“You Will Be Offended” - theHumm May 2023
“You Will Be Offended” - theHumm May 2023
By Tanja Kisslinger
Three internationally collected and award-winning local artists — Keith Busher, Jana Jaros and Patrick John Mills — are coming together in a group show to be held at the Art Factory Warehouse in Renfrew from May 5 until June 10. Entitled You Will Be Offended, the curated exhibition is an invitation for viewers to revisit the true purpose of art, to embrace the emotions evoked, and to learn more about something they may initially resist. The goal is to remind us that discomfort leads to growth, and that curiosity is more powerful than judgement.
The interplay of Busher’s sculptural creations, Jaros’s figurative work, and Mills’s abstract expressionism sheds light on the implications of current social trends such as online censorship and cancel culture which block public discourse and promote intolerance. Busher, a multimedia artist working from his studio in Perth, notes: “Socially and politically, we are in a cycle wherein everything needs to appeal to as many people as possible. This means ‘success’ is now defined as mass appeal — rather than allowing something that is polarizing to be motivation for deeper understanding.”
Mills, an abstract expressionist well known for dramatically thick oil paintings such as the Malignant series in this show, points to the trickle-down effect of increasing social pressure to be neutral and “politically correct” on the world of art. He says: “The juried democracy of art has watered it down to a family friendly, PG version of what is deemed acceptable. But life is complex, and to only permit the visual expression of art as sunsets and birch trees is a disservice to the beauty inherent in the struggle of living.” Mills explains that while there is a place for images of flowers and trees, it should not be at the expense of other expressions that are more raw, bold, or emotionally confronting.
After all, asks Pembroke-based artist Jaros, whose figurative pieces experience repeated online censorship, what is the role of art and the artist in our society? And whose yardstick is being used to determine for us what we are allowed to see? She says: “If we look to most public art spaces for the answer, you will see a limited scope of artistic style that appears to be complementary to a generalized ideal. But art is not decoration, and it is not created for the sole purpose of saleability. If my art sparks a feeling, a conversation, or a thought process in an individual, they should be allowed to have that experience and reach their own conclusions.”
Busher, whose striking sculptural selections are intended to communicate difficult topics, similarly worries about the current trend to “sanitize” art, and points to a two-fold loss for the viewer. He says: “Recently, Michelangelo’s iconic statue of David — widely considered to be a masterpiece of the Renaissance era — was deemed ‘controversial’ and ‘possibly pornographic’ at a Florida middle school. I’m not just concerned about the obvious cost to young people who are robbed of the opportunity to experience a classic work of art, I’m concerned that the voices of a few would lead to a complete rebranding of such a perfect work. Why are we always rushing to avoid very natural feelings of discomfort or offense? Where does it end?”
Indeed, the social costs of sanitizing art are widespread — it is a subtle form of censorship that both causes and contributes to dysfunctional communication between people with differing viewpoints. Jaros explains: “I remember a time when it was possible to share space with people that I didn’t agree with. But these days, in our hyperconnected, digitally obsessed world, the rise of ‘keyboard warriors’ and anonymous ‘factcheckers’ has created an air of hostility. You can find yourself bullied or completely obliterated, simply because you hold an unpopular opinion or because you fail to comply with arbitrarily imposed ‘standards and guidelines’. We have forgotten how to talk to each other.”
Art is typically the forum where we should be confronted, provoked, and provided with an opportunity to sit with a new idea or emotion, and to determine for ourselves what this teaches or reveals. Art is not to be translated, nor do we need protection from that which is visceral or raw. Mills, who has used his art to publicly share and communicate his journey with cancer, underscores the importance of art to convey and connect human experience: “Life includes suffering. Suffering such as depression, mental illness, addiction, abortion, suicide… These are human experiences that both inspire art and are expressed in art. This type of challenging art is an opportunity to take you out of your comfort zone. And in today’s world, it is crucial that we create space for both beautiful and challenging experiences for ourselves and others.”
Coming full circle on the purpose of the group show, Mills asks: “Is being offended always a bad thing? Or is your experience of ‘being offended’ an opportunity for you to have a deeper conversation, a deeper reflection, to learn and possibly better understand something?” Overall, this memorable group show encourages the viewer to be uncomfortable and to embrace multiple viewpoints. The artists hope to stimulate social dialogue and to encourage connection, reminding us of the inherent value of curiosity before judgement.
Meet the Artists
Opening night is May 5 from 5–8pm at the Art Factory’s Warehouse Gallery at 11 Bridge Street in Renfrew, and all three artists will be available. Regular exhibition hours are Wednesday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm until June 10. Admission to the exhibition is always free.
Gillian Marston — Don’t Fence Me In - theHumm May 2023
By Sally Hansen
Art… and Soul
Her paintings and her photography are as wide-ranging as her interests, her travels and her accomplishments. Marston is open to life, to new experiences and new challenges. This intrepid retiree has reinvented herself as an accomplished acrylics painter and fine art photographer. As she puts it, “Art is a way to explore all of the creative ideas that occur to me. For me art is like travel — I love change; I love exploring and trying new things.”
An avid photographer ......
By — Submitted Theatre Night in Merrickville
If you’d ever had an opportunity to meet with Margaret Shearman, she would have likely encouraged you to get involved with your local theatre. The beloved and respected grand-dame of Theatre Night in Merrickville (TNIM) passed away over the Easter weekend, creating a deep loss for TNIM members and across the community. Over the years, Margaret had participated in more than fifty TNIM productions as an actor, stage manager, artist and director. She also served as ......
“You Will Be Offended” - theHumm May 2023
By Tanja Kisslinger
Three internationally collected and award-winning local artists — Keith Busher, Jana Jaros and Patrick John Mills — are coming together in a group show to be held at the Art Factory Warehouse in Renfrew from May 5 until June 10. Entitled You Will Be Offended, the curated exhibition is an invitation for viewers to revisit the true purpose of art, to embrace the emotions evoked, and to learn more about something they may initially resist. The goal is to remind us that discomfort leads to growth......
By Katharine Coleman
The Station Theatre is thrilled to welcome back Canada’s sweetheart Jill Barber on May 13. The three-time Juno Award nominated singer-songwriter was last here in 2019, before the world changed. The fact that she is back to share her talent with us again is one more sign that we are emerging from challenges and getting the opportunity to come together again to enjoy art, music and theatre. What is even more exciting is she has a new album, Homemaker, just released in February, in which she inv......
Celebrate Spring at MERA - theHumm May 2023
This spring, MERA (McDonalds Corners/Elphin Recreation & Arts) has plenty of activities, workshops and events for you to choose from. Join them at 974 Dalhousie Concession 9A in McDonalds Corners to discover how you can bring more arts into your life!
Adults and children over the age of twelve will enjoy using creative mending and decorating to turn their favourite item of clothing from something old to something new again! Bring your old clothes, leftover yarn, thread and ribbons, and Isi......
By Jane Stott
From May 4 to 14 we are putting on the hilarious musical Nunsense at Studio Theatre in Perth. Seems we aren’t the only theatre with nuns on parade! The Sound of Music graces the stage in Cobourg and Carleton Place, and in Brighton there’s a production of Drinking Habits. Gananoque theatre is also highlighting nuns. There has been a mad scramble for nun paraphernalia by costumers in every theatre. I know — I was one of the scramblers! Who would have thought that scapulars and wimples would be in such ......
Fauré and Friends - theHumm May 2023
On Saturday, May 6 the Kanata Choral Society will bring music by Fauré, Mozart, Gjeilo, Rutter and other composers to the stage.
The concert will open with the lovely Cantique de Jean Racine, followed by Fauré’s Requiem.
From this romantic music, the programme will skip a century down to the music of Mozart, of which his Ave Verum and Laudate Dominum are favourites of many people.
The concert will end with music by contemporary composers: Ola Gjeilo’s The Ground, John Rutter’......
By Rob Riendeau
Joey Wright and Aaron Davis are two acclaimed musicians who have collaborated on numerous projects over the years. Their upcoming show at the MERA Schoolhouse with pedal steel phenomenon Michael Eckert promises to be an evening of captivating music that showcases their unique blend of folk, roots and jazz influences. theHumm caught up with Joey and Aaron to discuss their creative process, explore their musical backgrounds, and discover what audiences can expect from their upcoming performance.
By Laurel Cook
Welcome to the 33rd annual Art in the Attic (AITA) event, being held on Mother’s Day weekend — Saturday, May 13 (10am to 5pm) and Sunday, May 14 (10am to 4pm) at the Almonte Old Town Hall, located at 14 Bridge Street.
Over the last thirty years or so, AITA has showcased the wonderful works of local artists. In the open, airy and spacious auditorium you can view the best works of contemporary artists in a large variety of media, styles and subjects. You will find painting, photography, lea......
Have you ever thought about writing your own story? Sitting down to really honour the life you’ve led, the places you’ve seen, the people you’ve loved? Now is the time to give it a try! Stone Manor Studios is excited to announce the first-ever writing workshop on the grounds of an 1860 stone manor estate in Newboro, Ontario, in the heart of Rideau Lakes. A place to commune, to reflect, and to really unlock your most precious memories in a warm space with like-minded writers.
Stone Manor is thrilled to welcome celebrated memoirist and essayist Jen McGuire as their featured author. For ......
As you walk away from the farmers’ market with your canvas bags filled with fresh local produce, plants, organic meats and assorted other delicious goodies, you just can’t help feeling good. Supporting small-scale market farms means voting with your dollars for the option that is easier on the planet than large, mono-crop industrial farms. Having to plan the trip to the market means planning meals, which is a great way to reduce both wasted food and extra trips to the grocery store. Growers at the......
Gardening and the Environment - theHumm May 2023
By David Hinks
Often, when driving our beautiful rural roads, my view is offended by cups and fast-food wrappers discarded at the side of the road, or even garbage bags and unwanted furniture. Who would do this? In my humble opinion, whoever has done this is not a gardener. In my view, anyone who has a solid connection with the soil and with growing things does not spread their garbage all over the landscape.
We are warned that an environmental apocalypse is upon us. We are exhorted to change our lifestyle and redu......
Calling All Gardeners - theHumm May 2023
The Almonte and District Horticultural Society will be holding their annual spring plant sale on Saturday, May 13 from 9–11am at the back of the Almonte library.
Please note: there will be no early sales or reserving of plants before 9am. Payment can be made by cash or cheque. Horticultural Society memberships will be available at the sale.
There will be lots of annual flowers and vegetables as well as a good selection of perennial plants. Bulbs such as Canna lilies will be on offer, a......
By Amy Booth
The ConnectWell Therapeutic Riding Program would like to invite you to our Re-Boot of the Taste of the County: Tasting Gala on Monday, June 5 at the beautiful Stonefields Estate in Beckwith. Come out with your friends to celebrate spring and treat yourself to a delicious evening for a really great cause.
In addition to tasting some exceptional local cuisine, local beer and great wine, this event boasts one of the largest silent actions in the county, featuring over 125 fabulous items s......
By — Submitted Lanark County Neighbours for Truth and Reconcilliation
If you were to take a walk along Riverfront Park in Almonte, you would see seven marble stones standing upright in a twenty-five-foot circle — a sort of mini-Stonehenge, some have said. Where did it come from? Why is it there? Who put it there? And who is paying for it?
If you haven’t noticed the posters around town, you won’t know that you can find out all about an exciting Truth and Reconciliation project on the evening of Thursday, May 4 at the Old Town Hall. The doors will open at 6:30 wit......
Walkers and runners of all ages and abilities are invited to participate in the 10th anniversary AGH Run/Walk for Women’s Health aghfvmf.givecloud.co , sponsored by Canadian Tire (Carleton Place), on Saturday, June 10. The morning will feature fun warm-up activities, children’s entertainment and games, pre- and post-run/walk food and refreshments. Incredible prizes will be awarded for the top fundraising individuals, families and teams. Eight......
Donate to the Library Auction! - theHumm May 2023
By Pam Harris
Preparations for the “Fun, Food, & Favourites” online auction by the Friends of the Mississippi Mills Public Library are well underway. The Friends have been busy gathering donated services, gift cards and experiences from organizations, businesses and individuals in the community. The response has been wonderful; however, we do more donations, especially from individuals. We are getting some new and creative entries. One we are working on among the Friends is to have a group of ......
Health & Wellness Fair - theHumm May 2023
By Kris Riendeau
Bridging Generations — Age Friendly Pakenham is a volunteer run, community-based organization that works to identify issues and find solutions that impact the older community of Pakenham. Back in 2015, they started identifying issues that addressed the question “what will I need to stay in Pakenham as I age?”, and held three community forums to help determine the answers. Based on feedback from those forums, they “created a dynamic work plan that we have worked through wit......
Housing for Healthy Communities - theHumm May 2023
By Chandler Swain
These days, there is a lot in the news about the need for more housing for growing populations, both urban and rural, even here in Lanark. Looking around, it’s interesting to see so much great work happening all over the world on developing thriving communities and creating neighbourhoods where innovative, green ideas are in full swing.
But back to Lanark County: our challenge is to meet the need for new smart homes that address our Rural/Urban demographic that is predicted to grow......
Camp Quality Seeks Volunteers Make a Difference at a Camp for Children Affected by Cancer and Blood Disorders - theHumm May 2023
Camp Quality is a volunteer-driven national charitable organization that provides free camp experiences for children affected by cancer and blood disorders. Camp Quality Eastern Ontario has been operating a camp for kids with cancer since 2000, and will be running from August 20 to 26 this year. They are looking to fill twenty volunteer positions on their team. Volunteers will help host an incredible camp experience for kids affected by cancer at their campsite in Lanark, Ontario.
They are se......
Becoming Unshakeable - theHumm May 2023
By Margaret Dennis
Summer is a time of adventure, exploration and personal growth. For teenage girls, it’s also an opportunity to discover their strengths, build self-esteem and become confident, empowered young women. That’s why we have founded and launched Unshakeable ME, a weeklong summer camp that is designed for teenage girls, with a focus on building self-esteem, self-worth, self-confidence, and learning how to be the best version of themselves. This unique and transformative experienc......
Three Shows at Sivarulrasa Gallery - theHumm May 2023
Almonte’s Sivarulrasa Gallery will present three new exhibitions beginning in May. Sue Adams: Early Works 1991–1998 will run in Gallery II from May 12 to June 23. This exhibition delves into a pivotal early period in Almonte-based artist Sue Adams’ trajectory as a sculptor. Four works created by the artist between 1991 and 1998 will be featured: two figurative works of sculpture and two works that use plexiglass and found objects. Sue Adams studied at the École des Bea......
Woven Woods & Knit Markers - theHumm May 2023
Two new exhibits will be on display at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum (MVTM) from April 29 to July 22. Woven Woods: A Journey Through the Forest Floor is a collection of 12 round fabric wall hangings. Artist Lorraine Roy has used various fabrics to interpret the fascinating system of tree root communication through textiles, including dyed and printed cotton, silks, a variety of synthetics and sheers, and cotton batting. This communication is facilitated by forest fungi — a symbiotic relatio......
By Paddy Vargas
On May 6 from 8:30am to 5pm, come to the Almonte Civitan Hall to join us in envisaging a new way forward on the five life-defining national issues impacting us all. Presented by What Now, Lanark County, the Imagine: Learn/Inspire/Act Conference is a day-long event designed to explore, with experts and activists, what we have learned so far on issues of women’s health, ending abuse and violence against women, human trafficking in Canada, and how men and women can work togeth......
No question about it, these are challenging times. So… how to feel empowered, inspired, hopeful and encouraged? Come and mingle with your neighbors at a celebration of shared values and the “indomitable human spirit”, at the first annual EcoFest Westport — Doing Better Together. This event takes place on Saturday, June 3 from 10am to 4pm at 43 Bedford Street, in front of Soho’s / the Review-Mirror.
Westport in Bloom has sponsored a keynote speaker, Sean James. A well-known horticultural desig......
umberlune: Spooky Roots - theHumm May 2023
Raised in both Montreal and Ottawa, indie singer-songwriter umberlune now calls Perth home. The small town inspired her first single, Ghosts of 1816, which tells the story of the early residents of Perth. The song was written for a Stewart Park Festival contest to mark the town’s 200th anniversary. “I blew the deadline — I didn’t even get to enter it!” she said with a laugh in a recent interview with Adam Weekes on Lake88. Despite missing the chance to have the song heard in 2016, umberlune felt t......
Springtime Blues at The Cove Inn - theHumm May 2023
David Rotundo, the acclaimed Canadian blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter, is scheduled to perform at the historic Cove Inn in Westport for two consecutive nights on May 12 and 13. These shows are part of the popular Blues on the Rideau (BOTR) music series, which has gained widespread recognition for its showcase of top-calibre Canadian and international blues artists.
Rotundo’s evening performances with his band promise to be an unforgettable experience for blues enthusiasts, as h......
A Joyful Spring! - theHumm May 2023
By Danette Hanneman
Spring is here, and members of the Carleton Place Town Singers, along with our fearless leader Laurel Tye, are excited to welcome our new accompanist, Tony Stuart.
Tony is a well-known local musician with a wealth of musical knowledge and talents. He plays many instruments and has mastered the clarinet, sax and piano. I first met Tony in his role as Notre Dame High School’s Music Teacher. For almost 20 years, Tony developed an extraordinary band program that inspired hundreds of students from......
Journey to a Dream Memoir Charmingly Captures the Ups and Downs of Building a Cabin on a Lake - theHumm May 2023
By John Pigeau
Back in college, John Fenik met the love of his life, Laurie, while sailboarding. They fell in love, and later married.
“We love being on the water and being outdoors,” John says. “Sailing, hiking, camping. As we got older, a cabin on the water became the dream.”
Building a cabin, that is. And since the happy couple has recently realized their long-time dream, John has written a memoir about the experience. In Fox Tail: A Tale of a Canadian Timber Frame Retreat, he records his ......
Lance Luce began playing theatre organ in his hometown of Detroit at age 10. By 19 he was appointed Head Organist at Radio City Music Hall in New York, on the biggest Wurlitzer ever built!
Earlier in his career he played at family restaurants in Michigan and famously in Toronto for over eight years at the Organ Grinder, to more than a million diners. He has become an acclaimed international theatre organist in the US, Canada, Britain and Australia.
Lance is on the staff at the Fox and Redford Theatres in Detroit and the Michigan Theatre in Ann Arbor. More recently he became the he......
By Kris Riendeau
“Beautiful Mississippi Madawaska wilderness protected for all time, where all species thrive and people engage with nature.” That’s the vision statement of the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust (MMLT), which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. In addition to planning several special events to commemorate that landmark, MMLT also recently welcomed Stacie Lloyd as their new Executive Director. Before joining MMLT, Stacie was the Manager of Community Development with the municipality of Mer......
Celebrating over 33 years of joyful singing, the Arnprior Community Choir will present their spring concert on May 12 and 13 at Glad Tidings Pentecostal Church in Arnprior. It will feature an uplifting program of music designed to inspire both audience and choristers, and will also début a newly commissioned work entitled Music Surround Us, written by Almonte composer Ian Douglas.
The Arnprior Community Choir (ACC) was first established in 1991 as a course for the......
A Good Haircut - theHumm May 2023
By Glenda Jones
There is no time in a lady’s life when she feels less lovely than sitting in the hairdresser’s chair swathed in a black cape, her hair wet and sleeked to her head, looking straight into that mirror that reflects someone else’s old face. For the time we’re there, we’d like to simply shut our eyes and wait for the final result.
I swear guys don’t ever think this. They likely see a good lookin’ dude, maybe a little too hairy, but handsome in every regard. They ask for a Number 2 cli......
Vital Signs - theHumm May 2023
By Kris Riendeau
It was standing room only for the Perth and District Community Foundation (PDCF) launch of their Lanark County 2023 Vital Signs Report: Collaboration. Community. Resilience. Over 50 people turned up to the Perth Library on April 4, to hear about the health of their community and to talk about what they can do to make it healthier. theHumm reached out to Victoria Gibb-Carsley, PDCF’s Executive Director, to find out more.
theHumm: What is Vital Signs?
Victoria Gibb-Carsley: Vital Signs ......
By Susan MacAulay
“Because you’ll laugh at least ten times at every rehearsal,” Bonnie Vallentyne answered without hesitation when I asked her why people should audition for community theatre.
Vallentyne, who is the Musical Director for The Millworkers’ Musical, the family-friendly Fern Martin play that will be staged at the Almonte Old Town Hall in November of this year, is no stranger to laughter, community theatre or risk-taking. A year ago, she “starred” as Elizabeth Kelly in the puppet play Sherlock H......
Sep 30 - Oct 1 MAG Artists Studio Tour
Sep 30 - Oct 8 Fall in Love with Maple
Oct 7 - 8 Crown & Pumpkin Studio Tour
Oct 7 - 8 Expressions of Art
Oct 14 - 15 Red Trillium Studio Tour
Oct 14 Meet Artist Sherry Park
Oct 21 Fleetwood Mac Mania
- Diana Jackson — Eclectic Creativity
- Paddle and Parade Partyin Lanark Highlands Free Event with Special Guest Appearance by Sarah Harmer
- It’s Time to Hitthe Back Roads! North Frontenac Back Roads Studio Tour
- Fibrefest: A Festival of the Fibre Arts
- Westporch Festival 2023
- Sundance Artisan Show Free Outdoor Show on Labour Day Weekend
- Spirits of theCounting House Paranormal Investigations at the Museum…
- Friends of MMPLFall Book Sale
- Learn Again in Almonte this Autumn
- Raise Funds for a Good Cause (and Many Paws!) Arnprior Humane Society’s Fall Fundraisers