Friday, May 02, 2008

Telegram article on May 3rd Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council annual awards show

Cross-culture celebration print this article
Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council adds international spice to annual awards show


Special to The Telegram

From Afghani, Thai, Indian, Japanese or Greek fare to traditionally downhome Mac 'n' Doo at Get Stuffed on Water, the food scene in St. John's has become an explosive mesh of worldly tang and Newfoundland staple dishes. Toutons are served with a hint of curry-cinnamon, fish and brewis with ginger root.

The local arts scene has followed the trend - if it didn't start it - embracing artists from all over the globe to expand and enlighten local products. Locals inspire internationals, and vice versa. The theme Weaving Our Culture is reflected in this year's Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council (NLAC) awards show, happening Saturday evening at the Reid Theatre, in Memorial University's Arts and Administration Building.

Danielle Irvine is directing and producing this year's show.

"My grandfather is 97 years old now, and when he was young, Water Street was always sort of an international hub," she says, explaining her inspiration for the show's international theme. "People stopping here from around the world, or stopping here on their way somewhere, are always going to bring a piece of away to here, and a piece of home away, to join together to inform each other and making each other richer."

Irvine believes that the oil and gas industry, along with international university students, are creating a resurgence of that intercontinental meeting point.

"It's beautiful to watch," she continues, "because there's been an increased appreciation of our own culture, but intermingled with it are all these other homegrown cultures that have become part of ours."

The evening will be hosted by Neil Butler and Deidre Gillard-Rowlings, and includes performances by the Nipik Inuit Drummers, Dzolali African Drum and Dance Ensemble, along with internationally inspired artists like Shelley Neville, a soprano who has been performing in Italy, and Mary Dalton, a poet whose writings are Newfoundland-inspired.

Read the rest of this article in the Telegram.