Welcome everyone. My name is Virginia Gillespie, artistic director of VG PlayRoom. In 2017 we were recipients of a Surrey Cultural Grant for what we call the Word-Arts Project. This afternoon’s event is the culmination of that project and the third part of a Word-Arts Live! series we have called Ages and Stages.
I’d like to thank Surrey for these cultural grants that help diverse artists and groups try out new projects as well as helping to raise their profiles and capacity building so necessary for a robust arts community. Todd Ayotte is always encouraging and is a great mentor. For us this seed money has opened many doors and strengthened connections. I encourage you to learn more about the grants. We also thank Alexandra Neighbourhood House as our not-for-profit partner and consultants Heidi Greco, Fauzia Rafique and Neil Ferneyhough.
The word-arts project had several components: hunting and gathering information on local word-artists and events; performance, training and celebration.
We met with many individuals and groups and took a survey about people, venues, issues, activities and wish lists. (We define word-artist definition as writers, actors, musicians, educators, poets, journalists, groups, fans – the word people) Bottom line – people want much more of this in South Surrey and also vital arts hub/café/gathering places. With all of the talent and resources here, we shouldn’t always have to drive to Vancouver. We also met Irene Plett with the WRSS Writer’s Club who is excellent at promoting literary events.
From the surveys we chose 3 training workshops: Poetry with Candice James, Song Writer Circle with Kat Wahamaa and Tony Rees and Play with Plays with myself and Rosie Miller.
We hosted a salon organized by Kat Wahamaa (who was a great hunter-gatherer partner) at the Semiahmoo Arts Turnbull Gallery we called Southern Exposure to socialize and enjoy author Marion Quednau, Actor Jacques Lalonde, Poet Heather Haley, Musician Kempton Dexter and writer Taslim Jaffer.
And very significant is the partnership with Fauzia Rafique. Word-Arts Live is an initiative between Surrey Muse and VG PlayRoom. For several years Fauzia and Surrey Muse have held monthly events at the Surrey Centre Library with the format author, poet, performer, open mic. The very accomplished word-artists are diverse, not only in their styles but also in ethnicity and the provocative issues they present. Our first 5-part series last spring was very well attended. With Ages and Stages (youth, adulthood and golden years) we changed the format to include a discussion to make it more of a forum. I am grateful to Fauzia for her professionalism and dedication. And I hope that those of you who have loved these reading events will help find ways for Surrey Muse to continue here in South Surrey. Thanks also to our photographer Celina Strachan and multitask supporter Steve Chitty and of course to you, friends and audience. Keep attending and asking for more!
The 2018 VG PlayRoom project, called Listening Bowl is quite different as many events will be experiential and held outdoors. You’ll find information on the table or you can talk with Celina Strachan or Heidi McCurdy about upcoming rambles – the next one is Sunday, March 18th.
Sana Janjua our MC, is also part of Surrey Muse and I now turn it over to her.
Author Playwright - Virginia Gillespie play reading of LOSS with actors Celina Strachan and Corrie Mosier
Poet - Candice James
Performer - Harvey Ostroff
Crescent Beach, BC Alexandra Hall 3:00 pm.
Word Arts LIVE Series 2
AGES & STAGES: Dreams, reality checks and things that go bump in the night
January-March 2018 (three gatherings of 2-hours each, 3-5pm)
Hosted by Sana Janjua Discussion facilitation by Virginia Gillespie
January 14 (Youthfulness)
Author Margo Bates Poet Steve Webster Performer Enrico Renz
February 11 (Adulthood)
Author Joan b. Flood Poet Joanne Arnott Performer Sonja Grgar
March 11 (Golden years)
Author Virginia Gillespie Poet Candice James Performer Harvey Ostroff
THE Word-Arts LIVE! Series is a collaboration between VG PlayRoom and Surrey Muse
At Large (SMAL) through at 2017 Surrey Cultural Grant.
CONTACT : VG PLAYROOM
Autumn is here! The Word-Arts Project is hosting WORKSHOPS Sundays in the MEDIA ROOM arts hub, upstairs the Lodge Dining Hall, Camp Alexandra, McBride Street, Crescent Beach. $10 donation.
October 15th, 3:00 pm : SONGWRITER CIRCLE with Tony Rees and Kat Wahamaa.
Songwriters and performing duo Kat Wahamaa & Tony Rees host this participatory session. Bring your voice, guitar, ukulele, and favourite composition for a relaxed afternoon sharing songs and discussing strategies for facilitating song-writers circles. http://www.katandtony.ca/about.html
November 19TH, 3:00 pm : PLAY WITH PLAYS. Lively, facilitated workshop: part play-making and devising/part riffing off script scenes.
Find latest events: FB @VGPlayRoom
REGISTER Virginia Gillespie Artistic Director
SOUTHERN EXPOSURE :
Thursday, October 26th, 7:00 pm: Word-Artists Live! Salon featuring innovative, cultural trailblazers and word-artists (literary, theatre, music, poetry & multidisciplinary) with time for socializing, stimulating conversation and frivolity at Semiahmoo Arts Turnbull Gallery. South Surrey. Refreshments and no host bar.
Award winning Author, Poet MARION QUEDNAU
Poet, Author, Media Artist HEATHER HALEY
Playwright, Entertainer JACQUES LALONDE
A Multi-discipline Artist, Musician - KEMPTON DEXTER
Writer and Pandora's Collective - TASLIM JAFFER
Tickets are free but you must register as there is limited seating.
VG Playroom ran spring devising workshops that inspired PROJECT WoW – arts building without walls a series of devised, arts-building activities at the Newton Plot Sharing Garden in culminating with Tip Toe Through The Garden with a kazoo and movement chorus procession, fairy garden tea party, Oracle of Elfie, music, art making and storytelling. We will expand Project WoW with a series of devising sessions beginning the evening of September 26th at 7 pm and continue every second Tuesday until early December.
Register and more info: Virginia Gillespie
Virginia Gillespie was invited to be a poetry judge at the Double Exposure photography/poetry awards event on April 27th at the Turnbull Gallery, South Surrey, BC
Here are comments about the Word-Arts Live! Series filmed by Irene Plett, White Rock and Surrey Writers' Club