Category Archives: Arts & Entertainment

Aretha’s Hometown Newspaper Does Her Up Right

Queen of Soul’s Passing Is Front-Page News in Newspapers across the United States, Canada and Around the World

Brief One from Doug Draper

Posted August 17th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

The Detroit Free Press, in the Motor City where Aretha Franklin lived most of her life and where she died at home this August 16th following a long battle with cancer, devoted  its whole front page to the Queen of Soul this August 17.

Of Aretha, The Detroit Free Press writes –

“Aretha Franklin was the loftiest name in the rich history of Detroit music and one of the transcendent cultural figures of the 20th Century. Continue reading

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One Of The All-Time Greats In Music Has Passed On – ‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin

“Let’s all take a moment to give thanks for the beautiful life of Aretha Franklin, the Queen of our souls, who inspired us all for many, many years. She will be missed but the memory of her greatness as a musician and a fine human being will live with us forever. Love, Paul (McCartney).”

A Brief One from Doug Draper

Posted August 16th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

“What earmarks a musical legend?

“For Aretha Franklin, the answer is a truckload of accolades, including a stack of gold and platinum singles and albums and an armful of Grammy awards, within a colourful influential career that has spanned decades.

“But Aretha – one of the few artists in pop music history who earned international first-name status with no self-proclamation whatsoever – is not a musical l legend simply because of the hits. No she’s the undisputed “Queen of Soul” because, more than any other pop singer in the 20th century, her voice  … quite simply personifies modern American soul music as we know it.”

These introductory words from the liner notes of one of the many compilations of Aretha Franklin’s hits put it well. But no words I’ve ever read can match that voice that was a soundtrack for civil rights, for love and peace, for respect, and for the free spirit and soul in us.

Aretha Franklin – the undisputed “Queen of Soul”, died this Thursday morning, August 16th, 2018, at her home in Detroit, Michigan after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 76. Continue reading

Hail! Hail! Jeff Beck & Ann Wilson – Go See Your Rock Heroes While You Can

By Doug Draper

Posted August 8th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

I have never seen Eric Clapton, one of my all-time favourite guitar gods, in concern and probably never will because of the price of the tickets alone.

Thousands gather on the grassy slopes of Artpark in Lewiston, NY. this past Tuesday, August 7th for one super evening with two Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees – Ann Wilson and Jeff Beck. Queenston Heights on the Ontario side of the Niagara River looms in the background. Photo by Doug Draper

And I never saw Jimi Hendrix and know I never will unless he’s playing Purple Haze in Rock and Roll Heaven, and I’m not ready to buy a ticket to that one yet.

Carlos Santana, Steve Cropper and Buddy Guy have so far got past me too.

Jeff Beck. File photo

But this past Tuesday, August 7th, at Artpark in Lewiston, N.Y., I finally got to see Jeff Beck, ranked by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the top ten guitarists in the world and one I first fell in awe listening to rock radio stations back in the 1960s when he was cranking out top ten hits like Heart Full of Soul, Shapes of Things and Over Under Sideways Down by a super group called The Yardbirds. Continue reading

Garden Walk Buffalo – One of the Great Escapes of the Summer for People who love Classic Urban Neighbourhoods – Is Here!

One of the Very Best Summer Events of the Year is Back – 2 Days, Saturday July 28th and Sunday July 29th – And still Free and Open to All

New from the organizers of Garden Walk Buffalo, one of North America’s largest and most popular annual celebrations of urban landscapes 

Posted July 27rd, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Buffalo, New York Garden Walk Buffalo hosts the largest free garden tour in the country with 65,000+ visitors coming from all over the states, Canada, and even further abroad. Continue reading

2018 Garden Walk Buffalo Is Almost Here!

One of the Very Best Summer Events of the Year is Back – 2 Days, Saturday July 28th and Sunday July 29th – and it is still Free and Open to All

New from the organizers of Garden Walk Buffalo, one of North America’s largest and most popular celebrations of gardens in classic urban neighbourhoods

Posted July 23rd, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Buffalo, New York – Garden Walk Buffalo hosts the largest free garden tour in the country with 65,000+ visitors coming from all over the states, Canada, and even further abroad. Continue reading

St. Catharines Mayor presents Key to the City to renowned playright Norm Foster

News from the City of St. Catharines in Niagara, Ontario

Posted July 23rd, 2018 on Niagara At Large 

St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik presented the Key to the City to internationally-renowned playwright Norm Foster at the world premiere of a new Foster play at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre on Friday, July 20.

St. Catharines City Councillors Carlos Garcia and Sandie bellows with the city’s Mayor Walter Sendzik and Norm Foster on receiving the Key to the City at the world premiere of Come Down From Up River at the Foster Festival.

“The Key to the City is presented to individuals whose contributions in their career reflect positively on our city – an honour we are proud to present to Mr. Norm Foster,” said Mayor Sendzik.

“Through his original pieces, Mr. Foster’s plays reflect real life and humanity, sharing stories with humour and wit, and have helped put St. Catharines on the map as a world class destination for original theatre and cultural experiences.” Continue reading

Exploring Family History Through Art At Rodman Hall Art Centre Workshop

News from Brock University in St. Catharines

Posted July 16th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Old family photos were given new life during a special Brock workshop held last week.

Chidera Onyegbule and Osaze Usuanlele make cyanotypes, an early type of archival photography, using images from their families’ histories. Fifteen youth aged 14 to 18 have been participating in the week-long workshop, which is a partnership between Rodman Hall Art Centre, the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, and the City of St. Catharines.

Fifteen young artists from St. Catharines spent the week working with Visual Arts Professor Amy Friend to explore their family history and create new works of art. Continue reading