Blog

  • Throwback Thursday - Arts Beat January 2018 - 1

    January 4, 2018 by Stephen Near

    arts beat throwback thursday 

    Hamilton Public Library "Growing With You"

    January 1989

    Hamilton Public Library is 100 years old. To celebrate the occasion a variety of events are planned and everyone is invited.

    The theme of this centennial year is 'growing with you'. All festivities will emphasize the enduring connnection with the Hamilton community and the valuable role the institution has played in the city's development. However, the concept of a public library did not always receive universal support.

    in 1885, the mere suggestion of establishing a 'free library' as it was then called was met with vigorous opposition. Public-spirited citizens coalesced to voice their concerns. Some felt that the proposed library was a "scheme to let women read novels while their children were being taken care of at the kindergarden".

    When the issue was finally put forth for formal consideration, the debate ended with the statement, "all those in favour of taxing poor people to buy books for the rich to read, and also want to waste the city's money, hold up their hands". Needless to say, the motion was defeated. 

    Fortunately, library advocates did not relax their efforts and on January 7, 1889 a by-law was carried establishing the Hamilton Public Library.

    A century later the library is still a hot topic. For those interested in literature, music, film or, learning of any kind, there's no questio that this is the place to be. If you haven't checked out the services and programs offered by your branch, there's no time like the present. Consider yourself invited. 

    Bunka, Debora., and Graziani, Robert., and MacKenzie, Dianne. “Hamilton Public Library “Growing With You”.” Arts Beat, vol. 2, no. 5, Jan.-Feb. 1989, p. 10. 

     

  • Job Posting: Event & Admin Coordinator

    December 21, 2017 by Stephen Near

    Like many non-profit arts organizations in our city, the Hamilton Arts Council is sustained by the exceptional efforts of a very small team of dedicated individuals who juggle many competing priorities. As we enter into a new year, we have many new programs on the horizon. That’s why we’re pleased to announce that the Hamilton Arts Council is seeking another employee to join our team in 2018!

    The new role of Event & Admin Coordinator will will serve as the lead event coordinator on programs and events including Hamilton Arts Week, Living Arts Workshops, Art Bus Studio Tours and other public events. The ideal candidate will be a dynamic and outgoing arts professional who contributes strong event planning experience as well as a commitment to outreach and inclusion and a firm grounding in Hamilton’s diverse arts and cultural community. This placement is made possible through a new Work Experience initiative with Work In Culture so all applicants must be 30 years of age and younger. 

    Our call for qualified applicants is now open - please read, share widely and submit your applications for this new opportunity by Friday, January 12th, 2018.

  • 24th Annual Hamilton Literary Awards: Kerry Schooley Award Finalists

    November 25, 2017 by Stephen Near

    This is the forth in a four-part blog series showcasing the finalists of this year's 24th Annual Hamilton Literary Awards. Find out which authors will take home the prizes by attending the gala celebration on Nov. 27, 2017 at Theatre Aquarius.

    The Kerry Schooley Award is our most storied literary award at the Hamilton Arts Council. The award is named after Kerry Schooley, who was a larger-than-life, tireless promoter of both Hamilton and Hamilton writers. There is a good chance that if Kerry was still with us, he’d be nominated for this award regularly and would take it home at least one. This year’s shortlist has three very different books up for the award, which is given to the book that best captures the spirit of the Hamilton and its surrounding areas. Only the feel of the city in their pages holds these books together.

    In Evenings and Weekends: Five Years in Hamilton Music 2006-2011, Andrew Baulcomb explores  the roots of Hamilton’s legendary music scene. From blues singer Long John Baldry to the punk rock of Teenage Head, musicians, and music have made their home here. From innovative DJs to venue owners to radio hosts to the Arkells, Baulcomb interviews them all and weaves the story of an explosion of music in Hamilton with that of a generation adrift. This is a coming-of-age story that puts a human face on the people who made music happen, and on those who listened to it.

    In Nobody Here Will Harm You: Mass Medical Evacuation from the Eastern Arctic 1950-1965, Shawn Selway casts an unflinching eye on the evacuation of 1,274 Inuit and Cree sufferers of tuberculosis from the Eastern Arctic to Mountain Sanatorium in Hamilton, Ontario, from 1950 to 1965. Selway considers the political culture, and the systemic racism within that culture, in which the decisions were made, as well as the technological and economic changes that made these relocations possible. Selway carefully documents the impact of the evacuations on the Inuit community and has included an assortment of archival images within this important book about at a difficult time in our country's history.

    In Saints, Unexpected, author Brent van Staalduinen makes his debut in a magical tale about fifteen-year-old Mutton. Robbed at gunpoint while working in her mother's Hamilton thrift store, she loses a valuable item thus hurling herself and her family into a summer of remarkable and heartbreaking events. From fighting unscrupulous developers to first loves to the anguish that comes from never knowing what your final words to a loved one might be, Saints, Unexpected reminds us of the magic that comes with each opportunity to begin again. Brent van Staalduinen lives, works, and writes in Hamilton. He is the recipient of both the 2015 Bristol Short Story Prize and the 2015 Short Works Prize, his work appears in The Sycamore Review, The Bristol Prize Short Story Anthology 8, EVENT Magazine, The Dalhousie Review, The New Quarterly, and The New Guard Literary Review. A graduate of the Humber School of Writers, he also holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia and teaches writing at Redeemer University College.

    In Unbuilt Hamilton, author Mark Osbaldeston presents the Ambitious City at its most ambitious, exploring the origins and fates of unrealized building, planning, and transportation proposals from the early nineteenth century to the early twenty-first. Marvel at the sweeping vista down Hamilton’s own version of the Champs-Élysées as you enjoy a concert in the escarpment amphitheatre. Drive up the Gage Avenue tunnel, or ride down the Ottawa Street incline railway. Take in the sites at the King’s Forest Zoo, see the stars in the planetarium, or catch a game at Commonwealth Stadium before returning to your island home in Bay Shore Village.Featuring more than 150 illustrations, plans, and photographs, Unbuilt Hamilton gives life to the Hamilton that might have been. A Hamilton native, Mark Osbaldeston has written and spoken extensively on architectural and planning history. His first book, Unbuilt Toronto, was the basis for an exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum and was a finalist for the Toronto Book Awards and the Speaker’s Book Award.

    The Kerry Schooley Award is made possible this year in honor of the late Greg Quill. Greg Quill was an acclaimed Australian roots musician and longtime Toronto Star entertainment critic. The sponsorship of the Kerry Schooley Award in honour of Greg Quill was made possible by his wife, Ellen Davidson. The Hamilton Arts Council is deeply honoured to accept this gift in the name of her husband who gave so much to the arts.

    The Awards take place on November 27 at 7PM. RSVP TODAY!

  • 24th Annual Hamilton Literary Awards: Fiction Finalists

    November 17, 2017 by Stephen Near

    This is the third in a four part blog series showcasing the finalists of this year's 24th Annual Hamilton Literary Awards. Find out which authors will take home the prizes by attending the gala celebration on Nov. 27, 2017 at Theatre Aquarius.

    From a compelling story of loss and renewal, to a historical fable for young adults, to a magical tale of the fae, and a satiric journey across the oceans, the books in our 2017 Fiction shortlist offer a diversity of voices and wildly approaches to storytelling. Each of these stories represents Hamilton storytelling that is both unique and engaging.

    Freedom's Just Another Word is Caroline Stellings’ tale of Easy, a car mechanic in Saskatoon who can sing the blues like someone twice her age. When she hears that Janis Joplin is passing through her small town, Easy is there with her heart - and her voice - in hand. It’s 1970 and Janis Joplin is an electrifying blues-rock singer at the height of her fame – and of her addictions. Yet she recognizes Easy’s talent and asks her to meet her in Texas to sing. So Easy begins an unusual journey that will change everything. Caroline Stellings is an award-winning author and illustrator of numerous books for children and young adults, including The Contest and the Nicki Haddon Mystery Series. She has been nominated for many prizes and has won both the ForeWord Book of the Year and the Hamilton Literary Award for Fiction. She lives in Waterdown, ON.

    Set in the years around 1492, Yiddish for Pirates recounts the compelling story of Moishe, a Bar Mitzvah boy who leaves home to join a ship's crew, where he meets Aaron, the polyglot parrot who becomes his near-constant companion. From a present-day Florida nursing home, this wisecracking yet poetic bird guides us through a world of pirate ships, Yiddish jokes and treasure maps. Rich with puns, colourful language, post-colonial satire and Kabbalistic hijinks, Yiddish for Pirates is also a compelling examination of mortality, memory, identity and persecution from one of this country's most talented writers. Gary Barwin is a writer, composer, and multimedia artist, and the author of 20 books of poetry, fiction and books for children. He has been Writer-in-Residence at Western University and Young Voices eWriter-in-residence at the Toronto Public Library and has taught creative writing at a number of colleges and universities. 

    In Saints, Unexpected, author Brent van Staalduinen makes his debut in a magical tale about fifteen-year-old Mutton. Robbed at gunpoint while working in her mother's Hamilton thrift store, she loses a valuable item thus hurling herself and her family into a summer of remarkable and heartbreaking events. From fighting unscrupulous developers to first loves to the anguish that comes from never knowing what your final words to a loved one might be, Saints, Unexpected reminds us of the magic that comes with each opportunity to begin again. Brent van Staalduinen lives, works, and writes in Hamilton. He is the recipient of both the 2015 Bristol Short Story Prize and the 2015 Short Works Prize, his work appears in The Sycamore Review, The Bristol Prize Short Story Anthology 8, EVENT Magazine, The Dalhousie Review, The New Quarterly, and The New Guard Literary Review. A graduate of the Humber School of Writers, he also holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia and teaches writing at Redeemer University College.

    In The Captain of Kinnoull Hill, Jamie Tennant presents us with Dennis Duckworth, philanderer, misanthrope, and the least-likeable person on the Chicago music scene. When a routine flight from New York mysteriously alters its path, he finds himself penniless and stranded on a wooded hillside in rural Scotland. The hill is home to Eddie the Red Cap, a curmudgeonly, thousand-year-old goblin who secretly loves books and regrets the violent past of his people. Filled with absurdity, magic, humour and hope,  Tennant’s book asks what happens when we can no longer abide our own nature. How much can we truly change about ourselves and — in the end — is it worth it to try? Jamie Tennant is a writer and radio program director based in Hamilton, ON. A long-time music enthusiast, he has covered music and pop culture is the Program Director at 93.3 CFMU at McMaster University and was co-founder of the Hamilton Independent Media Awards. The Captain of Kinnoull Hill is his debut novel.

    This year's Award for Fiction is sponsored by:

    Next: the finalists for the Kerry Schooley Award

     

  • 24th Annual Hamilton Literary Awards: Non-Fiction Finalists

    November 13, 2017 by Stephen Near

    This is the second in a four part blog series showcasing the finalists of this year's 24th Annual Hamilton Literary Awards. Find out which authors will take home the prizes by attending the gala celebration on November 27, 2017 at Theatre Aquarius.

    The finalists for this year's Non-fiction category are all examples of true and compelling tales matching that of any work of fiction. From People and the Bay by Nancy Bouchier and Ken Cruikshank, to Nobody Here Will Harm You by Shawn Selway, and Evenings and Weekends by Andrew Baulcomb, these stories recount real-life with the elegance of poetry and confront readers with hidden chapters of the world around them.

    In People and the Bay: A Social and Environmental History of Hamilton Harbour, Nancy Bouchier and Ken Cruikshank explore the complicated relationship between Hamilton Harbour and the people who came to live on its shores. From the time of European settlement through to Hamilton’s rise as an industrial city, people ahem struggled with nature, and with one another, to champion their vision of “the Bay” as a place to live, work, and play. Both Bouchier and Cruikshank bring to life the many personalities and power struggles attributed to the region drawing on a rich collection of archival materials. Along the way, they challenge readers to consider how moral and political choices being made about the natural world today will shape the cities of tomorrow.

    In Nobody Here Will Harm You: Mass Medical Evacuation from the Eastern Arctic 1950-1965, Shawn Selway casts an unflinching eye on the evacuation of 1,274 Inuit and Cree sufferers of tuberculosis from the Eastern Arctic to Mountain Sanatorium in Hamilton, Ontario, from 1950 to 1965. Selway considers the political culture, and the systemic racism within that culture, in which the decisions were made, as well as the technological and economic changes that made these relocations possible. Selway carefully documents the impact of the evacuations on the Inuit community and has included an assortment of archival images within this important book about at a difficult time in our country's history.. 

    In Evenings and Weekends: Five Years in Hamilton Music 2006-2011, Andrew Baulcomb explores  the roots of Hamilton’s legendary music scene. From blues singer Long John Baldry to the punk rock of Teenage Head, musicians, and music have made their home here. From innovative DJs to venue owners to radio hosts to the Arkells, Baulcomb interviews them all and weaves the story of an explosion of music in Hamilton with that of a generation adrift. This is a coming-of-age story that puts a human face on the people who made music happen, and on those who listened to it.

    This year's Award for Non-Fiction is sponsored by:

    Next: the finalists for Fiction

Pages