Category Archives: Entertainment

Fringe Review: The Gore Mis-Fits

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Playwright: Robert LP Savoie
Director: Patti Cannon
Cast: Shilo Nelson, Jonny Kerr, Jamie Taylor , Gord Nelson, Luis Arrojo

Review by: Thomas Allen

If you’re interested in learning about everyday life in Gore Park, you’re in for a treat with “The Gore Mis-Fits.”

Based on five Hamiltonians, the play loosely revolves around their friend Blue Cap (played by Gord Nelson) getting married.

Johnny Kerr plays Josh, a wheelchair restricted individual with cerebral palsy, who tells the narrative of his buddies, at the city’s Civic Center.

From the closure of public washrooms, to over-zealous cops, and the current controversy over the possible demolition of the park’s streetwall, the play suggests that the decisions of the city’s authorities can affect the parks character and those who occupy it.

That being said, the play had no real ebb and flow. Although each character in the play had some enjoyable exchanges with Josh, there was no climax to the story, just everyday dialogue between friends.

What the play does make clear, however, is to never judge a book by its cover. Often, the people who inhabit Gore Park are mislabeled and this play sheds some light on the issue. It reminds us all that Gore Park is, and will always be, the heart of Hamilton.

“The Gore Mis-Fits” was a raw performance that plenty of people in and from Hamilton can relate to.

This article is also published for the Fringe Festival 2013 Community Reviews.

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Fringe Review: Normal

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Playwright: Anthony Neilson
Cast: Justin Goodhand, Edward Charette, Shanda Bezic
Director: Jakob Ehman

On a stormy Friday night, the trio of Edward Charette, Justin Goodhand, and Shanda Bezic gave a haunting performance in the play “Normal.”

Based on a true story, “Normal” is about Peter Kürten, a German serial killer dubbed “The Vampire of Düsseldorf.” Peter Kürten (played by Justin Goodhand) committed several acts of sexual crimes, assaults, and murders in Düsseldorf during the 1920’s.

In the play, a young criminal defense lawyer, Justus Wehner (Edward Charette), holds a series of one-on-one interviews with Peter Kürten while he is on trial for nine murders. What unravels before the audience is a disturbing story of a sadist who wants nothing more than to achieve the same fame as Jack The Ripper.

Peter Kürten not only tells a gruesome tale of his troubling past and the horrific crimes he committed, but also leads Justus to question his own past. As the play progresses, the two characters develop a strange friendship when they realize they’re not so different after all.

Shanda Bezic played Frau Kürten, a former sex worker who succumbs to Peter’s charm and becomes the wife of the notorious serial killer. The three become entangled in a deadly love triangle when Justus interviews Frau about her relationship with Peter.

The play was flawlessly executed, with fluid, seamless transitions as smooth as the choreographed dance scenes and musical score.

With little more than a table, two chairs, and a notepad, the actors stole the show and captivated an enthralled audience. They never faltered in script, looked out-of-character, or wavered in their delivery.

“Normal” will not only give you goosebumps, but also leave you wanting more.

This article is also published for the Fringe Festival 2013 Community Reviews

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PHOTO OF THE DAY – July 13th

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Modjeska Dock – Pier 5, Hamilton

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July 13, 2013 · 8:48 pm

I Heart Hamilton hosts “The Playlist 2.0” benefit at This Ain’t Hollywood

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I Heart Hamilton is celebrating its second anniversary with The Playlist 2.0 (Fundraiser for Food4Kids) at This Ain’t Hollywood on Saturday, June 8th.

The Playlist 2.0 will feature performances by New Hands, The Dirty Nil, and San Sebastian. There will also be guest DJ sets by Rockstars For Hire, the DJ team behind the weekly “No Standards Night” parties.

I Heart Hamilton began in May 2011 with the concept, “Be a tourist in your own city.” The goal of the blog is to not only discover Hamilton, but also encourage others to get out and explore the city. From boutiques to bars and everything in-between, blogger Kristin Archer is dedicated to promoting local businesses by visiting and sharing her findings on the blog.

Last year, The Playlist 1.0 was held at This Ain’t Hollywood, and raised $1719 for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hamilton.

All media are welcome and photo and video opportunities are available. Tickets are $12 and are available at the venue or at Dr. Disc. Doors open at 9 p.m. and the event is 19+.

All proceeds from the night will be donated to Food4Kids.

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Hamilton is working on installing some new public art

By: Katie Stoneman

Hamilton’s Claremont access will soon get an artistic facelift, and it won’t be at the hands of graffiti artists. The plan is to commission a mural for the walls of the Claremont access that faces Carter Park.

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“The Carter Park art mural will represent a new beginning for our neighbourhood and we are very excited about it,” said Brian Goodman, president of the Stinson Community Association.

An open call to artists for the Carter Park mural is currently being prepared and should be released this month. The mural will be located on the concrete wall of the Claremont access that is considered quite an eyesore in the area.

A report from the focus group for the project outlines the goals of the mural. The report states that, “The Claremont access does not contribute to the quality of the park and is seen as physically dividing the neighbourhood. Any art work should minimize (the Claremont Access’s) impact on the park.”

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“The mural will be an immediate focus point, an attraction and will give life and meaning to that cold impersonal wall. In an underlying way it suggests pride, safety, and announces there is a wonderful community here,” said Goodman.

The city had an open call for artists for the same project last year, but the mural was never completed.

Part of the issue was problems some artists were having with the city’s art procurement process. Complaints were made about having to pay the non-refundable fee of $64.99 online or $45.99 in person for the Request for Proposal documents. The process has since been reviewed and revised.

The review suggested that the fees be waived, and that the responsibility of the administration of the Public Art Acquisition Process be turned over to the Tourism and Culture Divisions city staff.

Another part of the issue was with the submissions made last year.

“The jury didn’t feel they got the propositions they wanted,” said Ken Coit, the City of Hamilton’s Art in Public Places Coordinator.

The jury, which remains confidential, is different for each project. The focus group, or jury, is usually made up of artists, stakeholders, business people and other people with an interest in the project.

“It usually takes three to four months once we actually have the submissions in. We have to leave time for the artists process,” said Coit.

There are currently two other pubic art projects that are in the consultation stage for the city of Hamilton, including the Battlefield Park art competition.

The consultation stage asks the public for their opinion on the proposed art projects. For Battlefield Park there are three propositions under a theme that interprets the outcomes of Battle of Stoney Creek and the War of 1812.

“The importance of a public art project cannot be understated. Besides providing a point of interest, it provides a dialogue that transcends what language you speak, what religion you follow, or what mental state you are in,” said Goodman.

This article is also abbreviated and published at The Bay Observer and in April’s print edition

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Song: Wonderful Hamilton

Have a listen to this 1960’s promotional song titled “Wonderful Hamilton”.

The song was made for CKOC (Oldies 1150) and it mentions many of Hamilton’s attractions, destinations, and institutions.

Catchy, isn’t it?!

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February 26, 2013 · 10:54 am

Part One: A “Portrait of a City” then and now

Over the last 67 years much has changed in Hamilton. In the 1946 promotional video “Portrait of a City” there is a lot to compare between Hamilton’s past and present. Here, in this three part series, is a timeline breakdown of the video:

1:47 — Dundurn Castle is one of Hamilton’s most visited and notable sites. It was home to Sir Allan MacNab – one of Canada’s first Premiers. Before the castle was erected, the British used the site as a military post during the War of 1812. Later, when English architect Robert Wetherall was designing the building, MacNab had him incorporate some of the military post into the overall design. The castle was constructed between 1832 and 1835.

3:14 — Did you notice the streetcar on King Street? Believe it or not, Hamilton used to have streetcars (hence, the term “Hamilton Street Railway”). They were in use until 1951, when changes to the city’s transportation infrastructure began and streets were being converted from two-way to one-way. Over 60 years later, with a big push from former Mayor Fred Eisenberger and the support of the Provincial Government, LRT talks were back on the table in Hamilton (although these talks have since stalled).

3:30 — Hamilton still has a prime geographical location in the centre of the Golden Horseshoe. Here is a current list of cities and their proximity to Hamilton, via Hamilton Economic Development.

4:46 — Liuna Station, located on James St. North, is a train station turned banquet hall that was designed by Canadian National Railway architect John Scholfield. Built between 1929 and 1930, the station is of a neo-classical architectural design. The southern façade, a beautiful feature of the building, has a deep portico, with Doric columns that pay homage to Parthenon. Liuna Station was in service until 1993 and sat abandoned until 2000, when it was renovated and converted into a beautiful banquet hall that hosts some of the most distinguished balls and benefits in the city – a great example of heritage preservation.

5:19 — Hamilton’s port lands are slowly receding into recreational waterfront – which is important for the future development of Hamilton – due to the city’s shrinking industrial economy. However, there is still plenty of activity in the bay. For example, the ongoing remediation plan for Randle Reef, which proposes more commercial space, as well as some pedestrian-friendly amenities.

Stay tuned for the second instalment…

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February 25, 2013 · 1:43 pm