Windsor Ontario News / Arts & Entertainment

Mr. Burns debuts 60th play season Sept. 11 2018

The University of Windsor Players are holding strong in their 60th year.

The new season, put on by students and faculty in the university’s drama school, kicks off Sept. 20 with a character you might have heard of.

Mr. Burns.

Yes, that Mr. Burns, of Simpsons’ fame.

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Da Vinci's flying machine, bicycle replicas on display at Cranbrook July 30 2018

It’s not known whether any of Da Vinci’s inventions, many of which were detailed engineering drawings, were ever built.

“Not that I’m aware of, he designed a plethora of devices of various sorts and in truth a great many of them were never built,” says Cranbrook’s curator of collections Cameron Wood.

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Fresh from the Whisky a Go Go, London indie rockers playing B. R. Sunsplash July 6 2018

You’re in for a treat next weekend when up and coming indie rockers Rose Cora Perry & The Truth Untold play Belle River’s Sunsplash, July 12 - 15.

The London-based threesome performs 6 pm Friday on the Lakeview Park Amphitheatre stage.

The band has had a quick trajectory, breaking into several American markets, performing at the huge National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) trade shows, which are the equivalent of Canadian Music Week.

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Reimagining DIA as a "town square" June 26 2018

The Detroit Institute of Arts is planning to create a physical connection to its neighbourhood, even become a "town square."

The idea is to create a design that “reimagines” the DIA’s exterior campus, which fronts Woodward Ave. just north of downtown.

While the DIA edifice is prominent enough on Woodward, it still remains aloof from its community, according to DIA officials who are seeking to integrate the building into the surrounding areas.

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Windsor film festival will feature more "pop up" screenings, add venue May 2 2018

Look for more “pop up” film screenings as the Windsor International Film Festival rolls out programming for its WIFF 365 monthly film series.

Director Vincent Georgie says a first pop up was held in conjunction with this year’s Oscars ceremony.

Three more are now scheduled – for late May, late June and in conjunction with Windsor Pride.

The titles of the films haven’t been announced though there will be themes - obviously Canadian ones for Canada Day, and LBGTQ-inspired films for Pride.

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Southern Ontario's two other film festivals, one getting underway today October 26 2017

There’s not only the Windsor International Film Festival getting underway over the coming week.

There are two other film festivals – in Sarnia and London - taking place around the same time.

Sarnia’s Southwestern Ontario International Film Festival (SWIFF) runs Nov. 2 – 5 while London’s Forest City Film Festival kicks off today and runs until Sunday.

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Concert may be a first for Canada Sept. 26 2017

It’s a rarity and perhaps hasn’t been done anywhere else.

The Windsor Symphony Orchestra has teamed up with the Windsor Jewish Community Centre to put on a performance featuring the music of all Jewish composers.

The concert takes place 7.30 pm, Oct 3rd at the Jewish Community Centre on Ouellette Avenue.

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Fundraiser concert celebrates Windsor's rich musical history August 30 2017

Celebrate Windsor music and help build a rich musical legacy.

The Windsor Music Archives is hosting its second fundraiser to create a permanent home of Windsor music lore.

The event is called Reunions and takes place Sept. 29 at the Rondo, 63 Pitt St. E.

Of course, with a name like Reunions, you can expect some of the area’s legacy talents to be on hand.

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Detroit '67 riot commemorated at several walkable Motown exhibits August 17 2017

The 50th anniversary of the Detroit riot sees major exhibitions regarding that event taking place across Detroit.

There are six such exhibits and all within walking distance.

Here’s even an official Passport to tie them altogether.

One of the first to open was at the Detroit Historical Museum, located across from the Detroit Institute of Arts.

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Construction starting this summer on Leamington's shiny new theatre July 13 2017

Come this time next year the only independently-owned and operated theatre in Essex County outside of Windsor will have shiny new digs, complete with new box office, washrooms and retractable seating. 

Leamington’s Bank Theatre will be starting renovations late this summer after acquiring a small building next to its current location at 10 Erie Street, which is a former bank building.

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Luxury seats, "immersive" theatre but still no alcohol or gourmet food June 8 2017

Seven of Cineplex’s 12 Devonshire Mall theatres are now equipped with “luxurious, reclining seats,” the company says – fast-paced considering the original announcement for the upgrade was in early March.

But don’t expect to be served food or liquor at your seats, like Cineplex does in its 17 VIP locations - the closest being in London – as well as buying alcohol as at other locations.

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Glass, glass and even more glass May 25 2017

Glass, glass and more glass.

In fact, it's possibly the foremost glass art gallery in America, and located in Detroit's suburban Royal Oak.

Habitat Galleries was started in 1971 and certainly is the oldest and largest glass art gallery in the US.

Currently it's also exhibiting the world's largest international glass exhibition – its 45th annual.

The exhibit features 100 artists from the United States, Canada, Germany, Italy, Australia, Slovakia, the Netherlands, and others.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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"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.


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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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Devonshire presents Wizard of Oz, Top Gun, and more, in 3D glory

Cineplex is bringing new and classic movies – all in 3D – to its Devonshire cinema from August 31 to Sept. 6. The RealD 3D fest features films like The Wizard of Oz, Top Gun, Gravity and Creature from the Black Lagoon. Cineplex says Real D 3D is the “most widely used” 3D technology with “crisp, bright, ultra-realistic” images and depth “that puts audiences in the thick of the action.” Other films scheduled include Dial M for Murder, Terminator 2 Judgment Day, Titanic and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. – 8/24/18

Novelist Atwood urges aid for Detroit Shakespeare troupe

Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood has thrown her support behind a Detroit theatrical group Shakespeare in Detroit. The novelist used her Twitter account to call on General Motors Corp. to help the non-profit staging a production next month on GM Plaza, behind the Renaissance Center. The troupe must come up with more than $32,000. GM owns the plaza but it’s run by a property management company. The money is used for staging, technical and audio-visual operations. GM said this was a discounted rate and rental fees themselves were waived. The increasingly popular theatre group’s 2018 season starts Aug. 23 with Much Ado About Nothing (Para Nada) a bilingual performance 80% English and 20% Spanish. A November production of Twelfth Night is scheduled for the Detroit Opera House. Said Atwood: “I am sure @GM will see the value in supporting @ShakesintheD, as it brings #Shakespeare to everyone and is part of the renaissance going on now in #Detroit!" - 8/2/18

Photo: Shakespeare In Detroit

Benefactor of Windsor's oldest film festival dies at 92

Ruth Friedman, part of the namesake for the Windsor Jewish Film Festival, has died at 92. Ruth and husband Bernie were the founding philanthropists for Windsor’s oldest film festival – now in its 16th year – as the last of numerous philanthropic gifts the couple bestowed on the local Jewish community and city generally. Until her death Ruth was living in Toronto. But for four decades she was a well know Windsor real estate agent and known as “the woman who would never take no for an answer.” She and Bernie also operated Arrow Pharmacy. Before taking on the film festival they sponsored an annual picnic for the Jewish community. – 7/9/18

Hanksfest celebrates Hollywood's nicest guy 

Hollywood’s nicest guy, Tom Hanks, will be celebrated at Cineplex theatres during the month of July. Four of the most celebrated Hanks films will be screened, each for one week beginning July 6. First up at bat is A League of Their Own (1992). It will be followed by the travails of adulthood celebrated hilariously in the movie Big (1988), beginning July 13. They’re lost in another space in the docu-drama Apollo 13 (1995), starting July 29. And the film depicting the man who was always at the right place at the right time, Forrest Gump(1994), has its opening July 27. Cineplex is calling the event Hanksfest, in honour of Hanks’s now 62 years, yes,  on planet Earth. “His films are loved by generations and Hanksfest will showcase some of his best and most beloved characters back on the big screen for the whole family to enjoy,” says Cineplex spokeswoman Jess Harris. – 6/28/2018

Summer of science fiction movies

Just in time for the summer vacation season the Detroit Institute of Arts has launched a summer series of science fiction films. More than 30 movies are being screened, in a theme connected to the DIA’s current Star Wars and The Power of Costume exhibit, featuring the costumes in Star Wars films, which runs til Sept. 30. Such famous films – everything from 1954’s Them! to 1966’s Fantastic Voyage and Forbidden Planet from 1956, will be on the silver screen at the DIA’s Detroit Film Theatre, attached to the museum. Adult tickets are $9.50, students $7.50 or you can get a pass for $35 (US) for five admissions. For more information go top – 6/11/2018

Cineplex's reclining seats alter theatres in a few other ways

The newish recliner seats at Cineplex Devonshire’s movie theatre also alter the auditoriums in a few other ways. For example, the seats are located along wider rows than previously existed in the complex’s 12 theatres, which date from 1999 and were constructed after nearby Cineplex Silver City was built. (Silver City does not have the updated seats.) For example, there are now guardrails between the rows. According to Cineplex’s Sarah Van Lange, this is “to comply with building codes.” As well, the rows themselves are wider so no more jostling people’s legs or having them stand up when later arriving patrons look for seats. Interestingly the wider rows were built to accommodate the much larger seats. “This is to allow enough space for guests to walk between rows when the seats are fully reclined,” she said. The installation was completed last summer. The seats are PVC free and a polyurethane blend. And, yes, Van Lange, said, there are fewer seats in auditoriums because the new seats take up more space. – 30/4/18

Museum, library undergoing renos

The Art Galley of Windsor apologies for any inconvenience. But repairs are being carried out on the gallery’s third floor to improve climate control and therefore “safety of the artwork for future generations,” director Catharine Mastin (above) says in a release. The work continues until May 13th. Nevertheless, there’s still plenty of art on view in the “adjacent collection” including the museum’s much-touted Salon Wall (where paintings are grouped together like in and old-fashioned salon). There are also new acquisitions by famed Indigenous artist, lately in the news, Norval Morrisseau. Exhibitions also continue on the gallery’s second floor. Meanwhile, the Amherstburg public library will be re-opening April 30 after being closed to repair a broken water pipe. During the closure patrons were picking up materials at the Libro Centre or had materials mailed to their homes. – 4/26/18

Museum showcases local hair sculptor

You’ve seen clay sculptures, ceramic sculptures, bronze sculptures - how about hair sculptures? This weekend at the Detroit Institute of Arts one of the top purveyors of the “art” will be on hand to demonstrate her exotic and fanciful (hair) sculptures. Detroit’s own Kristina Beaty, aka The GlamTech, will demonstrate how she makes fabulous curls and twirls, often in many colors. You can catch her between noon and 4 pm Saturday and Sunday in the museum’s Prentis Court. Her work has been featured in publications like O Magazine. Here favorite looks tend to 1940's glamour. Beaty’s appearance at the Detroit museum is an example of how the museum plans to exhibit more unconventional – or wider – art forms, according to an administrator. – 25/10/17

Celebrated local sculptor looking to open gallery store

Now that he has a new home, celebrated local sculptor Mark Williams hopes to be opening a store. Williams has sculpted many prominent sculptures and monuments including the upcoming Brock and Tecumseh statues in a roundabout at the entrance of Olde Sandwich Towne. Other sculptures include a fire fighters memorial, an historical cannon firing demonstration along Amherstburg’s waterfront, and 

a Ford workers’ sculpture along Drouillard Rd. He recently moved to Maidstone and purchased a former funeral parlour at the corner of Manning and Talbot Rd. (leading into Essex). “I’m just in the process of hopefully opening some sort of store up front here with my sculptures and collectibles – all kinds of stuff,” he said. He’s working hard on the conversion. “It doesn’t even look like a funeral home,” he laughed. His house is immediately behind. – 17/8/17

Domino's Farms' Frank Lloyd Wright works

Domino’s world headquarters are in Ann Arbor Michigan at Domino’s Farms, a vast half mile long building which uses some of the principles of Frank Lloyd Wright’s low level Prairie Style in its architecture. Owner Tom Monaghan has also been infatuated with Wright, and has collected more than 300 objects designed by the man considered America’s greatest architect. Some of these are currently on display at Domino’s Ave Maria Fine Art Gallery, itself a series of long hallways of art that might lead a visitor to ask, “who knew?” such a place existed. On display are examples of Wright’s stained glass and leaded windows and doors, models of some of his most famous houses, photos and letters. The models include houses that were built in the Detroit area and still stand. The Prairie Style features buildings with long overhanging roofs that represent the flatness of the American prairie. The exhibit is on display Monday through Saturday. Domino’s Farms is located off US 23 (Plymouth Rd). Enter by Lobby C. – 21/7/17

Little festival that could expands a day

Why go to Toronto when you can see the cream of the Toronto International Film Festival here? That’s as good a reason as any to enjoy this, the 13th edition, of the Windsor International Film Festival (WIFF). This year’s event, Oct. 30 – Nov. 5, will expand by a day, and has now enlisted two venues – the Capitol Theatre and St. Clair Centre for the Arts (Chrysler Theatre) – for the entire event. The festival is ranked second among 158 events on the Toronto film festival circuit. Last year it sold 20,000 tickets. Only 128 days remain before it opens so, as WIFF says in a release, “let the countdown begin.” – 27/6/17

Photo: WIFF

Windsor's avant-garde festival announces dates

Media City, Windsor’s avant-garde and internationally respected film festival, takes place August 2 -5, and early bird tickets are on sale. Underlining its international flavor the 22nd edition’s opening night screening will take place at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Remaining screenings will be shown at the Capitol Theatre and Arts Centre. Specific program and screening announcements will be made in June and July. All-access Passes are $25 and available until July 5, then the cost is $40. – 23/5/17