Bessie Sullivan, County Librarian: Hello, I’m Bessie Sullivan from the Haliburton County Public Library and this is Library Moments. Once a week some of us from the library will come and talk about books, upcoming events, or the services we offer at the library.
In Haliburton County we are surrounded by a rich cultural scene including Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts.
Today on Library Moments Sherrill Sherwood, Erin Kernohan-Berning and I will each talk about a book that ties into local cultural happenings from this summer.
Sherrill Sherwood, Collections Development: Deep inside Haliburton Forest and Wild Life Reserve, The Forest Festival presents unique concerts by top performers every year in August. This year Alan Doyle, front man for the Canadian band Great Big Sea, will be part of the Alan Doyle Trio in the fabulous wilderness setting of the Bone Lake Amphitheatre, sure to be an unforgettable concert under the stars. Alan’s 2014 memoir Where I Belong, paints a vivid portrait of a curious lad born into the small fishing community of Petty Harbour, Newfoundland. Alan tells of a childhood surrounded by larger-than-life characters who made a permanent impression on his music and work. He remembers his first job on the wharf cutting out cod tongues for fishermen; of growing up in a family of five in a two-bedroom house with a beef-bucket as a toilet, yet lacking nothing; of learning at his father’s knee how to sing the story of a song and learning from his mother how to simply “be good”; and finally, of how everything he ever learned as a kid prepared him for that pivotal moment when he became part of Great Big Sea. The Alan Doyle Trio perform at the Forest Festival on Sunday August 16th.
Erin Kernohan-Berning, Branch Services Librarian: Highlands Summer Festival has been offering summer theatre at the Northern Lights Performing Arts Pavilion since 2000. This year’s lineup featured two book related plays – Wingfield Lost and Found, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Dan Needles’ Wingfield Farm is a series of one-man plays featuring Walt Wingfield, a Toronto stockbroker turned farmer in the fictional Persephone Township. The latest in the Wingfield series is Wingfield Lost and Found, in which the residents of the 7th Line find their wells drying up. The Wingfield plays are presented as letters between Walt and his friend the editor of the Larkspur newspaper. If you can’t get enough of Walt Wingfield and the 7th line gang, the first three plays were novelized in Letters from Wingfield Farm by Dan Needles and it is available to reserve at the library.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey is a cultural icon of the 1960s, and has been regularly challenged, most recently in the year 2000 by the Placentia Unified School District in Yorba Linda, California. Cuckoo’s Nest features Randle McMurphy, a rebellious convict who feigns insanity to escape a prison work farm and wait out his sentence in the relative comfort of the psychiatric hospital. However, when he winds up in the ward of the strict and often tyrannical Nurse Ratched, he finds himself leading a rebellion among the patients. Cuckoo’s Nest was published in 1962 and was adapted as a broadway play in 1963 starring Kirk Douglas as McMurphy. In 1975 Jack Nicholson took on the role of McMurphy in a movie adaptation of the book, winning an Oscar, Golden Globe, and BAFTA for his performance. If Tim Nicholson’s masterful performance of McMurphy at the Highland Summer Festival left you wanting to cheer on McMurphy some more, both the book and movie adaptation of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest are available to reserve at the library.
Bessie: Of all the Arts, visual arts is probably the most prominent in the County. Many visual artists choose to make the Highlands their home stating that the landscape inspires their work. Fleming College, besides having full-time art students throughout the school year, also runs an incredibly successful summer program called Haliburton School of The Arts, where people come from all over to take week long workshops on some aspect of visual art. A year ago graphic artist Andrea Hillo launched a book called The Artists of the Haliburton Highlands, the book by no means represents all the artists in the area but it does highlight a collection of 28 people who work in glass, paint, pottery, wood, and more. The hardcover book is visually stunning and is well worth browsing. If after taking it out from the library you feel you must give it as a gift or own it yourself, copies are available for purchase at Locations throughout the County in all four municipalities.
Whether it’s music, theatre or visual arts, the Highlands have something for you. Enhance any cultural experience with a trip to the library so that you can approach any activity fully informed. That’s it for this week’s episode of Library Moments, thanks for listening here on 100.9 CanoeFM.
*Originally aired on 100.9 CANOE FM August 2 – 8, 2015.