VERSA - "Love What is Left"

Written by Alex Ricci

Focus, deep breathing and being present are the artistic tools we have been most concerned with honing as of late. As dreamers and wanderers, the shackles of isolating at home over the past three months have felt particularly disruptive to free-flowing creative expression. I truly appreciate how inspiring it is to be around other creators and absorb the energy of watching a music performance or discussing an exhibition, and how those experiences just can’t be convincingly replicated on a live-stream. Lucky for me, I’ve been isolating with my main creative partner, and through ample frustration, creator’s block, and wondering if the art world will ever be the same, we’ve supported each other and kept each other sane. As some readers will know, VERSA is a multidisciplinary collab between myself and Monika Hauck. We do immersive music and projection performances, along with media installations, marbled printmaking and visuals for other musical artists.

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VERSA Promo Photo. Photo by Talia Ricci

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Little Bites: Tastes from Isolation

By Lynn Broughton, Founder Taste Detours & GAC Member

Like many businesses, Taste Detours ground to a halt by mid-March. Food became everyone’s obsession in these early pandemic days. If we weren’t trying to find it, we were seeking to make it. Stress baking, quarantine baking — that need for calm could be satisfied by following step-by-step instructions. This notion of a virtual cookbook sprang to mind for several reasons: What else was Taste Detours to do? Boxed food delivery services weren't what we did. The restaurants and food purveyors were facing severe losses, and fast, so there was an urgency to help keep our local, independent food friends top of mind while attempting to remain relevant ourselves. Something for free was a nice thought in this time of panic too. Ultimately any idea needed to be true to the mission of the company; thus Little Bites:Tastes from Isolation Cookbook was born.

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Cover page Little Bites: Tastes from Isolation by Jenna Kessler

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The Eden Mills Writers Festival In Your Own Backyard: Online Event Series

By Melissa McGrath, Festival Manager

Not long ago, it would have been impossible to imagine offering an online festival in lieu of our beloved annual gathering in Eden Mills. And yet, here we are, and we’re thrilled with the result. The EMWF, reimagined as an online event series, runs until October. The series will showcase more than sixty writers as part of twenty-one events, including book clubs, panel discussions and presentations for children.

We made the decision to move to online programming at the end of March, wanting to be proactive in our planning. We wanted to ensure that we’d able to provide our audience with the same quality of literary programming they had come to expect, and that we’d be able to provide Canadian writers with opportunities to promote new releases. And there are so many wonderful new releases! We knew we couldn’t miss out on sharing them.

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Local authors featured at the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival include (clockwise from top left) Madhur Anand, Mike Chaulk, Anna Cox (photo by Joanna Degeneres) and Clifford Jackman (photo by Antoine Tanguay).

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Monthly Musical Member Video - James Gordon

Each month we’ll feature a video from one of GAC’s musical members. If you’re a musician and have a video you’d like us to feature, please send a YouTube link our way along with a short bio.

This month, we share one from local singer-songwriter (and Ward 2 City Councillor) James Gordon. While continuing his work on City Council, James has also been staying on top of his artistic endeavours. He has been sharing “Two Tuesday Tunes at 2” weekly on Facebook Live, there are rumours of a forthcoming book, and he also found the time to release a new song, which we share with you today. The idea of ‘going back to normal’ hasn’t sat well with many people, and James shares his perspective in “Moving Up to Awesome”.

James Gordon
James Gordon has had a remarkably diverse 40-year career in the Canadian entertainment business. As a solo singer-songwriter and with the ground-breaking trio Tamarack, he has released over forty albums and has toured relentlessly around the world. Gordon has their written for symphony orchestras, musical theatre and dance works, film scores, and for more than ten years was heard on CBC radio as songwriter-in-residence for the Basic Black’ and ‘Ontario Morning’ programs.

Visit James Gordon’s website to learn more about the vast array of projects he’s been involved with over the years, and don’t forget to visit Bandcamp next Friday (June 5th) to purchase music from James as well as your other favourite artists. As we mentioned last month, during the current pandemic, Bandcamp has announced that they will be forgoing share of artist sales on the first Friday of June and July (3rd), so you will be further supporting the artists with your purchases on these days.

And now, Mr. Gordon’s latest, “Moving Up to Awesome”

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