By R. Flora Kim.
I was first introduced to Clarence Sponagle when I viewed ‘Eighteen’ – a soul touching coming of age story about a teenager named Pip who, like his WWII grandfather, felt lost in the chaos of his environment. Sponagle played Clark, a young street hustler who, strangely, helps Pip discover himself. Though the film wasn’t widely known, Sponagle’s performance was memorable in my eyes. Sadly, I hadn’t seen the actor in a film since.
That was until this past Summer, when I made a last minute decision to attend a small film festival put on by InFocus Film School at the SFU Goldcorp Theatre. After films about a woman who changes the life of a homeless man, a world where humans have a finite amount of tears they can shed, and a politically driven-shocker about female menstruation, I was taken aback to see Sponagle again in a short film called ‘Inconscious.’ It’s been 14 years since I watched ‘Eighteen’ yet I recognized Sponagle immediately as he played a sassy nurse.
After the screenings I saw him chatting away with attendees, I had to say hello. He was pleasant, and asked what I do. I told him I was trying to build my career as a writer, and asked if he’d like to be my first interview. To my disbelief, he accepted and we met for coffee the following week. I first asked him what drove him to become an actor.
“The Disney film, ‘Pinocchio’ and my best friend Lorena Wood,” he said. “Seeing Pinocchio run off with an acting troupe was so exciting for me as a kid, even though the troupe he was with wasn’t very nice. In high school, Lorena made me audition for the school play, ‘Dracula’ by Bram Stoker. I was cast as the father. Lorena was a very big part of why I continued on to train as an actor, and we both moved to Vancouver to start our careers in acting together in 1995.”
Sponagle studied at the acclaimed theatre school: Studio 58. It is a conservatory style training program where actors not only learned their craft, but familiarize themselves with production as well, including lighting, costumes, props, etc before finally performing on stage in front of an audience.
“In doing this style of training, I was able to understand my body, voice, and technique in a way that no other form of training would have allowed me to learn,” Sponagle states. “The training at Studio 58 is still, in my opinion, the highest caliber of training in this country when it comes to theatre. You learn who you are and how far you can push yourself and allow yourself to be pushed.”
Sponagle’s first big acting job was in the world premiere of a play called ‘The Shooting Stage’ by Michael Lewis McLennan. Sponagle was cast in the lead role as Elliott.
“The experience was very surreal,” he says. “I was 23 years old, my face was on all the promotional material all over Vancouver, the playwright was in the rehearsal hall with us. I was about to play an extremely innocent and vulnerable 16 year old. It was fantastic!”
This role lead to Sponagle winning the highly acclaimed Vancouver Jessie Richardson Theatre Award.
“I felt I finally belonged,” Sponagle recalls. “I was finally being taken seriously. I worked hard as a young actor, I worked hard as an actor in training, that Jessie made it all feel worth it.”
Sponagle was later nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award, the acclaimed Toronto theatre award, for his role as Gogo in the play ‘Two Weeks, Twice A Year.’ He then toured as an actor, performing in plays across Canada and the United States. This led into his foray as a screen-actor, a completely different skill set than he was accustomed. However, not long after filming his lead role in ‘Eighteen,’ Sponagle hit a crossroads and decided to leave acting.
“It wasn’t an easy decision at all, and in many regards, it was kind of like acting left me a little as well,” he says. “Auditioning is tough, hearing no is hard and being on hold for a ‘what if’ outcome is exciting at first then extremely disappointing to hear that they went in a different direction. I was also ready for a shift in my personal life and taking a step away was the right choice at the time.”
Sometimes you and your passions need a break. Time away from something you love will inevitably open to whether you truly loved it or not. Nearly a decade after leaving the craft he so solemnly loved, Sponagle is ready to perform once again.
“I’ve missed it terribly but tried to convince myself that I had my time,” he states. “‘That now I’m too old to go back into it, I didn’t like it as much as I did.’ Those little demons that pop in all our minds when we feel nervous or when you second-guess yourself, you know? When I finally looked in the mirror and really saw myself, I had no more excuses as to why not to jump back in. I felt ready to take the risk and go back to class, be vulnerable and see what it was like for me as a grown man. I’m very happy I did. I hope to bring maturity, a new understanding of who I am and an entirely different awareness of confidence into this. I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens. There is never a guarantee for any of us no matter what we seek out to do but I’m excited, oddly enough, about the ‘what if’”
Sponagle concludes with a life-changing piece of advice he received from the late Ellen Albertini Dow, who famously played Adam Sandler’s rapping grandmother in ‘The Wedding Singer.’ Something he hopes will guide the rebirth of his acting career.
“‘Always be honest, sincere and always remember Clarence, you’re very, very good at this!’ Those words I’ve held very dear to my heart.”
INDIAN SUMMER FESTIVAL: 11th EDITION LINEUP AND DATES ANNOUNCED
INDIAN SUMMER FESTIVAL: 11th EDITION LINEUP AND DATES ANNOUNCED
Festival to feature five weeks of online and hybrid events from June 17 to July 17, 2021
Vancouver, BC (May 20, 2021) – Indian Summer Festival, Vancouver’s ‘festival for the curious mind,’ marks its 11th anniversary with five weeks of ten carefully curated events. Most events will stream on digital channels with premieres at 7:00 pm PDT every Thursday and Saturday from June 17 to July 17 (except July 1st). This year’s festival includes door-delivered food and special gift boxes, bringing a delicious and delightful tangible element to them. Two special projects allow for Covid-safe hybrid experiences with digital and in-person components. For event details, access and ticketing, please visit indiansummerfest.ca
Early bird pricing for the Limited Edition ISF2021 Premium Pass is $285, which provides access to all ISF2021 digital events, including the Opening Party with amazing performances, exclusive access to the chatroulette afterparty, food from Vij’s, and wine from Volcanic Hills all delivered to Lower Mainland residences, and a special artist-curated Punjabi Market Premium Gift Box. Early bird pricing is valid until May 31; regular price is $325. A Digital Pass to access all online events at the festival (without the tangible elements) is $50. Individual tickets to all ISF2021 events are available on a sliding scale of no fee, $10 or $20, as the festival understands that this is a difficult time for many.
“For this 11th year for the 2021 Indian Summer Festival, we thought that our theme should be “Shapeshifting,” says Sirish Rao, Indian Summer Festival’s Artistic Director. “It’s something that we’ve all had to do in the last year, and shapeshifters have existed in almost every culture.”
“For ISF2021, we have created ten distinct events for all of us to experience music, performing arts and literary discussions so we can experience the true transformative power of the arts. The arts give us levity, solace and help us make sense of our predicament and imagine our futures.”
“As with most of us working in arts and culture, we’ve become very creative this year with ways that our audience can experience Indian Summer Festival,” adds Rao, “From premium passes that include door-delivered dinner and wine, to digital passes to access shows, we’ve become our own Shapeshifters to deliver an innovative digital and hybrid experience.”
This year, the festival offers live digital event premieres (where audiences can interact through chat functionality) with an on-demand digital platform that makes it possible for events to be viewable until the end of the festival. The festival sees a stunning global cast of talent from beatboxers to tabla maestros, novelists and actors.
2021 Indian Summer Festival event schedule includes:
Date: Thursday, June 17, 2021, 7pm PDT
Event: Indian Summer Festival Opening Party – Metamorphosis featuring Laydy Jams, Shamik Bilgi, Her Tribal Roots and Kamal Pandya. Sponsored by Concord Pacific.
Hosted by ISF’s Sirish Rao and CBC’s Anita Bathe, opening night features brilliant, beautiful performances by some of Vancouver’s finest talents.
ISF2021 Premium Pass Holders get exclusive access to an online afterparty where they’ll be paired with other ISF friends and artists for multiple one-on-one conversations and performances, and a special box of goodies, featuring a meal for two by Vikram Vij paired with a bottle of wine from Volcanic Hills.
Date: Saturday, June 19, 2021, 7pm PDT
Event: Anoushka Shankar – The Musical Journey of a Shapeshifter. Sponsored by Nature’s Path.
An evening of music and stories with genre-defying musician and seven-time Grammy Award nominee Anoushka Shankar, who unveils a very special project for Indian Summer Festival.
Date: Wednesday, June 23 – Saturday, July 3, 2021
Event: VOX Infold. Produced in partnership with Vancouver Jazz Festival and LOBE Studios.
Address: Lobe Spatial Sound Studio, 713 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC
This special project is a rare chance to experience the music of powerhouse vocal ensemble Vox Infold in the form of an immersive sound experience. Presented at the groundbreaking Lobe Spatial Sound Studio and using Lobe’s 4DSOUND system, this is music not just as sound but as a profound experience of space and dimension. Consider it a healing sound bath. Advance booking required and experienced as an individual or in a ‘household bubble.’ Book your slot online at https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/voxinfold-tickets-150267575363
Date: Thursday, June 24, 2021, 7pm PDT
Flames and Portals – Literary discussion with Kamila Shamsie and Mohsin Hamid, Moderated by Sirish Rao. Presented by SFU Library.
In 2017, two of the most exciting writers of our times – Kamila Shamsie and Mohsin Hamid – published novels that have proved to be uncannily accurate about the direction the world would take. They warned of the future of nationalism, the tightening of political and social borders, and how our realities can become unrecognizable overnight. ISF meets them four years later to talk about their prescient works.
Date: Saturday, June 26, 2021, 7pm PDT
Event: Zakir Hussain – Alone Together – Zakir Hussain, featuring Mickey Hart and Rakesh Chaurasia. Sponsored by Odlum Brown.
An intimate evening with the tabla maestro, this online concert features Zakir Hussain performing solo and joined virtually by special guests collaborating in real-time from different parts of the world – Grateful Dead legend Mickey Hart and bansuri virtuoso Rakesh Chaurasia. The concert is preceded by a special interview with the maestro.
Date: Saturday, July 3, 2021
Event: Walking Tour of Punjabi Market
Presented by RBC.
Guests are invited to take a self-guided walking tour of the Punjabi Market using their own mobile device. The audio tour, narrated by artists, shop owners and community members, will give an insight into the past, present and vibrant future of this significant Vancouver neighbourhood.
Punjabi Market Premium Gift Box
Specially curated by artists Minahil Bukhari and Mustaali Raj for ISF2021, the Punjabi Market Premium Gift Box features gorgeous items hand-picked from Vancouver’s vibrant Punjabi Market. At a cost of $125, including taxes and shipping, the gift box will be delivered to your door via Canada Post to Canadian addresses only. Available for order here:
Date: Thursday, July 8, 2021, 7pm PDT
Ancient Futures – Musical Inheritances – Ruby Singh, Khari Wendell McClelland and PIQSIQ.
Supported by TELUS.
Documentary premiere on the music project Jhalaak, followed by a conversation with some of Canada’s most innovative musical voices.
Date: Saturday, July 10, 2021, 7pm PDT
Event: Knives and Sugar – Avni Doshi with Souvankham Thammavongsa, moderated by Anna Ling Kaye.
A meeting of two of the most electrifying literary voices of recent times, one joining from Dubai and the other from Toronto – meet for the first time on ISF’s virtual stage.
Date: Thursday, July 15, 2021, 7pm PDT
Event: Transcendence by Anosh Irani feat. Lois Anderson, Munish Sharma and Laara Sadiq.
From the three-time Governor General’s Literary Award finalist and two-time Dora
Award-winning playwright comes a new work that sits in the exciting space between theatre and
Date: Saturday, July 17, 2021, 7pm PDT
Event: Indian Summer Festival Finale – A Night at the Orpheum- musical performance by Naadaleela Ensemble and Mohamed Assani & Friends.
ISF’s 11th edition ends with a grand, one-night-only finale performed at the historic Orpheum Theatre and delivered digitally to your living room. This double-bill features internationally recognized musicians and features the worldwide premiere of two new musical works.
About Indian Summer Festival
Established in 2011, Indian Summer Festival is a multi-disciplinary arts festival produced by Indian Summer Arts Society, a not-for-profit charitable arts organization based in Vancouver, Canada, on the unceded Coast Salish territories of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations. This year’s festival runs from June 17th to July 17, 2021. Its mission is to offer daring, multi-arts events that bring together diverse artists, audiences, and artists in a global dialogue and citizenship spirit.
For monthly festival highlights, full event lineup and access to events, please visit indiansummerfest.ca
Follow us on:
Youtube: Indian Summer Festival Canada
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#Liveoffthefloor concerts feature Surrey bands getting back to live
#liveoffthefloor concerts feature Surrey bands with nowhere else to play
The Longest Intermission – Getting musicians back into the swing of performing their new music and fans a chance to experience it.
With the support of the Province of British Columbia and the City of Surrey , Penmar Community Arts Society (Penmar), is launching The Longest Intermission, a virtual concert mini-series featuring local bands recorded live off the floor in Ocean Park Community Hall.
Since covid has shut down live music for over a year, bands have struggled to make a living, but continue to create and put out new material. The Longest Intermission gives bands the chance to rehearse in preparation for a return to touring and share it with fans through livestreaming.
Each band receives a copy of the professionally produced audio and video files that they can use to promote themselves and apply for other performance opportunities, both during and post covid. Each performance will be marketed to fans and potential fans throughout BC and livestreamed as a special event.
The rehearsal will be produced, marketed and streamed as two virtual special events by Penmar with Partner Tradable Bits , who has sponsored us with use of their state-of-the-art marketing and streaming platform as a way to support emerging musicians.
The project received additional support from Long & McQuade (White Rock) that supplied lights for the production, Face The Music that is sponsoring each band with a video marketing package, and Music Lottery who is also providing financial support.
The goal with these special events is to work with the bands to promote their latest music which they created while unable to perform during covid. We are able to stream into communities that the bands are currently unable to tour to, with an opportunity of reaching new audiences.
Live from the Floor special event broadcasts take place on May 1st and May 8th and will feature a video of the Ocean Park Hall performance and a chance to interact with the bands.
Accessible for everyone. Registration is required and there are free tickets available and paid options to support the musicians in this series and bringing back live!
Event Information and link to register – https://bit.ly/2Q71JHG
Sleepy Gonzales video “aliens exist” – https://bit.ly/32cr8SP
Brass Camel video “Pressure Cooker” – https://bit.ly/3uRhK3r
Event and Marketing Specialist
Operations Manager, Penmar Community Arts Society
Office – 604-535-1162
Cell – 604-817-1526
Help Canadian Artists Get Played
Canadian musicians have a great opportunity to get radio play right here in Vancouver. Mary Kirk of Durham Radio has applied for a Vancouver license. With a new, local radio station artists will have a greater range of options to be heard, played, and paid for their music.
Durham Radio needs our help to get their application accepted. I’m reaching out to all musicians to send a letter of support for Durham Radio’s application.
Here is a message from Mary and Doug Kirk:
Dear members of our Wave artist family,
We at Durham Radio Inc. have applied for a new FM license to broadcast The Wave on 98.3FM in the heart of Vancouver, Canada’s second-largest English-speaking market and a perfect backdrop for Canada’s Smoothest Groove!
Our application was publicly posted Monday, March 22nd on the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s site (CRTC). In order to be successful, we now need huge public support, especially from our wonderful Wave family of artists. We hope you will add your own letter of support, documenting your past experiences with The Wave and with us personally, emphasizing our commitment to our artists, especially our Canadian vocalists and instrumentalists. If you have a personal story that will illustrate the impact the Wave has had on your career in the music industry, we would so appreciate your sharing it with the Commission.
Please begin your letter with a clear statement of support for our application. Then explain why you think that our “Smooth Groove” format would be a welcome addition to the Vancouver market. You may have some thoughts beyond the obvious arguments that we’ll be adding diversity of choice for listeners and a new fresh sound, primarily from artists who do not get played on any other stations in Canada. Our dedication to live music around town and major show production will of course continue, once attending concerts is allowed again!
We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your efforts to make “Vancouver’s Smoothest Groove” a reality! Our West Coast Wave will play an even balance of instrumental and vocal music and will be 40% Canadian in content. We are eager to get all our artists back on FM radio in Canada and introduced them to so many new fans.
With your help, we hope to be able to report on a favourable CRTC decision by late summer.
To mail your support: CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N2 To fax your support please send to 819-994-0218 for further instructions contact Cat Levan at firstname.lastname@example.org. www.wave.fm
Many thanks for your support,
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2009 successful fight to keep road out of Bear Creek Park breached by present Safe Surrey Councillors
The Mayor and Council, City of Surrey, B.C., at meeting Monday, February 22/21, passed 5-4—an amendment to the 10-year plan and project #7065 (84th Avenue through Bear Creek Park)—to be fast-tracked to give 84th Avenue extension through Bear Creek Park a 2-year priority.
Clrs Pettigrew, Locke, Hundial and Annis questions:
- the successful 2009 community fight to keep 84th Avenue from going through the south end of Bear Creek Park
- community opposition in the past to the environmental impact on the two Class A red-listed salmonid creeks (“Bear Creek” at about 13720 and “King Creek” at about 13800)
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