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Art Beat: Midsummer comes early and the Songbird Forest series continues

Also, Stenukws (Rita Poulsen) and Kwayimin (Andy Johnson) gave an hour-long introduction to the shíshálh language in Hackett Park last week.

More than 50 audience members gathered for the two-hour performance of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream on June 26 at Winegarden Park on the Gibsons foreshore. 

The dramatized reading — with costumes provided by the Driftwood Players — united a cast of 22 volunteer actors, ranging in age from 10 to 87 years old. 

The performance of the Elizabethan comedy, which recounts the sundry misadventures of nobles, forest sprites, and amateur thespians in long-ago Athens, was the brainchild of Lise Kreps. Krepps is the outreach coordinator at the Gibsons and District Public Library. 

The art of language 

As part of the syíyaya Days festival, shíshálh language instructors Stenukws (Rita Poulsen) and Kwayimin (Andy Johnson) offered an hour-long introductory session to 40 attendees on June 27 in Sechelt’s Hackett Park. 

Poulsen explained that following the recent loss of three shíshálh Elders who were raised with the traditional language, no fluent speakers remain. However, it is being taught in School District 46 classrooms—and offered via adult education courses at Capilano University. 

Paulson and Johnson instructed participants in the use of common words and phrases, many of which will appear in the mural now being painted at the newly-constructed Hackett Park stage.  

The mural will include QR codes, allowing passers-by to scan a code to hear words spoken aloud. 

A mobile app (for iOS and Android devices) is available for she shashishalhem language learners, and can be downloaded at 

Coming to The Kube 

On July 2 at 7:30 p.m., The Kube Gallery in Upper Gibsons will present an artist reception with Kimberley French, as she unveils her pop art-inspired series of original photographs taken on the set of the film Brokeback Mountain. 

Inspired by an Andy Warhol print on her neighbour’s living room wall, French made a series of screenprints from her original photograph of Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain. “Heath” is a series which honours her friendship with the actor and her love of photography and painting. 

French is an on-set still photographer who has created images for Academy Award-winning films Brokeback Mountain, Jojo Rabbit, and The Revenant, among others. 

Performing with great gusto 

The Songbird Forest concert series continues with a performance on July 3 at 1 p.m. titled “Playing With the Wind,” featuring Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos and Graham Ord. 

Born and trained in Japan in the classical zen shakuhachi tradition, Ramos is an avid practitioner of the Japanese art of forest bathing and is fascinated by the meditative states induced by the flute. 

Renowned improviser and jazz musician Ord hears music everywhere—a woodpecker, the rain, footsteps—and his tuneful responses are imbued with a strong sense of humour. 

The concert takes place outdoors at the conclusion of a steep 40-minute hike through the forest above Roberts Creek. More info about tickets and reservations is available online at 

Theatre is just a stage 

The Synergy at Play theatre company is offering a Musical Theatre Intensive for youth aged 8 to 18 from July 11 to 22. The classes will take place at the Gibsons Heritage Playhouse. 

Each day will feature acting, dancing and singing workshops taught by industry professionals, along with individualized coaching and ensemble work. 

Registration is required at