner Plasco Energy Group, Special Partners The Radcliffe Foundation, The Audain Foundation, Martha Lou Henley, Milton and Fei Wong and Dr. Donald B. Rix. Acknowledgment is also extended to Major Partner Enbridge Inc. and Supporting Partners Canwest, HSBC Bank Canada, the Holiday Inn and Screen Siren Pictures. For their commitment and support of B.C. arts and artists, we give special thanks to the NAC Friends B.C.. BC Scene Media Partners include CBC/Radio-Canada, The National Post, Vancouver Magazine and Western Living, The Ottawa Citizen, LeDroit, and The Vancouver Sun.

BC Scene would also like to thank the First Peoples Heritage, Language and Culture Council for their valuable assistance.

To register to receive programming updates about BC Scene, please subscribe to the
BC Scene email list at

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Monday, January 26, 2009

NAC Feb. 3: Manhattan on the Rideau: trumpet legend Randy Brecker

The NAC Manhattan on the Rideau jazz masterclass series continues with trumpet and flugelhorn legend Randy Brecker on February 3

Ottawa, Canada The National Arts Centres 2008-2009 Manhattan on the Rideau series of jazz masterclasses continues on Tuesday, February 3 with American trumpeter and flugelhorn legend Randy Brecker at the NACs Fourth Stage from 12 noon to 2 p.m. Admission is free. Manhattan on the Rideau links leading jazz faculty members of Manhattan School of Music (MSM) with accomplished music students at the National Arts Centre. The sessions use the very latest in broadband videoconference technology to connect teachers and students in real time with high fidelity audio and video. The series is produced by NAC New Media as part of the Hexagon Project in association with MSM.

Randy Brecker will teach students from the Schulich School of Music at McGill University, the University of Toronto and Humber School of Creative and Performing Arts, who will be backed by J.P. Allain on piano, Tom Denison on bass and Don Johnson on drums. A masterclass is a one-on-one lesson in which a master musician teaches a selected student or ensemble under the watchful eyes of fellow students and members of the public. The audience can learn from the master along with the talented student in the spotlight. Each masterclass involves 2 to 3 students in succession followed by questions-and-answers.

Randy Brecker has been shaping the sound of Jazz, R&B and Rock for more than three decades. He has performed and recorded on trumpet and flugelhorn with a wide range of artists from James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen, Lou Reed, Charles Mingus, Chaka Khan, George Benson and Parliament-Funkadelics to Frank Sinatra, Steely Dan, David Sanborn, Horace Silver, Jaco Pastorius and Frank Zappa. Randy Brecker continues to influence and inspire young musicians, and thoughout the years, has been in constant demand as a Yamaha Clinician, performing at Colleges and Universities the world over. His recordings have been nominated many times over, and his Brecker Brothers CD Out of the Loop was a double Grammy winner. He won his first Grammy as a soloist when Into the Sun was named Best Contemporary Jazz Performance in 1998.

The NACs Hexagon project supports education outreach activities by leveraging next-generation networks like Canadas CA*net4 ( and Internet2 ( in the United States as well as regional high speed networks throughout the world. The NACs broadband infrastructure includes state-of-the-art optical network access in all its performance spaces as well as on-site videoconference and audio-video production facilities. Hexagon projects include tele-mentoring sessions with master teachers in music, theatre and dance.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

NACO presents exhibit of photo portraits by NAC Orchestra violinist Lev Berenshteyn

NAC presents exhibit of photo portraits by NAC Orchestra violinist Lev Berenshteyn in Southam Hall Foyer

Ottawa, Canada The National Arts Centre is presenting an exhibit of portrait photographs of musicians and members of the music community taken by longtime NAC Orchestra violinist Lev Berenshteyn. The exhibit entitled Conversations with Lev can be found on display in the Foyer of Southam Hall at the NAC.

Berenshteyn became seriously involved in photography four years ago, and takes photos at the NAC, on tour with the Orchestra and on his summer vacations in picturesque parts of Canada. For over a year he has been collecting portraits of visiting artists, musicians of the orchestra, NAC staff, and members of the Ottawa music community. A selection of 19 of these make up the current exhibit Conversations with Lev.

I am very fortunate to have met these entirely different people who all share the same passion: music! They love music in its different forms and fashions, and we discuss and argue about it all the time. With these portraits I hope to say something about them, their personalities, and their stories.

Lev Berenshteyn was born and educated in Russia, starting violin lessons at the age of seven. He began his professional career there, playing in a number of different orchestras before emigrating with his wife in 1979. After a brief stay in Vienna and a year in Rome he came to Canada, joining the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony in 1980. He became a member of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in 1984. He is also a long-time member of the NAC Musicians in the Schools String Quintet, with whom he has given hundreds of performances in schools including on tour across Canada and in Israel, the U.S., and Mexico.

An earlier photo exhibit entitled Skyscapes and Flowers was presented by the NAC in 2007. Berenshteyn has also had his photos on exhibit at Cube Gallery, and this month at Sant Gallery, both in Ottawa.

Conversations with Lev will be on display in the Southam Hall Foyer for the winter.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

'Buried Child' at the Segal Centre

The Leanor and Alvin Segal Theatre & KPMG


Buried Child

By Sam Shepard

Directed by Peter Hinton

A co-production with Canadas National Arts Centre (Ottawa)

MONTREAL January, 2008 The Leanor and Alvin Segal Theatre launches the second half of its 2008-2009 season with the co- production of Sam Shepard's Pulitzer Prize winning play, Buried Child - marking the first ever partnership between the Segal Theatre and Canadas National Arts Centre (Ottawa).

We are proud to be presenting this production together with the National Arts Centre, said Bryna Wasserman, Artistic and Executive Director of the Segal Centre. With Peter Hinton directing the play, Buried Child promises to be a powerful theatrical production.

He (Peter Hinton), his actors and designers have located the theatricality, the poetry, and the tricky balance between realism and symbolism, between horror and humour, that defines Shepard's Pulitzer-winning play. In so doing, theyve tapped into the terrible beauty that is Buried Child. Patrick Langston, The Ottawa Citizen January 10, 2009

Buried Child is an edgy, gritty portrayal of a dysfunctional family in the American Midwest. Set on an Illinois farm, it revolves around the unannounced return of a long-lost grandson. But strangely, no one seems to remember him at first. The farmhouse is rundown and a dark secret looms within its walls, contaminating the family psyche.

At times disturbing, even destabilizing, this play rips the veneer off the American Dream, exposing its shadow side to harsh unflattering light. Taboos and secrets surface and are unceremoniously unearthed.

The play reminds us that beneath the mythology of Norman Rockwell lie buried secrets that are both absurdly upheld and dangerously exposed. Given the condition of the United States today, recent turns in the economy, a new president, and an uncertain future, Buried Child has never been more timely or relevant, says Hinton.

Buried Child is hard-hitting and provocative but it will also make you laugh. In this fine Sam Shepard drama, tragedy and comedy can turn on a dime, and its dysfunctional characters, even the boorish sociopaths, can rouse roaring laughter.

Buried Child brings a ray of hope, adds a reflective Bryna Wasserman, a new path, if we choose to take it.


As part of a truly outstanding cast, David Fox stars as Dodge, a cantankerous and broken old man whose adulterous wife Halie, played by Clare Coulter , openly flirts with her love interest, Father Lewis, who is played by John Keonsgen. The highly-respected cast also includes Randy Hughson as Tilden, a disturbed former athlete, Alex Ivanovici plays his violent brother Bradley, a long-lost grandson Vince is played by Christie Watson and Adrienne Gould plays his girlfriend Shelly.

The design team has created a stunning stage where reality and surrealism merge to support Sam Shepards strong use of imagery. Mastermind creators include Eo Sharp, set and costume design; Robert Thomson, lighting; and Troy Slocum, sound design. Laurie Champagne is the stage manager and Todd Bricker completes the team as assistant stage manager.

88.5 CBC Radio One proudly presents Sunday-@-the-Segal
Sunday, February 1, 11am. Admission is free.
Join us for another season of intimate conversation and riveting lectures.

Director Peter Hinton will focus on the importance of Sam Shepards voice in modern drama and why Buried Child is so timely and relevant today.

Monday Night Talkbacks
As usual following the play, some of the actors and/or designers will remain on stage to take questions from the audience. Monday Night Talkbacks provides an intimate opportunity for audiences to engage up close and personal with the personalities bringing first class professional English language theatre to Montreal.

Pre-Show Talks

The Leanor and Alvin Segal Theatre, in association with The Argyle Institute of Human Relations, has scheduled several pre-show talks with family therapy professionals.

Pre-show speakers are invited to enhance the audience's understanding and appreciation of the plays presented at the The Leanor and Alvin Segal Theatre.

Building audiences for the future
Everyone in this field knows that what matters most is the creation and fostering of new audiences. To this extent, the Segal Centre is offering fantastic savings for those under 30. The hope is to see full advantage of this taken, from full-time college and university students to young professionals just starting out.


February 1- 22, 2008

February 1, 1:30 pm
February 1 - 4, 8:00 pm

February 1, 11:00 am

Media Opening Night:
Thursday, February 5, 8:00 pm

Monday - Thursday, 8:00 pm
Saturday 8:30 pm
Sunday 7:00 pm

Wednesdays 1:00 pm
Sundays 2:00 pm

Box Office:
(514) 739-7944

(514) 790-1245

Segal Centre for Performing Arts at the Saidye
5170 Cote St. Catherine Rd.

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Oliver Jones to mentor Dione Taylor as part of the 2009 Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Mentorship

Oliver Jones to mentor Dione Taylor as part of the

2009 Governor Generals Performing Arts Awards Mentorship Program

Ottawa (Canada) The National Arts Centre (NAC) is delighted to announce that distinguished jazz legend Oliver Jones has chosen to mentor Dione Taylor, an extraordinarily talented young singer, through the Governor Generals Performing Arts Awards Mentorship Program.

The program allows Governor Generals Performing Arts Awards recipients, who have received their countrys highest honour in the arts, the chance to give back to the next generation of artists. Mr. Jones received the Governor Generals Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement in Popular Music in 2005.

This years recipients of the Governor Generals Performing Arts Awards will be announced at a press conference at the Young Centre in Toronto on March 2nd.

The Mentorship Program, a partnership between the Governor Generals Performing Arts Awards Foundation and the NAC, is designed to benefit emerging to mid-career artists. While numerous mentorships exist to support emerging artists, talented professionals in early to mid-career often find themselves in need of an infusion of creative guidance and could benefit from a national showcase opportunity. The Mentorship Program serves as a creative catalyst and as an investment in future Canadian artistic achievement.

Im so happy to be able to work with Dione and offer what guidance I can to such a sparkling young talent, said Mr. Jones. I feel honoured to have the chance to work with her and to perhaps play some small part in the growth of her career.

Ms. Taylor expressed her appreciation for being chosen as part of the Mentorship Program: It is an honour to be recognized in this way and for this opportunity to work with Mr. Oliver Jones. Mr. Jones has contributed so much to the music industry and is part of such a wonderful tradition that I so deeply respect.

In addition to receiving coaching and career advice from Mr. Jones, Ms. Taylor will also perform at the Governor Generals Performing Arts Awards Gala on May 9, 2009, and receive an honorarium.

The National Arts Centre is proud we can help provide these kinds of opportunities that allow Canadian artists to benefit from the gifts and experience of some of Canadas artistic icons, said Peter Herrndorf, President and CEO of the National Arts Centre.

The Governor Generals Performing Arts Awards are a celebration of excellence that introduces Canadians to new artists, raises awareness of achievements in varied disciplines, and invites Canadians to applaud the performing artists whose passion moves, entertains and inspires. Bell has been the Founding Sponsor of the Awards since 1992.


Oliver Jones

Jazz pianist Oliver Jones is one of Canada's most beloved and admired musicians and most distinguished cultural ambassadors. Over the past six decades he has achieved legendary status in the international jazz community, toured tirelessly in Canada and around the world, and devoted much of his time to encouraging young Canadian musicians as they begin their careers. In addition to his performances in concert, in clubs, at prestigious international festivals, and with major orchestras across Canada, he has released 22 recordings.

He was born in Montral, Quebec, in 1934, and studied piano with Daisy Peterson, his friend Oscar's sister. He made his stage debut at age five and started playing in clubs when he was nine. Though his father urged him to go into accounting, the young Oliver always knew he wanted to be a musician.

After a musically eclectic early life in Montral, Mr. Jones worked as a pop-music director in Puerto Rico but came home in 1980 determined to stick to jazz. He got a job at Biddles, a legendary downtown club, and his career took off.

Mr. Jones' outstanding musical talent is matched by his immense modesty and generosity toward his audiences and fellow musicians, particularly young artists.

Oliver Jones "retired" in 1999 but still makes numerous appearances yearly, including numerous charity benefits and jazz festivals across Canada.

Awards and honours include the Order of Canada, the Order of Quebec, several Flix and Juno Awards, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for Excellence in Music, and four honorary doctorates.

Dione Taylor

Dione Taylor burst onto the music scene in 2004 with her dynamic performance style and soulful voice that is steeped in the traditions of gospel, blues and jazz. Her debut recording Open Your Eyes quickly earned her Juno, Canadian Urban Music and National Jazz Award nominations and the disc was named one of the Top Recordings of 2004 by Canadas premiere jazz radio station, Jazz.FM91.

A pastors daughter from Saskatchewan, music has always been an integral part of Ms. Taylors life. Born and raised in a family she describes as really connected to the gift of song, she began playing the organ at age four, and at the tender age of 10, became musical director and organist at The Shiloh Assembly Church (Apostolic) in Regina. Taylor received two Voice Scholarships upon high school graduation. She decided upon the University of Regina, where she majored in Voice (Classical and Opera). A career turning point came when Ms. Taylor enrolled at the world-renowned jazz program at the Humber College of Applied Arts and Technology. Dione excelled academically and received the colleges Thomas Kehoe Memorial Award for Outstanding Vocal Performance, graduating with honors from the program in 2003. While completing those studies, she entered an international competition for jazz students. She was selected as of one of six jazz musicians from around the world for the Jazz and the New Generation program. Led by Dr. Billy Taylor, it was sponsored by The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and its winners performed at a prestigious concert on the Millennium Stage.

An assured and charming performer, Ms. Taylor has already sung for presidents and royalty. In June 2004, a mere two weeks after releasing her debut CD, she was invited to participate in a concert celebrating Black Music Month in the United States at the White House for the President and First Lady. Less than a year later she performed alongside other stars for Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke of Edinburgh and Joni Mitchell at the Saskatchewan Centennial Gala of the Arts. Other notable appearances include the 2005 Nightlife Jazz Tour, the Womens Blues Revue at Torontos famed Massey Hall and the 2005 Festival International de Jazz de Montreal, where she performed with soul divas Patti LaBelle and Ann Peebles, as well as the legendary Neville Brothers. In November 2006 Ms. Taylor had the honor of performing The Weight for Robbie Robertson of The Band at the Governor Generals Performing Arts Awards Gala in tribute and recognition of his Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award.

With her second album, I Love Being Here With You (Marquis/EMI Music Canada), Taylor emerged as a fully formed and exciting young artist. While unmistakably a jazz album, I Love Being Here With You reflects her love and background in gospel, rhythm & blues and soul. Her rich and smoky voice has a truly soulful quality, one attractively complemented by her keenly trained musical ear. Her eclecticism is apparent as Ms. Taylor cites soul queen Aretha Franklin, jazz chanteuse Sarah Vaughan, opera diva Leontyne Price and smooth-voiced jazzman Johnny Hartman as inspirations and influences. I Love Being Here With You was produced by Doug Riley (Ray Charles, David Clayton-Thomas, The Brecker Brothers) and Sandy Mamane, and features Jake Langley, Guido Basso, Pat LaBarbera, Terry Clarke and international piano virtuoso Benny Green.

In November 2008, I Love Being Here With You was released in Japan, and in December 2008 Ms. Taylor will be performing a sold out Christmas concert at the Bunkamura Orchard Hall in Tokyo. Most recently Ms. Taylor was nominated for a Gemini Award in 2008 for her rendition of Oscar Petersons Hymn to Freedom, which she performed alongside Oliver Jones at the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala.

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