A&E year-end review

The good, the bad, and the sexy

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Year-end review collage

Cue Vitamin C’s “Graduation Song.” It’s time for The Gazette Volume 101’s Arts and Entertainment editors to say goodbye.

Over the last year, A&E coverage has been varied. From honing our sights on both Western and London’s arts scene, we’ve maintained a wide breadth of coverage.

We kicked off the year with our in-depth coverage of the London Ontario Live Arts (LOLA) festival. With Final Fantasy, the Constantines, Grizzly Bear and a host of other up-and-coming indie bands in attendance, the festival brought a lot of attention to London. Combined with a host of visual arts projects, including the Canadian premiere of legendary producer Brian Eno’s “77 Million Paintings,” LOLA proved that the local arts scene is alive and well.

Our focus on visual arts continued as we examined the various exhibits on display at the McIntosh Gallery this year. “The Search for Tom Thomson,” “Child’s Play,” “A Sense of Space: The Blind Culture” and even a look at the gallery itself made the paper.

We also focused our spotlight on some of Western’s most active members of the arts scene, among them singer-songwriter and graduate student Kaya Fraser, comedian Dave Weaver and award-winning songwriter and Western alum, John Tayles.

Theatre coverage was also a priority this year. The folks at Theatre Western received attention for their hard work on Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and the Purple Shorts festival, while performances by the the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and theatre troupes around London graced our pages.

Every so often we passed the mic to third-year media, information and technoculture and English student Gennelle Smith, who is currently on exchange in Leeds, England. Smith brought an international flavour to the section.

Comedy played a huge role in sprinkling humour in the section as well as on campus. The UWO Comedy Club is home to future comics and improv actors like Algis Valiulis, L.A. King, Omid Solari and Jeremy Rupke of “Shenaniganza.” Big name comedians like Tom Papa, Sabrina Jalees and John Wing also stopped by London to give students a break from their studies while The Red Green Show’s Patrick McKenna “dropped knowledge” on Western’s humour writing class.

The Fashion Fridays feature was something to look forward to at the end of the week for fashionistas and the style-challenged alike. From the celebrity fashion world to local designers, this year covered formal wear, “green” alternatives and campus-wide fashion shows like Infusion and CAISA.

For our annual Arts Issue in March, we focused on student art submissions as well as the hidden world of arts culture on and off campus. The Arts Issue highlighted only some of Western’s many talented painters, artists and photographers. In the end, we were proud to produce both informative articles and visual images that encompassed the arts scene.

We can’t forget the rockstars and pretentious musicians who filled the majority of our pages. Foo Fighters, Rihanna, Feist and Bloc Party reviews dominated the A&E section while less mainstream bands like the Weakerthans, Joel Plaskett Emergency and Xavier Rudd still shone through. And though dark and dingy, Call the Office will forever be the go-to venue for some for the most entertaining shows of the year.

In the process of putting together the past 97 issues, we’ve laughed, we’ve cried and we’ve let our academics slide. To our professors: we’re very sorry. To our readers: we hope you enjoyed the ride. But if you didn’t, you can always volunteer for our section next year and see your ideas come to fruition.

The A&E torch will be passed on to next year’s new crop of A&E editors: Carly Conway, Matt Quinn and Dan Rankin. Look to them for continued coverage of the local arts scene " and for whatever funky tricks they’ve got hidden up their sleeves.

Share this article on:

Facebook | DiggDigg |

Copyright © 2008 The Gazette