Deryk Houston unveiled his exhibit Illuminating Peace

Deryk Houston unveiled his exhibit Illuminating Peace

Arts alive with creativity

NANAIMO – The Nananimo News Bulletin looks back at the arts and culture events in the city during the first half of 2012.

City’s cultural landscape full of diversity and imagination during the year, with performances by local and visiting artists, dancers and musicians.

January

Garry Froese joins the Malaspina Choir as the new choral director, bringing with him extensive experience in choral music in both the U.S. and Canada. He took over from Wade Noble.

Gabriola-raised singer Eliza Smith, who grew up with gospel music, releases her first album, Born Knowing. She was also featured in a Best of B.C. segment on Virgin radio and opened for Canadian singer Jully Black and Wu-Tang Clan’s Raekwon.

Deryk Houston unveils his exhibit, Illuminating Peace, Seeking Peace, with Amy Loewan, at the Nanaimo Art Gallery’s campus location. The exhibit is a direct result of his experience touring Ameriyha, Iraq.

Nanaimo Conservatory of Music hosted its second annual Vancouver Island Chamber Music Festival.

Alabama-born musician David Vest performs his danceable blues music at Diners Rendezvous.

Our Feathered Friends, a travelling exhibit from Ottawa’s Canadian Museum of Nature, launches at the Nanaimo Museum.

John Forrest, who died at 58 on Jan. 10, is remembered for his incredible talent and love of crows and ravens.

Timothy Huntsman, a Nanaimo lawyer and member of the city’s coast guard auxillary, wins the right to conduct a piece for the Vancouver Island Symphony during the Symphony Sizzle.

Mark Leiren-Young develops, Greener Than Thou a one-man theatre show directed by TJ Dawe, presented by Western Edge Theatre at Diners Rendezvous.

Trevor Gear, who performs as Clever Trever, organized a weekend-long festival on Gabriola Island, by creating the inaugural Winterfest Circus and Juggling Arts Festival.

February

Brett Bourcier, 17, is one of dozens of students performing in JazzFest, a fundraising concert for Nanaimo music programs.

Nanaimo Theatre Group pokes fun at an odd aspect of the art world – paintings are worth more if the artist is dead, in the production of Is He Dead?

Nanaimo actress Lorna McLellan lands the lead role in the classic retelling of The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams.

Blues musician David Gogo scores a nomination for Soul Bender, for Best Blues Album of the Year from the Juno Awards.

Vancouver Island University offers A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum for its spring production.

Mitch Masyk unveils his month-long exhibit of artwork and stained glass at Artfitterz Gallery.

Wen Wei Dance Company from Vancouver presents Unbound at the Port Theatre.

Students compete at the Upper Island Musical Festival.

March

Sara-Jeanne Hosie and David James present Country Legends, a tribute concert to Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash.

Taylor Manns performs at the Upper Island Musical Festival before heading to the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York.

Vancouver Island Symphony pays tribute to water with its concert Wave.

Pacific Coast Stage Co. presents three shows: Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog, Batman and Charlie Ross’s one-man Lord of the Rings trilogy show.

Kelly Mathews competes in Upper Island Musical Festival before setting her sights on a career as a dancer.

The Celtic Tenors, Daryl Simpson, Matthew Gilsenan and James Nelson perform at the Port Theatre.

Pack of Lies, presented by Nanaimo  Theatre Group, premieres.

The senior musical theatre program from Arts Alive announces its return.

Eli Linsenmeier, Keith Gill and Julien Basque perform Never Swim Alone at John Barsby Secondary School.

April

Shaun Verreault plays Diners Rendezvous.

Nanaimo’s Jillian Vanstone receives the Excellence in Culture Award from the City of Nanaimo.

Members of the Nanaimo Concert Band celebrate their 140th anniversary.

Tamarack, written by the late Edward Kuhn and is presented by TheatreOne.

Schmooze Production’s presents The Full Monty.

Ballerina Sophia Lee performs in the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s production of Svengali at the Port Theatre.

May

Photographer William Jans shares photos, video and his unique experiences travelling through China and the Philippines at Malaspina Theatre.

The Sound of Music Sing Along premieres at the Port Theatre.

Deborah Dunn performs The Four Quartets, a performance choreographed to the poetry of T.S. Eliot.

Marian Smith earns City of Nanaimo’s Honour in Culture Award for her extensive work with choirs.

Nanaimo Theatre Group presents George F. Walker’s Better Living.

A Jazz Affair features Ingred and Christine Jensen.

Natasha Hoskins and Rachel Skeeles win top drummer awards at MusicFest Canada.

Sonny Assu and Rande Cook display their work at the Nanaimo campus Art Gallery.

June

The Kennedys, along with Nico Rhodes and Erik Gow, lead workshops as part of the Super Summer Workshops with Doug Dodd at Headliners.

Jon Lovitz  performs at the Port Theatre with guest comedian Peter Hudson.

Artists prepare for Nanaimo’s  Artwalk in venues and studios downtown.

Brian Buckerell opens an exhibit with Gittan Klemetsrud at Gallery 223.

Brandy Bones and Big John Bates perform at the Queen’s.

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