A guide to arts events in Waterloo

As the twelfth of September gradually travels closer across our calendars, we are reminded of the beginning of a new academic year. We are also reminded of midterms, essays, seminars, final exams, work and anything else that makes our lives so hectic.

Students do get stressed often, and exploring the wonder that is the arts is the perfect escape from study headaches and essay deadlines.

Fortunately, the Waterloo Region has many resources for students to discover arts events in the community. Here are a few things to remember as the fall term approaches:

Be dramatic

Grab a few friends and head to the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse (40 Benjamin Rd. E., Waterloo) where you can see a theatrical production of the British musical Blood Brothers, which runs from Oct. 12 to Nov. 5, 2011.

The Playhouse is known for its popular location in the St. Jacobs Farmer’s Market and for its Mennonite-inspired architectural design.

The theatre also promises a good viewing of each performance as the auditorium’s seating offers exceptional sight of the stage.

Spend an evening with Dorothy in the childhood favourite musical The Wizard of Oz at the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse from Nov. 16 to Dec. 18, 2011.

Regular tickets for both events are $42 and for some lucky first-year students who are 18 and looking for something fun to do in the area, they can get a cheap deal and see the show for $21.50.

Be loud

If classical music interests you, then why not enjoy it while you contribute to a good cause? The Edwin and Friends Fundraising Gala organized by the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony is being held at the Centre in the Square (101 Queen St. N., Kitchener) on Sept. 17, 2011 at seven p.m. to benefit the growth of the Symphony’s “core artistic and education programs.” The cost of tickets start from $19.

Be visual

After the stress of midterm exams it might be a good idea to look at something other than a textbook. From Oct. 24 to Oct. 28, 2011, the Waterloo Region Museum (10 Huron Rd., Kitchener) will be hosting the People’s International Film Festival at seven p.m. each night. The best part: admission is free.

Be adventurous

The Royal Medieval Faire will once again be held this year on Sept. 17, 2011 in Waterloo Park West from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Faire will be celebrating its 14th anniversary this year and annually provides a fun-filled day of swordplay, hands-on educational material, games, music and Irish dancing. The cost for this fun-filled adventure is only $5.

One thing we must not forget is the importance for us as students to balance our time with other activities. Exploring the arts can often begin with taking a leap of faith and taking an art class or learning to play a musical instrument. You may find yourself pleasantly surprised with what you learn, but you’ll be glad you learned it.

By Ashley Newton

Money is tight, time is limited

For those interested in the arts, the unfortunate truth is that the Waterloo Region isn’t overflowing with ways to indulge your artistic and cultural curiosities.
However, this is not to say that the opportunities aren’t close by, you simply have to know where to look. Princess and Princess Twin Cinemas are an excellent point of departure.

Unlike the Cineplex Odeon down the road, Princess and Princess Twin have secured a reputation as cinemas that make an effort to show smart and interesting films of all kinds, from comedies to documentaries.

In September alone at Princess you can catch a screening of Woody Allen’s latest film Midnight in Paris, or the sci-fi romance Another Earth, which has generated a great deal of interest at Sundance Film Festival.

Venture across the street to Princess Twin and you can find Page One: Inside the New York Times, a documentary promising to reveal the grit and scandal of the journalism industry from the vantage point of one of the world’s most reputable and well-known literary publication.

Music fans alike have reason to visit the charming theatre, with the showing of Beats, Rhymes & Life: Travels Of A Tribe Called Quest, a documentary concerning itself with lyrical genius Q-Tip and rapper and comrade Phife Dawg. The film, which was an official selection for Sundance Film Festival this year, features interviews with a plethora of artists, including Common, Ludacris and the Beastie Boys.

Furthermore, Attack the Block, a film about inter-city kids trying to defend their neighbourhood from aliens promises some laughs, as it comes to you from the producers of the hilarious Shaun of the Dead.

Starlight Social Club is a second venue worth the short trip.

Aside from being a nightclub with a decent DJ, Starlight is host to countless concerts throughout the year, which often aren’t widely advertised.

During first semester, the Starlight stage will become acquainted with Sloan (September 20th), Kidstreet (September 29th), welcome back Canadian cult-favourite Dan Magnan (October 25th) and Hollerado (November 23rd).
Orange Monkey Music, located on Princess Street, is a store with an impressive selection of reasonably priced new and used vinyls sure to expand your musical language in some regard.

If you’re interested in the arts and on the hunt for entertainment worth your time (and money), the key in Waterloo is to venture off the beaten path into some of the smaller venues and outlets nestled into Uptown Waterloo.

By Liz Smith