MayWorks festival puts poetry to work
The spring-time labour arts festival, MayWorks, will be entertaining and informing Ottawa audiences over the next couple of weeks with music, theatre, film, art and story-telling that find their origin in the gritty realities of working for a living.
The Cube Gallery at 7 Hamilton Ave. North will host the MayWorks reception on Sunday, April 30, from 2 to 5 p.m., and will be the site of "Moil," a showing of several artists' responses to the working world, until May 7. Other highlights of the week include concerts at the Library and Archives and at City Hall, the MayWorks Cabaret on Saturday May 6 at NAC's Fourth Stage, and Arlo Guthrie on Wednesday May 10 at Centrepointe Theatre. Club SAW, the Workers' Heritage Centre in Vanier, and the Ottawa School of Speech and Drama in Westboro also provide venues for films, talks and theatre pieces that give insight into the struggles and inspirations of workers seeking justice in Canada and throughout the world.
The week's literary tone will be set on Thursday, April 27, when five Ottawa writers present poetry on themes of work and social justice in the J.K. Wylie Boardroom at the headquarters of PSAC, the Public Service Alliance of Canada. That's downtown at 233 Gilmour, starting at 7 p.m. The featured readers are all well-known poets with recent books for sale; they are also union organizers, human rights workers, peace activists, volunteers in the community, and workers familiar with the pressures of globalization. The poetic fireworks of John Baglow, Cyril Dabydeen, Christopher Levenson, NadineMcInnis, and Nicola Vulpe will no doubt bring new insights to the subject on the eve of Canada's Day of Mourning for workers killed and injured on the job. The reading is supported by the League of Canadian Poets and National Poetry Month.