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91
As Ontario turned blue, Liberal incumbent John Fraser wasn't watching

(He was vacuuming.)  

(He was vacuuming.)


 


Source: As Ontario turned blue, Liberal incumbent John Fraser wasn't watching
92
Chinese tour bus crash victims remain critical in hospitals

At least four Chinese tourists remained in Eastern Ontario hospitals in critical condition Wednesday, two days after their tour bus crashed into a rock cut on Highway 401 near Prescott. Three patients remained at the Kingston Health Sciences Centre’s in critical condition and one patient remained at Brockville General Hospital in critical condition with life-threatening injuries, […]

At least four Chinese tourists remained in Eastern Ontario hospitals in critical condition Wednesday, two days after their tour bus crashed into a rock cut on Highway 401 near Prescott.


Three patients remained at the Kingston Health Sciences Centre’s in critical condition and one patient remained at Brockville General Hospital in critical condition with life-threatening injuries, according to hospital officials.


The Union Tour Express bus with 37 people on board went off the road and slammed into a rocky embankment near Prescott at about 2:30 p.m. Monday.


A 54-year-old man who was aboard the bus that had left Ottawa for Toronto died of his injuries Tuesday, police said. The driver of the bus suffered minor injuries.


A spokeswoman for Grenville County OPP said there was no update made public by investigators Wednesday.


The Ottawa Hospital said it still had two patients in its care on Wednesday: one was in stable condition, the other in “satisfactory” condition.


Minister-counsellors Heng Xiaojun and Zhao Haisheng from the Chinese embassy in Ottawa went to the hospitals to visit the injured tourists. All but the driver and one of two tour guides aboard the bus were citizens of China and the embassy hailed local efforts to help them.


First responders “spared no effort to treat the injured,” according to a statement on Wednesday, while Canadian agencies and volunteers “actively provided assistance.


“We are grateful to the Canadian side for the treatment and related assistance provided to the Chinese tourists.”





 


Source: Chinese tour bus crash victims remain critical in hospitals
93
Subtone at the National Arts Centre (concert review)

The rousing German post-bop quintet recently completed its first cross-Canada tour.

Given that its five members are scattered not just in two Germany cities but also as distantly as New York City and St. John’s, Nfld., when the quintet called Subtone is able to reunite and play a few times each year, it’s a special occasion from the get-go.


But the band’s music was all the more impressive and lucid in Ottawa last month at the National Arts Centre’s Fourth Stage because of the big run-up that had preceded the performance. By then, the group had the bulk of its cross-Canada tour under its belt. Over two weeks and a few days, Subtone had made the journey from Vancouver, Revelstoke and Salmon Arm in B.C., to Edmonton, Saskatoon and Regina in the Prairies, to Toronto and then to Montreal and then to Ottawa, leaving only St. John’s on the itinerary. Coincidentally or not, on the program in Ottawa there was a composition called Road Trip.











What’s more, just before playing in Ottawa the band had spent two days in Studio PM in Montreal, recording its fifth album. If the anticipation of that session had created any pressure for the musicians, it had been dispelled, and the Ottawa concert was an opportunity to let off steam on new music that had been properly road-tested.


Founded 13 years ago when its members were in university together in Berlin, Subtone plays high-powered, sophisticated, tautly arranged original music. For trumpeter Magnus Schriefl, reeds player Malte Dürrschnabel. pianist Florian Hoefner, bassist Matthias Pichler and drummer Peter Gall, there was consistently a lot of detailed material to execute. But the music’s thrills came not just from its baked-in richness bur also  from the way in which the band could dive deeply and collectively into improvising while using those compositions as springboards.


Here’s the set list:


Upside Up (Florian Hoefner)

Evif (Magnus Schriefl)

Road Trip (Peter Gall)

Orbit (Florian Hoefner)

Rubulad (Peter Gall)

Lament (Magnus Schriefl)

Alphabet City (Peter Gall)


Although they were the work of three distinct composers, the tunes fit together to form a cohesive, well-rounded program.


Hoefner — the band’s foothold in Canada, so to speak, because the Nuremberg-born pianist has lived for the last few years in St. John’s, where he and his wife are on staff at Memorial University — was well-represented by his two tunes.


The concert’s opener Upside Up was a crisp, swinging waltz with a lot of built-in interest in its arrangement and space for Dürrschnabel’s burly tenor saxophone and Hoefner’s piano to stretch out. Orbit featured evocative writing for Hoefner’s piano and Dürrschnabel’s flute before the tune became more rousing.


Schriefl’s surging tune Evif was a lesson in how to thrive and find freedom in roiling rhythmic waters. The trumpeter’s tune came charging out of the block, stressing rhythmic intensity. Then, when it came time for Schriefl and then Hoefner to carve out their solos, they and bassist Pichler and drummer Gall played with striking spaciousness. On the trumpeter’s austere tune Lament, Dürrschnabel stepped out on clarinet.


Perhaps because I was sitting on the drum side of the stage, and because Gall had contributed three tunes to the set, it felt at times if the collective was his band. His compositions teemed with interesting features and structures. For example, here’s Schriefl navigating through the solo form of Gall’s swinging and harmonically loaded tune Rubulad:



Meanwhile, Alphabet City had that extra sizzle required of a set-closer. Here’s that very hip tune’s charged opening, which set expectations high:



Subtone’s concert, and indeed its entire tour, would not have happened without support from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Embassy of Germany in Ottawa and the Goethe Institute. The latter two, I’m sure, wanted to ensure that Canadian jazz fans got a good glimpse of some prime ambassadors of German jazz. In fact, Subtone offered original jazz at a level that any country would be happy to have as representing it.


Related



phum@postmedia.com

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Source: Subtone at the National Arts Centre (concert review)
94
Editorial: Progressive Conservatives should form next government

If anything has become clear over the past several weeks, it’s that Ontario voters are fed up with the status quo. Big government, big spending, big deficits. After 15 years of Liberals, most people want a true shift in approach at Queen’s Park. They won’t get that by voting NDP. Andrea Horwath’s team offers ideas drearily […]

If anything has become clear over the past several weeks, it’s that Ontario voters are fed up with the status quo. Big government, big spending, big deficits. After 15 years of Liberals, most people want a true shift in approach at Queen’s Park.


They won’t get that by voting NDP. Andrea Horwath’s team offers ideas drearily similar to those of the woebegone Grits: more spending, more social programs, more government in our lives. While Horwath is less personally disliked than Kathleen Wynne, she offers dismayingly similar policy prescriptions. Let’s not choose “more of the same.”


What to do instead? Vote Progressive Conservative. Here’s why.


For all his current inexperience provincially, PC leader Doug Ford encapsulates a belief that Ontarians have a right to keep more of their own money, and that businesses are not simply cash cows for runaway government projects. The PCs acknowledge the need for serious support in areas voters worry most about, from health care to education to hydro bills, but unlike the other major parties, they don’t think the answers to all of society’s ills lie in buying our votes with our own money.


The PCs are also fielding an experienced roster of candidates: MPP Randy Hillier (Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington) has ably served as justice critic; MPP Lisa MacLeod (now running in Nepean) is a one-time finance critic; John Yakabuski (Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke) has served as energy critic; and Lisa Thompson (Huron Bruce) was international trade critic, important during NAFTA negotiations and talk of tariffs facing Canadian goods. Former MPP and health critic Christine Elliott (now running in Newmarket-Aurora) will bring formidable experience and sense into any cabinet she joins; and Caroline Mulroney (running in York—Simcoe) has already proven herself a superior candidate for public office.


Here are three areas in particular to think about.


Health care:


The Tories have promised 15,000 more long-term care beds over five years. They’re needed to help clear a backlog in the province and reduce hospital wait times. The PCs also pledge $1.9 billion over 10 years for mental-health care.


But real health care reform will require more than just upping spending. Only the PCs are placed to even begin an honest conversation with Ontarians about other models and innovations that work in other jurisdictions; neither the NDP nor the Liberals will ever venture beyond status quo bromides on health.


Taxation:


A promised tax cut from 9.15 per cent to 7.32 per cent for the middle class should ease the financial burden on many families; a pro-business corporate tax rate cut from 11.5 per cent to 10.5 per cent ought to encourage investment and is vital given the anti-trade policies south of our border; and small business, burdened by rapid minimum wage hikes under the Liberal government, would see the rate frozen at $14 per hour rather than rise again next year. Small business tax rates would also be lowered.


Downsizing government


The PCs want government gone from places it shouldn’t be. Liberalizing alcohol sales by allowing beer and wine in corner stores is a sensible, pro-business, pro-consumer policy. Cutting corporate welfare would reduce government meddling in the private sector, and a tax credit for child care would help ensure families, not governments, decide how they want to receive this key service.


If Ontarians really want change, they need to vote for it. That means voting Progressive Conservative.


Source: Editorial: Progressive Conservatives should form next government
95
Aga Khan Academies partner with Ryerson University on training for innovation

The Aga Khan Academies and Ryerson University have established a partnership to help develop Academies students as part of the next wave of socially conscious young innovators. Ryerson is providing 12 fellowships over three years for Academies students and faculty to attend the Ryerson summer programme. The collaboration between Ryerson University and the Academies gives talented students the opportunity to accelerate their learning and hands-on experience with innovation and entrepreneurship at one of Ontario’s premier universities.



Source: Aga Khan Academies partner with Ryerson University on training for innovation
96
Leadership key election issue in Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes

This story first appeared in the Brockville Recorder on May 25, 2018. GANANOQUE – As the provincial election campaign reaches its halfway point, the question of party leadership was the elephant in the room at this all-candidates meeting Wednesday, May 23. Asked why their leader would be best for the province, the local candidates alternatively […]

This story first appeared in the Brockville Recorder on May 25, 2018.


GANANOQUE – As the provincial election campaign reaches its halfway point, the question of party leadership was the elephant in the room at this all-candidates meeting Wednesday, May 23.


Asked why their leader would be best for the province, the local candidates alternatively praised and defended their leaders or took potshots at the others.


Conservative candidate Steve Clark said Doug Ford always has been approachable, ready to listen to his concerns, and responsive to his advice and questions.


But the incumbent MPP for Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes stressed that the leaders’ names are not on the ballot for the June 7 election.


Clark, who is running on his eight-year record as MPP, said “all politics is local” and urge that voters select the candidate whom will best fight for their interests.


“When you sit there in the ballot box, my name’s going to be on the ballot, and I want you to stand up and vote for a local representative that’s in your corner – and that’s me,” he urged the all-candidates meeting.


NDP candidate Michelle Taylor criticized Ford for being “extremely polarizing” with an “us-against-them” mentality.


She criticized his commitment to democracy because of his interference in the Conservative candidate-selection process.


Taylor also had harsh words for Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne. Wynne has not done a good job of focussing on the needs of people, she said.


It was only during the run-up to the election that Wynne began offering some progressive policies, which appeared to be taken right out of the NDP policy book, Taylor said. She said voters should question Wynne’s commitment to those policies.


In comparison, NDP leader Andrea Horwath spent four years developing a party platform focussed at people who really need help, said Taylor, adding that Horwath is the only “sane choice.”


Liberal David Henderson took issue with Taylor’s assessment of the NDP platform. He said that the NDP made a $1.4 billion error in costing its platform and had made an earlier $5-billion miscalculation.


As for the NDP’s policy on Ontario Hydro, the party proposes buying back the hydro company, which would cost $9 billion, and then somehow cutting hydro rates by 30 per cent.


“That’s pure fantasy,” he said.


His leader, Kathleen Wynne, is in a difficult spot because she had to make tough decisions as leader, Henderson said. But Wynne managed to bring in progressive social polices while keeping a close eye on the province’s bottom line, he said.


Green Party candidate Derek Morley said his leader, Michael Schreiner, is an affable guy who spent a lot of time developing the party’s platform and making sure that it was professionally costed.


He said it is a shame that more Ontarians don’t know about his “incredible leader.”


It is a great pity that the television networks did not invite Schreiner to Sunday’s televised debate – a decision that he called anti-democratic.


Morley urged the audience to join a Twitter campaign to get Schreiner into the televised debate.


wlowrie@postmedia.com


Source: Leadership key election issue in Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes
97
Aga Khan Academies partner with Ryerson University on training for innovation

The Aga Khan Academies and Ryerson University have established a partnership to help develop Academies students as part of the next wave of socially conscious young innovators. Ryerson is providing 12 fellowships over three years for Academies students and faculty to attend the Ryerson summer programme. The collaboration between Ryerson University and the Academies gives talented students the opportunity to accelerate their learning and hands-on experience with innovation and entrepreneurship at one of Ontario’s premier universities.



Source: Aga Khan Academies partner with Ryerson University on training for innovation
98
Sajjan to make defence policy announcement Wednesday at CANSEC

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan’s office says the minister will “advance defence policy” when he appears at CANSEC 2018 on Wednesday morning. Sajjan is speaking at 8:25 a.m. and will then talk to journalists at 9 a.m. His announcement is related to the Liberal government’s Defence Policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, according to his office. On May 22, […]

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan’s office says the minister will “advance defence policy” when he appears at CANSEC 2018 on Wednesday morning. Sajjan is speaking at 8:25 a.m. and will then talk to journalists at 9 a.m. His announcement is related to the Liberal government’s Defence Policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, according to his office.


On May 22, Defence Watch reported that industry representatives are expecting Ssajjan to release the defence investment plan at CANSEC in Ottawa.


The Liberals released their defence policy last June. However, there was little in the document about what specific programs are expected to cost and which ones would be a priority, besides shipbuilding and the acquisition of new fighter jets. The previous Conservative government, and later the Liberals, had published what was called the Defence Acquisition Guide or DAG, which for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016 outlined various programs with a very broad cost estimate.


Source: Sajjan to make defence policy announcement Wednesday at CANSEC
99
Cappies review: Earl of March Secondary School presents Into the Woods

Show #24: Into the Woods Where: Earl of March Secondary School Director: Matt Minter and Zoe Robinson Hannah Draper, Critic Sir Robert Borden High School If given the opportunity to have whatever you wanted most in the world, would you take it? Earl of March Secondary School explored to what lengths people would go to […]

Show #24: Into the Woods


Where: Earl of March Secondary School


Director: Matt Minter and Zoe Robinson





Hannah Draper, Critic

Sir Robert Borden High School


If given the opportunity to have whatever you wanted most in the world, would you take it? Earl of March Secondary School explored to what lengths people would go to achieve a dream and its subsequently disastrous consequences, in their performance of Into the Woods.


Making its theatrical debut in 1986, Into the Woods tells the story of human greed in the most tragic and chilling of ways: through familiar children’s stories. Cursed to be eternally without child thanks to his father’s misdeeds, the Baker (Alex MacDonald) swears he’ll do whatever is necessary to get a child – no matter the consequences. Cleverly connecting multiple fairy tales, Into the Woods shows the emotional journey he and his wife go on in order to get ingredients for the potion the Witch needs to lift her spell. Unfortunately, everything comes at a price. As soon as life seems perfect, the consequences of their actions catch up with them in a dramatic conclusion when a giant comes looking for retribution.


The students of Earl of March Secondary School impressed with their entertaining story and yet remained true to the darker undertones. 3D animation was used to add even more depth to the set, and the careful technical details transported the audience to the woods where truly anything can happen. Clad in intricate costumes and with perfectly paired makeup, the cast and crew delivered a show with boundless energy and imagination.


MacDonald’s performance as the Baker showcased his incredible theatrical talent, made clear through his flawless projection, endearingly bumbling physicality, and tangible emotions. Interactions with his wife, played by Jenny McCracken, and the Witch who cursed his family, played by Lena Kirkham, took the audience on an emotional roller-coaster ride. Kirkham showcased not only her versatility as an actress but also as a vocalist, when she dominated many songs with ease and gorgeously executed a wide range of emotions.


Maggie German, performs as Narrator, during Earl of March Secondary School’s Cappies production of Into the Woods, on April 15, 2018, in Ottawa, On.


McCracken marvellously portrayed the Wife’s stubborn nature and exemplified the conflict of desire and duty throughout her many songs, notably “Any Moment”. Cinderella (Heather Bylsma), Jack (Duncan Barter) and Little Red Riding Hood (Ana Solano Mejias) all interacted with remarkable ease as they met on their journey to achieve their wishes. Songs like “No One Is Alone” really highlighted the group’s flawless dynamics and chemistry together. Other memorable performances include the exceptionally comedic Daze Francis and Pierce Melanson as the Princes. In “Agony”, they used their physicality and vocal abilities to tell the story of their believable sibling rivalry with hilarious results.


Well-rehearsed choreography was consistently in time with the impressive musicians from the ‘Pit of Agony’ who accompanied them. Their seamless transition to different chapters of the story was aided by their percussionists, who flawlessly gave the illusion of a giant stomping. That effect in particular was paired with innovative lighting designs from Evan Nearing, which continually used mood appropriate gels and gobos to elevate the scene. Into the Woods wouldn’t be complete, of course, without Rapunzel’s 18-foot tall tower, which Riley Kernohan and Val Slaunwhite gladly delivered. Exceptional detail was paid to all pieces, and the small touches like knots on the trees and wood in the fireplace could have been easily taken for professional quality.


Moral ambiguity isn’t often the first thought when it comes to beloved classics like Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Jack in the Beanstalk, but it was perfectly exemplified as the selfishness driving the plot called into question the actions of our “heroes”. The dark undertones often make this musical a difficult one to deliver, but Earl of March Secondary School rose to the challenge, delivering a truly exceptional show.





Joyce Liu, Critic

Colonel By Secondary School


A baker and his wife. A witch. Cinderella. Jack. Little Red Riding Hood. In Earl of March Secondary School’s captivating production of Into the Woods, these characters’ previously separate fairy tales all intertwined and told one coherent narrative about life and consequence.


Into the Woods is an award-winning musical composed and written by Stephen Sondheim, based on the book by James Lapine. It weaves many seemingly disparate fairy tales into one story. At its core, Into the Woods is about a baker and his wife, their wish to have a child, and the witch’s curse upon them that prevents their wish from coming true, as well as about the wishes of other characters in the musical. However, after their seemingly happy ending, our fairy tale characters discover what truly lies beyond Happily Ever After.


Earl of March Secondary School delivered Into the Woods with skill and charisma. The show’s cast was packed to the brim with vocal talent, and never lost or dropped any complex harmonies. Their production of this musical was anchored by their phenomenal pit band, the Pit of Agony. The band never faltered or missed their cues, and the percussionists timed their sections perfectly, emphasizing the actors’ words with precision.


Alex MacDonald handled the role of the Baker with deft skill, using his physicality and expressions to take his character from comic at the beginning of the musical to sympathetic at the end. MacDonald shone even through small details such as the way he walked, and his rich voice conveyed the character’s emotion in every song. Lena Kirkham played the Witch with terrifying menace present in every line, and handled emotional extremes with ease. Her versatile voice and precise enunciation carried the delivery of her songs.


Brynn Fortier, performs as Florinda (L), Sophie Joslin, performs as Lucinda (2ndFL), Emma Hamilton, performs as Cinderella’s Stepmother (2ndFR), Aloïs Clere, performs as Cinderella’s Father (R), during Earl of March Secondary School’s Cappies production of Into the Woods, on April 15, 2018, in Ottawa, On.


Daze Francis was wonderful in the role of Cinderella’s Prince. They had powerful stage presence and the arrogance of their character was present in every line of their body. Despite the difficulty of their movements in the song “Agony”, their voice stayed stable and the song was well harmonized.


The special effects team created a set of 3D animations for this show to augment the set team’s work, and it was a new and fresh idea. When there was a scene change the animation behind the actors would change as well, and even occasionally zoom into a building and show the room inside, such as Grandmother’s house. The final scene with the sunrise slowly appearing over the silhouettes of the trees was particularly impactful. Choreography created by Emily Huang showed particular cleverness in the use of choreographic motifs. When characters attempted to charm another into doing something, she integrated the use of dizzying turns and twirls as well as waltzes and other ballroom-style dances.


Earl of March Secondary School’s enchanting performance of Into the Woods displayed not only the skilful acting and vocals of its cast but also the dissonance between what people want and wish for, and what they need. Into the Woods served as a reminder that neither wishes nor Happily Ever After are quite what they seem.





Janani Suthan, Lead Critic

Woodroffe High School


Anything can happen in the woods, whether it’s encountering wolves, growing magic beanstalks, or fleeing from a prince. Earl of March Secondary School’s fantastic production of Into the Woods rekindled a love for childhood fairy tales.


Into the Woods was written in 1986, with music by Stephen Sondheim and script by James Lapine, and went on to Broadway in 1987. Into the Woods conglomerates a wide selection of the original Brothers Grimm fairy tales, such as Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Cinderella, stringing them together around the trials of a humble Baker and his wife, and their wish to have a child.


The cast and crew of Earl of March Secondary School brought each and every one of these fairy tales to mystical and magical life. The lively cast was paired with intricate costumes, detailed sets, and three-dimensional animation, all working to bring beauty to the chaotic nature of this challenging Sondheim piece.


As the humble yet prideful Baker, Alex MacDonald effectively conveyed the humility essential to the character with a rich voice and a reserved posture. MacDonald displayed significant character development, showing the Baker’s developing paternal traits with exceptional success. Alongside him, Jenny McCracken conveyed an animated and courageous Baker’s Wife, possessing a commanding stage presence, as well as a bold and comedic demeanour. As the seemingly evil Witch with a maternal heart, Lena Kirkham possessed excellent vocal control, incorporating depth of emotion with phenomenal success, exhibited in numbers such as “Stay With Me” and “Last Midnight”.


As the hopeless dreamer and poor maiden Cinderella, Heather Bylsma possessed a silken softness in her soprano voice, utilizing a diverse range whilst tackling many vocally strenuous numbers, such as “On The Steps of the Palace”. As the charming, yet disgustingly insincere Cinderella’s Prince, Daze Francis portrayed the swoon-worthy royal with ease, poise, and an effective flamboyance. Elizabeth Shevchenko was spirited and lively as Jack’s poor, yet feisty mother, incorporating dynamic body language and depth in tones of voice.


Pierce Melanson performs as Rapunzel’s Prince (L), Daze Francis performs as Cinderella’s Prince (R), during Earl of March Secondary School’s Cappies production of Into the Woods, on April 15, 2018, in Ottawa, On.


The Pit of Agony orchestra of Earl of March played the significantly challenging Sondheim music with a high degree of effectiveness, elevating all songs and scenes with impressive accuracy. Percussion for live sound effects were integral to a variety of scenes; Amos Yu and Simon Zeng delivered clean and realistic sounds such as the giant’s footsteps and the magic beans.


The set mimicked the magical ambiance, incorporating an intricately painted tree initially inhabited by Cinderella’s mother, used for a variety of scenes in which actors climbed atop its long horizontal branch. In addition, Rapunzel’s tower stood eighteen feet tall with a detailed brick scheme. All scenes in the woods were accompanied by a screen of three-dimensional animation, projecting a mystical, silvery grey scale woods to evoke a wintry ambiance, and the show concluded with a projection of a large storybook closing.


The energetic cast brought the Brothers Grimm fairy tales to a new twisted, humorous, and magical life. With the incorporation of supportive technical elements to elevate the performance, Earl of March Secondary School’s production of Into the Woods taught valuable lessons, and encapsulated the magical essence of childhood fairy tales.





Ariella Ruby, Lead Critic

Sir Robert Borden High School


Anything can happen when one ventures into the woods! Wolves prowl and a witch lurks in the shadows, while dashing princes gallivant and maidens slip among the trees. The enchanting, sometimes sinister world of Brothers Grimm was vividly rendered in Earl of March Secondary School’s Into the Woods.


With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Into the Woods debuted in San Diego in 1986. In it, a baker and his wife desperately long for a child. Opportunity arrives in the form of a vengeful witch, who promises them a baby in exchange for four things: “the cow as white as milk, the cape as red as blood, the hair as yellow as corn, and the slipper as pure as gold.” The familiar faces of Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Rapunzel and Jack all have a part to play in this wild treasure hunt through the foggy forest.


Towering set pieces, phenomenal three-dimensional animated backdrops, and fast-paced music all added to the whimsical ambiance of the production. The cast’s energy shifted from gleeful to fraught, ensuring that the light-heartedness of the first act contrasted sharply with the more ominous tone of the second act.


With his perpetual slouch and shuffling gait, Alex MacDonald portrayed the Baker’s humility very well. His silky baritone was on full display in his emotional rendition of “No One is Alone”, and both MacDonald and Jenny McCracken as the Baker’s Wife were very convincing as a bickering couple, quarrelling with a frustrated gusto. In her role as the Witch, Lena Kirkham demonstrated great versatility: her cackles and cutting remarks gave way to a touching tenderness as she interacted with her daughter Rapunzel, played by Nicole Droi.


Heather Bylsma’s soft soprano fluttered gently through countless songs, adding sweetness to her portrayal of the kind-hearted Cinderella. Strutting about as though they were followed by much pomp and circumstance, Daze Francis and Pierce Melanson were hilarious as Cinderella’s and Rapunzel’s respective princes. During their riotous performance of “Agony”, they flexed their muscles and coiffed their locks interchangeably, all while lamenting about the trials of unrequited love.


The eerie ephemerality of the woods was encapsulated by a series of three-dimensional backdrops that shifted and traveled through the trees, painstakingly rendered by Luka Hinic, Ritik Chanchlani, and Ruidi Lu. Frequent fog and a blue wash dappled with soft green leaves added to the air of mystery. Out of the stage stretched an eighteen-foot tower, attractively painted with multicoloured bricks and made entirely out of recycled wood. Nicole Droi’s Rapunzel was able to stand securely inside this structure, showing off its fantastic construction. The thundering drum beats representing the Giant’s stomps were perfectly timed to her modulated voice and the reactive movements of the actors. Cinderella’s cream and gold ball gown was positively dreamy, shimmering delicately on stage.


The cast and crew of Earl of March Secondary School’s Into the Woods provided an amusing glimpse of what really goes on in the rustling woods when fairy tale characters are left to their own devices.


The Cast of Earl of March Secondary School’s Cappies production of Into the Woods, held on April 15, 2018, in Ottawa, On.





Ana Solana, Lead Critic

Notre Dame High School


Earl Of March Secondary School’s production of Into the Woods took the audience into the magical universe of the brothers Grimm and brought the stories to life once again, but with a spicy twist of modernity. The wide array of funky fairy tale characters, as well as the whimsical setting, made for a fun and enjoyable show.


This musical was originally produced in 1986 by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine. It is about many of the famous Grimm’s fairy tale characters along with a baker with his wife, who all head into the woods for various reasons. Yet, they all end up crossing each other’s paths and form strong bonds together. The second act gets a bit darker and deals with the consequences of their actions from Act One. The group of characters must now work together to slay an angry giantess and face what they have done.


Overall, the show was solid, the vocals were strong, the orchestra was well synced with the actors, the technical elements matched the story well, and it even had 3D background animations to accompany it.


The leads were Alex MacDonald as The Baker and Lena Kirkham as The Witch. Alex had rich, powerful vocals, and played the part of a humble baker well by using clear body language to portray the humility of his character. Lena easily depicted a broad range of emotions going from joyous to enraged in just a couple of seconds, and her vocals were also strong and had a hint of a witch’s cackling voice, but not so much that it seemed overdone.


There was also lots of talent among the other actors. The ensemble of the two princes played by Daze Francis and Pierce Melanson was dramatic and amusingly over the top. They would always try to outdo each other in their suffering, or in their joy, and they harmonized well together. Ana Solano Mejias, playing Little Red Riding Hood, convincingly performed the part of a sassy young girl: she would always snap back at the others with quick retorts, and going at the other characters with her knife, trying to scare them into compliance.


The technical elements of this musical were also well planned and delivered. The orchestra played their music smoothly, always in synchrony with the actors on the stage. The lighting was effective in getting across the dark woodsy feel of the show, but also in being bright and dramatic when necessary. Lastly, the special effects crew took an extra step and made 3D animations of the woods and other settings for the show, showing different parts of the woods to help one follow where the action was located at that moment.


In conclusion, Into the Woods, played by Earl of March Secondary School, was a fun and enchanting musical about actions and consequences, delivered by a lively cast and creative crew.




About the reviews:

The production at Earl of March Secondary School was reviewed by 38 critics representing 11 schools. The critic discussions were mentored by teacher Wendy Gunter-Woods of Woodroffe High School and student reviews were edited and selected for publication by teacher Stefan Wasylyk of Colonel By Secondary School, who could see only the reviews, not the names or schools of the reviewers.


 About the Cappies:


The Citizen and 24 high schools are participating in the Cappies, a Washington, D.C.-based program that uses high school critics to review high school theatre. The program is a unique partnership between the Citizen, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board and the Ottawa Catholic School Board. Two schools from other boards in the region and two private schools have also joined. The four winners of the lead acting categories will receive a bursary provided by the international law firm Gowling WLG Canada LLP. Follow the Cappies on Twitter @OttawaCappies.


 


 


Source: Cappies review: Earl of March Secondary School presents Into the Woods
100
Aga Khan Academies partner with Ryerson University on training for innovation

The Aga Khan Academies and Ryerson University have established a partnership to help develop Academies students as part of the next wave of socially conscious young innovators. Ryerson is providing 12 fellowships over three years for Academies students and faculty to attend the Ryerson summer programme. The collaboration between Ryerson University and the Academies gives talented students the opportunity to accelerate their learning and hands-on experience with innovation and entrepreneurship at one of Ontario’s premier universities.



Source: Aga Khan Academies partner with Ryerson University on training for innovation
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