This year has been difficult for everyone, but spring is a season that brings hope – hope that there is a light at the end of this long tunnel, and hope that you are all safe and well, and not cutting your own hair.
In the words of Pablo Neruda, “All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. And we must pass through solitude and difficulty, isolation and silence in order to reach the enchanted place where we can dance our clumsy dance and sing our sorrowful song”.
All of us at Neruda Arts have not stopped creating, producing and presenting. We've adapted to COVID-19, and when things are safer for us all, we shall hit the ground running. We are busy designing an exciting year - ready to shift, change and modify our programming as restrictions lift, and life returns to something approaching normal.
Because of COVID-19, in order to re-evaluate our role as presenters in the Waterloo Region, we have focused on supporting the artists in more interesting ways.
Thanks to the generous folks at Quarry Marketing in St. Jacobs, and grants from the Waterloo Region Arts Fund and Heritage Canada, Neruda Sound on Sound (SOS), a recording studio, among other things, will soon become a reality. We feel an affordable studio is needed in the region. Providing a space for artists to create - (audio and visual), will augment their visibility as an artist, heighten their profile, increase their audience and level the playing field.
KULTRÚN WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL is being moved to the fall. We will present live events (fingers crossed), but on a smaller scale. The extra months will afford us time – time for people to heal, time for people to be safe in numbers. We will also be adding some wonderful hybrid events online – but always, with a difference. We have some amazing music and interactive workshops in mind.
AND STILL SHE PERSISTS will be video presentations of women in music in the Waterloo Region, with a particular focus on BIPOC, and other marginalized women. These are just a few of the things to come.
We're thrilled to announce our next event! Join us LIVE on Facebook and YouTube for a co-presentation with Sunfest London and their "Connected Sessions" as we present the all-female, Cuban Septet MORENA SON (Cuba) and the up-and-coming MONEKA ARABIC JAZZ (Toronto).
Wednesday, December 9, 8:00-9:30 pm EST
via FB & YouTube
8:00 pm EST - Monika Arabic Jazz
8:45 pm EST - Morena Son
Laurier Library producing ‘Love in the Time of COVID’ video featuring the work of Waterloo Region artists
WATERLOO – As social distancing measures continue to create challenges for members of the arts community, the Wilfrid Laurier University Library is curating a virtual exhibition featuring Waterloo Region artists. On Nov. 19, the Laurier Library will release a compilation video on YouTube called Love in the Time of COVID featuring creative submissions from more than 20 local arts organizations.
“During this pandemic, people have turned to the arts community to feel joy and love and connected to society,” said Isabel Cisterna, manager of cultural programming and community engagement at the Laurier Library. “Waterloo Region boasts excellent musicians, innovative theatre, diverse visual artists, dancers, singers, poets, writers and community leaders. This is our way of elevating artists in our community while also raising our national and international profile.”
Cisterna has invited organizations to participate in Love in the Time of COVID by recording videos of art they have produced. The organizations include:
Bring on the Sunshine Caribbean and African Festival
City of Kitchener
City of Waterloo
Flush Ink Productions
K-W Multicultural Festival
Laurier Faculty of Music
Laurier Indigenous Initiatives
Laurier Library MakerSpace
Laurier Women Entrepreneurship Centre
Martin Luther University College
Pat the Dog Theatre
Robert Langen Art Gallery
Sun Life Waterloo Busker Carnival
Sun Life Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival
The Jazz Room
“This is akin to sending a love letter from our artists to our community,” said Cisterna. “We are compiling a media quilt of art in Waterloo Region.”
The video will be available free of charge on the Laurier YouTube channel on Thursday, Nov. 19.
In April we announced that Neruda Arts will be unable to present Kultrún World Music Festival, scheduled for July 2020. We, like the rest of the world, are reacting to an unprecedented situation. Rather than cancel, or postpone the festival, in these challenging times, we have risen to the challenge, and we have reinvented and transformed Kultrún.
Kultrún Corona, will be an entirely different creature. The staff at Neruda Arts' has been working behind the scenes to make sure we can continue to provide you with excellent music, exciting events and interactive workshops. Imagine Kultrún in three exciting parts.
➢ SECLUSION INCLUSION – Many of the interactive workshops scheduled for Kultrún, and some new ones, will be live-streamed on the Internet. Focused on teaching, learning, sharing – for the entire family.
➢ URGNT TRNTO is part of MacLean's Magazine's live concert series. Neruda Arts, as part of Kultrún Corona, will be presenting four live-streaming concerts, beginning with Alex Cuba, a Cuban-Canadian singer-songwriter who sings in Spanish and English. Alex has won two Juno Awards for World Music Album of the Year.
➢ SOUNDS OF THE WORLD – In the fall, several of the artists scheduled to appear at Kultrún, will be presented as live concerts.
Some of the dates of our other events have been moved. We don't know how long travel restrictions will be in place but the beautiful thing about Canada is it's multiculturalism, and we know we can hire bands from within our own country that represent the world of music.
It's important that we remain focused on our goal – to build cultural bridges in our community. It is important to us that we pay artists during this time, and celebrate the talent around us.
We wish the very best to you, and those you love. These are challenging times, and for many of us, the most challenging times. They will define who we are. Take heart, for the Earth is healing a little from its own virus - us. Take heart that when this is over, we will all have more respect for life, each other, health workers, front line workers and toilet paper.
Be safe. Remain hopeful. And don't stop loving. Together, we will get through this.