Winter programs planned at Ross Creek

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Ken Schwartz

Winter is not a quiet time at the Ross Creek Centre for the Arts near Canning. This month, the centre is presenting three weekend workshops for emerging visual artists and actors.

For those who want to improve their drawing or painting skills, who are trying to get into art school or wanting an immersive art experience, Ross Creek is running a Visual Arts Weekend Jan. 17-19. This two-day program is designed to assist emerging artists who are developing an art school portfolio or people who want to gain more technical skill and inspiration, says director Chris O’Neill.

Because actors have to audition throughout their careers, Two Planks and a Passion Theatre will be running a special Audition Boot Camp Weekend from Jan. 17-19 at Ross Creek. Directed by award-winning director Ken Schwartz of Two Planks and a Passion Theatre, this is a great opportunity to explore and hone audition skills, whether for higher education or to refresh midcareer skills. Participants should have pieces they would like to work on.

Finally, the Weekend with Shakespeare (Jan. 25-26) is a chance to work with Schwartz in the work he has been doing at the Stratford Shakespeare festival with Tim Carroll, whose Twelfth Night on Broadway was just named the best show of 2013 by Entertainment Weekly. While aimed at professional and emerging actors, O’Neill noted that this weekend will also be relevant to directors, teachers and actors at both the secondary and post-secondary levels. Hands-on and intensive, it is a chance to refine or learn new approaches. 

All three workshops have limited space. The $150 fee includes food and accommodation, along with the exciting and challenging workshops and all materials.  For all three workshops, the schedule is Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m.–4 p.m., with the option to arrive on Friday evening.




Celebrate dance at Ross Creek


On Jan. 25, the Ross Creek has a full day designed to take off the chill.

The event begins at 2 p.m. with a performance of works in progress by dance artists in residence Val Calam and Company Vice Versa.

Director Chris O’Neill said the performance will be followed by skating on the outdoor pond (weather permitting) hot chocolate around a bonfire, different dance inspired visual art activities and dance on film.

For the first time in the winter, Ross Creek has plans to host a community potluck at 5 p.m. The public is invited bring a meal and break bread with the professional dancers from Toronto and musicians from across the pond and down the street. O’Neill says spaces can be booked in advance.

An all-ages barn dance with live music and calling by the North Mountain Ceilidh Band will follow at 6 p.m. No experience is necessary. Register online at, or call 582-3842 to book.

Admission is to the afternoon is pay what you can, with a suggested minimum of $5 per person, or $15 for a family of five. The community supper is $10 and the dance is $10 per adult and $5 for children 12 and under.




Organizations: Ross Creek Centre, Entertainment Weekly, Val Calam and Company North Mountain Ceilidh Band

Geographic location: Ross Creek, Canning, Toronto

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