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Volume 28 Issue 3 | December 2022 - January 2023

  • Text
  • Thewholenotecom
  • Faculty
  • Arts
  • Theatre
  • Musical
  • Jazz
  • Orchestra
  • Symphony
  • January
  • December
  • Toronto
Creative Collisions offer land-use hope for community and arts space; "Take Dec 10 for Example" -- Orchestral Explosion; Landmark novel finds music theatre form; Behind the scenes at Salute to Vienna; Collaborative serendipity on the joint-concert front; Amnesia and the alternative: QSYO's take on "Comfort and Joy". A bumber crop of record reviews (and not a Holiday compilation among them)! All this and more...

The WholeNote VOLUME

The WholeNote VOLUME 28 NO 3 DECEMBER 2022 - JANUARY 2023 IN THIS EDITION STORIES AND INTERVIEWS Wendalyn Bartley, Gary Corrin, Paul Ennis, Jennifer Parr, David Perlman, Colin Story CD Reviewers Larry Beckwith, Sophie Bisson, Stuart Broomer, Max Christie, Sam Dickinson, Raul da Gama, Janos Gardonyi, Richard, Haskell, Fraser Jackson, Tiina Kiik, Kati Kiilaspea, Lesley Mitchell- Clarke, Cheryl Ockrant, David Olds, Ted Parkinson, Ivana Popovic, Cathy Riches, Terry Robbins, Michael Schulman, Andrew Scott, Melissa Scott, Andrew Timar, Yoshi Maclear Wall, Ken Waxman, Matthew Whitfield Proofreading Paul Ennis, John Sharpe Listings Team John Sharpe, Gary Heard, Colin Story Design Team Kevin King, Susan Sinclair Circulation Team Wende Bartley, Jack Buell, Sharon Clark, Vito Gallucci, James Harris, Bob Jerome, Miquela Leahy, Chris Malcolm, Sheila McCoy, Lorna Nevison, Tom Sepp and Dave Taylor . UPCOMING DATES AND DEADLINES Weekly Online Listings Updates 6pm every Tuesday for weekend posting for Volume 28 No. 4 February - March 2023 Publication Dates Friday, Feb 3 (digital) Tuesday, Feb 7, (print) Print edition listings deadline 6pm Tuesday, Jan 24 Print advertising, reservation deadline 6pm Tuesday, Jan 24 Printed in Canada Couto Printing & Publishing Services Circulation Statement - Nov 1, 2022, 9,000 printed & distributed Canadian Publication Product Sales Agreement 1263846 ISSN 14888-8785 WHOLENOTE Publications Mail Agreement #40026682 WholeNote Media Inc. accepts no responsibility or liability for claims made for any product or service reported on or advertised in this issue. COPYRIGHT © 2022 WHOLENOTE MEDIA INC FOR OPENERS Creative Collisions & Messy Collaborations DAV ID PERLMAN “I help places of faith and historic sites connect with community and reimagine themselves as vibrant multifaceted hubs. I am inspired by what can be created through collaborative community building.” Kendra Fry, CreativeCollisions.org I first met Kendra Fry in her capacity as General Manager of Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre at Bloor and Walmer Rd. It’s one of the most highly evolved faith/arts/ communities around here – a long-time home for decades to Tafelmusik Baroque Ensemble, Toronto Consort, the VIVA! family of choirs. A hub for meetings, small recitals in the side chapel, school bazaars, before-and- after-concert gatherings in the cheerfully decrepit gym, music lessons, rehearsals large and small. A host to hundreds of concerts by dozens of guest ensembles, amateur and professional and everything in between. And a haven. The community comes and goes via the doors at the west end of the building. The stairs to the concert hall/sanctuary, Trinity-St. Paul’s beating heart, are at the east. Peas in a Pod A few weeks back, I was looking through coverage of a recent announcement that London Symphonia – the city’s best chance in a long while of once again having a resident symphony orchestra – was partnering with the congregation of that city’s Metropolitan United Church to refurbish the church and sanctuary to performance standards that would make it a suitable permanent home for London Symphonia. Suddenly I found myself looking at a photo of an interior that looked like the spitting image of Trinity St. Paul’s. It was part of a larger initiative, the announcement said, to draw both the orchestra and the congregation more deeply into the life of the community. It looked and sounded like the work of someone I knew. So I gave her a call. When we talked, Kendra Fry confirmed both the fact of her involvement, and my impression that the two halls were alike. “Like peas in a pod, in fact, almost identical. Same architects (Edmund Burke and Henry Langley), with Trinity completed in 1889 and Metropolitan 15 years later. Met is brick, Trinity stone, that’s one big difference, but other than that the sanctuaries are inch to inch the same. It made Metropolitan United much easier, anticipating things, so a lot of stuff could go much quicker.” Praxis The Trinity-St. Paul’s physical blueprint was clearfly a significant help. But what about the Trinity imprint on Fry’s own thinking and praxis? “I learned a huge amount from both Tafelmusik and Trinity. I knew a fair bit about the arts, going in, but they taught me about how messy collaborations actually make us into better people – the things we think we are doing for the sake of money actually change us as people: better people, better citizens, more compassionate and connected artists and creators, and people of faith in the case of congregations. It was their vision. I just applied the whip to it.” And does Metropolitan Church have the same potential for messy collaboration in London as Trinity-St. Paul’s in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood? “I don’t think so,” Fry says.” It’s a much cleaner, more organized beginning. But it is in many ways an anomalous case. They are, for one thing, one of the largest United Church congregations in Canada. They get 250 in person and another 200 online for services. They raised ,000 in 17 days for this initiative, so they are not doing this to survive, they are doing it because they want to.” And how anomalous is that? “Put it this way, there are 27,000 churches in Canada. In the United Church alone, we are losing them, Canada-wide, at the rate of one a day. A quarter of them are at risk of not making it, because of a combination of dwindling congregations and deteriorating buildings.” 8 | December 2022 - January 2023 thewholenote.com

No shortage of projects So there is no shortage of potential projects out there for Fry and like-minded organizations, such as Montreal-based Trinity Centres Foundation. She regaled me with anecdotes about several of these projects, such as in Kingsbridge, north of Goderich, ON., where the community bought the church at the crossroads outright and kicked in the hundreds of hours of sweat equity to turn it into a gathering place that once again could solve many of the complex needs of the town; a little town in Quebec where the church pegged for a daycare turned out to be unsuitable for that, but perfect for city hall, so they switched. “And I have a site (St. Matthews in Kitchener) where they have a fellowship hall ideal for youth series – a big cement room with a stage. You can’t do it any harm and it’s at a distance from the central, perfectly made historical church building, but it’s fully accessible and on a streetcar line and so the opportunity to create something good. And in London we have a number of sites; one will become an Indigenous innovation centre, another housing, the third a music studio space, in keeping with London’s UNESCO City of Music designation.” Matchmaking Do the projects find her, or does she find them? And what happens when the congregation that was seemingly on board bridles at hearing the name of the Lord taken in vain in the current show or the other scandalous things artists get up to? “Those aren’t the kind of people we work with,” she says. “I have an extensive process I go through in advance. Nowadays I make them go listen to my CBC podcast in advance. If they still want to talk to us after that, they are probably going to be ok. I make it clear there that I don’t practise a faith – because I think it’s important that people understand that the things I want to create are spiritual and faithful in nature, yes, in that I have faith in community and their connections to each other, but they are not of God or a particular practice. In these projects, that practice can totally continue to exist, as can everything else. it just can’t override.” (The CBC podcast in question is easy to find: just google CBC Tapestry Kendra Fry, and you’ll be right there.) In the podcast, host Mary Hynes describes Fry’s mission as “helping churches find new lives for their buildings when the congregation becomes too small to carry on.” Fry doesn’t mind the slightly reductive description. “When I’m feeling high brow, I call my role a ‘curator of community’ because that’s the thing that I do. I help communities curate a new version of themselves,’ she says. “When I’m feeling a little more direct, I call it church repurposing, because practically speaking, we’re taking a building and helping to make it into what its community is asking it to be, and that has the potential to transform Canadian society. Think of the number of resources that are right now being held in very faithful trust by communities of faith and if they can help us dream a new society using those physical resources, think what we could do.” On down the road And as she looks down the road it’s not all about churches, or even necessarily about single buildings. “It’s all about surplus land by a whole lot of definitions: what a city has in land or can acquire in derelict properties, new builds, surplus faith buildings, yes, but also portfolios. Give me 22 sites in a two hour radius and I can do something about that.” “And it’s about the ways we wield permitting and historical designation as a way to stop things we don’t like, and heritage designations that run aground on shoals of built form as opposed to history of use. It’s fascinating. As we become more aware through knowledge keepers of Indigenous land use, intangible history, the history within particular trees, how do we respect ‘gathering place for people’ as a more fundamental designation than what kind of building, or particular type of gathering that might be? Given the particular role of churches through time, think what that could mean for reconciliation.” A toast to that. David Perlman can be reached at publisher@thewholenote.com First Christmas Away from Home A Christmas Concert dedicated to Ukrainian refugees celebrating their first Christmas in Toronto and the GTA since the unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine. FEATURING UKRAINIAN BANDURIST CHORUS OF NORTH AMERICA & SPECIAL GUEST ST. MICHAEL’S CHOIR SCHOOL Vesnivka & Toronto Ukrainian Male Chamber Choir JANUARY 22, 2023 • 2:15 PM St. Michael’s Cathedral Basilica 65 Bond St • Toronto Admission free • Donations welcome A portion of the proceeds will be directed for humanitarian aid. For more information & to reserve tickets: UkrainianChristmasConcert.eventbrite.ca thewholenote.com December 2022 - January 2023 | 9

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Volumes 11-15 (2004-2010)

Volumes 6 - 10 (2000 - 2006)

Volumes 1-5 (1994-2000)