“Wake Me” It Ain’t Over

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“Wake Me When It’s Over! The ‘12-Step Musical’ 

GRAVENHURST – The Gravenhurst Opera House presents its final theatrical production of the 2016 summer season; the award-winning “Wake Me When It’s Over…the 12-step musical”, an original comedy by Canadian stage and screenwriter Vince Grittani with music by Rosalind Mills. This comedic look at one man’s attempt to cope with change on his sixtieth birthday features Larry Herbert (Stratford’s “42nd Street”, Toronto’s ”Mamma Mia” and “Cats”) and the versatile Debbie Collins (Mirvish Production of “The Producers”), who was last seen in this year’s Opera House production of “The Marvelous Wonderettes!”

This high-energy comedy from the creator of hits “Yuppies! The Musical”, “Quiet! I’m Talking” and “Scenes From My Dock”, has been updated and features, in addition to the original, new scenes and songs like “Divorce of Course” and “I’ve Got An App For That!”

As Roger (played by Herbert) is about to celebrate his 60th birthday, he turns to Dr. Yolanda and her book “Flush, a 12-step program to happiness!” With each step Roger is confronted by a series of hilarious women from his life, past and present, all played (sometimes at the same time) by Collins. From his strap-happy grade school teacher Sister Mary of The Compassionate and Merciful Christ to the slightly wacky Margo, an Evita Peron wannabe, running for president of the condo association, Roger is forced to deal with each of these characters before moving on.

Award winning director Dayna Tekatch, who directed the 2016 season opener, “2 Across” as well as Mirvish Productions’ “Forever Plaid” in Toronto earlier this year, returns to direct and choreograph this production along with musical director Sherisse Stevens. The show opens Tuesday, September 13 and runs until September 30.

Visit www.GravenhurstOperaHouse.com to purchase tickets or call the Box Office: 705-687-5550

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AFFORDABLE SENIOR HOUSING PROPOSED FOR THE VILLAGE OF ROSSEAU.

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      If you think the most common answer to the question “What is your biggest fear about aging?” was death, then you are wrong. One of the biggest fears is living longer than one’s money. And that is exactly what is happening all over the western world. In Canada. In Ontario. Right here in Parry Sound/ Muskoka.
Why is this all happening?   CLICK HERE FOR THE REASON
      Now, a second question. You sell your home to live off the equity. What happens if you are living in one of those privately owned, swanky retirement homes and  your needs increase. Physical and mental.  Suddenly you are paying $8,000 and upwards for rent, food and SPECIAL CARE a month! (This is not an exaggeration! Remember they are PROFIT DRIVEN.) By 80 you find yourself broke. What do you think happens next?  You get kicked out onto the street. They are not a charity. They are profit driven. 
      You are now your family’s problem, if they can afford or want to care for you. Or, you become the government’s problem. Often you would be sent to a long-term care facility even if you are not sick…that is, if there’s space available.
BUT THIS DOOM AND GLOOM SCENARIO DOESN’T HAVE TO HAPPEN!
There is a solution where;
  1. You  can still live in a house and have equity that remains part of your estate and is passed on to whomever you choose.
  2. You are living with people who share common interests.
  3. You won’t be lonely or depressed.
  4. You can still have a garden, have a hobby, entertain friends and family etc.
  5. You can still travel. Go to Florida for the winter if you want.
  6. Have a job if you want or need.
  7. You can still live with your spouse.
  8. You have control of your life and have a say in what happens around you.
  9. Most of all, can cost up to 85% less than living in a corporately owned “old folks home”.
      I am working with Shelley Raymond of Solterra Co-Housing.  As the executive director of the non-profit R’CAP  (Rosseau Culture and Arts Project), we are creating Rosseau Gardens. The plan is to begin with two, separate  residential dwelling units, or as you may know them, single family homes. We already have the land, two 1/2 acre lots in the middle of the Village of Rosseau, directly behind TWG Guest House . Working with architects Brad Culver and Cynthia Henderson, each home will not only include the owner’s needs but also capture the quaint charm of the village.
      At this time we are proposing that one home will have 4 units and the other 6 units. (This may change based on initial response and need.) Each unit will consist of a bedroom (or two bedrooms for couples), a sitting area and a fully equipped and safe bathroom. The units will share a gorgeous up to date kitchen, professionally decorated living room, laundry facilities, hobby/guest room  and screened in porch. (A necessity here in Northern Ontario). Each unit will also have a garage for storage or to park the car.  You control, with your own furniture, how your unit is decorated.
THE BASIC QUESTIONS ANSWERED
  1. Each unit will represent  approximately 25% shared ownership, depending on the square footage.
  2. Each deed of ownership is tenants-in-common which means it can be sold, transferred and become part of a person’s estate, NOT passed on to the other owners as in joint ownership.
  3. When a person (or persons) purchases a unit they agree to the “house rules” which includes everything from pet ownership to who can buy your unit when time comes to sell. Each unit, not person, has a single vote. This is a democratic household after all! 
  4. As we are still in the preliminary stages, each house may or may not be themed. In other words, if interest is there, it can be a house that accepts residents of Rosseau area, or artists,  all females, or ex-circus performers!
  5. Initially we’ll be looking for buyers at a similar stage in their life with similar needs. It may be four healthy, independent individuals. It could also be four individuals and a couple who need some assistance with maintenance, cleaning or meal preparations. Interest from the public will guide the initial setup. 
  6. Here’s a simple example as to why this is cheaper.  We all know that one of our biggest expenses here in Ontario is Hydro! So, you will only pay a fraction of the bill. Same goes for heat. Or, if a gardener or cleaning person is needed, instead of paying $20 dollars upwards an hour, you are paying $5. Snow shovelling? Only a percentage. As the needs and expenses of the household increases, they are shared by the users. If only two people need special care then the costs are 1/2.  But again, it’s a democratic household. You vote on what’s needed. Shopping, cooking, cleaning or personal care.
  7. Who decides who buys into the house? At the beginning, the first person to buy in decides who the second person is. Then they agree upon the third and the three decide on the fourth. Remember, there are house rules that are legally binding. But as a group, you can vote to change the rules. YOU AND YOUR HOUSEMATES ARE ALWAYS IN CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE, NOT A CORPORATION.  (NOTE: Four friends may want to buy the four units initially. This is the best possible way of knowing who you are living with!) 
  8. There are three possible ways of becoming a tenant. First, if you have the funds, you buy your unit outright.  Second, if you have only a down payment, we may be able to arrange  financing. Third, you rent your unit. Again, the house rules  will say whether rentals are possible and to whom. YOU ARE IN CONTROL of your life.
  9. Yes, a third party, an investor can buy a share, but they too must abide by the house rules. This is an ideal, controlled and inexpensive way for children to purchase a unit and have their parents live in it.
  10. Will value of the unit increase? Yes. Supply and demand will control the future price, but remember the purchaser must always comply with the house rules. Plus, you don’t buy this to make money, it’s to save money and not outlive it!
  11. What is the non-profit R’CAP’s future role? R’CAP’s role is only  the initiator. Our goal is to ensure that the units, when initially sold, are AFFORDABLE. We are applying to Canada Housing and Mortgage for funds to help with the initial setup costs. Governments on all levels are fully aware of  the challenges that an aging population presents. Shelley and Solterra Co-Housing has been working on the format for several years and the government sees this as one solution to the challenge. We also have access to care providers willing to work with our project when and if the need arises.
  12. What is the cost of a unit? The final price is yet to be decided. It will be affordable based on the final design, square footage etc.
  13. When? ASAP! 

What’s next?

Each unit or share will eventually  be offered on MLS.ca if needed. As we are still at the design stage, initially we are looking for interested parties who can share their needs, wants and desires. This is not a commitment to buy. We will ask you to fill out a confidential, online information form. Once our final designs are completed, those who initially show interest will have the first chance to buy. A refundable deposit will be required that is put into a trust account. ALL PURCHASES WILL BE GOVERNED BY THE RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE BBB, REAL ESTATE COUNCIL OF ONTARIO, and TARION (Ontario New Homes Act). 

If you are interested you can contact me personally at  vince@rosseaucultureandarts.com  or 705-774-4487, or through the  Solterra Co-Housing Contact Form 

Live long and prosper! 

Starting July 1 – Destination Rosseau – a festival of theatre, art, music and film

 

 

 

 

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What do Billy Bishop, Ditchburn wooden boats, Native Canadian poet Pauline Johnson and the creators of the Shopsy hotdog have in common? The answer is the  Village of Rosseau, at the top of Lake Rosseau

This summer from July 1 thru Sept 20, the Rosseau Culture and Arts Project is hosting “Destination Rosseau”. As executive director I am thrilled to be leading a team of great people helping to launch this incredible festival of integrated arts featuring live summer theatre (including a world premiere), incredible art, hilarious comedy by Canada’s funniest, children’s hands on science camps and all-day parties, a  film festival featuring flicks selected from over 1300 international entries and a jazz weekend to end the season.

To find out more details, where to purchase tickets and discover what brought Billy Bishop and friends to Rosseau you are going to have to visit www.destinationrosseau.com

 

The Muskoka Independent Film Festival…The Village of Rosseau, a Perfect Setting!

ImageThis summer the tiny Village of Rosseau plays host to The Muskoka Independent Film Festival (MIFF). It is the final event to mark the end of a larger, 2-month, Destination Rosseau, a festival of live theatre, art, music and film.

Personally, I have been wanting to produce a film festival here in the area for years. Although there are a few events that call themselves film festivals in the region, I wanted MIFF to be more than just a series of screenings in one large venue. Plus, I did not want to bring in a prepackaged series either. I see MIFF as being “an event” on its own.

In the early days of the Toronto Film Festival, way before it went all Hollywood, each year I would receive a VIP pass that allowed me into everything. Those were the days when one did not have to pre-register to see a film. You just ran around from venue to venue with the catalogue tucked under your arm and got in line! (Although with the VIP pass you got to go to the front of the line. 🙂 ) . After or before a screening, you and fellow cinefiles would gather in coffee shops or bars, discuss the films you saw and listened for reviews of great flicks that had a second screening. There were parties and yes there were stars, but it was a more subtle display of fan adoration and no red carpet. There were also panel discussions where filmmakers would disclose the stories behind the makings of their projects. This is my vision for MIFF.

This year as my associates, members of the Rosseau Culture and Arts Project and fellow village residents, embark upon the launch of Destination Rosseau 2014, I was lucky enough to meet this wonderful woman Catherine Mondragon. Originally Catherine was going to assist me with grant writing, but I quickly realized that it was a waste of her talents. Catherine was a filmmaker and as I discovered, a film lecturer. And Bbesides film, Catherine has been a student of urban studies, a wonderful asset for my overall vision in this tiny hamlet of Rosseau as an arts destination. So I assigned her the position of coordinator of MIFF.

The great thing about Catherine is that she is from a generation a few below my own and so her contacts and view of the film world are different from my own. As a result, our programme for the first MIFF is forming into a “sweet celebration of the silver screen”.  Although at this point we are not ready to announce the final lineup, I can tell you that everything is going as planned.

The first Muskoka Independent Film Festival will take place from August 28 through 30th in three venues here in the Village of Rosseau. The Village of Rosseau is a quaint hub at the top of Lake Rosseau, part of the famous Muskoka Lakes system.  From Rosseau one has a choice of direct access to Huntsville, Bracebridge, Port Carling and Parry Sound. If there’s one word I hear over and over that describes the Village is “quaint”.  It boasts fine restaurants , a gourmet general store, LCBO, coffee shops, nursing station, churches, gift stores, art galleries and a few B&Bs. Just south of us one finds the JW Marriott Resort “The Rosseau” and Clevelands House with more restaurants and other facilities.  To the east there’s the famous Windermere House and to the west, the newly reopened Grand Tappattoo resort.

Our village is known as the place where it is not uncommon to find movie and sports stars, famous musicians or captains of industry casually having dinner, strolling through our Friday Farmer’s Market or haggling over the price at our Sunday antique market. All of this is located within a two block radius. Our venues, the new Rosseau Playhouse in the Agricultural Hall, The Memorial Hall and Frost Hall, part of the Anglican church, are within a two to three minute stroll of each other, as are the coffee shops and restaurants, the perfect location for pre and post viewing discussions.

Although we are not tapping into the local celebrities we have confirmed a few who are coming on board to kickstart MIFF. As informal discussions are very much part of our festival format, who better to lead them than my friend Dini Petty, who for years interviewed in depth, artists, “A” list movie stars and even over zealous cottage TV hosts like myself.  Catherine has and continues to bring on board a great variety of filmmakers and there’s more to come. We are accepting submissions up to the end of June. For details visit http://www.rosseaucultureandarts.com/Muskoka_Independent_Film_Festival.html  or email Catherine Mondragon at catherine@rosseaucultureandarts.com .

Day and festival passes are available now online at www.rosseaucultureandarts.com or after May 16th at the Destination Rosseau Box Office in the TWG Gallery in Rosseau. As our venues are “intimate,  passes are limited…and there will be parties.



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CALL FOR ARTISTS!

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Don’t believe what you see outside your window! Summer is coming and soon it will be the launch of “Destination Roseau 2014” a celebration of theatre, film, art and music, made possible through support from the Ontario’s  Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport’s “Celebrate Ontario” programme.Image

As part of our inaugural festival the TWG Gallery is staging “Brave Art”. We are still looking for a few more artists to participate in a solo or group presentation of their work for periods within July and August. Our only rule is “NO PICTURES OF MUSKOKA CHAIRS, LOONS OR THE SEGWUN STEAMSHIP”.  We’ll consider all media and genres…as long as it fits in the door. We can also present outdoor works. 

“Brave Art” reflects the age old question “What is art?” as  discussed in our Muskoka Theatre Project’s presentation of the new comedy “The Audit”, playing here in Rosseau July 8 – 19th. 

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The TWG Gallery opened last summer and is operated by the Rosseau Culture and Arts Project, a non–profit organization that promotes art and cultural activity and events in the Village of Rosseau.

Interested artists please submit an email with a link to your work:     gallery@rosseaucultureandarts.com

Looking forward to a great season ahead.

Vince Grittani, executive director  www.rosseaucultureandarts.com 

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Celebrate Destination Rosseau! Coming Summer 2014! Art, Music, Theatre & Film

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Even though the ice is still out there on the lake and snow surrounds us, it’s time to think summer! As executive director of the non-profit Rosseau Culture and Arts Project,  I am proud to announce the first annual  “Destination Rosseau”, a celebration of music, theatre, film and art.  Years in the making, this brings together The Muskoka Theatre Project, The TWG Gallery, The new Muskoka Film Festival and The Rosseau Academy of Arts and Practical Science all under one umbrella.

Through generous support from the Ontario Government’s Celebrate Ontario 2014 grant programme, sponsorship, the Municipality of Seguin Township, volunteers and others, Rosseau is well on its way to becoming an arts destination.

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Our playhouse…a spiced up Agricultural Hall!

It was here in Rosseau, back in 2002, that the Muskoka Theatre Project began to produce live theatre and musical concerts beginning with its original, award-winning, one-woman show “Quiet! I’m Talking” (soon to become a feature film “The Grass Widow of Muskoka”).  Since then we consistently presented quality professional theatre up until 2010. This year we return with a presentation of “The Audit” a new romantic comedy plus other productions and musical events.

The TWG Gallery, now in its second year, will be presenting several shows of local and regional artists under the banner “Brave New Art” along with our second annual “Paint the Town, Rosseau”.

ImageThe Rosseau Academy of Arts and Practical Science will be holding a series of workshops in arts, science and theatre for  kids and various media for adults throughout the summer.

Finally, over three days in September, “Destination Rosseau” will feature The Muskoka Film Festival, in three venues featuring not only great flicks but in many cases the filmmakers themselves.

Our final schedule of events is being finalized and new things are being added. In the meantime, keep visiting www.rosseaucultureandarts.com for details.

Also, WE ARE LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS with all our activities including the theatre, the workshops and the film festival. If you are interested in helping out please drop us a line and tell us your area of interest and availability. We’ll get back to you ASAP.    info@rosseaucultureandarts.com

Bring on the summer!

Vince Grittani, executive director

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Actors Wanted! General Call

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The Muskoka Theatre Project (now operating under the non-profit Rosseau Culture and Arts Project) is looking for union and non-union local actors of all ages…Local meaning those with their own transportation and accommodations in the Muskoka/Parry Sound region. In the past we have presented such original shows as the award winning “Quiet! I’m Talking”, “Scenes From My Dock” and “Wake Me When It’s Over!”. This is a general search for several future projects, both plays and musicals, beginning this summer and onwards and will be produced in various venues. Please submit a photo and resume to info@rosseaucultureandarts.com . For more information visit www.muskokatheatreproject.com

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                                               Vince Gritttani, Executive Director 

“Hey Gravenhurst, I’m Over Here! ”

IMG_00000103(Today, Feb 7 at 5:00  is the final day they are accepting  submissions so, I thought I would send this out one more time for good luck!) 

Ego v.s. Passion

Recently the Town of Gravenhurst posted an ad for the position of Manager of Arts and Culture. To say that I want the job is an understatement. I am the job. This isn’t an over-inflated ego speaking. It’s passion. In fact, one could say that I have been vying for the position for some time now. And now, admittedly,  I am campaigning for it!

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The position, Manager of Arts and Culture for the town, includes overseeing its famous Opera House. This is a facility I have a history with that goes back to its 100th Anniversary in 2001, for which I was commissioned to create my summer musical “Scenes From My Dock!”. It played to packed houses.  Previous to that, the Opera House was home to a variety of professional theatre companies and a presenter of many great concerts and events. However, over the past decade the place has never experienced the buzz that was present since its centennial celebration. Its citizens have continuously expressed to me, and their council, of their concern for the lack of good programming and the financial drain the venue creates on the the town’s coffers.

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This job is the sum total of everything I’ve been doing!

You can click here. I have the qualifications. I’ve managed teams of individuals of all sizes and produced award winning results with budgets from nil to over a million. I’ve raised money through sponsorship, fundraising, government grants, advertising  and audience development. I’ve negotiated contracts and worked with professional union members, amateurs, agents, volunteers, actors, directors, writers, dancers, musicians, designers, artists, publicists, backstage crew, media, etc. , etc..  I know what it’s like to work with local government and have been a familiar face to most of the regional councils over the past twenty years. I’m not just a theatre guy but my experience branches into the visual, television and film arts. I am and have always been a big supporter and promoter of Muskoka with a keen interest in its history. (Even my award-winning screenplay “The Grass Widow of Muskoka”, based on my play “Quiet! I’m Talking”, to be a filmed in Muskoka, brings to life the region’s past and present lore.)

On the business side, I spent years in marketing, including working for various corporate clients and advertising agencies. I understand the importance of sponsorship and appreciate the value that lies in the Muskoka brand. And when it comes to understanding the nuts and bolts of an old building, my personal experience, not only with producing in and running a variety of theatre venues, but in real estate and ownership for the past thirty years, has given me a fairly good working knowledge of the mechanics. I recognize that the Gravenhurst Opera House is a valuable icon and an integral part of not only the town’s, but the whole Muskoka region’s, history. I believe the position of Manager of Arts and Culture goes beyond just the building itself and includes stimulating the cultural fabric of the entire town. It’s a position that must lead a unified effort from amongst the many special interests within the pool of citizens, creating a greater sense of community pride. It’s a position that must always look at the bottom line and strive towards sustainability in a very competitive environment. It’s also a position that must see arts and culture take an active role in reviving the town’s core and stimulate the local economy.

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Culture is more than art!

I also understand the challenges that increased competition (both regionally and nationally), changing demographics, digital age media, and budget restraints present. I am well aware that one must develop creative solutions in order to sustain and support arts and cultural activity. And finally, the fact that the position is not just “arts manager”  means one must have an understanding that cultural activity isn’t just theatre, film and visual art, but includes other interests that make up the Town of Gravenhurst community.

So far my efforts to “campaign” for the position have not gone unnoticed. Many have sent in an email of support to the human resources on my behalf. (Be my guest  HumanResources@gravenhurst.ca). Some have commented that they have never seen such an enthusiastic pitch for a a government job! On the other hand, others have warned me that I may come across as “too aggressive”, turn them off and that I am being “too public”.  Well, the job is, or at least should be, very public. The person must be out there promoting and being involved. This is what a leader does. That is how one remains accountable to the people paying their salary.

My motto!
My motto!

I choose to believe that those making the hiring decision want to see change to the status quo and are interested in a person who can show leadership, creativity and have a genuine interest in the well being of the Town of Gravenhurst. That person is me.

Partnerships. Good for everyone!

As far as my vision for the Village of Rosseau, I see this as a perfect opportunity for a partnership. The challenge with Rosseau is that it is very small and it lacks facilities and a substantial permanent population, however it is located at the opposite end of Muskoka and in the designated region of Northern Ontario. A partnership lends itself to shared activity and access to Northern funding not available the the Town of Gravenhurst.  Although there would be some overlap, there would also be the potential to reach a greater audience with more activity. So therefore, Rosseau could be a satellite to Gravenhurst, and funding agencies love partnerships.

You get one life to live. Go for it!

My application for the position could have been simple and I could have just sent in a resume. But that’s not me. Instead, I have chosen to be very public and demonstrate just a smidgen of the effort I would exert if hired.

Using music I wrote for previous assignments and new graphics I created for original projects I have or am developing, here’s a sample of some of the artistic and cultural activity I would bring to the Opera House and the Town of Gravenhurst. Enjoy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1eAal8J7j1Y

Call for Visual Artists! Summer 2014

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The TWG Gallery  operates  under the Rosseau Culture and Arts Project, a registered non-profit arts and culture organization. This summer  TWG will be part of “Destination Rosseau”, our three month branding festival in the  Village of Rosseau that includes art, workshops, live theatre, and of course, art.  Although still a works-in-progress our website is www.rosseaucultureandarts.com .

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20130605_200600For 2014 we are changing the structure of the gallery and although we will retain a representational collection of selective artists, we are dedicating the majority of the presentation space to rotating shows of either individuals or groups. As part of “Destination Rosseau”, we are planning a fairly extensive marketing campaign and this includes promoting the gallery to increase traffic. Our small craft/gift store does create substantial traffic and we are considering adding art supplies to our inventory. We are also going to be using the space as our box office for our theatre located next door. Plus, we are looking at establishing some sort of food service component, also near the gallery. Most likely it will be in the form of a gourmet  food truck.

Our series at the gallery for 2014 is called “BRAVE ART”.  We have chosen this theme for it’s versatility. It can not only refer to the artist and their work but also the viewer and potential buyer. The idea is to challenge the buyer to make a decision based on their own feelings and perception, not their “interior designer” nor another outside influence. There’s a lot of fear involved in buying art. Exposure and education helps.

For the artist, the term “brave” can refer to their art or the process. Perhaps it’s working through some debilitating event in their lives or as simple as moving from one medium to another. It could be the challenge of a subject matter or even to just show their work in public. Maybe it’s the statement your overall story makes.Although we are set up primarily with hanging space, we can easily adapt to display three dimensional art.  We have a variety of wall space and can hang up to 6 feet wide and 8 feet high.  The shows will all open on a Monday Night with a reception and striked on a Sunday, late afternoon. All shows will hang for at least two weekends. Depending on size and medium, each show will consist of a minimum of eight pieces. 

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The TWG Gallery

We are open to emerging and established artists. We’ll consider all mediums and genres. We are looking for interesting…and marketable work.  However, there must be some aspect of “new”.  You can be an artist new to the Muskoka/Parry Sound gallery scene.  Your show can include new works and previously completed works from you own portfolio. At least 75% of your work has to be available for sale. The remaining 25% can be borrowed and for display only. You need to be available to hang and strike your show with our assistance. The split is 60% artist, 40% gallery.

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The TWG Gallery is located in an old brick farmhouse in the middle of the Village of Rosseau on Lake Rosseau, right on the main throughway. Our clientele consists of middle and upper income, seasonal cottagers, visitors to the area and professionals from the surrounding communities.  The presentation space is all white with original walls and movable, secure flats. We have a hook and wire hanging system and the rooms are lit with a combination of natural and adjustable electric sources.

If you are interested in participating this summer we’d love to hear from you! Please send an email , tell us your story and give us a  link to your info and portfolio by December 31, 2013.  The sooner the better.     gallery@rosseaucultureandarts.com

Vince Grittani , (executive director  Rosseau Culture and Arts Project)

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