“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

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! 

Interactive Science and Theatre Day Camps in the Village of Rosseau

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Last summer The Rosseau Culture and Arts Project (RCAP) started  The  Academy of Arts and Practical Science. We presented a series of interactive workshops with Professor What’z It! It was so successful that since learning is very much part of the RCAP format, as part of our Destination Rosseau 2014 programme, we are holding 2 one-week day camps here in the Village of Rosseau at the New Playhouse in the Agricultural Hall. A Science Camp from July 14-18 and a Theatre Camp August 11-15. Both sessions are designed for all levels and are lead  by experienced professional teachers.

For the Science Camp, I have recruited two of the most energetic young Ontario teachers and I will admit a bit of nepotism in my hiring of them. Katelyn, my niece, and her husband Aaron, are not only Ontario teachers but bring with them dedication, enthusiasm and life experience that is hard to match. For the past two years they have been teaching in Abu Dhabi, previous to that they taught in Warsaw and Korea. And even though they have travelled the world, two summers ago they returned to Canada and got married here in Rosseau. On top of being  popular teachers with the kids, they have a crazy side and  were campers in their younger years. This is an important feature of the academy in that we are more camp than school! In other words, the fun side of learning.

OIMG_0442ur first science camp is designed to be slightly eclectic, and will appeal to kids from age 9 – 14.  Each day is a brief look at one particular branch of science such as paleontology, mechanics, physics, environmental studies  and astronomy. It will include hands-on experiments (safety always coming first) and an examination of cool but important things like solar energy and endangered species. Things will go pop, zoom and splash. And most important, everything we look at is no further than our own backyards ’cause science is everywhere…especially at the cottage.

maskIn August we offer Theatre Camp run by Mary-Francis Goodwin who has years of experience as a theatre arts teacher and director.  She will be accompanied by her daughter Laurie-Ann, an experienced artist in theatre, film and music. We decided that for our first year to present a week that would be perfect for kids ages 10 -14 from all experience levels; a week long camp working with Neutral Mask. For those who need some encouragement to those for whom performing is second nature, this is a camp that focuses on movement and music. Part mime, part dance and tons of fun. The week finishes with a performance for parents and the public.

Camps will run from 9:00 – 3:30, Monday through Friday.  For more information visit www.rosseaucualtureandarts.com

Vince Grittani (executive director Rosseau Culture And Arts Project) 

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 .

FRONT CARD

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)

Free the Village of Rosseau! De-amalgamation? Hmmmm….

]This morning I heard on CBC about the former Township of Syndenham who wants to de-amalgamate from the town of Meaford.  It got me thinking about The Village of Rosseau which was forced to amalgamate to create the Township of Seguin with predominately Georgian Bay communities.

Officially we are no longer Muskoka. We are the District of Parry Sound. In fact, we are in Northern Ontario which no one ever believes. (Every time I talk to a government grant organization they argue with me because they think we are Muskoka…until I make them pull out a map!)

I would guess that a fair bit of the taxes per capita that support Seguin Township come from the Village and the surrounding cottages on Lake Rosseau, and yet we have the least number of roads to care . Our main arteries are provincial.  Roads are what we always hear about as being the biggest part of the township’s budget…Right next to  staff salaries. (At a recent Township finance committee it was pointed out that staff have seen a continuous raise of 7% year after year. The township replied with that much of the previously contracted work is now done by members of the staff. ISN’T THAT WHAT THE F**K THEY ARE BEING PAID FOR?) 

Someone might argue that since amalgamation Rosseau has seen great improvements like the waterfront, hall renovations, a basketball court and Nursing station. All of these were a result of the Province and Tony Clement giving out political hand outs.  Don’t even talk about that G-8 fiasco. We also hear about Seguin being debt free. Well how difficult was that? All they did was increase taxes and take things away like garbage pickup…oh yes, and get rid of outside contracted work!

Over the years Rosseau has seen a steady decline of business activity. This week we lost our gas station!  Forget the winter!  MTO piles up the snow and no one shovels because it’s five feet deep! Since moving to the village I have witnessed or participated in two studies, one of which was a vision exercise for Rosseau. What a load of crap! They paid a Toronto planning firm fifteen thousand dollars to tell us what we already knew or suggest stupid things like we needed a hardware store that sold socks? Of course they neglected to mention that the General Store has a a good hardware section already.

Whenever anyone in Rosseau or on Lake Rosseau wants something we have to run to council and ask permission from a group of all men, none of which, except our own, is ever seen in or cares about the town or its businesses.  It’s time Seguin Township acknowledges that the Village of Rosseau is DOWNTOWN SEGUIN.  I have heard on more than one occasion that Council hates the whining people of Rosseau. Well get ready boys, you ain’t heard nothing yet.

Rainbow Rosseau

“Briga-rosseau”

You are probably wondering what got my knickers in a knot that has set me off on this rant. I’ll tell you. I just finished preparing a business plan for the Rosseau Culture and Arts Project (RCAP) for which I am the executive director.  It not just a cultural plan. It’s a business plan that could help to save Rosseau from turning into Bridgadoon, a village that appears  to have life only a few weeks in the summer. It’s an ambitious plan and we have solicited the expertise of very talented people to help out.

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Pratt’s Rosseau House

The plan is called “Destination Rosseau”. It is a play on the fact that when Billy Bishop started the first chartered airlines in Canada he flew passengers in a float plane from Toronto to Rosseau , which makes us “Canada’s first destination”.  We are also the site of the first Ontario resort, the Pratt’s Rosseau House. We were also home to the Monteith Hotel, which became the only resort that allowed Jews when bought by the Shopsowitz (Shopsy’s Deli) during a time when anti-Semitism was rampant in the rest of Muskoka.  If you go to Seguin Township’s website all they promote historically is the Humphrey School House. How stupid is that?

destination Rosseau logo“Destination Rosseau” is a five year plan that involves growing cultural activity in the village. We are planning to bring back seasons of The Muskoka Theatre Project which will include a staging of “Billy Bishop Goes to War” next year to commemorate the beginning of WWI. We are also premiering my new comedy called “The Audit”, inspired by my experience of being raked over the coal by Revenue Canada.

The plan  sees an expansion of the TWG Gallery, RCAP’s Rosseau Academy of Arts and Practical Science offering workshops and camps to adults and kids, a film series called “Films for The Universal Soul” and a two day Muskoka Film Festival throughout the village. We are also producing a one day art and culinary arts fair called “Art a la Carte” and a Christmas festival called “a Village Christmas”.

Separate from the programming, we are planning to raise to funds to create a home of our own, The Rosseau Playhouse.  This will be a multi-functional facility in which we can programme activity without asking the township for permission!  We have the land, however Rosseau Playhousewe are going to need to get it rezoned.  Yes, with the township and council’s stamp of approval!

I know there are some who think that with this attitude I’m going to ruffle feathers and create enemies. I don’t f**king care.  You see, previous to this I spent two years preparing  budgets  and soliciting the Town of Gravenhurst council with a plan that would have seen the  Gravenhurst Opera House become a fully functional, self-sustaining facility.  After many meetings I was told it was too ambitious and council were afraid of the plan.  Before that I spent five years developing programmes for Red Leaves Resort and Tapatoo only to have both of them go tits up because they didn’t know how to manage themselves.

So do I sound pissed? You bet I am.  I’m tired of being the nice guy and having to ask permission. If RCAP does not get the full support of Township I will close the gallery and get the hell out of Dodge!  They can answer to the thousands of people who have shown support of our proposal and wonder why in Rosseau you can’t get gas, or a decent meal on Monday and Tuesday, or why on Townships website they repeat over and over the stale fact that Seguin was once declared the most artistic place in Ontario by some survey and yet they show nothing but links to activity in Parry Sound!

The motto on the sign when you enter  town states  “Welcome to the Village of Rosseau…Proud past. Promising future”. Wha?

’til the week ends

Vince

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A Day in the Life of Rosseau…They came, they painted…now what?

The First Annual “Paint the Town – Rosseau”,  was a great success. However, as with everything in life one has to remain flexible, and so at the end of the day I had to change things up.

The artists all arrived early in the day, received their official packages and set out-a-painting wearing their smart “CreaCtivity” T-Shirts that I had made.

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(The Group of Seven for the first annual Paint the Town – Rosseau . Back Row (Left) Mahtab Abudollahi, Barb TenEycke, Nola McConnan, Caryn Ladovsky, Stefan Galvanek. Front Row Linda Woolven and Vince Grittani.  Unfortunately, Sue Slocum was away when this photo was taken.) 

Being a novice at this event, I quickly learned that I should have had them draw for locations for  the theme was “A Day in The Life of Rosseau!”.  Six of the seven artist ended up down at the waterfront where the Classic Car and Boat Show was happening. In the end the results were amazing. Most artists did more than one painting or drawing.  At 5:00 PM  we all gathered back at the TWG Gallery for the big auction.  The reason for the auction was held was to raise funds to buy a tent for the Muskoka Theatre Project.  Unfortunately, even though a ton of people said they were coming, few bidders showed up.

My instinct clicked in and I decided to quickly put a new spin on the event.  I didn’t want everyone’s hard work to go to waste so I cancelled the auction and instead we have decided to assemble “A Day In the Life of Rosseau”, as a special show here at the TWG Gallery.  In addition, we are going to create a limited edition 2014 calendar as a fundraiser for “In-Tent To Build” Campaign.

All in all the event did what it was supposed to do.  It brought attention to the TWG Gallery and further fulfilled the mission set out by The Rosseau Culture and Arts Project, which is to produce an environment of integrated and diverse cultural, “creaCtivity” that will see the Village of Rosseau become a sustainable performing and visual arts destination.

Here’s a sneak preview of some of the pieces.

’til the week ends

Vince Grittani, Executive Director, Rosseau Culture and Arts Project

Galvanek Waterfront

Caryn Boathouse

Nola General Store

Slocum Beach

Mahtab Red Truck

Barb Rossea Rocks

Woolven Red Rosseau

Rosseau Under Siege! THE GROUP OF SEVEN…MUSKOKA STYLE.

This Saturday, Aug 3 ,  seven very talented professional artists emerge on a small village in Muskoka to  capture a “DAY IN THE LIFE OF ROSSEAU”.

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RAIN OR SHINE from 10:00 AM until late afternoon , visual artists from both the Muskoka and Toronto area  will stake their claim and record  a scene of activity in Rosseau. It’s going to be a busy day in the village as there is the Classic Boat and Car show happening down at the waterfront. The Anglican church is having a country fair and then there’s the usual buzz that happens on a Saturday.  By 5:30 the artists return to the TWG Gallery in Rosseau for a gathering and the auction.  Everyone is invited to attend, even just to look at the art and to witness the auction.

Proceeds from the auction will be split between the artist and the “IN-TENT TO BUILD CAMPAIGN”

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It should be an interesting display at the end of the day for the participating artists vary in style and medium. The Group of 7 for 2013 are Stephan Galvanek , Caryn Ladovsky, Sue Slocum, Linda Woolven, Nola McConnan, Barb TenEycke and Mahtab Abdollahi.  Artists will be wearing “Paint the Town” T-shirts and members of the public are encouraged to ask questions while they are working.