Berlin Blues skewers stereotypes

Herbie Barnes and Cheri Maracle as Berlin Blues' Trailer and Donalda. Photo by Wayne Eardley

Berlin Blues is so funny, it’s easy to forget it’s a cautionary tale. The play, which opened at the 4th Line Theatre in Millbrook last week, explores a First Nations community’s struggle with identity and integrity when faced with a proposal by German developers to exploit their Native culture. And the effects are hilarious. Continue reading


Bradleyboy’s music shows true grit

Bradleyboy MacArthur. Photo by Les Penner.

Orono’s Brad “Bradleyboy” MacArthur makes music with grit. His new album Salt Gun – described as “country blues with a heavy foot on the gas” – is a collection of 11 songs that attests to his “raw and gritty” aesthetic. And it is aptly named, for whether he’s playing live as a one-man band, or recording in his home studio, his resolve to keep it real is almost as tangible as the sting from salt-gun shot. Continue reading

Artists create a bigger Gift for Newcastle

A work of art usually starts out as an idea, gradually taking shape as the artist forms something concrete out of something less tangible. In the case of Newcastle’s not-for-profit gallery A Gift of Art, the idea of founder Ann Harley actually called for concrete.

Using lumber, drywall, paint and concrete as their material – and 187 King Avenue East as their canvas – the artists of A Gift of Art have been hard at work, taking Harley’s idea of a bigger Newcastle home for the arts from the world of thought to the material world. Continue reading

Injury cuts Bickell out of Game 7 lineup

Bryan Bickell Photo courtesy of the

As his Chicago Blackhawks teammates prepared to fly to Vancouver on Monday, Bryan Bickell was undergoing surgery to his wrist, in what was a disappointingly premature end to the NHL post-season for the Orono native.

On Monday evening, various Chicago news outlets reported that Bickell would not be playing in Tuesday’s Game 7 of the Western Conference Quarter-finals against the Canucks. Bickell’s injury occurred at the Rogers Centre in Game 2 of the series, when he was cut by a skate blade and had to leave the ice, holding his wrist. According to the Vancouver Sun, it was Canuck Sami Salo’s skate that caused the accidental cut. Continue reading

At issue: the four-firefighter minimum

The Clarington firefighters’ union was fighting fire with fire at a special council meeting last month, handing out a package of questions and answers to support its point of view, unbeknownst to the municipal fire chief, who was there to present a report on firefighter staffing. While both the union and the chief share concerns about safety, their differing interpretations of safety guidelines have left Council waiting for more answers.

Is the “four-firefighter minimum” a standard that the Clarington Emergency and Fire Services department (CEFS) should follow, or is it an ideal that just isn’t practical for this municipality at this time? That is the question facing Clarington Council. And it is not as simple as it may sound. Continue reading

Bickell, Caruana each net one in Toronto

Matt Caruana. Photo courtesy of the Marlies.

TORONTO – It was a great hockey weekend for Orono, with two hometown favourites leaving their marks on scoreboards across Toronto. Bryan Bickell started things off at the Air Canada Centre on Saturday night, where he contributed a goal to the Chicago Blackhawks 5-3 win over the Maple Leafs. It was Bickell’s 16th of the season.

Bickell and the Blackhawks are on a roll. The Orono native has had at least one point in each of his last three games, while the Blackhawks have won their last eight games in a row. Chicago currently ranks ninth in the league, with 80 points in 66 games, and a record of 37-23-6. They are fourth in the Western Conference, behind Vancouver, Detroit, and San Jose. Bickell has 35 points in 63 games played this season. Continue reading

Kate Boothman: Moonbath and sunshine

Kate Boothman from the cover of Sunbear's album Moonbath. Photo by Leslie Williams.

This is the time of year when many Canadians fly to sunnier climates, hoping to return rested and with little more than a good tan. But for singer-songwriter Kate Boothman, who headed off to Mexico last week, it will be more of a working vacation, as she plans to return with three or four new songs.

“I’m feeling I need a change of scene,” she says by phone from Toronto on the afternoon before her departure. With her country-rock band named Sunbear, and its first album called Sun Streaming In, it is perhaps inevitable that the sun is part of Boothman’s plans when it comes to making music. Since the release of her band’s second album, Moonbath, last September, she has been busy touring and writing songs for a third album. And that album is almost finished, she says, she just needs three more songs.

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