Call for Visual Artists

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Looking for visual artists for new seasonal consignment gallery in the Village of Rosseau at the top of Muskoka. The gallery is at very visible and high traffic location with influential visitors.  We are seeking artists working in both 2 and 3 dimensional medium who have a story to tell. If you are interested or know someone who may be, please send them our way. Contact us at twggallery@gmail.com for more details. 

 

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Nestlé chairman says water is not a human right

Right! They should have stuck with chocolate. The problem with boycotting Nestle is that you end up buying nothing. They own everything from Purina to the Body Shop!

Keithpp's Blog

In a candid interview for the documentary We Feed the World, Nestlé Chairman Peter Brabeck makes the astonishing claim that water isn’t a human right. He attacks the idea that nature is good, and says it is a great achievement that humans are now able to resist nature’s dominance. He attacks organic agriculture and says genetic modification is better.

Nestlé is the world’s biggest bottler of water. Brabeck claims – correctly – that water is the most important raw material in the world. However he then goes on to say that privatisation is the best way to ensure fair distribution. He claims that the idea that water is a human right comes from “extremist” NGOs. Water is a foodstuff like any other, and should have a market value.

He believes that the ultimate social responsibility of any Chairman is to make as much profit as possible, so that people…

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Recycling Iago…A Weekend Guy Tip

ImageLast week I spent an hour and a half removing the winter undercoat from my buddy Iago, the bearded collie. I’m only half way through and will attack the back half later this week. In the meantime I was sitting here with this pile of hair. It seemed a shame to throw it away. So my friend Mary Gair, (president of  my Muskoka Theatre Project) had an idea. She brought over an empty net bag from a lemons. (I suppose you could use one from onions or even a hair net from the Ukrainian woman cooking in the diner down the street.) Then we stuffed Iago’s hair into the bag, tied it up and hung it in  the cedar trees outside. Now the birds can use the hair to build their nests.  I have in the past tossed the hair on the ground but this way it will stay dry and in reach for Tweety and his friends. 

’til the week ends

Vince 

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Grills! Grills! Grills!

bbq meat dropWith spring right around the corner, fair-weather only BBQ-ers will be dragging their   appliances out from storage.  And like many, they’ll simply crank it, light it, and proceed without any tune up.  Most people who never do any BBQ maintenance are usually the ones who can never understand why there’s always flare ups and everything burns before it cooks.  Even if one is a year round Q-man (or Q-woman) , setting aside a few minutes once a year for a scheduled maintenance will not only safeguard against any future mishap, but may also improve cooking skills.

                  The first step of BBQ maintenance  is to turn off the tanks, disconnect, then remove them.  Open the lid, remove the grill and all of the lava rocks or bars. (The next step varies depending on the make and model of the BBQ.)

                  On the bottom of the main body will be either  one or two flat burners or, s- shaped venturi tubes.  Either way they also need to be removed.  If there is excessive rust and the holes in the burners or tubes have merged together in more than one spot, it’stime to replace them. If the holes are still intact, a wooden toothpick can easily clean out each one . ImageAfter wards a gentle  knock will  remove any  loose rust.  A wire brush and shop vacuum can be used to clean the outside of the burners and the inside of the BBQ’s body.  It’s also important  that cobwebs, which may have formed during storage,  are removed, otherwise they can disturb the flow of natural gas or propane.

                  Return  the burners and  lay down the bottom grate. If the lava rocks are full of grease and are crumpling apart they too should be replaced, otherwise they may not retain the heat needed for ideal grilling conditions.  Lava rock and bars can also be washed  in detergent if they are still in relatively good condition. Rinse thoroughly before resetting them back on the grate,  and always place them  in an evenly spaced pattern.

                  After reconnecting the gas and before igniting, drench the hoses and connections with soapy water . Turn on the gas but do not ignite. If the hoses are old and cracked with holes and are in need of replacement, or,  if the connection is loose, the soapy water will bubble as a warning.

                  The last step deals  with  the  dirtiest part of the BBQ, the top cooking grates.  One way is to clean them is with an oven degreaser .  An easier method is simply return the grates to their proper position and cover with aluminum foil, shiny side down.  Ignite the Q, close the lid and let it burn away at high. After about twenty minutes, turn off the burners and lightly brush away the remaining ash.

                  Taking the time once a year to tune up the BBQ may not only improve cooking skills it will most likely extend the life of the appliance.

                  Happy grilling.

til the week ends

Vince

Oh, Can’tada…Being Pistol Whipped by the CBC.

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 (Suzanne Araujo as courier/actress wannabe Glynis Hartley)

Rejection!

It’s what separates the troopers from the pack.

Rejection!

It’s what makes you want it more and brings you back.

It may deflate your ego

Try to bring your spirit down.

It cuts right down to your very soul.

But rejection,

Is just one stupid person’s thought.

Rejection makes you whole.

( “Wake Me When It’s Over”)

I wrote these words as part of my musical “Wake Me When It’s Over” nearly ten years ago. It’s what I believe then and still believe now.

This morning, like most, Iago my bearded collie and my neighbour’s dog Ozzie, a boarder collie, headed off on our daily hike into the woods. I cherish these walks for they give me time to develop ideas and work through problems. Usually by the end of the walk I have a spark and am able to hit the keyboard of my laptop running at full speed.

On the advice of a friend, I’ve begun to take my smartphone along.

“Who knows what could happen to me while hiking out there!”

I’ve always imagined, or hoped, that Iago or Ozzie would run back to town for help, a scene right out of Lassie. However, the truth is if I collapsed Ozzie would jump on me licking my face raw and Iago would circle us endlessly barking for forever. Image

                                 Ozzie and Iago…a whole lot of lovin’

Anyway, I digress. Damn dogs. They are a big distraction!

So here we are walking along and my phone pings telling me that “I’ve got mail”. I took a quick look and recognized the sender as an employee of our beloved CBC. I knew what it was.

I have four very commercial projects that I’m out there pitching; a screenplay “The Grass Widow”, “Channel 3” a crime mystery series, plus “Thanks a lot Bernie Madoff” and “Scenes From My Dock!”, both comedy series.

The Madoff  project  I didn’t expect them to bother with since it’s set in New York. “Channel 3” is about a crime reporter who unwillingly gets help from ghosts of people from her past lives. This one has special effects and time travel. The only Canadian thing in it is the multicultural cast. “The Grass Widow”, is a screenplay that features a beloved character from my stage play, the eccentric American socialite Bunny Bevington-Smythe. A majority of the screenplay is set in Muskoka during the 40’s. The final project, “Scenes From My Dock!”, is  set in Canadian Cottage Country.

CBC is very specific about their Canadian agenda, as they have told me over and over and over again and over again. Okay, beside the Madoff Project, all the projects hit the Canadian content mark.

Their email began with…

“After much discussion, we are deciding to pass on all 4 projects.”

Wow! I’ve never been slapped like that before. It was like a writer’s S&M session. 

It followed with…

“We felt that though the setting of SCENES FROM MY DOCK was great…We have also had projects similar to this in development before which failed to gain traction.”

I sure hope they are not referring to “Mosquito Lake”!

“CHANNEL 3…the TV series angle is also something that we try to stay away from in terms of format.”

Okaaay?

“THANKS A LOT BERNIE MADOFF i s a tough one as we are looking for series that are set in Canada. We felt the concept had the tendency to veer into broad comedy…which doesn’t fit in with the tone we are looking for.”

You are the CBC, right?

And finally for my screenplay THE GRASS WIDOW which is totally Canadian, inside and out…

“…we are currently looking for movies that our based on important Canadian literary properties or are centred on events that are of historical importance to Canadians.”

This is cut and pasted. Didn’t she proof read?

In all fairness, I did not expect any of my ideas to make the CBC cut.  Another common theme in this particular rejection letter was…

 “due to the CBC’s current economic reality.”

It sort of reminded me of the time I applied for a grant from Canada Council to work on my stage play about the wife of Norman Bethune who ended up in a insane asylum. They praised me on the idea and the work, plus they said the selection committee loved it, but…

“We ain’t got the bucks!”

I’m not worried. Right now all these projects and more are either being considered by or I’m in discussion over with private production companies and broadcasters in Canada and the U.S..

Perhaps I should pitch Mrs. Bethune as a project to the CBC. No, wait. She ended up institutionalized in Scotland. Damn. If only they had thrown her into the infamous Orillia Asylum. It was in cottage country and I could have had her visited by Stephen Leacock!

Call for Visual and Solo Performing Artists Here in Muskoka!

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I am looking for visual artists to promote and sell their work,  plus solo performing artists for small intimate house concerts this summer in in my  new TWG gallery located in the Village of Rosseau at the top of Muskoka.  I plan on promoting the hell out of this place. Each summer thousands of people roam the streets looking for stuff to see with money burns a hole in their pockets.

For the visual artists it will be a consignment contract. Pieces that sell well are: pottery, some jewellery, carvings in all medium, watercolours, some photography, glass, some one-of-a kind wearable art,  paintings and sculptures that say “I bought this in Muskoka….Ontario….Canada”.

In addition, I plan on staging “Who’s Soiree Now?…Intimate Concerts for the Universal Soul”…private, full-course themed dinner parties with entertainment in the gallery and out in the courtyard. For this I am looking for solo performing artists or small (3 max) musical groups.

My idea is to see how it goes this summer. Then if it flies, continue and eventually expand the gallery  ( I do have 2.5 acres right here in the middle of Rosseau to play with). So it’s small, safe baby steps then maybe one day I can build this…

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For those who don’t know me, I am a professional writer and illustrator/cartoonist, playwright, and producer. I founded the Muskoka Theatre Project, which unfortunately its activity, with the demise of Red Leaves, was curtailed. However, we are a phoenix, and while everyone went bankrupt, we hung in there and are slowly rising to the top.  Presently my focus is on film and television. In particular, I just completed a new draft of “The Grass Widow”, based on my hit “Quiet! I’m Talking”.  I am receiving quite the buzz here and in L.A. with the current version of the screenplay that I originally wrote over twenty years ago. This summer I am planning (if I am permitted) on having a reading of “The Grass Widow”, that is set in Muskoka. It will be  a move towards either a film and/or theatre festival. You can learn more at www.weekendguy.com .

In the meantime,  if you are an artist or know anyone who might be interested please forward this note and have them contact me at vince@weekendguy.com.  Thanks.

’til the week ends

Vince

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