Arts and culture flourish
in Knowlton and Québec City
Arts Alive! Québec offers music, theatre, visual art, dance, workshops for all ages, a street fair, and family fun!
By Janis Kirshner
Spreading creativity throughout the province this summer, Arts Alive! Québec’s (AAQ) next stop is early August in both Knowlton (August 3-5) and Québec City (August 3-4). A number of award-winning as well as up and coming musical artists are participating in both regions’ weekend festivals.
For ELAN Executive Director Guy Rodgers it’s difficult to choose between the bucolic pleasures of Knowlton in the Townships and the historic treasures of the Morrin Centre in the heart of Old Québec City. “Whichever destination visitors choose, they can be sure of a charming Arts Alive! Québec experience. I especially like the way workshops and performances dovetail this year in Knowlton, and follow a swing music theme in Québec City,” he said.
Some of Knowlton’s workshops have been paired with live performances. Theatre Lac-Brome is running the satirical comedy The Mystery of Irma Vep where two actors play multiple characters and have many quick costume changes, so organizers are offering a portrait photography workshop.
The show Libertango inspired a tango workshop. Both workshops will be held just in advance of the performances, offering participants a heightened theatre experience.
Families can take in Just Enough, a puppet/clown show based on a traditional Yiddish folktale and inspired by the popular children’s book Something from Nothing by Phoebe Gilman, and then attend a puppet-making workshop.
Amos Joannides, who recently performed on La Voix and is a member of the local community theatre, is leading a song writing workshop and then performing with other artists in the Songwriters Circle concert that evening.
For Knowlton Arts Alive! Québec spokesperson Danny McAuley, it’s all about people getting in touch with their creative side and trying new things. “Arts Alive is good for the soul. Put away the iPhone, turn off Netflix; take in a concert and join a workshop. This is the perfect opportunity for parents and children to do something together,” he said. He adds, “Townshippers are always excited to introduce new people to the community and these events give us a platform to do just that. This year our partner Theatre Lac-Brome is a creative hub for many terrific activities.”
Arts Alive is good for the soul. Put away the iPhone, turn off Netflix; take in a concert and join a workshop. This is the perfect opportunity for parents and children to do something together.
Arts Alive! Québec spokesperson Danny McAuley
Québec City’s Morrin Centre invites people to “tune in and swing out” with their outstanding musical line-up. The Centre’s Executive Director, Barry McCullough, acknowledges how meaningful the event is to the community because it offers local artists an opportunity to reach new audiences, especially during the outdoor street fair. “Our prime location in the heart of Old Québec attracts a great number of passersby. The combination of locals, both English-speaking and French-speaking, along with visitors, makes the crowd diverse and dynamic. More and more, Arts Alive! Québec is becoming a can’t-miss event; the setting is steeped in history and is inspiring.”
The Old Québec City walls will be reverberating with top-notch music all weekend. Between them, these jazz and swing bands have won prestigious awards, released multiple albums, played renowned international festivals, collaborated with household names, and entertained countless enthusiastic audiences.
For general enquiries about Knowlton events, Brome Lake Books at 450 242-2242
Tickets for Knowlton events can be purchased at Brome Lake Books, 45 Lakeside.
Tickets for shows at Theatre Lac-Brome available at the theatre.
Venues: Théâtre Lac-Brome, 9 Mont Echo; Old Court House, 15 St. Paul; United Church, 234 chemin Knowlton; Star Café, 61 Lakeside.
Friday, August 3
4 pm to 5:30 pm – Photography with Yves Pinsonneault (in Théâtre Lac-Brome), $10
Exhibit of artists’ works in the theatre all weekend (photographer Susan Pepler, Stanley Lake, as well as workshop participants)
PERFORMANCES AND EVENTS
5:30 pm to 7:30 pm – Festival opening reception at Theatre Lac-Brome featuring the musical stylings of pianist John Barr, sponsored by townshippers.qc.ca, Free
8 pm – The Mystery of Irma Vep, comedy produced by Théâtre Lac-Brome, $30
Saturday, August 4
12:30 pm to 2 pm – Puppet workshop with Maggie Winston (Old Court House), $10 (for one adult/child)
4:30 pm to 6 pm – Tango workshop with Caroline Demers from Tango Rico in Sherbrooke (theatre) $10
PERFORMANCES AND EVENTS
11 am to noon – Just Enough puppet and clown show (Old Court House), pass the hat
11:30 am to noon – Teddy Bears’ Picnic and reading by Stanley Lake and Almut Ellinghaus (Old Court House)
1 am to 4 pm – Live music (Star Café), Free
8 pm – Libertango with soprano Nathalie Choquette, pianist Dominic Boulianne, and cellist Dominic Painchaud (theatre) $35
Sunday, August 5
11 am to 12:30 pm – Drumming with Frédéric Gauld, including communal drums for 6 to 8 people (theatre), $10
1 pm to 2:30 pm – Flower Arranging with Debbie Hornig (United Church), $10
2:30 pm to 4 pm – Song Writing with Amos Joannides (theatre), $10
3 pm to 4:30 pm – Still Life Painting with lauded painter Susan Pepler (United Church), $10
7 pm to 9 pm – Songwriters Circle Concert with Amos Joannides, Kate Morrison, Kyra Shaughnessy, and Rick Murrin (theatre), $20
Québec City programme
Jazz concert, free musical workshops, street fair with local artisans and musicians
For general enquiries about Québec City events, Morrin Centre, 418-694-9147 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Québec City events take place inside and around the beautiful Morrin Centre, 44 Chaussée des Écossais
Friday, August 3
7 pm – Jazz Concert – Daniel Arthur Trio and
8:30 pm – Jazz Concert – Sienna Dahlen (indoors), $20 for both
Saturday, August 4 – all events are free!
10:30 am – Musical workshop for kids (indoors)
1 pm – Songwriting workshop with rising Pop/RnB singer-songwriter NJ Taylor, beginners/adults (indoors)
11 am – Teddy Bears’ Picnic
Noon to 5 pm – Local Artisans
Noon – Swing Dance Beginners’ Workshop
1 pm – Misses Satchmo Quartet – 20s and 30s swing
2 pm – Roxanna Burns and the Gentlemen – Jazz standards and originals
3 pm – Tea for 20s – Celebrating Jazz roots from the 20s
4 pm – Mardi-Gras Band – New Orleans Jazz from the 20s and 30s
For general enquiries about Arts Alive! Québec: arts.alive@Québec-elan.org
About Arts Alive! Québec
ARTS ALIVE! QUÉBEC is a moveable feast of music, theatre, dance, visual arts, film and so much more. Initiated by ELAN (English-language Arts Network) in 2015, six dynamic regions – Hudson, Huntingdon, Knowlton, Québec City, Wakefield and West Island/Montreal – produce six individual festivals to showcase Québec’s diverse cultural communities and innovative artists with activities and performances for the entire family! Visit the ELAN’s AAQ page and stay connected for the rest of the summer.
Upcoming regional events
West Island/Montreal, August 15, September 29 (and others tbc)
Wakefield, September 7-8
ELAN (English-Language Arts Network) is a not-for-profit organization that connects, supports, and promotes Québec’s English-speaking artists and arts communities. Its members include artists and organizations representing a multitude of artistic disciplines and regions of Québec. ELAN’s philosophy is inclusive, encouraging an evolving Québec identity that recognizes French as the public language and celebrates social, cultural, and artistic diversity. To find out more about ELAN’s various programs, visit Québec-elan.org
Feature image: Misses Satchmo
All images courtesy of Arts Alive! Québec
Janis Kirshner is a respected theatre publicist. She was also co-founder of TITTERS (a female sketch comedy duo) and has co-written and performed numerous hit shows at a number of Fringe Festivals including Montreal, Halifax and Seattle, as well as the Vancouver Int’l Comedy Festival. Janis spent years on the radio as a traffic reporter, entertainment reviewer, and host of open-line talk shows.