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Canada - This Month in Arts History - October

October 1
1848: Painter Paul Kane returned to Toronto with over 700 sketches of life in the Canadian west. That winter, he began painting canvases based on his sketches.

October 2
1988: The CBC Vancouver Orchestra and the Vancouver Bach Choir performed the world premiere of When Tempests Rise by Canadian composer Jean Coulthard in celebration of the orchestra's 50th year.

October 3
1927: Kenojuak Ashevak was born in Ikerrasak Camp, South Baffin Island, Nunavut. Her print The Enchanted Owl is one of the most famous works of Inuit art.

2002: Fine craft artist Kai Chan won the Saidye Bronfman Award. Since immigrating to Canada from China in 1966, he has worked in genres including jewellery, basketry, tapestry, fashion, bookbinding, fibre work, toys and sculpture.

October 4
1982: Pianist Glenn Gould died at age 50 in Toronto. At age 32 he gave up live performance to dedicate his energies to the recording studio. He is best known for his recordings of Bach's works.

October 5
2000: Filmmaker Norman Jewison opened the first Canadian retrospective of his films at the Bloor Theatre in Toronto.

October 6
1964: On the 100th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference, Queen Elizabeth II declared the Confederation Centre of the Arts open.

October 7
1969: The National Arts Centre Orchestra gave its first concert under the direction of Canadian conductor Mario Bernardi at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

October 8
1864: Ozias Leduc was born at Saint-Hilaire, Quebec. Keeping apart from the artistic mainstream, he dedicated his career principally to decorating churches and chapels.

October 9
1979: Under an official cultural exchange program supported by the Canada Council, the 100 member Peking Opera Theatre of China began a pan-Canadian tour at Toronto's O'Keefe Centre.

October 10
1962: Violinist and conductor Alexander Brott traveled to the USSR, becoming the first Canadian-born composer to conduct his own works there.

October 11
1929: Architect Raymond Moriyama was born in Vancouver. Among his projects are the Toronto Reference Library, the Canadian War Museum and the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo. He won a Governor General's Medal in Architecture in 1990.

October 12
1909: Poet Dorothy Livesay was born at Winnipeg. She won two Governor General's Literary Awards (poetry): in 1944 for Day and Night and in 1947 for Poems for People.

October 13
1958: Soprano Teresa Stratas made her professional debut to great acclaim as Mimi in La Bohčme with the Toronto Opera Festival. Over 40 years she brought a glorious voice and mesmerizing stage presence to over 50 roles in opera houses around the world.

October 14
1992: Michael Ondaatje won the UK's Man Booker Prize for his novel The English Patient, becoming the first Canadian to win this award.

October 15
1983: The Vancouver Art Gallery reopened in the city's old courthouse, which had been renovated and redesigned by architect Arthur Erickson.

October 17
1988: The National Ballet School in Toronto held a gala opening of its new building designed by Diamond and Schmitt Architects.

October 18
1973: The Newfoundland comedy ensemble CODCO was launched with a performance of Cod on a Stick at Theatre Passe-Muraille in Toronto.

October 19
1986: Writer Alice Munro won the inaugural Marion Engel Award for her lifetime achievement.

October 20
1948: The newly founded CBC Opera Company performed for the first time on the radio program CBC Wednesday Night.

October 21
1993: Capilano College Building in North Vancouver was officially opened. The architects were Henriquez and Partners.

October 22
2002: Yann Martel won the UK's Man-Booker Prize for his novel Life of Pi. Two other Canadian writers were on the short list: Rohinton Mistry for Family Matters and Carol Shields for Unless.

October 23
1885: Painter Lawren Harris was born at Brantford, Ontario. He was a catalyst and leader in the formation of the Group of Seven.

October 24
1929: Writer Hubert Aquin was born in Montreal. Deeply involved in the Quebec independence movement, he was arrested for illegal possession of a firearm in 1964. He wrote his first novel Prochain episode while in a psychiatric hospital. In 1968 he refused a Governor General's Literary Award for his second novel, Trou de mémoire. He took his own life in 1977.

October 25
1998: Mercedes Palomino, founder of the Théâtre du Rideau Vert, was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Université du Québec ŕ Montréal.

October 26
1945: The McGill Chamber Orchestra gave its first concert under the baton of its founder Alexander Brott.

October 27
2001: Canada, A People's History, created and produced by Mark Starowicz, won three Gemini Awards, including "Best Documentary".

October 28
2005: Actor William Hutt gave his final performance at the Stratford Festival as Prospero in The Tempest.

October 29
1926: Jon Vickers was born at Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. One of the world's great helden tenors, he had a long and close association with Herbert von Karajan, singing in his first three Salzburg Easter Festivals and performing and recording many roles under his baton.

October 30
1930: Writer Timothy Findley was born in Toronto. He won two Governor General's Literary Awards: in 1977 for his novel The Wars and in 2000 for his play Elizabeth Rex.

2006: Novelist Nancy Huston won France's Prix femina for Lignes de Faille. (The English version, Faultlines, has not yet been published.)

October 31
1990: Writer Mordecai Richler won the Commonwealth Writers' Book Award for his novel, Solomon Gursky Was Here.

Donna Balkan    10/2/2007


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