We lost a week due to snow – unusual for us. Even though some brave souls ventured out, I remained ensconced safely at home and overindulged in my favourite pastime, reading. Real books. On Monday, Jan. 13, I think I would have taken to the roads (with my safe tires) to get to my dance classes. Honest. I am so far behind that I had determined to not miss anymore. Thankfully, classes were cancelled and I did not have to decide.
Tuesday was worse, with an Arts Council of Surrey meeting planned that night (Jan. 14). Really bad snow conditions on the roads, and ice. These meetings are essential in having personal contact with others involved in the diverse arts community, exchanging vital information and the often overlooked value of personal contact. That meeting was cancelled as well. Thank you. It was good advice to “stay off the roads.”
Wednesday was so bad, schools were closed. Yay for a snow day, but I had really been looking forward to seeing The Shoplifters, an Arts Club on Tour presentation at Surrey Arts Centre. This was the opening-night gala but very wisely, this show did not open as scheduled. Thanks to management of the arts centre for ensuring that their patrons would be safe. So, the show doesn’t always go on, like the old adage says. Lots of snow and icy roads pay no heed to our arts needs!
Good news, though, everyone made alternate plans and the “show” must go on. In Surrey, The Shoplifters runs until Saturday, Jan. 25. Meantime, the arts council sent out a short email newsletter, so we could catch up and not be left out in the cold.
So, we can work around the weather with a little bit of juggling and perseverance. There are lots of people working behind the scenes to make it happen.
Some things, however, are beyond even the most dedicated troupers to “carry on.” FVGSS, a Musical Theatre Society, cannot move forward at this time with their slated spring production of Anything Goes. Society president Jim Nelson assures everyone looking forward to this production – any tap dancer’s favourite musical. “We are still planning on presenting it, we just need to find a time and place that works,” Nelson says. Delays in construction of the North Delta Centre for the Arts and no other venues available led to this production’s postponement. It will happen, just don’t know the details yet. Look for updates on the company’s website, fvgss.org.
Well, enough about snow and other delays. Celebrate the sun with Surrey Art Gallery’s presentation Don Li-Leger: Counting the Steps of the Sun. The opening reception celebration is on Saturday, Jan. 25 from 6:30 to 9 p.m., in tandem with the opening of Susan Point: Spindle Whorl. Admission is free and all ages are welcome.
Li-Leger passed away in 2019, leaving a loving legacy of works of arts. He was a kind and curious man, besides being a gifted artist. This Surrey artist was named a Surrey Civic Treasure in 2005. He did experiment – remember he built that little house in The Grove (by Newton Recreation Centre) out of discarded encyclopedias? Of course that exhibit was not made to last, but it was interesting.
The gallery’s exhibit brings together work from the artist’s final decade of artmaking, with selections of Li-Leger’s late video works alongside a series of dynamic acrylic paintings.
“What I hope will be evident in this exhibition,” curator Jordan Strom says, “is the unique eclecticism, persistent curiosity and risk-taking that marked Don’s art practice. These paintings and videos show his ever-present interest in the elemental forces of nature and their relationship to the workings of the mind and perception.”
Right. That big snowfall was definitely an elemental force of nature. We survived.
Melanie Minty writes twice monthly for the Now-Leader. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.