Sault Ste. Marie Entertainment News | Local & Canadian Arts | Sault This Week
Sault actress in prison sitcom
Film actress Trish Rainone, who is from Sault Ste. Marie, will appear in a leading role in a new women’s prison sitcom, Pink is In, to be aired on Bell Fibe TV1. Rainone joins a cast of “fabulous and funny” characters all of whom have either television or film credits: • Elley-Ray Hennessy (My Little Pony) plays prison Warden Morgan Dungworth. • Veteran Canadian actress Margaret Lamarre plays Ol’ Granny BJ, a former matinee film idol. • Jon Welch (No Easy Days) plays handsome prison guard Jigz Festerson. • Eileen Li (Jack Ryan) plays an escaped convict on the run. • Trish Rainone (My Roommate Is An Escort) appears as the inmate known as Top Dog. • Clyde Phillips Sr. (Rookie Blue) portrays sleepy Guard Goodman. • Rounding out the key cast is one of the series’ main writers, Kim Lombard, as prison CEO Pip Barnett. Creator/Producer Lisa Crawford, a Hamilton-based transgender, and her team have invented a privately run prison for women that has a barely functioning administrative staff, unruly prisoners and totally inept prison administration. The show will air in January. You can check out #pinkisinshow and www.pinkisin.net. From a media release
Blues Society brings Juno award winner to Bon Soo
Sault Blues Society will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a Bon Soo concert featuring international blues artist Jack de Keyzer. This will be the third year Sault Blues Society has presented award-winning shows as part of Bon Soo. The popular local Zak’s Allstars Band will warm up the audience before the two-time Juno Award-winning and seven-time Maple Blues Award-winning de Keyzer takes the stage. Tickets to the show are $25 for general admission and $15 for students, prices called by the Blues Society “a steal” for a show put on by such an experienced musician who has been described as “the finest blues guitarist in Canada” by the late musician Jeff Healey. De Keyzer’s website points out, Bob Dylan once said, “If Jack de Keyzer were from Chicago, New York, or LA, he’d be famous.” Sault residents can catch de Keyzer’s concert at the Machine Shop on Thursday, Feb. 6, with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. and the show beginning at 7. Blues Society president Johnnie Tibbles said tickets are selling quickly, with more than 200 already gone. “It will likely be a sellout with just a few standing room tickets available at the door,” said Tibbles. The Bon Soo concert is one of the three to five shows Blues Society presents every year. Since its inception in 2010, the group has organized and presented 31 “top quality blues shows,” Tibbles said, but scheduling the events can be tricky. “Presenting a one-off show definitely presents extra financial costs where a band routing through or near the Sault saves money on travel expenses but sometimes the timing on these bands does not fit with venue availability or is not a good fit with other local events,” he explained. Nevertheless, the Blues Society has successfully organized the shows with the help of the volunteer executive and support of paid SBS members, local blues fans, and several cultural grants from the City of Sault Ste. Marie. In the past, the group also received support from several local businesses including Community First, Hollywood Limo, the Mortgage Centre, T and T Promotional Products, and the Water Tower Inn, to name just a few. SBS doesn’t exist solely to put on concerts, Tibbles said. The Society’s objectives include organizing a Blues Festival – “providing opportunities for listeners and players of the blues to share their knowledge and experience with others, and educating the people of Ontario about the diversity of the blues.” It also provides “opportunities for local and regional musicians to advance their understanding, skills, and enjoyment of the blues.” The Society has also hosted several fundraisers over the years, most in support of other organizations. Its first fundraiser was held in May 2011 featuring Brass Taxx, followed by a second in November 2012 with the help of local band 5ive Below Zero, with the goal of establishing the SBS operating fund. Since then, the organization has helped with Rusty McCarthy’s Blues for Food events at the Water Tower Inn Pub, which has collected cash and non-perishable donations for the Soup Kitchen and St. Vincent Place. The SBS also held a fundraiser for local musician Tyrone Souliere in 2016 to support him when he was battling cancer. It was largely thanks to the efforts of McCarthy that the SBS was established, Tibbles said. “In March 2010, McCarthy convinced Jim Traveson to help him get the Sault Blues Society formally started,” he said. “They called the first meeting of known blues enthusiasts and musicians to discuss the possibilities of a local society.” That meeting resulted in the election of Traveson as president and McCarthy as vice-president of the newly formed Sault Blues Society, which was incorporated as a not-for-profit in October 2010. “Those attending Traveson and McCarthy’s inaugural meeting were thirsty for a steady stream of great blues musicians performing in the Sault,” said Tibbles. “It was also anticipated that when quality musicians were in the Sault there might be the opportunity to present master’s musical workshops. To date the SBS has presented vocal, guitar, keyboard, and several harmonica workshops for local musicians with all levels of experience attending.” However, it hasn’t been a straight road from the Society’s establishment to the 53-member strong organization that exists today. “The executive numbers have gone up and down slightly over the years as executive members retired or moved and new ones replaced them. 2014 was a very quiet year for the SBS, so in March 2015, I and many others were looking for more blues in the Sault,” said Tibbles. “I approached Jim Traveson, called a meeting of the Sault Blues Society executive asking if there was interest in revitalizing the SBS.” That meeting led to the election of Tibbles as president and Mac Headrick as vice-president, along with several other members of the new executive. Local artists who have been hired include Stuart Bolduc, Keith Conway, Paul Dellavedova, Frank Deresti, Jeff Holmes, Korah’s Mustang Sally, White Pine’s Pinestones Band, and Mike Yurich, among others. Over the years SBS has presented local artists with the “Dedicated to the Blues Award,” usually at the Blues for Food event. The recipients include Jay Scali (2013), Rusty McCarthy (2017), Jim Traveson (2018), and Bob Yeomans (2019).
Sault Symphony seeks volunteers, donations.
Sault Symphony has put out an appeal for donations and volunteers. The volunteer pool has steadily dwindled in recent years and “the small core remaining cannot continue on their own with the work required to manage a symphony orchestra,” Sault Symphony says in a media release. The organization, in the same release, and saying, “The future of Sault Symphony is at risk,” invites anyone who sees value in continuation of the orchestra to its Annual General Meeting, which was to be held on Tuesday, Jan. 14, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Civic Centre in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. The orchestra also covers the Michigan Sault, though its office is in Canada. Principal venues are Kiwanis Community Theatre Centre and Central United Church and St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral and Soo Theatre in Sault, Mich. “If you feel the symphony brings value to our community then please consider attending our AGM to be part of discussions, brainstorm ideas, offer advice, or become a volunteer,” the release says. The board at present has eight members and seeks 14, says a report in The Sault Star. Among them should be someone with grant-writing experience, needed to serve as the group’s general manager. The symphony e-mailed an appeal for donations on Dec. 29. “Ambitious programming over the past 47 years, bringing in talents from across the region to share our stage, has led to financial shortfalls when revenues have not covered costs,” the note admits. A new board of directors has led the symphony out of financial difficulty over the past two years and the orchestra has regained its status with Revenue Canada as a charitable organization so can issue tax receipts for contributions. Cuts to expenses include a move to smaller concerts in churches, the release says. A partnership with Algoma District School Board provides rent-free space for the symphony’s office in return for school programs. “These steps have allowed us to reduce a formerly stagnant operating line of credit by almost 50 per cent in a matter of two years. We continue to find ways of reducing costs and raising funds while providing quality performances to our symphony patrons,” the e-mail says. However, just before Christmas, the orchestra learned that its banking arrangements and line of credit were in jeopardy, “due to latent fallout from a prior financial crisis unknown to us.” As a result, the group’s financial institution froze its account and the orchestra needed to raise $22,000 to deal with the issue. The decision to make a public appeal was “…difficult. In its 47 years of existence, the Sault Symphony Association has never made such a plea,” the e-mail says. A bequest from a supporter last month, has given the symphony orchestra hope, it added. However, the group still needs funds. As of last weekend, at www.saultsymphony.ca/volunteer-donations, the website recorded just over $3,300 in donations toward a goal of $50,000. The page has a window though which donors can give amounts from $10 up. A bequest is on its way for another $4,000. A contribution of “whatever you can afford would also bring us enormous peace of mind during these trying times,” the symphony says in its e-mail. “Only a handful of musicians receive any compensation for the hours they invest in the symphony; they do it for the love of the music. Costs include sound and lighting technicians, program printing, a few musicians both local and travelling, and the travel costs for those we bring in,” the writer points out on behalf of the board of directors. Meanwhile, two concerts remain in the 2019-2020 season. First is Beethoven’s 250th Birthday Celebration with Lynne Aspnes, harp, on Saturday, Feb. 8, at Precious Blood Cathedral, 778 Queen St. E. The symphony will share its stage with Pierre Schreyer and His Band, on Saturday, April 18, at the Kiwanis Community Theatre Centre in White Pines Collegiate, 1007 Trunk Rd. A ticket for an adult to attend both performances costs $50; seniors 65+ pay, $40. Students and children pay $20. Cost of tickets for single performances are $30, $26 and $11. Taxes and handling charges are in addition.
Local figure skating club brings home medals from Skate Ontario event
Eleven local performers represented the Lake Superior Figure Skating Club at the recent Skokie Skate, Skate Ontario Super Series in Huntsville. In all, LSFSC skaters returned home to the Sault with nine medals — three gold and six silver. Full LSFSC results forwarded to Sault This Week are as follows. Yvonne Barnes, Juvenile U14 Free Skate – GOLD, Star 7 O12 Short Program – GOLD Cassie Grenier, Juvenile U14 Free Skate – 10th, Star 7 O12 Short Program – Silver Avery Pelletier, Star 5 U13 Free Skate – 5th Emily Coutu, Star 5 13 and O Free Skate – Silver, Star 7 O12 Short Program – 10th Hailie Levesque, Star 6 Free Skate – 10th Olivia Nero, Star 6 Free Skate – 9th Hannah Martin, Star 6 Free Skate – GOLD Haley Martin, Star 8 Free Skate – 7th Emma Carlucci, Star 6 Free Skate – Silver, Star 7 Short Program – 7th Lilia-Anne Pelletier, Star 8 Free Skate – 8th, Star 7 Artistic, – Silver Emilie Vezina, Women’s Gold Free Skate – Silver, Star 9 Short Program – Silver Kerry Bain, who is the director of skating for the local club, relayed that “with Skokie Skate being the first competition of the season, I am very pleased with our skaters results. “This season our skaters will compete in five qualifying events. The top scores out of each competition will be ranked against other skaters competing in Ontario at various competitions. “Skate Ontario will use a ranking system to determine who qualifies for the Skate Ontario Provincial Championships, which will be held in Belleville (in late March),” Bain summed up.
weather (Sault Ste. Marie)
Worldwide fans unite for town's billboard campaign to save Alberta-shot Wynonna Earp
Hundreds of fans of the Alberta-shot supernatural western Wynonna Earp will be showing their support next week for the embattled series and its home base of Didsbury as part of a worldwide #BringWynonnaHome campaign.
Mary Walsh and Cathy Jones will not go gentle into old age in web series as Mrs. Eulalia and Mrs. Enid
In a recent episode of the CBC Gem web series Broad Appeal: Living with E’s, octogenarian best friends Mrs. Enid and Mrs. Eulalia are shown walking on a snowy sidewalk in Jasper while discussing the seemingly contradictory nature of Alberta and Albertans.
New at the Library
Fables by Natalie Portman – retells of three classic fables with modern takes on timeless life lessons. (children’s fiction) The Unexpected Cop: Indian Ernie on a Life of Leadership by Ernie Louttit – being a leader means sticking to your convictions and sometimes standing up to the powers that be. (nonfiction) I Can Make this Promise by Christine Day – a girl uncovers her family’s secrets. (juvenile fiction) Spin by Patricia Cornwell – Captain Calli Chase races against time to thwart a plot that leaves the fate of humanity hanging in the balance. (adult fiction)