Ben jingles some bells and recounts the sweet music they play.
By Ben Bull
Published November 28, 2005
Well, it's that time of year again, folks! That's right: the time of year, in November, when for some reason everybody is talking about Christmas.
Yeah, I know. Crazy, isn't it? But Hey - if you complain about it you're miserable, and if you're not a Christian, well, you probably don't care either way - right?
For what it's worth, I fall into the "scrooge" category. I've got four kids watching endless Christmas commercials all day - I can't take it any more!
But what the hell. In keeping with our new and improved upbeat RTH format, I've decided to be artificially jolly and full of Christmas cheer for this entire edition of WOTS!
It won't be easy. I've still got pumpkins on my porch for crying out loud, but hey, I'll give it a shot!
So, ho-ho-hold on to your winter hats folks (how's that for starters?) as we run through another list (and check it twice) of Made-In-Hamilton goodies, for our latest edition of the Word On The Street!
Let's start with that mysterious package from Uncle Mac. Well we know it contains 150 HHS workers who are going to be relocated downtown, but where?
We took a little peek inside the box and it looks like they'll be going into 31 King East! That's the former Employment Services Building at Gore Park.
OK, so that's that mystery solved. Let's put that one back under the tree and pretend we never opened it...
What say we spoil all the surprises and dive straight into Santa Jason's sack? Time to find out what else will be coming down our chimneys this year:
There's a new artistic venture downtown. It's called Art Works International and it's in the old Overseas building at King and Ferguson. Santa Jason tells us, "They have signs up advertising artists' lofts available, as well as calls for submissions for 'The Other Gallery on King'. Also, they seem to have revamped plans for the Lookout Lounge - it says there will be dine in, art showings, music and street theatre. It should be quite the place when it's occupied."
The owners of Parker Pearce Gallery have bought Mike's bookstore and are moving it somewhere within the same block on James South. (A French Bistro is going into the old Mike's location.) Word is they will expand the hours to match the gallery hours (noon - 9 most days). It will certainly be nice to have an evening bookstore downtown. Also sounds like they will pay more attention to the stock than recent owners, who have some books on their shelves that haven't moved in 10 years...
Anybody for another Art Bus? Word is the recent Bus tour of Hamilton's galleries was a huge success. Mixed Media's Dave Kuruc told us they had to turn people away because it was too full, and they got several calls from folks in Burlington who wanted to join in on the fun. James North was packed and all the galleries were packed till well into the night. Let's see this become a monthly event. Let's see local artists paint the bus so it becomes a 'must-see' event in Hamilton.
Another new mag is coming to the Hammer, this one put out by http://www.steelcitymusic.ca. And the new media continues to grow...
OK, let's get with the real Christmas cheer and break open the damn liquor cabinet. Yup, it's time for another Eggnog (or three) of Events Listings!
Friday, December 2, 6:30 PM brings us "The largest grassroots mobilization in movie history!" So says a Media Release I received. Anyway, check out a screening of "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price" at Melrose United Church, 86 Homewood Avenue (corner of Locke Street). This movie is "the newest film from director and producer Robert Greenwald, and the first from his new venture, Brave New Films." Apparently, it "takes the viewer on a deeply personal journey into the every day lives of families struggling to fight against a goliath." Following the screening will be a discussion on Wal-Mart's impact in Canada. This will be led by Roy Adams, who is currently researching Wal-Mart's anti-union behaviour in Canada. Roy is a Professor Emeritus (Industrial Relations), at McMaster University and Steering Committee Chair, Society for the Promotion of Human Rights in Employment. Admission is $5
And now for the latest happenings at the Hamilton Downtown Cultural Centre! Friday, November 25, 7:00 PM brings us an Open House event. Come Tour the Centre, with entertainment throughout the evening in the DCC Cabaret, including:
Cover Charge is $10. There is a Cash Bar and appetizers will be served. The Cultural Center is located at 28 Rebecca Street. Call 905 522-2005.
Also at the Cultural Center, on Saturday, November 26 at 8:00 PM: "Zarabanda in Concert". Billed as "High Energy World Beat Music" this event features Gary Santucci on guitar, Dimitrios Doumas on bazouki (sorry - no idea) [bad form, Ben - the bazouki is a mainstay of Greek and Irish music, sort of a lute - Ed.], Jordan Abraham on accordion, Michael Moon on the harp, Mark Novakovic on bass, and Tom Bigas on drums. Tickets are $20.00 and can be purchased in advance at the DCC Box Office (905) 522-2005.
Mixed Media and The Print Studio present: Printing from Wood, a one day demo/workshop with George A. Walker. This is on Saturday, November 26, 10 AM - 4:30 PM at The Print Studio, 173 James St. N. Hamilton. Start with a blank wood block and learn how to plan, draw, carve, and print - you, too, can illustrate your limited edition book with your own custom prints. Cost is $55.00 for Print Shop members (includes materials) and $65.00 for non-members (includes materials). Pre-register for the workshop by phoning Mixed Media at (905) 529-2323 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org< /a>.
If you can't make this, why not come to a Meet And Greet Opportunity? After the Mixed Media workshop, the public will have the chance to meet George A. Walker at Mixed Media, 174 James St. N. and purchase his new book, The Woodcut Artist's Handbook. George will also have some of his artwork on display and be available to answer questions and sign his new book. The meet and greet portion of the event starts at 5:30 and is free. Light refreshments will be served.
Sign up for The Art of Thoughtful Gift Design workshop! On Saturday morning, December 3, you will have the opportunity to create your own expressive themes for gift giving this season. From playful to classic, simple to sophisticated, the choice is yours. The Print Shop can show you simple techniques to create original prints. Materials and tools are provided in your fee. What the hell, it's better than "build-a-bear". Please call or email for more information on costs and signing up - (905) 524-5084 or email@example.com.
Reserve your seats for "A Unique Evening of Film and Live Music". Transit Gallery on 230 Locke Street South is featuring sound artist Brian Van Adel. Brian will perform live using turntables [c'mon, is that really live? Just kidding -Ed.], instruments, samples, loops and drones to create a unique full spectrum, multilayered soundscape to a selection of found footage films including LYRICAL NITRATE, a landmark film by found-footage maestro Peter Delpeut that showcases the inimitable beauty and fragility of the cinematic medium. The starts at 8:00 PM and runs for 100 minutes. $5 in advance or $7 at the door. For more information, call Transit Gallery at (905) 522-1299.
The Friday just past, November 25, at 5:30, Hamilton held the Gore Park lighting ceremony for the Christmas Tree of Hope. One thing we need after the year we've had around the globe is certainly hope.
OK, now let's head back into Santa Jason's workshop and see what his little downtown elves have been working on these days:
The tiny hammers of the Greek church at Head and Strathcona are looking to build a seniors residence at the empty lot of the old firehall. Residents are rallying to have the firehall incorporated into the plans due to its history dating back to the 1800s. As one might expect, the initial plans put forth by the church show the firehall being demolished. Nothing quite like appreciating the history in your own city and neighbourhood...
Another infill project on Strathcona between Head and King will see student housing built on an empty lot across from Victoria Park. We hope project will fit the feel of the neighbourhood and take on a Victorian style with parking in the back and not front of the lot. Word is Councillor Brian McHattie has vowed we won't see a repeat of the piece of crap that was built across from Dundurn Castle a couple of years ago.
Update! Mike's world of books has begun their move and will reopen in two weeks in a lower level commercial space next to the Parker Pearce Gallery! Wow, that was quick. Maybe we should get these guys to run City Hall...
The seniors' apartments currently going up on Strathcona North will be five stories and incorporate green building technology. Thanks, Jason, now maybe you can tell us what the hell that means...
Hamilton City Council is apparently poised to approve (hey Jason - exactly how can you be 'poised to approve' something? Do you walk around with a pen in your hand and your wrist cocked?) an 11 storey residential/mixed use building at the old Spallacci block (of pile of garbage fame) on King East. This will be rental units for seniors, singles and families. Occupancy of both projects expected by March 2007.
Spallacci update! This revitalized block will feature 4,000 square feet of retail at street level, and an underground parking which will leave a courtyard at the back. The main 11 storey block will be an apartment building as we said - probably for seniors.
OK, so what's the deal with the huge reno going on next to KOI in Hess? Well, it's the "Sizzle Steakhouse" being built by the same fellow who did KOI. There's a massive two storey addition in the back. Santa Jason tells us it "Looks sweet"
OK that's it for this issue folks! Time to put your feet up, watch "The Ten Commandments" (again), and listen to Aunty Elsie snoring in front of the fire (don't you just love Christmas?).
But hold up! The truth is, of course, there is still a long time to go before Christmas. And I assure you that we (Jason) will have many more tangerines and trinkets to stuff down our socks before the next few weeks are through.
So keep with the festive spirit, folks, and tune in next time for another edition of ... the Word On The Street.
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