MELANIE MINTY: Have lunch with B.C.’s top touring artist at piano concert in Surrey

Sarah Hagen, host of the arts centre’s Classical Coffee Concerts series, performs solo show Dec. 10

Pianist Sarah Hagen performs solo on Thursday

SURREY — It’s December – you know, the month where we put up lots of lights because the days are so dark and we want to be festive. You might also be a participant in Mall Madness Shop-a-Thons, and other such things that come with this season. Oh, do let us all be festive. The reason doesn’t matter. We can celebrate that we live here in an ethnically and culturally diverse community. Aren’t we lucky.

Surrey Arts Centre is filled with celebrations every day. You are invited to participate. Start here: Next Thursday morning (Dec. 10), acclaimed pianist Sarah Hagen, host of the arts centre’s Classical Coffee Concerts series, performs a solo show with a special lunchtime meet-and-greet afterward. Soup, coffee, tea and punch will be provided, but you can bring a brown bag lunch if you wish. Tickets are priced from $25 at the box office (604-501-5566, also Tickets.surrey.ca).

Let me tell you a little about Hagen, who is the BC Touring Council Artist of the Year for 2015 and has been heard in concert halls and on the airwaves throughout North America and Europe. She has performed twice at New York City’s Carnegie Hall, first with Polish flutist Krzysztof Kaczka and later as a first-prize-winner in the 2013 Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition. She is the artistic director for Pro’ject Sound, a performance project involving live piano with large-scale projected images. She curates, hosts and performs in several concert series in B.C. and Alberta, sharing the stage with artists from around the world.

I wish I could be there on Dec. 10 but alas, it’s not in my work schedule. Hagen is not only an interesting person who plays the piano, she is also an avid tap dancer!  Now that did get my attention. Since her move in 2011 to an artist loft in one of Vancouver’s most vibrant neighbourhoods, she has become deeply involved with intricate projects inspired by urban vitality. In addition to writing wine reviews for her blog, Artist Wines – “Uncorking musician-priced cellar secrets” – Hagen composes silly songs for the ukulele and tap dancing. Her debut solo album, “Glass House Dancing,” was nominated for Classical Recording of the Year at the 2009 Western Canadian Music Awards. She is so very accomplished and diverse.

Hagen’s motivation is the belief that music has the power to be a window into our souls, regardless of age or knowledge. Still not convinced? Well, ’tis the season for gift giving, and on Dec. 10 the Surrey Arts Centre will also hold a draw for an “arts lover” gift basket and theatre tickets.

While we are celebrating, let’s all give a big Surrey shout-out for Surrey Arts Centre. It is a magical place, and I just love it. The theatre space is definitely expensive for community groups to rent, but it is a great space, for sure. Last Friday night, I was there to see the Fraser Valley Gilbert & Sullivan Society’s panto production of “Jack and the Beanstalk.” Talk about magic! I was stunned and amazed at the quality and artistic achievements by cast and crew. Love the magic beanstalk, the 15-foot giant, and – maybe especially – the minions. Yes, real minions just like in the movies. The show runs until Dec. 6, and tickets are really affordable. Take the whole family. It is truly fee, fi, fo, FUN. Bring an unwrapped toy for Surrey Christmas Bureau to put under the beanstalk in the Lobby. What? You thought it should be a tree? Fee, fi, fo and ho, ho, ho.

The traditional pantomime is a popular production for this time of year. Maybe we just all need some silliness and laughter. This year, White Rock Players’ Club presents “Cinderella” at Coast Capital Playhouse. I have heard from cast members that tickets are selling fast – they always do, it is part of the tradition – but with shows running until Jan. 2, there should be a date that is right for you. Tickets are $22 for adults/seniors and $15 for children 12 and under. For show times and tickets, visit Whiterockplayers.ca or call 604-536-7535.

Celebrate the season. Any reason will do.

melminty@telus.net

 

 

Just Posted

Stabbing at Surrey banquet hall sends man to hospital

RCMP says victim has ‘non-life threatening’ injuries, incident still under investigation

55-year-old man taken to hospital after fire at Surrey RV park

Firefighters find man suffering from smoke inhalation, burns to face and hands: battalion chief

South Surrey parking ticket perplexes, frustrates

Theresa Delaney predicts more people will be wrongly ticketed

OUR VIEW: Let’s find Surrey pellet-gun punks

Those who do have information – if they are also possessed of a conscience – must contact police

Coldest Night an event for warm hearts

Sources’ White Rock event one of 130 walkathons across Canada on Feb. 23

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Most Read