Windsor Ontario News / Arts & Entertainment

Suburban museum shows work of famed Detroit rock poster artist April 17 2017

Gary Grimshaw, one of the most famous rock poster artists of the 1960s and 70s – and who hailed from Detroit – is the subject of an exhibit at the Lincoln Park Historical Society.

Lincoln Park is the downriver Detroit suburb where Grimshaw grew up, and he was a friend of those other famed Lincoln Park alumni, the musicians of the revolutionary – in music and politics – band, the MC 5.

Naturally, Grimshaw designed myriad posters for the band.

The exhibit, “Gary Grimshaw: The Master Artist’s Studio,” complements another about the MC 5, also held at the museum, which is located at the corner of Southfield Rd. and Fort St. 

Click to read more

Hip-hop meets the Renaissance March 7 2017

Kehinde Wiley works on a big scale.

He’s also one of the top African American artists working today.

And Windsorites have only to drive an hour south to the Toledo Museum of Art to see 60 of his paintings and sculptures.

The exhibit, called Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic, runs until May 14.

Click to read more

Michigan museum hosts acclaimed Chinese "Bird's Nest" stadium artist February 2 2017

Just a few short driving hours way, Michigan has scored a coup by hosting an exhibit by one of the current art world’s most influential figures, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei.

Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids is hosting Natural State, the artist’s first show of its kind at a botanical garden or sculpture park anywhere in the world.

Click to read more

From lunchboxes to lunchbox town Dec 20 2016

Send in your lunch boxes.

The Art Galley of Windsor wants you to temporarily donate school and work lunchboxes for an exhibition exploring the humble, or not so humble, sandwich the food, and Sandwich the community.

It’s all part of a two-year exhibit launching next spring that will look at the historic Windsor community in a way not explored before – through food.

Click to read more

Jewish centre, Mexican consulate team up for war memorial, film, tribute October 20 2016

The Windsor Jewish Community and local Mexican consulate are teaming up to present a unique event, called War Stories.

This month the two will unveil a monument honoring local Jewish veterans during World wat II.

And they will show a film about an extraordinary event during that war, when a Mexican diplomat in France saved the lives of as many as 40,000 Jews.

Click to read more

Windsor artist's transgendered-themed quilt on display at Michigan's ArtPrize Sept. 28 2016

Andrea Cassidy’s quilted artwork (picture left) at the 2016 Grand Rapids Michigan high profile ArtPrize exhibition goes to the heart of transgendered identity.

But unlike traditional artwork it seeks to involve the public, even asking them to participate in what they see in front of them.

“Play the game, touch the quilt, get involved,” creator Andrea Cassidy says of the art piece, called Gender Bender.

Click to read more

New Muslim peace and harmony sculpture also designed for selfies Sept. 6 2016

A local Muslim organization wants to donate a major public sculpture advocating peace and harmony that could end up on the city’s riverfront.

It might also be a great place as a backdrop for selfies.

Called Love for All, Hatred for None, the sculpture is designed by Windsorite Sidra Tahir, a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community (group's logo above), and would be a gift to the city to celebrate the national organization’s 50th anniversary in Canada.

Click to read more 

"Precarious" downtowns subject of major local art exhibition next year July 25 2016

“Locational precarity?”

Or try this – “multiplicities.”

Those are terms the Art Gallery of Windsor (AGW) is using to lure artists to contribute to its triennial contemporary art exhibition next year.

But some might want to grab a dictionary first.


Click to read more

Survey asks "arts lovers" how they consume events, media, facilities June 30 2016

The Windsor International Film Festival is conducting a survey about how “arts lovers” consumer the arts.

The 10 minute survey asks everything from how people learn about an event to whether they dine out before or after a performance.

Click to read more

Upcoming Kingsville summer festival combines fine art, fine wine and food June 1 2016

There are art shows and there are outdoor wine and culinary events but a Kingsville art show this summer is combining all three.

It’s the fourth annual Just ASK (Arts Society of Kingsville) Fine Arts & Fine Crafts Show & Sale that features not only art but wine, food and even music.

Click to read more

Magical Mystery Tour at Henry Ford May 17 2016

Beatles fans or not – and there are probably few who aren’t – might want to take in a new exhibit at Dearborn’s The Henry Ford.

It traces the history of the Fab Four through highly experiential exhibits, including a replica Cavern Club and the actual last autograph ever signed by John Lennon. 

Click to read more

City's oldest film festival kicks off May 2 with film starring Christopher Plummer April 22 2016

The Windsor Jewish Film Festival – 14th edition – opens May 2 and runs until may 5 at Devonshire Cineplex theatres.

Festival spokesman Stuart Selby said attendance last year was more than 2000, showing the event is increasingly drawing people from beyond the Jewish community, which has about 1200 individuals.

“Obviously that’s where it has to grow because the Jewish community is shrinking,” the retired communications professor (University of Windsor) and Brooklyn native said.

Click to read more

First local youth “politically-influenced” mural project launching this Spring March 30 2016

What’s considered the first-ever politically-inspired youth mural project in Windsor will soon see the light of day at the Rose City Islamic Centre.

Prizes of $250, $500 and $1000 will be awarded.

Youth in this case means ages between 15 and 29.

The murals will adorn the Islamic Centre’s community garden.

Click to read more

Windsor Iraqi exhibit garners international attention and funds February 19 2016

A current exhibit at the Art Gallery of Windsor is receiving international attention and is generating tens of thousands of dollars in donations.

Wafaa Bilal: 168:01 opened Jan. 30 and runs until April 10.

The installation, a reference to war and emptiness, is a stark large white bookcase containing 1000 empty books.

Click to read more

Canada's coast-to-coast film festival February 1 2016

Get ready for your antidote to the Super Bowl.

Cineplex's Great Digital Film Festival starts Friday and runs until Feb. 11.

But even if you like football you can attend many of the 15 digitally remastered classic films on offer.

“It’s Canada’s only coast to coast film festival,” Tecumseh native Brad LaDouceur, Cineplex’s vice president of Event Cinema said.

Click to read more 

Leamington amphitheatre could be up and running by this summer January 7 2016

Leamington could be playing host to professional acts in a brand new amphitheatre this summer.

The town’s director of infrastructure services Rob Sharon will be bringing to council early next month a final price tag on the “performing arts” theatre, (rendition above) part of a major redevelopment of the waterfront including an upgrade to Seacliff Park.

Click to read more 

Lights, sculpture fest at Detroit Zoo December 2 2015

Canadians who take their families to the Detroit Zoo have another reason to go there this holiday season.

It’s Wild Lights, a colourful light spectacular featuring five million LED lights and more than 100 animal sculptures for 24 nights during this holiday season.

“It’s a spectacular opportunity to get together with friends and family and bask in the holiday spirit,” zoo spokeswoman Patricia Janeway says.

Click to read more

Pioneer in inner city neighbourhood October 6 2015

Corktown Studios doesn’t expect to exactly spark development on its forlorn street just north of I-75 in Detroit’s traditional Corktown district.

“I think it’s kind of arrogant to say an artists’ collective can revitalize an entire neighbourhood,” founding member and iron sculptor Jake Chidester - whose works dot the studio’s backyard - says.

Nevertheless arts spaces have been among the first to locate in abandoned or derelict neighbourhoods, with growth in the form of restaurant, retail and residential gentrification coming after that.

Click to read more

Windsor's Biblioasis's new venture raises Canadian authors' profile Sept. 8 2015

Windsor's home-grown publishing company and bookstore Biblioasis has embarked on a new publishing venture with a new imprint or publishing division, "reSet", to give a higher profile to Canadian authors. But don't refer to it by the tired old nationalistic term CanLit. The following is an interview with company founder and publisher Dan Wells.

What’s the name mean?

Names are quite tough, and we spent a lot of time trying to figure out this one. reSet Books is a re-bot of a previous reprint series we started shortly after forming a press in 2004 called Biblioasis Renditions. Renditions means to perform, but also to give back, something we though central to our role as publishers. It's really a beautiful word. But the US government's use of the phrase 'rendition' to denote the practice of sending captives to countries which have laxer torture laws damaged the world, layering it with negative associations.

Click to read more

'Kick Out the Jams' - little museum features legendary MC5 exhibit July 24 2015

It's Kick out the Jams all over again.

For a little community museum in suburban Detroit, the legendary MC5 - a heavy metal Detroit rock band that was emblematic of late 1960s youth culture and considered a major influence on the later punk rock movement - has a special place in their hearts.

You see, four of the band’s original five members were from the working class downriver suburb.

The band is most famous for their, at the time, outrageous song Kick Out the Jams, which actually featured two versions.

Click to read more

Art gallery now a pretty funny place July 2 2017

The Art Gallery of Windsor has turned into a pretty funny place.

By design and also apparently happy coincidence there are two major exhibitions now on at the Riverside Drive museum - and they both feature cartoonists.

One, Between the Panels, is a collection of cartoons from four well-established artists who hail from Essex County.

They are David Finch, David Collier, Jeff Lemire and Kagan McLeod.

Click to read more

Windsor's newest record store

Just in time for Record Store Day, the city has a new record store. Sunrise Records has taken over the location of HMV in Devonshire Mall. Sunrise took over 70 HMV locations but the company has been coy about indicating where exactly some of the new shops are located. Attempts over the past couple of months to reach the Hamilton (Ancaster)-based chain have been unsuccessful, despite a clerk at the London Sunrise store saying headquarters responds quickly. Yet on Sunrise’s website it says it has a new location at Windsor’s Devonshire Mall. In February, Sunrise took over the store leases from HMV, a British chain which declared bankruptcy in January. The last stores closed April 14th. The local HMV phone has been disconnected and there is no listing yet for Sunrise. Sunrise’s history goes all the way back to its founding in 1977 and recently had nine Ontario locations. As with the theme of Record Store Day, which celebrates the “unique culture” of independent record stores, Sunrise owner Douglas Putman has said he believes there’s still a role for the good old record store, and plans a wider selection of discs – including vinyl – compared to HMV. Sunrise, in its release, said the music industry itself was concerned Canada was losing too many stores. Universal Music Canada president Jeffrey Remedios said record stores are "a community hub where passions are shared, art is explored, and lasting journeys begin." Even though a chain it seems Sunrise Records has the soul of an independent. – 18/4/17

Scorsese film consultant will speak in the city 

An academic who worked on the Oscar-nominated Martin Scorsese film Silence, which recently screened in Windsor, will be speaking in the city March 9. Michigan State history professor Liam Brockey, who has written extensively on European missionary priests in Asia, will talk on the subject Book of Martyrs: Dying for the Faith in Japan, 1597-1650. The prize-winning historian’s lecture begins at 6 pm at the Toldo Health Education Centre, Room 100, University of Windsor. The film depicts the hardships of missionaries and brutality by Japanese rulers against Catholics in 17th century Japan. It stars Liam Neeson and is up for a best cinematography Oscar. - 21/2/17

Public art wanted everywhere, not just on the city's riverfront

The city doesn’t want you to think that public art has to be relegated to the city’s waterfront, as beautiful as the Windsor Sculpture Park may be. It has drawn up a list of dozens of locations across Windsor, from community centres to parks, where both temporary and permanent exhibits can be located. These include places like Adie Knox (pictured), Charles Clark Square, Ojibway Nature Centre and Huron Lodge. “The City’s Public Art Policy provides opportunities to exhibit throughout the City in many of our public spaces, cultural affairs manager Cathy Masterson says. “This has been ongoing since the policy was first approved by Council in 2005.” The art can come “from anyone” in the community or environs. Already several sites have hosted temporary and permanent exhibitions. Artists can apply through Masterson’s office. – 5/1/17

Detroit streets named after its music stars

This week another Detroit street will be renamed for one its if many musical legends. Milwaukee Ave. just off Woodward and near the Amtrak station will be renamed Stevie Wonder Avenue. It joins a host of other streets named after Motown greats such as Berry Gordy Jr. Blvd. (West Grand Blvd.) in front of the Motown Museum. South of that, between Warren Ave. and Martin Luther King Jr., and just west of the Lodge Expressway, there’s a whole neighbourhood of intersecting streets named after Motown artists: Aretha Ave., Temptations and Four Tops Drives, Miracles Blvd., Martha Reeves Dr., Miracles Blvd., Contours Lane and Marvin Gaye Drive. In the suburbs, there’s Glenn Frey Drive, named after the Eagles member and Detroit native, located north of 11 Mile Road and just west off of Main Street. The street is near the school that Frey attended growing up in Royal Oak. – 19/12/16

BookFest, film festival's overlap cannot be fixed

It might seem strange that two of the area’s most celebrated arts events take place at the same time but there appears no other way around it. The Windsor International Film Festival’s 12th edition runs Nov. 1 – 6. BookFest Windsor’s 15th edition is Nov. 4 - 6. Both take place downtown and often draw from the same audience. WIFF executive director Vincent Georgie says at one time BookFest predated WIFF during the fall season. “I’m a bit sad because I always went to BookFest. It was always like a ramp-up to WIFF and always got to enjoy it." But Georgie maintained WIFF’s dates are set in stone and won’t be altered. “Because of our distribution cycle within the film industry this is when the festival runs,” he said. “For us we’re absolutely not changing our dates.” Lenore Langs, president of Literary Arts Windsor, which sponsors BookFest, said her festival’s dates also can’t be changed. “Because of venue availability and the timing of other literary festivals across Canada - which means that authors given a choice go to Whistler rather than Windsor - now that's competition! - we found that we had to schedule on our historical weekend, the first weekend in November.” Langs said BookFest organizers “prefer to think” the two events can "complement," rather than cannibalize, one another. She noted WIFF “often has multiple screenings of a film” so attendees don’t have to sacrifice one item in their itinerary for another. – 10/10/16

Windsor events on tap for provincial Culture Days 

Windsor has several events lined-up as part of Ontario’s Culture Days taking place Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 and 2. These include an open house at the Capitol Theatre (photo above), Art Cart tours at the Windsor Sculpture Park, free admission to the Chimczuk Museum, and you can meet and watch artists do their thing at the Windsor Artists’ Co-Op. The multidisciplinary w.a.v.e.s. festival is also making a return after an absence last year, at the city’s Sculpture Park. Culture Days differs from Doors Open Windsor, which is taking place Sept. 24 and 25 and features more that 40 sites where people can take self-guided tours of historic an architectural significant buildings. There will even be a shuttle. “While Doors Open Ontario opens the door to heritage sites across the province, Culture Days is dedicated to building a national network of cultural connections devoted to providing Canadians with opportunities to participate in, and appreciate, all forms of arts and culture,” says spokesman David French. – 7/9/16

Morse Code inventor was ... an artist?

The guy who invented the telegraph and the Morse code was a painter? Actually he may have painted more than he invented. And one of his paintings is on display at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA). Samuel F. Morse’s Gallery of the Louvre, is on display until September. The painting shows a fictitious gallery of the famous museum with numerous paintings of actual works found in the Louvre in Paris by Rembrandt, Rubens and da Vinci – all replicated by Morse – also with his family and friends including the novelist James Fennimore Cooper (The Last of the Mohicans). He intended it to be a “miniature museum” for Americans who couldn’t afford to travel to France. An ambitious painting but it didn’t go over that well with the public. Disappointed, Morse quit art and concentrated on other forms of communication. – 7/7/16

Cineplex's summer Classic Film Series

Cineplex theatres is in the middle of its summer Classic Film Series, and screens at Devonshire Mall cinemas. So far the movies Rocky (1976) starring Sylvester Stallone, and the 1945 British Brief Encounter starring Trevor Howard have been screened. Up next is A Place in the Sun (1951) starring Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor. It screens July 10, 20 and 25. The final film is Steven Spielberg’s 1981 Raiders of The Lost Ark starring Harrison Ford, August 7, 17 and 22.  Why these films? “We selected this summer’s Classic Film Series titles based on a few different factors,” Cineplex’s Sarah Van Lange said. “The films were all recently studio remastered have never been brought back to theatres until now, something very exciting for the fans. Availability also plays a big role. Rocky was a no-brainer since its celebrating the 40th Anniversary this year.” – 24/6/16

Group heading to Edinburgh Fringe

A local kids’ opera plans to take its production to the famed Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Brundibàr is being staged this month at the Windsor Jewish Community Centre. It features as many as 20 children from the Music Moves Kids artistic company, headed by Erin Armstrong. Brundibàr is a Czech play first performed during World War II by a group that ended up performing it in the Nazi Theresienstadt concentration camp. The story is about a brother and sister who confront a bully, Brundibàr, who prevents them from busking to raise money to buy their sick mother milk. The siblings are quickly embraced by other children, and animals, who eventually force the mean organ grinder to allow the children to play. The opera will be performed for school groups beginning April 4 and a public evening performance takes place April 7 at 7.30 pm. Money raised will pay for expenses to send the group to Edinburgh this August. The fest has “always been on my bucket list,” Armstrong says. It will also be performed at the Windsor Fringe next month. In addition to the play the public performance features songs by Armstrong and Tracey Atin, founder of Windsor’s Korda Artistic Productions. There is also an exhibit featuring photographs from two American museums about the Kinder Transport program, which saved thousands of European Jewish children’s lives. – 1/4/16

Dead Man Walking nun coming here

The nun who was spiritual advisor to Patrick Sonnier, the death row inmate at the centre of the 1995 movie Dead Man Walking, will be coming to Windsor. Sr. Helen Prejean,  portrayed in the film by Susan Sarandon (above),will speak on the death penalty ”20 years after” the film. She’s a leading death penalty abolitionist. She’ll be reflecting on counselling death row inmates. Along with the talk will be a short theatre presentation of a scene from the play by the same name directed by UW professor Lionel Walsh. The event takes place April 5, 7 pm at the H. Clifford and Joan Hatch Studio Theatre at University of Windsor’s Jackman Dramatic Art Centre. It’s free but space is limited so register by e-mail cbertrand@assumptionu.caor or 519-973-7033,‘0’. Sponsored by Assumption University, the Roman Catholic university federated with University of Windsor. – 21/3/16

Windsor's multi award-winning organization

Name one of the top award winning organizations in the city. It’s not necessarily a sports team. It’s the Art Gallery of Windsor (AGW). Over the past three years the gallery has won eight awards, “and if we count tourism it’s nine,” says director Catharine Mastin. The awards include for exhibition of the year, art writing, partnership with the city on its building lease agreement, and design. In each of the past three years “we have three, three and two (awards) going back to 2013,” in each year, Mastin said. – 2/2/16