Friday, January 25th marks the beginning of 2013’s ArtIgnite. This wonderful arts festival is a collaboration of efforts between Queen’s University, St. Lawrence College, Downtown Kingston and The City of Kingston as well as numerous galleries and independent artists and musicians. The festival was conceived in 2009 and has grown many times over throughout the years. This year, there are more than 35 events occurring over its two week run. Many of these events are free, some are by donation and some do have a ticket price and are well worth it. You can enjoy anything from live performances of theatre and music to gallery tours, poetry readings, artist talks and even watching visual artists work their magic live. Some works will be in galleries and some things will pop up in unexpected places like store front windows downtown. Check out our guide below and click the links to find out more about each event.
25 to 26 January, The Baby Grand Theatre: The Drowsy Chaperone If you’ve ever sat in a dark theatre and thought, “Dear Lord in heaven, please let it be good,” this is the show for you! It all begins when a die-hard musical-theater fan plays his favourite cast album on his turntable, and the musical literally bursts to life in his living room, telling the rambunctious tale of a brazen Broadway starlet trying to find, and keep, her true love. Coming to the Baby Grand Theatre from January 10th-26th.
25 to 27 January, Agnes Etherington Art Centre: David Rokeby: The Giver of Names David Rokeby’s The Giver of Names is a seminal and influential work of this leading figure in electronic art. In the gallery, visitors are invited to present objects to a perceiving system, which, after careful scanning, responds with a stream of language. These “sentences”—presented aurally and on-screen—are often startlingly poetic and suggestive of consciousness and personality.
25 to 27 January, Agnes Etherington Art Centre: Erin Shirreff: Available Light Available Light is the first solo exhibition in Canada of this Canadian artist based in New York City, whose recent achievements in video, photography and sculpture have generated a buzz of critical recognition. Shirreff’s conceptually rich work fuses rigorously refined technique with a lush sense of history. Investigation of light and form unites her approach to different media including video, sculpture and photography.
25 January to 3 February, Agnes Etherington Art Centre: Carole Condé and Karl Beveridge: The Plague For the Toronto-based art team Carole Condé and Karl Beveridge, the plague is a cataclysm wrought by economic systems that reward exploitation at the expense of the common good. Spanning the artists’ development from their initial embrace of interrogative politics to their current staged images offering analyses of social and political issues, the show highlights the evolution of Condé and Beveridge’s method and content over nearly four decades.
25 January to 8 February, The Union Gallery: In the Wake of This exhibit by Kelsey-Lynn Corradetti and Emma Kent is a showcase of paintings, prints and photograph in which the artists seek to revisit forgotten moments in time via various artistic mediums. These explorations communicate the disconnect and disillusion associated with nostalgia and memory. Working with the figure and its relationship to space, the artists illustrate the effect that people and places of the past have on the present.
25 January to 8 February, The Union Gallery: Stories in Ink Melissa Smallridge depicts personal stories through tattoo imagery in the medium of painting. Each work reveals different aspects of identity and self-expression. This body of work developed through an interest in a tattoo design that came with her first tattoo at seventeen. These works explore traditional and contemporary elements of tattooing in a different medium.
25 January to 10 February, Agnes Etherington Art Centre: Collecting Visions: Selections from the Justin and Elisabeth Lang Collection In 1984, the Art Centre received the spectacular gift of almost 600 hundred works of African art, from a wide range of cultures in West and Central Africa, by 20th century by Montrealers Justin and Elisabeth Lang and represent one of the strongest concentrations of African art in Canadian public collections.
25 January to 10 February, Agnes Etherington Art Centre: Tobit: Miracles and Morals This exhibition, the first devoted to representations of the Book of Tobit, draws on the rich holdings of paintings in the permanent collection donated by Alfred and Isabel Bader, supplemented by loans from their private collection. In addition, it marks the Art Centre debut of an important collection of prints and drawings.
25 January to 10 February, Agnes Etherington Art Centre: Keywork: Borduas’ Figure with Birds In 1948, the young Québecois painter Paul-Émile Borduas published Refus global, an ardent call for liberty of expression for the artists and people of Québec, then suffocating under the conjoined forces of colonialism, the Church and the postwar isolationism of the Duplessis regime. Fellow artists Jean-Paul Riopelle, Pierre Gauvreau, Jean-Paul Mousseau and others co-signed the Refus global. Borduas’ Figure with Birds, 1953, is one of the most startling artists’ manifestos published , and the subject of the third Keywork exhibition.
25 January to 10 February, Kingston Glass Studio and Gallery: Colouring Space: Works by Sharon Thompson Using bold colours and a structural breakdown of the canvas, Kingston based abstract artist Sharon Thompson presents her own take on the still life painting. This exhibition combines landscape with still life images of everyday objects such as flowers, lemons, cups and bottles. Showcased alongside Sharon’s work is glass art by Mischka Alexi Hunter, whose glass vases reflect Sharon’s bright colours and use of shape in a three dimensional but equally striking way. Located in the heart of historic downtown Kingston, the glass studio and gallery is open to the public.
25 January to 10 February, Agnes Etherington Art Centre: Less Drawn from the Art Centre collection, minimalist sculptural works are paired with works on paper from the late 1960s to the 1990s to reveal ongoing explorations of reductive precepts in Canadian art, favouring geometry over representation, repetition over progression, and blankness over detail. Artists featured include André Fauteux, Yves Gaucher, Peter Kolisnyk, Günter Nolte, Frank Nulf, Henry Saxe, Scott Wallis and Akira Yoshikawa.
25 January to 10 February, Modern Fuel: Resurrection January 2013 will mark the 15th Anniversary of the Great Ice Storm of 1998. The storm was destructive enough to cause over 30 deaths and multiple electrical blackouts and necessitated the deployment of 15 000 troops. It also produced some of the most awe-inspiring imagery this nation has ever seen, particularly that of hydro towers collapsed like paper sculptures under the burdensome weight of ice. The collapsed tower has been of particular interest to TH&B (Hamilton artists Simon Frank, Ivan Jurakic, Dave Hind and Tor Lukasik-Foss), and is the inspiration behind this series of works.
25 January to 10 February, Various Locations: Allumage: Animated GIFs Michael Davidge’s “Allumage,” consists of four distinct installations and events that will take place throughout downtown Kingston. The first work is Kingston artist Chantal Rousseau’s “Animated Gifs” series. Rousseau’s practice includes painting, drawing, video and animation. For this series, Rousseau has downloaded animated gifs and painstakingly redrawn them with pen and ink, before reassembling them digitally, and reposting them online. Rousseau’s animated gifs will appear on artignite webpages, and on other illuminated screens installed in window displays in downtown Kingston.
25 January, The Grand Theatre: La Diva by the Kingston Symphony The Kingston Symphony welcomes La Diva Extraordinaire, Natalie Choquette. She is a soprano like no other with a magnificent voice that comically takes on over-the-top divas, brilliantly blending opera and humour, Broadway and laughter. Natalie Choquette’s take on your favourite music from the Broadway and opera stages will have you rolling in the aisles.
26 January, Gallery Raymond: New Works Gallery Raymond is pleased to represent some of Kingston and area’s finest artists. They have bi-monthly Wine & Cheese Openings with the artist in attendance. Gallery Raymond is Kingston’s largest Commercial Art Gallery representing 16 local and area artists.
26 January, The Grand Theatre: National Arts Centre Orchestra Consistent praise has followed this vibrant orchestra throughout its history of touring both nationally and internationally, recording, and commissioning Canadian works. Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, under the direction of renowned conductor/ violinist/violist Pinchas Zukerman, continues to draw accolades both abroad and at its home in Ottawa where it performs more than 100 concerts annually. The repertoire for this performance includes Mendelssohn’s String Sinfonia no. 10, Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2.
27 January, KFPL Central Branch: Live @ Your Library: Dave and Paul Barton The “Live @ Your Library” series brings jazz performers of world renown to Kingston over the winter months. The highly anticipated five-concert series, held on Sunday afternoons, appeals to local audiences and helps to raise the profile of Kingston as a destination for top-calibre artists. This year, the series pairs a top Kingston artist with their choice of visiting collaborators for each concert. This mix of local and outside talent will enhance the depth of experience for musicians and audiences alike. As always, the intimate, accessible setting and rich acoustics of the venue provide an excellent experience for everyone.
29 January, The Grand Theatre: The Number 14 Outrageous costumes, award winning masks and audacious comedic turns fuel this high-octane social satire. Set on an urban bus as it travels through the social strata of a large city, the play has entertained audiences around the world. Described as part Monty Python, part Mr. Bean, The Number 14 is all about laughter – lots of it!
30 January to 10 February, The Baby Grand Theatre: BLUE/ORANGE by Joe Penhall In a London psychiatric hospital, an enigmatic patient claims to be the son of an African dictator, a story that becomes unnervingly plausible. BLUE/ORANGE is an incendiary tale of race, madness and a Darwinian power struggle at the heart of Britain’s National Health Service. BLUE/ORANGE is fast-paced, smartly written play, with brilliant flashes of comedy, and thoroughly absorbing in its subject matter. Despite being based in England, Canadian audiences will certainly find parallels to our own mental health care system.
30 January, Marine Museum of the Great Lakes: The War of 1812 1/2 This will be the third two-man ‘entertainment’ offered by the Marine Museum to explore what might be called the ‘collateral’ aspects of a great port. The first, presented in January 2012, was ‘Brothels of Old Kingston’; the second, in March 2012, ‘Great Maritime Booboos’, referenced navigational (and other) errors such as the loss of the ‘Titanic’ and the Italian cruise ship ‘Costa Plenti’ (as she was named in the show). The entertainment features Chris West as Laura Secord and Tony Houghton as Dolly Madison (among other roles).
31 January to 9 February, Various Locations: Reelout Queer Film + Video Festival Reelout exists to celebrate queer independent media arts, in particular film and video through the exhibition of over 80 international works annually at our eleven day festival and through our outreach programs. We aim to engage audiences with visiting filmmakers through Q&A and panel discussions as well as the exhibition of films.
31 January, Agnes Etherington Art Centre: Art Matters Talk: Tobit: Miracles and Morals The adventures and miracles recounted in the Book of Tobit have long fascinated readers and attracted the attention of artists, especially in the Northern Netherlands during the Baroque Era. David de Witt, Bader Curator of European Art, gives an informal tour of the exhibition, details of which are listed above.
1 February, The Grand Theatre: Louis Lortie and Hélène Mercier Louis Lortie has been praised for the fresh perspective and individuality he brings to a broad spectrum of keyboard works. He has released over 30 recordings including two albums with Hélène Mercier – Ravel: Music for Four Hands and Beethoven: Complete Piano Sonatas. The Grand’s glorious Steinway will be in the spotlight as these two pianists perform.
1 February, The Artel: Allumage: Mouthy Michael Davidge’s “Allumage,” consists of four distinct installations and events that will take place throughout downtown Kingston. A Mouthy storytelling night is the second to be presented, providing an opportunity for community engagement and story sharing. Guests of all ages and walks of life are invited to share either factual or fictional stories that are based on a particular theme, which, in the past, have included everything from ghost stories to diary readings. For “Allumage” participants will be invited to engage with the theme “From Darkness to the Light” which will undoubtedly inspire a wide range of responses.
2 to 10 February, KFPL Central Branch: OKWA Annual Juried Exhibition The Organization of Kingston Women Artists presents a very diverse collection of high quality works from some of Kingston’s best artists. Juror: Sarindar Dahiliwhal. The show can be viewed during library hours. Please call ahead to ensure the room will be open when you visit.
2 February, Outside City Hall: Allumage: Icework Michael Davidge’s “Allumage,” consists of four distinct installations and events that will take place throughout downtown Kingston. The third work will be an installation by Mark Thompson (Westport, ON). His studio artwork includes autonomous glassworks, paintings, programmable LED lights, mixed media sculpture, and many large-scale architectural glass commissions. Thompson began experimenting last year with the translation of stained glass techniques to the material of ice. Using these same techniques, he will create a new ice sculpture installation that will develop over the course of the week leading up to the final “Allumage” event.
2 February, Memorial Hall, City Hall: Allumage: On the Other Side Michael Davidge’s “Allumage, or How the Light Gets In” consists of four distinct installations and events that will take place throughout downtown Kingston. The fourth and final aspect of “Allumage” will be a live performance entitled “On the Other Side…” by Edmonton’s Gary James Joynes, also known as Clinker. Clinker’s “On the Other Side…” explores Leonard Cohen’s continued romance with the light and dark inside human experience, and draws from the vast depths of emotion written into his words and music. Kingston’s Kyra and Tully are the opening act. A folk duo harkening back to the likes of Ian and Sylvia, they serve up vintage peace and loving through their warm, rich melodic tunes.
3 February, Agnes Etherington Art Centre: Family Program: Animation Discover how 17th-century paintings can help you create your own animated story. First, a friendly student docent presents a lively tour of the paintings in the historical exhibition Tobit: Miracles and Morals, focusing on the heroic quest enacted by Tobit’s son Tobias. Participants will see separate episodes of the story reflected in different paintings. In the André Biéler Studio, Kingston artist Aïda Sulcs will help you create your own interpretation of a six-step story, animating your drawings as they are inserted into a moving paper sculpture.
3 February, The Grand Theatre: Traditional & Contemporary by the Kingston Symphony Traditional meets contemporary on this Sunday afternoon in works by Mozart, Schumann, and Canadian composer John Weinzweig. Chase away the February blues with one of Mozart’s late symphonies, Schumann’s spring symphony, and John Weinzweig’s Violin Concerto.
3 February, H’art School: Newton & Alice: The Musical Witness how H’art School brings a Newton story from the page to the stage! From 10 a.m.-3 p.m., teachers and students will be engaged in real art classes and rehearsals. Get an exclusive look at artwork as it is developed for Newton & Alice, the third illustrated book in H’art’s popular Newton series and watch as dance, music and theatre numbers are rehearsed for Newton & Alice: The Musical which will hit the Grand Theatre stage on April 18th, 2013 at 10 a.m. & 7 p.m. Teachers may even ask you to join in the work (and the fun)! This is your chance to become familiar with Kingston’s community of artists with disabilities who mix their talents with local arts professionals.
5 February, The Artel: Poetry Open Mic This ongoing event is always held the first Tuesday night of each month and always from 7-10pm with a brief intermission and a bit of food/refreshment provided. An open door policy allows people to come and go. Designed as a poetry-focused open mic reading series, it welcomes a mix of prose and occasionally music. In any genre on any night you will find a very eclectic mix of voice, style, performance and word—and all given and received in a very compassionate, casual, accepting and comfortable space.
5 February, The Grand Theatre: The Black Watch and The Band of the Scots Guards Formed in the 1700s, The Black Watch is an historic regiment that still serves as a fully operational Battalion in the modern British Army. These triumphant soldiers, resplendent in traditional Highland gear, have toured extensively bringing their pomp and majesty across the globe and in some of the most spectacular extravaganzas staged in Great Britain. The regimental splendor, pageantry and history come alive through bagpipes, drums, highland dance and military marches. Three centuries in the making, The Pipes and Drums of the Black Watch and the Band of the Scots Guards are ready to make their Kingston debut.
7 February, Renaissance Event Venue: Building Arts Communities In Kingston The Kingston Arts Council will present a moderated discussion on the topic of building arts communities in Kingston, featuring key note speaker, Jorn Weisbrodt, Luminato Festival Artistic Director with Kingston leaders in arts and culture.
7 to 9 February, The Vogt Studio: The Ballad of Valentin Sapunov ‘The Ballad of Valentin Sapunov’ is the first production of The Imaginary Theatre Company. It is a student-run, original musical comedy based on the story of Valentin Sapunov, a Russian Termite Researcher. Valentin is fairly awkward, has difficulty talking to people and has a very unhealthy relationship with his mother. But he loves his family dearly, especially his little sister Yuyu, who is a bit of a little punk scientist. It is only when he falls head over heels for Dr. Tatiana Lemke, Head of University Records, that things begin to get a bit complicated. Come see the most exciting original theatre event of the season, and don’t forget to bring your Valentine!
8 February, Grant Hall: Broadway: Live in Concert Join talented students, faculty, and alumni from the School of Music as we take a musical journey down the Street of Dreams in the City the Never Sleeps. Old favourites and new show-stoppers will fill the air as the Queen’s Symphony Orchestra is joined by stunning solo singers and spectacular ensembles in this year’s fundraising event BROADWAY: Live in Concert.
9 February, Kingston Glass Studio and Gallery: Design Your Own Paperweight Workshop Celebrating the arts in the Kingston community, we invite people to visit our hot glass studio during the coldest time of the year and design a glass work of your own. Participants create paperweights by selecting their own colours and designs (heart shaped stencils will be available for those one-of-a-kind gifts that will be available just in time for Valentine’s Day). After the colour and design has been formed, participants watch as a glassblower pours molten hot glass onto their creation to form a paperweight.
9 February, Ban Righ Hall: Cézanne’s Closet Cézanne’s Closet is the Union Gallery annual gala fundraising event. It features visual art by student artists in the fine art program at Queen’s University and professional artists. Tickets are $150 and entitle two people to attend and guarantees one piece of artwork. There is a cash bar and free hors d’ouvres. Tickets are drawn in random order and as numbers get called ticket buyers select from the artwork left on display. There is always more artwork than tickets sold. The event attracts arts supporters from inside and outside Kingston including many alumni.
9 February, The Grand Theatre: Ballet BC Under the artistic leadership of Emily Molnar, Ballet BC presents bold new choreography created by some of the world’s leading dance-makers, as the pivotal centre of Canadian contemporary ballet. Herman Schmerman by William Forsythe A dynamic 21st century take on the practice of classical ballet. 1st Flash by Jorma Elo: Six dancers bring choreographic wow to the gorgeous Sibelius violin concerto.
10 February, St. George’s Cathedral: The Voice of the Cello This concert, part of Melos’ 2012-2013 season, continues our presentations of music performed in historically-informed style, in this case, mainly the baroque music of Antonio Vivaldi and Georg Philipp Teleman. Guest cellists, Jennifer Tindale and Jeff Hamacher will perform Vivaldi’s Concerto for two Cellos and cello duets by Telemann. The Choir will perform Vivaldi’s Magnificat and Telemann’s cantata, Singet dem Herren ein neues Lied, accompanied by the Melos Chamber Orchestra who will also perform Telemann’s Ouverture-Suite. The highlight of the evening will be the performance by the winner of the Melos’ sponsored Baroque Idol contest, soprano, and Queen’s 4th-year student, Suzette Janse van Rensburg.
10 February, Common Ground: The Caledonias Winter Showcase The Caledonias are an all female, a cappella choir from Queen’s University, who love to put a fun twist on old favourites and new tunes! This year they will be featuring songs by artists such as Fun, the Spice Girls, Imogen Heap, The Beatles, Tom Petty, and many more. There will also be many solo performances as well as special guests All The Queen’s Men, Queen’s all male, a cappella choir. Admission is by donation.