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Readers, writers gather in Kingston, Ontario

NCPR is media sponsor for the Fifth Annual Kingston Writers Fest. The event kicks off Wednesday evening with featured speaker Margaret Atwood. Dozens of nationally and internationally known writers will be in Kingston for five days of events this week that will help them connect with readers. Artistic Director Marilyn Simonds told Todd Moe that the event will include book launches, readings and workshops for all ages and genres.  Go to full article
David Fox and R.H. Thomson play brothers Calum and Alexander in "No Great Mischief".  The show opens Friday night (8 pm) at the Thousand Islands Playhouse.  Photo: Thousand Islands Playhouse
David Fox and R.H. Thomson play brothers Calum and Alexander in "No Great Mischief". The show opens Friday night (8 pm) at the Thousand Islands Playhouse. Photo: Thousand Islands Playhouse

Preview: "No Great Mischief"

Love, loss, family history and Scottish ancestry are at the heart of a play that opens Friday night in the Springer Theatre at the Thousand Islands Playhouse in Gananoque, Ontario. No Great Mischief is based on the novel by Alistair MacLeod. It's the story of two brothers, Calum and Alexander, who seek to reconcile their past.

Todd Moe spoke with Canadian actor R.H. Thomson, who plays Alexander MacDonald, in the show. He says it's a memory play that takes viewers from a squalid rooming house in Toronto to Cape Breton to the deep mines of Elliot Lake.  Go to full article

Books: "Insinuendo"

Miriam Clavir has spent her career as an art and artifacts conservator. Today, she works part-time in conservation and devotes the rest of her time to writing fiction. She spends part of the year on Garter Lake, north of Kingston, Ontario.

Last year, she published her first murder mystery and will talk about the book with readers at the Ogdensburg Public Library Tuesday at 4:30 pm. Todd Moe spoke with her about Insinuendo, which is set in the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia.  Go to full article
Piper Sarah Forsyth. Photo: Lucy Martin
Piper Sarah Forsyth. Photo: Lucy Martin

Bagpipes--love 'em or hate 'em--return to Maxville

There's no shortage of pipe and drum bands across Canada, in communities large and small. Sarah Forsyth pipes as a civilian volunteer with Ottawa's Air Command Pipes and Drums, the longest continuous serving Air Force Pipe Band in the Canadian Forces.

It's a major commitment. Roughly 40 members practice weekly and perform in parades or public events at home and abroad. Forsyth says the right band feels like a second family--that works hard and has fun together.

Lucy Martin caught up with Forsyth at the famous Glengarry Highland games in Maxville, Ontario, in August 2010. Bagpipes fall into the love 'em or hate 'em category. The piper told Lucy she caught the bug when she was five.  Go to full article
Eric Craig as Hamlet, Paul Rainville as the Gravedigger in <i>Hamlet</i>. Photo: St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival
Eric Craig as Hamlet, Paul Rainville as the Gravedigger in Hamlet. Photo: St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival

Another summer of Shakespeare on the St. Lawrence

Comedy, tragedy and history are all part of this summer's lineup at the St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival in Prescott, Ontario. Todd Moe crossed the border to talk with artistic director Ian Farthing and some of the Canadian actors in this season's productions of Hamlet and Maid for a Musket.  Go to full article
<i>Tired Paws & Weary Wings</i>, paintings by Gwendolyn Best at Orange Gallery in Ottawa through June 9th.  Photo: Gwendolyn Best
Tired Paws & Weary Wings, paintings by Gwendolyn Best at Orange Gallery in Ottawa through June 9th. Photo: Gwendolyn Best

Remembering the Cats of Parliament Hill in art

An Ottawa artist has painted a series of works celebrating the Cats of Parliament Hill. Gwendolyn Best's cats are on display through June 9th at the Orange Gallery, in the Hintonburg neighborhood. The paintings were created to honor the many felines who made Parliament Hill their home. The sanctuary closed in early January when there were only four cats remaining in the colony. Those four joined the other dozen or so cats who over the years were adopted by volunteers.

The cats' ancestors arrived in the early 1900's to help control pests in nearby government buildings. The Canadian government and local volunteers had provided a place for them to take shelter and receive food and water since the 1970s. The cat sanctuary even had the Queen's blessing.

A couple of years ago, Todd Moe played tourist on Parliament Hill and met some of the cats and their caregivers. Brian Caines was one of the many volunteers who had visited the cats daily.  Go to full article
1000 Islands Playhouse cast photo from <em>Suds</em>. Photo: Mark Bergin
1000 Islands Playhouse cast photo from Suds. Photo: Mark Bergin

Theatre review: "Suds" at the 1000 Islands Playhouse

The 60s musical soap opera "Suds" opens the season at the 1000 Islands Playhouse in Gananoque, running through June 22. It's a treat for any pop music lover.  Go to full article
Melody A. Johnson  Photo:NAC
Melody A. Johnson Photo:NAC

Theatre Review: "Miss Caledonia" in the NAC Studio

"Miss Caledonia" is playing in the Studio at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa through May 25. Melody A. Johnson runs the gamut from farmer girl to beauty pageant contestant in a delightful eighty minutes.  Go to full article
Orthodox priests lead a Friday night Lenten service in the chapel at the Monastery of St. Silouan the Athonite, near Prescott, Ontario.  Photo: Todd Moe
Orthodox priests lead a Friday night Lenten service in the chapel at the Monastery of St. Silouan the Athonite, near Prescott, Ontario. Photo: Todd Moe

Crossing borders to create a small-town Orthodoxy

The single most important day in the Orthodox calendar - Easter, or Pascha, is this Sunday. Many Orthodox churches base their holiest days on the Julian calendar, rather than the Gregorian calendar.

Historically, Orthodox communities in the United States have been defined largely by ethnicity and found mostly in urban areas. But a group of Orthodox Christians in the Canton-Potsdam area has created a mission that brings diverse groups together. They don't have a permanent worship space, sometimes share priests with the Greek Orthodox Church in Watertown, and even visit a small monastery in Ontario. Their membership includes students, families and seniors. This Sunday will mark the group's first Easter service, or Great Vespers, and a meal of festive foods.  Go to full article

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