Monthly Archives: June 2012

Today’s Feature Event: Launch of MEMORY FACTORY with David Craig and concert by Al Tuck! June 30

7pm-10pm – Closing event, Launch of “Memory Factory” at the Palace Theatre, 41 Water Street in downtown Pictou and music by Al Tuck.

Join us for the closing event of the W(here) Festival on June 30 at the Palace Theatre in downtown Pictou!

Filmmakers David Craig and Katherine Knight of Site Media Inc., in collaboration with the Northumberland Fisheries Museum,  embark on an exciting online project that features  images and stories about the Maritime Packers lobster cannery in Caribou NS. This project intends to foster a greater awareness and understanding of the fishing industry and its history in this part of the Northumberland Straight.

As the artists state, “The lobster factories at Caribou Harbour remain vivid memories for several generations of people who worked there and for whom the experience of working in the lobster business was not just work but also being part of a community. These were locally owned and managed businesses that were mainstays of the local and regional economy. It was also seasonal work that was deeply connected to the life cycles and migrations of the sea life of the area. This website was established as a container for the oral history and local remembrance of this fishery as it once was. It also hopes to provide greater knowledge of this area as it is currently and to encourage foresight in the shaping its future.” –

In 2006, Katherine Knight and David Craig founded Site Media Inc to produce documentaries on creative individuals in extraordinary places. Site Media has produced four documentaries on Canadian artists: Annie Pootoogook; Kinngait: Riding Light into the World; Pretend Not to See Me: The Art of Colette Urban, which received Special Mention at the 2010 Ecofilm Festival in Rhodos, Greece; and KOOP – The Art of Wanda Koop, which premiered as the gala night selection at the 2011 Reel Artists Film Festival, Toronto (see story ). Site Media Inc. is currently developing a film on the architecture of Todd Saunders on Fogo Island, NL.

Followed by a concert by AL TUCK – 8pm

Born in Summerside, PEI, Al Tuck has shared the stage with Garth Hudson, Feist, Sarah Harmer, Superfriendz, Old Man Luedecke, Buck 65, Matt Mays and Joel Plaskett.

Al is an awesome encyclopedia of popular music, a roving troubadour familiar with the inside of nearly every bar and club from coast to coast. Country, blues, r&b, rock, dub and maybe even a little vaudeville are all on his map. His consummate musical grace and dreamy drawling vocals belie one of the sharpest and most deliberate songwriting minds in music today.

Check out some of Al’s tunes on the CBC Radio website found here. Suggested donation $10.


Todays Feature Event: “Here Today Here Tomorrow”, discussion at Pictou Academy, JUNE 29, 7pm

7pm – Here Today Here Tomorrow

an interactive discussion about Art, Place and Community with invited artists

Pictou Academy Auditorium, 88 Patterson Street, Pictou NS

What is the future of rural art practices and art in Pictou County?

In this discussion, artists are asked more critical questions that pertain to festival’s overall themes, successes and failures. How does place, art and community interact in the contemporary art?  Invited artists Marlene Creates and Sheilah Wilson share their experiences and thoughts of working with local communities while curators Mary MacDonald and Katherine Dennis help to  facillitate community discussion with evening’s audience.

This is your chance to ask questions about the W(here) project, and to discuss future events for the county! Many of W(here)’s local artists will also be in attendance.  Come and share your knowledge of cultural experiences “here” past, present and future.

Pictou Academy is located at 88 Patterson Street in Pictou, NS.










Today’s Feature Event: Walking in Place Field Trips! (ongoing throughout the festival)

Walking in Place: Field Trips in Pictou County

Led by local community members and artists, 4 field trips will lead participants to various sites throughout Pictou County. Each location is transformed through storytelling, on-location performance and collaborative making. Through visiting local sites and listening to local stories, the goal of Walking in Place is to encourage new ways of thinking about “here”. Each walk is unique and devised by the artists themselves. Check out our event schedule for more information and driving directions here.

June 27 – 12pm-6pm – Walk 1 – Susan Sellers – “Following the Footsteps of an Unsung Heroine” – Pictou Island, NS

In Susan Sellers’ walk the artist mixes history and drama as we voyage by boat to Pictou Island to learn about the life of Margaret MacDonald, a nurse who lived on the island followed by a dramatic storytelling of the legend of the White Lady. Sellers, a writer, photographer and retired teacher has first hand knowledge of this community, having taught there for many years. (Space is limited, please contact 921 3373 for more info)

June 29 – 2pm-4pm – Walk 2 – Linda Little + Sheree Fitch – “From the Bridge” – River John, NS

In this adventure Sheree Fitch and Linda Little  lead a troupe along a stretch of the Jitney Trail to the old iron railway bridge just outside River John village. Both published authors, Linda and Sheree will read site-specific poetry and passages from their work that feature elements of the landscape around us. The old rail-bed and the bridge are transformed through story bringing new thinking about the physical structures and their metaphorical applications in art. Followed by tea and a small workshop.

June 30 – 9am-11am – Walk 3 –Raina McDonald “I AM HERE” – Brookland, NS

Gathered in an old overgrown foundation, Raina McDonald will invite us to explore the surrounding world (considering here as a specific geographical location with stories that create notions of past, present and future) along with the world within each of us (considering here as an intimate space within our bodies that we inhabit when we allow ourselves to be truly present). Rain or shine!  Dress in boots and rain gear if needed. This walk is approximately 2 hours on uneven ground and so likely not suitable for very young children.

June 30 – 4pm- Walk 4 – Sharon Nowlan “Where Sky Meets the Sea” – Waterside Beach, NS

In this excursion, Sharon Nowlan will lead a group to Waterside beach where she will share thoughts about her work that incorporates beach stones and pebbles as a main medium. As her work naturally begins with a walk on the beach, so will our adventure. Collecting stones together we will construct a large beach installation together as a group. This walk is open to all ages, families and friends. Afterwards, the results will be sent to the World Beach Project, an online database of beach-art hosted by the Victoria and Albert Museum (London).

Today’s Feature Event: “Award Ribbons for Places in Pictou County” with Marlene Creates, June 27-29

Award Ribbons for Places in Pictou County
a project led by visiting artist Marlene Creates
Workshop Dates:  Call for participants now open, ONLY A FEW SPOTS LEFT!
June 27 (9am-1pm at the Bayview Community Hall),
June 28 and 29 (Travelling throughout the county)

For this project, visiting artist Marlene Creates invites participants of all ages to share some of their meaningful places in Pictou –– either natural or built ––  in order to reveal some of its invisible layers of meaning. Participants will be given the materials to create an award ribbon, which will be installed in their chosen spot. This is a chance to commemorate a place that people value in their everyday environment. Awarded locations will be compiled to create an online map so they can be explored after the Festival.

Marlene Creates is an acclaimed environmental artist and poet who lives and works in Portugal Cove, Newfoundland. For over thirty years her work has been an exploration of the relationship between human experience, memory, language and the land, and the impact they have on each other. Currently her work is focused on the six acres of boreal forest where she lives in a ‘relational aesthetic’ to the land. This oeuvre consists of Water Flowing to the Sea Captured at the Speed of Light, Blast Hole Pond River, Newfoundland 2002-2003, and ongoing projects such as the The Boreal Poetry Garden (2005–).

Marlene Creates’ art practice incorporates her work as an educator, environmentalist and community arts activist. Since 2001, she has been leading multidisciplinary place-based art projects in Newfoundland schools. In these projects, students explore the particular attributes of their local environment, community and heritage through field trips, drawing ‘memory maps’, photographing, writing recollections of their own experiences, and interviewing elders in the community. Her work is in numerous public collections including The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery in St. John’s, the Canada Council Art Bank, the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, and the National Gallery of Canada.

Bay View Community Hall is located on the Bayview Road heading out of Pictou towards Braeshore. Call 921 3373 to reserve a spot for this project.










photo: Sally LeDrew, 2007

Today’s feature event: kitchen pARTy June 26

kitchen pARTy: a social evening with artists at Carvers Coffee House!

June 26 @ 7pm -9:30pm

sponsored by Gordon Chapman’s Plumbing and Heating  |   presented by the Art 2 Sea Studio

This event is one part party and one part professional opportunity for local artists to share their work! kitchen pARTy is also the official launch of the W(here) Festival with lots of interaction and opportunities for social exchange.

Instead of one speaker, here we have 8  artists giving a 15 minute glimpse into their practice. We will see artists past work but also things they are working on in progress! Multi-discipinary and all ranges of experience, these artists are Pictou County’s, so come on out and enjoy a cocktail with us!

Artists Presenting:
AMANDA MACDONALD is an art professional whose home base is in Toronto, ON, although a large part of her heart remains on the shores of Caribou, Nova Scotia. MacDonald is an artist, entrepreneur and the Artistic Director of Walnut Contemporary, a new commercial gallery in Toronto focusing on emerging and mid career cutting edge art. Her work has been exhibited and is in collections throughout Canada, the US, and Japan. Amanda’s work explores themes surrounding food, and the use of food as a supplement for love, desire, condolence, and human admiration.

Cherise Fearless, 2010, cement and nail polish on board, 61 x 61 cm

Find out more about Amanda’s work here:








CAROLYN VIENNEAU grew up with a love for the sea and the fishing boats that sail it. She incorporates the characteristics of the sea into her work with energetic brush strokes, her play with colour and contrast, and her use of opposites—calm and turbulence, rough and smooth textures. Carolyn is also an innovative instructor with over 21–years experience teaching oil painting to adults in various studios, and 12–years experience teaching children’s classes throughout Pictou County. She now has her own studio, Strokes of Colour Art Studio and has added art therapy to her repertoire.

Night Sailing, oil on canvas

Want to see more of Carolyn’s work? Visit her studio page here.





DAWN MCNUTT weaves forms from natural materials such as willow, honeysuckle, wisteria, grapevine; some cast into bronze; some works are painted. Recently moved to Little Harbour, Pictou County, Dawn McNutt is inspired by ‘the beauty of human frailty”. She has exhibited locally and internationally since the 1980’s, participating in more than a hundred exhibitions, 17 of them solo shows including Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. McNutt’s work is in the Museum of Civilization, Canadiana Fund, the American Craft Museum and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia among others.

Timeless Figure, bronze, 170 cm high

Check out more of Dawn’s beautiful and elegant sculptural work here.









ST. CLAIR PREST is a local historian, actor, community organizer and leader. While Prest wears many hats in the Town of Pictou, he is also known for his beautiful graphic and fabric work, often working in embroidery. In addition, St. Clair is the Ambassador Chair for the Pictou Renaissance Society, a gardener, past CFA and volunteer within the community.

FENN MARTIN was born and raised in Port Hood, Cape Breton, and currently lives and works in rural Antigonish County, Nova Scotia. A ceramacist and graduate of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University (NSCADU), Martin largely works in the tradition of the narrative frieze. His innovative style investigates present life while extending historical traditions in architectural ceramics.
Martin has participated in solo gallery shows while developing a rapidly growing list of personal and public commissions. His latest public pieces have commemorated Antigonish public institutions including the Bergengren, Antigonish Public Library (The Peoples Place) and the Coady International Institute.

Clay shingles, frost proof clay body, 2010, private commission

See more work by Fenn on his Facebook page, located here.






Filmmaker ELIZA FERNBACH will offer her interpretation on how our imagination is engaged by moving pictures.  A graduate of McGill University in Montreal, Ms. Fernbach also holds a Mastère in Fine Art/Digital Art from the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Rennes, France. She was the first director to implement the PAWS camera system (seen in the Matrix movies) in her short film “Time Suspended”.

Her most recent cinema poem based on a work by author Anne Simpson, was featured in Specs Journal. Fernbach’s wanderlust has drawn her to locales around the globe.  Her art has appeared in publications as diverse as ADBusters magazine and the New York Times. From her current home in Merigomish, she chronicles her  adventures in a column entitaled “Staring Ahead” for the local newspaper the Evening News. Eliza’s new blog can be found here.

“Cinema Poetry; the Visual Sublime”  Artist Talk










Susan Tilsley  Manley lives in Durham with her husband  and two growing children.   She earned a BFA in studio practice and painting from Emily Carr in Vancouver, BC.

She is a self described Maker of Things.  The media may change, but the urge to create is both primal and irresistible.  She works in acrylic paint, dye, rust, clay, yarn, fabric, paper, glitter, and anything else she can get her hands on.  She received a creation grant last summer and has completed a series of art quilts about time and memory and nostalgia.  She is just back from teaching for her first time at Quilt Canada.












An excellent announcement!

It has certainly been a pleasure working on these series of events with the local community in Pictou County. And what better way to acknowledge our growing success than this!

The W(here) Festival and our partner, the Pictou Renaissance Society, are delighted to announce that our application to the Cultural Activities Program under the Province of Nova Scotia’s Communities, Culture and Heritage division was successful! This generous support will greatly enhance the festival and provide artists with professional fees for their work. We are pleased to work in partnership with the province to develop and promote our cultural resources for all Nova Scotians.

The festival and the society have indeed become fast friends this year, exchanging ideas and hatching plans for a more creative future here in Pictou County that may draw new residents and inspire those who are lucky to call Pictou County home. Many of the communities leaders representative in the society are also big creative supporters, and so our discussions have always been helpful and inspiring.

I’d like to extend a personal thank you to Beth Henderson and St. Clair Prest for their amazing support of this project, and I am so looking forward to seeing its results with all of you.

If you would like to know more about the Pictou Renaissance Society and their endeavors head on over to their website here.

-Mary MacDonald, curator, W(here) Festival




St. Clair Prest (left) and Beth Henderson (right) from the Pictou Renaissance Society outside the W(here) Festival’s headquarters with curator Mary MacDonald (centre).