The Canadian Guitar Festival celebrates digits’ artful dexterity with performances, workshops, and competitions that pay tribute to the musical battleaxe. Strapped with a single-day pass, step into a workshop where champion string masters Don Ross, Stephen Bennett, and Gareth Pearson gently touch on the techniques that won them fingerstyle plucking competitions and spaghetti-separating battles. Sunday's schedule boasts performances at the covered pavilion by Canadian and international strum swamis such as Australia's folksy Hunter Van Larkins, Prince Edward Island's punky Brooke Miller, and Italy's eclectic Guitar Republic.
The Kingston Canadian Film Festival celebrates local and national productions with a three-day presentation of new movies, film receptions, and director and cast discussions. Film enthusiasts explore the life and career of the late Nell Shipman in "On a Grand Scale," a curated exhibition that probes her theatrical contributions as an actress, writer, director, and inventor of the scrolling credit. The silent-film-era artist, known for portraying strong female characters throughout her 13-year career, starred in more than 20 films, including movies based on James Oliver Curwood stories. As the clock tolls 4 p.m., audiences make their way into a darkened theatre for a showing of Shipman's Back to God's Country— a taboo-shattering 1919 silent film set in the Arctic wilderness—which will be paired with live musical accompaniment and fake indoor blizzards.
Time to Laugh Comedy Club has earned a black belt in gut busting by providing well-known and amateur stand-ups from across North America a stage from which to cast their punch lines. December’s rotating lineup sports a cabal of Canadian joke hurlers such as impressionist Mark Walker and observational cannon Mike Harrison, as well as the hard-rocking riffs of musical comic Jay Brown. With seating for more than 200 audience members, the club pleasantly accommodates pairs and clusters of friends determined to break the monotony of hosting monotony nights at home. Time to Laugh is situated in the Hub of Kingston, making it a convenient comedic nightcap after dinner or a business-casual food fight at one of the many neighbouring restaurants.
This June, the Queen's Conservatory of Music conducts a concert to celebrate its fifth anniversary as an all-ages centre for encouraging musical passion and discovery. Former and current conservatory instructors form ensembles of strings, piano, flute, and voice.
Within an imposing log cabin in Niagara Falls exists one of the world's only opportunities to be served a steaming hot meal by a singing mountie. The tuneful do-gooder is joined by one of Green Gables' many Annes, a melodious hockey player, the inimitable Klondike Kitty, and other wacky national characters in the "Oh Canada Eh?" Dinner Show. Over its 18-year run, the show has evolved to take in charting pop hits along with maritime folk songs and a rousing national-anthem closer.
Between bouts of onstage hilarity, the performer/servers whoosh from table to red-checkered table bearing an authentic Canadian feast, from an opener of French Canadian pea soup to entrees including Alberta roast beef and Manitoba roast chicken. Humming along between bites, diners can sample any course they like and are welcome to ask for seconds. A round of maple-chocolate cake wraps up the extravaganza while providing an edible lumberjack beard of frosting.
Canadian master mimic Rich Little amuses audiences with his exaggerated impressions of more than 200 American popular culture figures. Known for his spot-on impersonations of American presidents and the Statue of Liberty, the chameleonic thespian pays tribute to Hollywood icon Jimmy Stewart during a comedic one-man performance. Little portrays Stewart throughout memorable segments of his life, revisiting many of the actor’s now-deceased costars through laugh-evoking impressions and an unexpected séance.