There’s an ongoing debate being broadcast and put in print across the entire country.  Two different teams presenting two different vantage points, pushing for (almost) the same thing.  Months ago, CTV launched http://www.savelocal.CTV.ca – a website designed to inform broadcast television consumers about the new “tv tax” that’s been put on the table as a means to help protect local stations from going belly up. It’s made strides with its point of view, stating that when the tax is imposed, cable and satellite service providers will just let it roll downhill onto the consumer’s doorstep – not an entirely unrealistic theory.  In fact, service providers have already voluntarily admitted the intent, being warm and up-front honest letting the good customer know the increase might equate to $5 – $10 on monthly bills.

Local-TV-MattersA sub-page of the website – http://localtvmatters.ca/the-facts – counters that honesty, suggesting that it’s impossible to even apply a projected range to the increase given that 1. the tax isn’t even approved for imposition and 2. negotiations would then take place. Also on that particular page is representation of other network logos, including those of Global, A and publicly owned CBC. And, that’s not the only private-sector arrangement CBC’s gotten involved with lately, they’ve also snuggled up with the National Post in a two way exchange. CBC’s evolved exceptionally well over the last year or so – especially with respect to diversifying programming and kicking up their overall aesthetic but its not clear how a public/private arrangement will effect things in the longer term.

To counteract the assertions major networks are making, a second website dealing with the issues, http://www.stopthetvtax.ca, was launched. Almost exactly mirroring the overall message of CTV-lead Local TV Matters, it takes some reading to realize who’s attacking who.  Both websites have a days, hours, minutes and seconds countdown, both are urging visitors to contact the CRTC and both are fighting the imposition of any tax at all.  What’s different is this website sets the stage for service providers to cry wolf and say they’re barely making a cent.  The main splash is riddled with myths that are busted by facts about the profitability of being a service provider, presented by the service providers.  Hmm.

StopTVTaxOne myth says that in actuality, providers would go broke just providing broadcast television and that they need to bundle it with other add ons and services to survive. There may be some truth to that, but something suggests that the bleeding profits from providing broadcast signals aren’t quite that dire. They’re business people, and business people don’t stick with businesses that are money losers, especially in an economic crunch (just watching Dragon’s Den will show that).  That being said, the bottom line is that both websites are pushing against having to pay the tax at all; well, at least that it shouldn’t be paid by the consumer.

The coalition behind Local TV Matters is saying local TV is necessary and their feedback is that people want it… this fee’s coming, (is also necessary) and providers are going to come after consumers, and they’re already ripping them off. Stop The TV Tax on the other hand is saying the tax isn’t even the right answer, that they have no choice but to pass it on if it was imposed and even say “Canada’s big networks want the CRTC to impose another new fee on your bill” – true, but the CRTC doesn’t impose the fee being on the bill, and that’s misleading.

In fact, the CRTC issued this statement:

Consumers should contact their service suppliers, as this increase is not required or regulated by the CRTC. The CRTC considers that these companies can absorb a contribution to the LPIF of this size and does not see any reason why these supplemental costs should be transferred to their subscribers.

The LPIF by the way is the Local Programming Improvement Fund (a separate fund altogether), which received an increased contribution back in 2008, who paid for that you might wonder? If the guess was that it was passed onto consumers through small bill increases; that’s correct. And, even with that increase, the CRTC recommended against the trickle down effect. Providers defend themselves by saying that they’re obligated by law to broadcast the currently ‘free-to-air’ local signals, and imply that if they have no choice but to broadcast, consumers have no choice but to pay.

Regardless, they should be legally obligated to broadcast those signals; it shouldn’t be optional to pick up the local signal. And, don’t forget that providers are already (willingly) shelling out “in excess of $300 million” a year to US broadcasters according to Local TV Matters. They also provide the tidbit that in the last five years, basic cable bills have gone up more then four times the cost of living.

It doesn’t take an analyst to prove that; a quick comparison of the bills coming into my house put broadcast providers comfortably at the top in terms of how much it eats into income, after shelter (which is expected to take the lion’s share).

So, until November 2 when decisions are made that will no doubt change quite a lot, it’s a matter of public opinion and you just have to decide what side of the line to stand on.

While this probably isn’t that ‘new’ a thing, it was something that I never even knew existed until a co-worker casually mentioned her past experience at FAO Schwarz when everyone was discussing the fact that Toys ‘R’ Us bought them out.  (And since the previously mentioned acquisition, Disney’s bought up Marvel for $4 billion and Kraft went after Cadbury, but failed despite a $16 billion bid – doorcrasher sales on various international brands in the wake of an economic downturn… but that’s off topic).

So it turns out, FAO Schwarz in New York has a whole section of the sales floor that’s devoted to making your very own Muppet!  The Whatnot Workshop has all kinds of different stations that allow people to mix and match different eyes, ears, noses – right down to accessories – to create a mixmatched customized Muppet that looks, works and feels like the real thing, as if Jim Henson himself had created a new character.

There used to be both an online and in-store Whatnot experience but since the May 2009 acquisition, the online platform has been scrapped and is in redevelopment.  So, for now the only way to get your own Muppet is to boot down to NYC as it’s an exclusive feature that thankfully Toys ‘R’ Us has no intentions of dropping.  The store will remain an FAO Schwarz as well, good considering its icon status for children everywhere and the fact that it’s been immortalized in films ‘o plenty.

In total there’s choice between three body types, 12 eyes, 12 noses, 13 hairstyles and 14 costumes (including The Statue of Liberty and a baseball uniform resembling that of the New York Yankees).  Check out the photos below to see the real deal!

Care Failure performing in Germany

Care Failure performing in Germany

Toronto based punk rock group Die Mannequin is a young band of three that’s already enjoyed lots of success and attention.  With the pending release of their first ‘real’ full length studio album, Fino + Bleed, there’s no sign of stopping either.  Lead by now 22 year old front woman Care Failure (Caroline Kawa), she was 16 when first revving up her career in the music industry and awarded her own sub-label, How To Kill – a division of Warner Music.

The band started as The Bloody Mannequins releasing their first EP, sharing its title with the record label.  Despite the genre difference, tracks were produced by Canadian electronic duo Jesse F. Keeler and AI-P, better known as MSTRKRFT.  Failure briefly slipped away, joining Canadian supergroup The Big Dirty Band, featuring Rush’s Geddy Lee (bass), Alex Lifeson (guitar), Ian Thornley and Three Days Grace’s Adam Gontier (vocals/guitar).  For Failure, the audition led to surprise, “it was a quick experience but a lasting one.  I thought I’d get backups and got the whole song – I’m still like a pup but with them even more so.  Maybe Alex just liked my voice, he’s a sweetie.”

That ‘whole song’ Failure snagged was a cover of Sonny Curtis and The Crickets’ I Fought The Law which was included on the soundtrack for The Trailer Park Boys: The Movie with a full video.  The video featured fellow Die Mannequin Anthony “Useless” Bleed though he didn’t contribute to the track.  Bleed who’s been with Failure for six years nicknamed her Fino, which is where the title of the new album comes from.  The third Mannequin rounding out the group is drummer, Ghostwolf.

For their second EP, Slaughter Daughter, Die Mannequins turned to Billy Talent’s Ian D’Sa to produce two tracks as well as international producer/dj Junior Sanchez.  “The producers we chose, we just got on the phone and asked ‘em,” Failure says.  “There’s nothing bad to say about any of them,” adding the dance backgrounds of some enhance her process.  “I like to shake it!  I like to write heavy dance music, if you can dance around in your underwear, it works for me.”

Failure’s satisfied with not having rushed straight into a studio album, “EP’s are awesome, you get together as a band and become bulletproof.”

Aside from great producers, Die Mannequin was also invited to travel alongside Guns ‘n Roses for their Canadian tour, “it was like Guns ‘n who?” Failure said referencing the call.  Shortly after, at performance of their own, Failure, who brings audience folk up on stage for any given song per show did so only to be informed afterwards that her guest was from iTunes.  Another golden moment turned opportunity which saw Autumn Cannibalist become the free single of the week.

Fino + Bleed

Fino + Bleed

The lead single from Fino + Bleed is Bad Medicine, which Failure had a say in.  “Getting creative control is useless if the label has veto, they wanted something else and I wasn’t feelin’ it.  I’m lucky I had a say; we just have to agree in the end.”  Other highlights of the new album include Dead Honey and Start It Up. Written in just a month (due to the theft of Failure’s laptop), the album is also available in a deluxe edition paired with the documentary called Rawside, directed by Bruce McDonald.  Failure joked, “It’s crazy, we must be the first band to have a DVD history [in an early album], we just laugh about it.”

Failure, who writes what she knows and counts The Pixies and Queens of the Stone Age amongst her inspirations, shared her writing process. “Creativity’s so strange and different for everyone; it’s a muscle too.  I write something every single day, some are shit.  Remind yourself it has to be fun.”

Fino + Bleed is an unquestionably fun punk rock album which hits stores September 8.

Boasting a cast of 14, the latest production from this province’s World class Wonderbolt Circus is called Tricksters.  The show, unveiled for a sneak peak in St. John’s, is without disappointment.  Those that grew up familiar with early Wonderbolt days have a golden opportunity to feel the magic in its purest form again and with any luck the show will eventually (and hopefully) be available on DVD.  Ringmaster Beni Malone performs in his classic, beloved way; signature funny clown hips, on stilts and playing with fire – his cherished charming smile, popping out for a well timed laugh.

Beni Malone in Tricksters

Beni Malone in Tricksters

Malone is joined in Tricksters by nephew Dash Malone who takes on an anime-style Zoolander appearance, living up to his name, zipping and flipping around the theatre.  Also from the family clan is Anahareo White-Malone who returns home from Germany, where she’s very obviously blossomed from training and is a rising international aerialist sensation.  White-Malone takes on a number of characters in the show including an uptight foreign woman milling about the audience before the show struggling to find her seat harassing ushers played by Lauren and Jeff Smyth.

That character reappears throughout the show with Champaign.  For the second act, in a pencil skirt and high heals she proceeds to perform acrobatics in a hanging hula hoop dangling over the stage with white round Chinese paper lanterns floating around her.

Wonderbolt's Tricksters

Wonderbolt's Tricksters

Prior to that standout solo, White-Malone snuck down on white silk ribbons attached to a stage fly wearing a white mask.  She was followed down by Josh Oliver in the same piece, whose aerial strength was revealed off the top of the show when he’d been lowered from a hatch in the ceiling on black canvas straps right over the audience. Both performances were beautifully executed, visually stunning and easily trigged tears for some in combination with the soundscape.

The sounds by George Morgan and Bill Brennan were nothing short of outstanding.  Speaking with producers at the intermission revealed Morgan made certain percussion elements, such as a wall of more then 7 gongs.  A brilliant play fight shared by Oliver and David Mercer graciously shared the spotlight with the Wonderbolt band with class when the four used plastic piping to tap familiar tunes out on their thighs.

Mercer was joined by fellow Gentleman Juggler James Burke as the main through-line characters with Beni Malone.  Both attempted to lure Mercer to step away from being fixated by the formulas of a rubrics cube in lieu of their world of make-believe.   The second scene featured a touching but comedic shared campfire complete with roasting marshmallows between Beni and the Gentleman Jugglers.  All three strategically used vocal exclamations during times of surprise, when Oliver snuck down from a fly and grabbed Mercer by a harness made to look like the back of his shirt for example.

A number of times a big dog popped out on stage to alarm Mercer, Burke and Malone as an especially great way to draw the younger audience in.  Also vaguely familiar to the youth was a character that resembled the ever-popular Mary Poppins played by Kat Finck.  She impressively lowered on stage holding an umbrella by a wrist strap that was also attached to a stage fly.  Finck later reappeared opening the second act with an impressive costume change and diabolo performance.  The second act also heats up with an amazing two hoop performance by Allison Collins (Ali Hoops) with Smyth ushers dutifully standing by the fire exits of the Reid.

A clear audience favourite was the vignette including world champion Aboriginal hoop dancer Terrance Littletent who’s joined by Jayson Littletent for vocals and percussion.  This is a particularly relevant feature as the show moves from St. John’s to the 5th Annual Kamataukatshiuht Circus Festival.  After running from August 19-23rd at the Reid Theatre (matinees Aug 19/20 at 2:00pm), Wonderbolt will take Tricksters to Natuashush and Sheshatshiu before doing a cross-island tour of Arts and Culture Centres in February 2010 after becoming a part of the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympics.

For more information about Wonderbolt go to www.wonderbolt.ca.  Tickets for Tricksters at the Reid Theatre are available at the Holy Heart Boxoffice or by calling 579-4424.

It is virtually impossible to miss that it’s clearly ‘festival’ season in St. John’s, NL.  From the Nickel to Wreckhouse and on to the Festival of New Dance, there is absolutely no shortage of entertainment.  With Neighbourhood Dance Works (NDW) at the helm for the 19th season, the Festival of New Dance has packed a baker’s dozen of performances and presentations in from July 21 to 26th, along with a sprinkling of parties throughout.

Festival of New DanceWhat’s exceptionally interesting this year are some of the venues.  Calla Lachance, Program and Publicity Administrator, explains planning for this year’s festival was challenging but worthwhile.  “Without the LSPU Hall, you begin to realize how limited downtown is for presenting certain forms of art, dance in particular. This city really needs another mid-size theatre that can accommodate more performance art,” Lachance says, adding her voice to the many from within the arts community who’ve been recently lobbying for a new venue.

The challenge uncovered venues that “mightn’t have otherwise been considered and as a result we’re bringing life to all sorts of little pockets throughout St. John’s; it is really exciting,” Lachance concedes.  “Our audience is going to love our venues and the artists we’re showcasing are some of the biggest names in the contemporary dance scene.”

With a desire to keep venues within walking distance from one another in the downtown area, NDW looked up its options Lachance continued, “it’s exciting because we had to visualize how other spaces might work and what would best showcase dance artists.”  The mix of venues turned out as eclectic as the dance, including the Kirk, A1C Gallery, Cochrane Street United Church, Wild Lily Dance Centre as well as three outdoor venues like Pippy Park, the Eastern Edge Gallery parking lot and stairs adjacent to the Supreme Court.  Look out!

Some highlights of this year’s presentation include streamings, choreographed by St. John’s native Tammy MacLeod featuring Andrea Tucker, taking place at the Kirk July 25th and 26th.  Also, two-time Dora Award winning choreographer Susie Burpee from Toronto has created The Rolling Parlour Cabaret, at the A1C Gallery, its title inspired by Winnipeg singer/songwriter Christine Fellows who performs live within the show.

Tammy on Current's Cover

Tammy on Current's Cover

For MacLeod, having streamings be part of it all is an honour, “the Festival is one of the few times contemporary dance takes centre stage, it can springboard presentations into other festivals. Exposure and focus on the work with a professional venue to present in; ultimately, the festival provides a showcase.”

The show was inspired by Sylvia Plath’s poem Last Words as well as an organic working process with the dancer, Andrea.  streamings attempts to create a world for its only character, constructing landscapes of awareness, integrated and disintegrated, she is “lilting in the regions of her imagination, she is the architect of her own mind. Pools of black and an opening to the present, she captures her essence and reconstructs her world.”

Working with Victor Tilley for lighting and Chris Driedzic on the complimenting soundscape which includes recordings of Rennie’s River and a soda can, the show developed over improvisation.  “As the movement vocabulary emerged so did the chairs, black holes and the possibility of emulating birth on stage. The birth imagery has remained consistent through the many incarnations.”  Originally MacLeod was also on stage when the work was informally presented at the Backdoor Cabaret in January 2008 (then titled Trusting Chairs).

For Susie Burpee, the ability to perform cabaret-style is an attractive feature of the Festival of New Dance.  She was drawn by a call for works that could be performed outside of a traditional theatre-style venue.  Her 45 minute show is armed with “themes of solitude, fragility and fortitude,” she explains.  Credited by the Toronto Star with an ability to showcase “fully human characters struggling for connection,” Burpee uses “metaphor that exists in movement, song and special objects” to convey the world’s wonder and fragility.

Susie Burpee

Susie Burpee

The Rolling Parlour Cabaret marks the fifth time that Burpee has collaborated with Christine Fellows and initially was inspired by “the idea of spinsterhood,” Burpee shares.  “I am interested in movement that is transformative and creates a character for the stage,” she adds.  Burpee’s signature presentation style is a fusion of vivid imagination and bold choreography.  Her background in theatrical study supplemented with dance training  gives her work a point of view like no other.  And Burpee’s studies continue, having recently attended L’Ecole Philippe Gaulier in Paris for Bouffon.

As for MacLeod, she will be continuing to train with her colleagues and independently, adding her need to “rely on the community of dancers to develop my craft and hone my skills as a mover and choreographer.”

More information on either of these shows as well as a full festival schedule, program notes and biographies are available at www.neighbourhooddanceworks.com.  To check out any of the presentations of the 19th Annual Festival of New Dance, tickets and passes can be purchased at the Holy Heart Theatre box office in person or by phone at 579-4424.

With Pride celebrations popping up as per usual throughout the summer months across the world, New York City was of course no different.  On the heals of the official ‘week’ the Shakespeare in the Park continues to celebrate as it inches closer to the fall theatre season.  Part of this year’s programme line up includes The Twelfth Night (June 10 – July 12) staring Private Practice’s Audra McDonald and big screen starlet Anne Hathaway as Olivia and Viola, respectively.  Hathaway celebrates many firsts within the casting, not only is it her debut in public theatre, it’s also the first time she’s ever kissed a woman!

McDonald & Hathaway in The Twelfth Night

McDonald & Hathaway in The Twelfth Night

Unfamiliar with The Twelfth Night? Shakespeare in the Park describes it as a beguiling comedy which follows the romantic adventures of Viola and her identical twin Sebastian, both shipwrecked in the enchanted dukedom of Illyria. At the helm of this time-honored story of cross-dressing and mistaken identity, all in the name of love, is Tony Award winning Director Daniel Sullivan.

For a little outdoor Shakespeare action a little closer to home for readers in Newfoundland, there is the reliable Shakespeare by the Sea troop who’ve worked hard to put together a brilliant summer season.  This year’s line up includes the classic Romeo & Juliet (July 5 – Aug. 10) and The Tempest (July 17 – Aug. 15) along with a Fairy Tale Mix Up (July 11 – Aug. 16) written and directed by Newfoundland’s own Krista Hann.  Also for the kids, Classics by Candlelight (July 4 – Aug. 16) returns this year and Tunes ‘n Tales (July 6 – Aug. 10) is an addition following Romeo & Juliet performances which celebrates authentic Newfoundland music and yarns.

All of the ingredients to create the perfect storm of jazz and blues are mustering up, right now.  In a matter of days, the Wreckhouse International Jazz and Blues Festival will rev up and get started.  This year promises to be one of the best yet, as Wreckhouse Jazz and Blues seeks to get settled after launching its new brand just last year.  While the look is shiny and new having only been unveiled immediately before the 2008 festival, this year is actually the eighth annual event since the original Hew Knoo Jazz Festival as it was once known.  The calibre of festival has ostensibly grown and now the truly international flavour is being fully embraced for the first time by including it in the festival’s name.

This year’s line up of 150 artists packed into 40 concerts over a six day period from July 14th – 19th is reflective of impeccable taste and variety.  If anything is for certain, there’s plenty to celebrate at this year’s festival which kicks off July 14th with a Latin inspired evening at the Martini Bar featuring Salsa Roca, Bill Brennan and Banda Brazil.

Multiple Juno nominee’s Cadence, not to be missed on day two, are a four-man group who need nothing more then a vocal warm up and a microphone.  They’ve performed alongside greats such as Gordon Lightfoot and Quincy Jones and as part of Wreckhouse, they’re also offering a workshop on stage presence before their show in the afternoon!

Also on July 15th at the D. F. Cook Recital Hall, The Bad Plus will be performing tracks off their most recent release, For All I Care which mixes up highly familiar rock and pop pieces with classical songs all on the same album.  The thought behind the somewhat concept album was that all music can share the same space and be appreciated.  Unlike the group’s initial release, Prog, the latest offering is the first time The Bad Plus has welcomed a guest vocalist.

Getting right to business with a great schedule highlight for the whole family, Kelly-Ann Evans, Janet Cull and Dana Parsons will be paying tribute to Motown’s 50th anniversary on July 16th at Holy Heart Theatre.  The local ladies of soul will honour the work of women including Aretha Franklin, Roberta Flack and The Supremes.

Wreckhouse Schedule of Events - click to enlarge!

Wreckhouse Schedule of Events - click to enlarge!

After the kids have gone to bed, Dusk will feature Kirsten Price later that same night with Gramercy Riffs opening and again the next with Janet Cull & the Backline.  Billboard magazine claims Price “should offer triple A radio a new star,” and people are likely to have heard her soulful voice before her solo album Guts and Garbage in commercials for Coke, Clinique and Campbell’s.  Her tracks have also been featured in shows such as The L Word, CSI and ABC’s Cashmere Mafia.

Saturday, Halifax-based Gypsophilia perform at the Martini Bar as well as The Shuffle Demons who include three saxophonists, a dancing drummer and an upright bass player.  Celebrating a quarter century together, The Shuffle Demons are known for a wacky wardrobe and a no holds barred approach to performance which often has them playing right in the middle of their audience.  Gypsophilia is also not a small group, featuring seven young talents who released their ECMA nominated debut album in 2007 called Minor Hope.  They’re now following that up with Sa-Ba-Da-OW! They’ve been promoting the record since its June 19th release on a national tour that makes a stop at the Wreckhouse International Jazz and Blues Festival.

For a taste of Gospel, another of the four workshops being offered this year will take place Saturday July 18th, hosted by Ken Whiteley – one of Canada’s most respected Roots musicians.  A performer since the 1960’s with the Original Sloth Band, Whiteley’s even taken to the Saturday Night Live stage with Leon Redbone.  Those that attend the vocal workshop in the morning will also have a shot at performing themselves when Whiteley does a Roots and Gospel Revue at the Elim Pentecostal Tabernacle the following afternoon on Sunday.

The festival will be non-stop right up to the final highlights lined up for the night of Sunday July 19th that include the beloved Nickel Gets Jazzed and Wreckhouse Gets Framed at the Martini Bar.  The event features silent films shot on old school film during the Nickel which are screened for the first time, accompanied by a jazz musician.  Just up the street at Dusk, Blackburn will be the grand finale to an extremely jam packed six days!

Wreckhouse Jazz and Blues has made it incredibly easy to get involved with these events; complete schedules, workshop information and tickets are available through their newly redesigned website, www.wreckhousejazzandblues.com.  They’ve also included a Festival Pass option for the die-hard jazz and blues lovers at an amazing value of $140.00.  Wreckhouse Jazz and Blues has also set up some free events throughout the festival week geared towards families and the outdoors.  The Murray Premises Courtyard and Harbourside Park will play host to a lunchtime concert series and on Saturday July 19th Jayme Stone and Mansa Sissoko perform at the Bowring Park Amphitheatre, perfect for a picnic!

Courtney Love

Courtney Love

While bouncing around Facebook and the internet this afternoon, procrastinating some writing, dishes to wash and other things, I’ve learned something!  Courtney Love, after years of being away (since 2006) is steadily (ok maybe not so ‘steadily’) working on a new album slated for a release towards the end of this year or early 2010.  She’s still yet to confirm a label and according to a story published at NME.com, she’s on her fourth studio and third producer.  That entry also confirms the return of Canada’s own Melissa auf der Maur which is exciting, though it seems she will be the only returning band member and is only said to be providing backing vocals while she continues to work on her own projects.

The new Hole studio album will be the fourth for the band and is called Nobody’s Daughter with co-writers including Billy Corgan and Linda Perry as well as the lead guitarist Love’s recruited – Micko Larkin.

With almost a dozen contenders registered and more pouring in, everything is set for the What You Got Wednesday’s DJ Tournament hosted by Loft 709 in association with sceneSTIR Productions. The complete list of DJ’s will go public when registration closes and anyone interested can get involved in a prequalification round that will whittle out the top eight who will go head to head with one another over a three week public tournament.

dj Sina

dj Sina

The first night, each DJ that shows up will get their 15 minutes of fame – literally. But it won’t quite be that easy. Unlike previous competitions that have taken place in the St. John’s metro area – What You Got Wednesday’s is on a mission to find the most versatile DJ – contestants will have to cram three different styles or genres of music into the time they’re allotted. Outside of this requirement, anything’s game.

Jonathan Loder is one of the event planners and the promoter but he attributed the idea of getting the competition going to the local and well loved DJ Sina. “Red Bull did DJ competitions across the country this year, but they didn’t come to Newfoundland. Sina thought that it was important for the talented DJ’s in St. John’s to be showcased.”

The judging panel will include Sina along with two additional local pro’s yet to be named out of the St. John’s music scene. They will be watching to see how each contestant reacts to the different crowds each night as the tournament progresses. “This contest is really going to show the contestants versatility as well as their ability to impress people who have an appreciation for DJ’s and not just a particular type of music,” Loder adds.

On a more tangible level, the judges will have to score each performance in five categories that include creativity, track selection, skills, stage presence and audience response. The performer with the highest score on a given night will proceed to the next round. With the top eight selected on night one, the second evening will cut things down to a top four with the final two being determined on night three, leading to the battle royale on the finale night. The performing set times will progressively increase from the beginning from 15 minute sets to half an hour to a full hour.

With $1,500.00 of cash and gear at steak, the winner will also be given a golden opportunity to open for Montreal-native DJ Shortcut, who was named the best club DJ in Montreal this year. “This is a great opportunity for people to get their music out, there are a lot of good DJ’s in this city that most people don’t get to hear. Hopefully a couple of people will end up with some gigs downtown out of this,” Sina encouraged.

The contestants that do sign up can rest assured that they won’t even need to be responsible for bringing their own gear. As the hosting sponsor of the event, Loft 709 will be providing a Pioneer DJ M800 mixer, 2 Technic 12’s, 2 CDJ 800’s and a Serato Scratch Live.

What You Got Wednesday’s is all set to discover and uncover some of the amazing and talented DJ’s and that’s what Loder and Sina are looking forward to the most. The best advice from Loder, “be creative, make sure you plan out your set, and come prepared for some tough competition.”

While every DJ is different in how they prepare for a performance, there is likely no dispute that the competition will be stiff. Sina is hoping there is opportunity to learn as well for the contestants, “because it will enhance [their] ability to transition between a variety of styles using beat matching and scratching, while keeping the crowds involved.”

The What You Got Wednesday’s DJ Tournament will begin Wednesday, June 3rd; presented by Loft 709 and sceneSTIR. Also being supported by local business Ballistic, and sponsors WESC and Volcom. Any interested DJ’s that want to sign up can email their information to seamusd@gmail.com (deadline Sunday, May 31st).

Josh Munden got more then he bargained for when he signed on to work at Club Med Turks & Caicos. So did Daniela, who was transferred to a new location from Club Med Brazil. The Newfoundlander and Brazilian met in 2002, he was the Chief Catcher – having already clocked 4 years – and she was a Flyer working at the circus. “After working, practicing and performing together for 3 weeks, it was obvious we were in the wrong relationships. We fixed that right away,” Josh shares proudly.

Josh Munden

Josh Munden

Josh’s interests in travel were sparked after “a student exchange program in Cuba for 4 months,” offers Daniela. She was led to Club Med because of her educational background in Restaurant Management though she applied herself with the kids and sports going on as well. And, “it was as soon as we made our first ‘catch’ that got us hooked,” Josh exclaimed.

With more then two decades of aerial acrobatic experience, Josh was a competitive gymnast for 7 years with Cygnus and Daniela has been involved in everything from ballet to swimming and even the Brazilian martial art, Capoeira. “All you have to do is see [it] and you will understand where the acrobatics come from, it’s like nothing I’ve ever seen,” compliments Josh, who has some unbelievable career highlights himself. Wanting to be a stunt man since childhood, Josh worked to make the dream come true and appears in Nelly Furtado’s Forca video and on an episode of Mutant X. He’s also performed with Circus Sublime and was a rigger for Britney Spears in Toronto.

Daniela Munden

Daniela Munden

The duo returned to Newfoundland, establishing ACRO-ADIX to teach acrobatics to anyone interested in the challenge and experience, not to mention the fun, in a safe environment; eventually determining if students are flyers or catchers. “In my opinion, the flyer is the show, they throw the tricks, and are the ones that have to look tight and clean in the air. The catcher is the finisher; it’s all on their shoulders. They call the timing; they’re the quarterback of the team,” Josh explains.

“It’s just like dancing in the air, the catcher and flyer need to work together, trusting each other,” Daniela adds.

The timing couldn’t be better for ACRO-ADIX, “because the aerial arts are booming thanks to Cirque du Soleil who work hard to make their performers perfect and they need more for future acts,” says Daniela, adding athletes are starting younger. In fact, age is one of many ‘qualities’ that don’t even play a factor. Josh and Daniela have taught an 85 year old all the way down to their daughter, Luna, who started at 2. They’ve also had deaf students as well as autistic youth, and a blind 11 year old from Alaska up on the trapeze. “It’s just a great way to be fit, feeling free,” Daniela says, “I challenge myself and guide students to succeed safely on their own terms.”

Becoming an aerial artist can also be as big or small a commitment as the student wants to make it. Having been asked to audition for Cirque twice already, the duo has the connections needed to help their students achieve real goals and build careers. Or, flying on the trapeze can be more of a hobby or just a personal fitness method. Of course, “like any sport or physical activity, the better shape you are in, the better off you will be. But just doing this activity is going to get you in good shape,” Josh points out. It’s a full body work out and entertaining at the same time.

More information including class times and registration is available at http://www.acro-adix.com or by calling 743-3618. ACRO-ADIX is at 161 Thorburn Road and 2 hour classes are $30.00, with additional drop-in weekend programs like Fun Fly Day! Classes for flying trapeze and bungee trampolines are offered 3 times daily, 5 days of the week (they will be outside to accommodate the ideal 40’ clearance). The Munden’s hope an indoor location will be determined in the near future but will take advantage of every nice day. They’re also planning a show for the end of the summer featuring students and hope to perform in a few themselves. There are more goals too, setting up the euro-bungee trampoline at the Regatta, Sea Hawks half time shows, fundraising opportunities and getting schools involved.

The Munden's

The Munden's

Josh and Daniela Munden couldn’t be a more dedicated pair and both agree there is nothing more rewarding than having a positive impact in people’s lives. “If Cirque du Soleil is coming back and doubling shows, that means there’s an interest,” and ACRO-ADIX is the first of it’s kind in Atlantic Canada, “so the sky’s the limit,” according to Josh. And he just might be right.

follow me @jjmoxy

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

makin’ sense of it all

keepin’ track of it all

September 2016
M T W T F S S
« Oct    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  
%d bloggers like this: