By Stephanie Pollard
March’s RMG Fridays buzzed with the ‘I can’t wait for Spring!’ energy that follows long
weeks of cold and 4:30 p.m. sunsets, the kind that anticipates what new beginnings await.
Guests came in to enjoy performances by musicians Melanie Herbert and Morgan Steele, as
well as a new exhibition that celebrated the new perspectives that come from remixes.
Curated by Pete Smith, Can I Kick It? looks at what would happen if visual art got remixed in the
same way music often does, and how artists allow other artists to re-interpret original material.
Artists were invited to create a piece, who then chose a colleague to remix their work. The
result? A culmination of paintings that combined showcasing signature styles, without interfering
with the work’s initial meaning.
Upstairs, guests learned that the Sugar Moon marks the Anishinaabe new year, and the time
when the sap from maple trees begins to run. Like many new years, the Sugar Moon also
celebrates new opportunities.
The Bawaajigewin Aboriginal Community Circle board member Peggy Forbes hopes this year
will give Indigenous residents in Durham Region a place to connect to their heritage, while
introducing it to the wider public.
“We’re really hoping that (Bawaajigewin Aboriginal Community Circle) will become a friendship
centre, which is kind of like a community centre that runs daily programs right from pre-natal to
senior levels for Durham’s Indigenous community,” Forbes said. As for new beginnings, Forbes
envisioned an ally-ship that understands we’re all in this together.
“Bawaajigewin is an Anishinaabe word that loosely means Seeing our dreams come to life.
What I’m hoping for is that everyone – Indigenous and non-Indigenous- can come together to
understand some of the issues that have been going on with our shared history – it’s not just
mine, it’s ours,” she said.
The Central Lake Ontario Conservation also made an appearance, offering guests a chance to
plan a trip to the Sugar Bush lantern festival (April 6, 7 – 9 p.m.), while the owners of the Food +
Art Cafe (also lovingly known as FART) had a table with homemade scones, and a location that
offers sip ’n’ paint (or sculpt!) nights. Owners Alison and Noel Galvan plan to share the fruits of a
combined dream, and Durham seemed like the natural place to start.
“When we decided we were ready to open the cafe, we found this perfect location right at
downtown Whitby, and we were like ‘Let’s go for it!’. We call it our happy place and we want
everyone to come in and be filled with yummy happiness, then conquer the day,” Alison said.
Join us again on April 6 for RMG Fridays, Spirit of Song, at 7 p.m.