The Yack: September 2019

Professional shit-disturber Michael Moore arrives in Niagara Falls for what’s being billed as “An Interactive Evening.” The discussion will be moderated by Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy. Could be a cute night out filled with loud clapping and countless “OH MY god – he’s so right (so right)!” for liberal thinkers, and Scheer torture if you voted for Doug Ford.

According to the Facebook event, “the interactive appearance will include Moore’s trademark political commentary, a moderated discussion, and audience Q&A. The highlight of the show is a monologue reflecting on the Trump administration initially featured in his Broadway show, The Terms of My Surrender.”

During one segment of Moore’s Broadway show he plays host of a made-up show called “Stump the Canadian” which seeks to prove that the even the dumbest Canadian in the audience is smarter than the smartest American in the room. Not sure if that’s clever or obvious. Either way, if the last Moore film you saw was Roger & Me, you’re still probably going to want to jump on this opportunity to hear Moore speak or ask him about his favourite baseball cap. Saturday, Sept 28 at the Scotiabank Convention Centre.

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**THIS EVENT WAS CANCELLED and has been rescheduled to October 2, 7:30pm at the Warehouse** Extinction Rebellion Niagara (XRN) is hosting a climate justice challenge for all St. Catharines Federal election candidates. All are welcome to attend.

“The climate crisis is such a massive issue that it can make us feel powerless,” said XRN member Kostyn Petrunick, one of the event’s organizers. “With this event, we hope to empower people to get involved in democracy and to challenge their representatives to take action.”

At the time of writing this column, the Amazon rainforest is on fire, still. A fire that was encouraged by the far-right Brazilian administration. A fire that could lead to irreversible collapse. “This collapse would threaten millions of species, from every branch of the tree of life, each of them — its idiosyncratic splendor, its subjective animal perception of the world — irretrievable once it’s gone,” writes The Atlantic’s Peter Brannen.

While the answer isn’t clear or easy, voting with your brain is. I fear a capitalist future that gives up on the environment all while making a buck. I’m not a very political person, but I know these two things to be true: 1. Climate-change deniers exist and probably want you to vote for them. 2. Money won’t fix the mess we’re in.

Have your voice heard and see what the candidates have to say about Niagara’s environmental future. Wednesday, Sept 4 at 7pm at the Silver Spire Church at 366 St. Paul Street in downtown St. Catharines.

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See Also

The winner of the 2018 Polaris Music Prize returns to downtown St. Catharines for a solo debut at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre. Jeremy Dutcher performed last year as part of A Tribe Called Red, and pleased the crowd with just a couple spine-chilling originals. Ever since, I’ve been anxiously awaiting an entire performance of Dutcher’s originals.

Dutcher is a classically trained operatic tenor who is at the forefront of an Indigenous musical renaissance in Canada. Thankfully live music doesn’t share the foibles of online review culture like restaurants, nail salons and pizza joints. If that was the case, Dutcher would probably average 4.6 stars and have reviews that said things like “<3” or “Didn’t get it – but loved it.” or ”Spectacular show, but parking was so far away, 1 star.”

Dutcher’s debut Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa isn’t easy to pin down. On paper the album is a post-classical rearrangement of traditional music from Tobique First Nation in New Brunswick. These early songs are over 100 years old and come from wax cylinders recordings that Dutcher spent countless hours transcribing and arranging to form brand-new songs that still sound just a tiny bit haunted.

“If the younger generation doesn’t start to reclaim and revitalize our language, we’re going to lose it forever. When I came into a better understanding of my language, I started to understand my place in the world a little bit better and started to relate the world around me differently,” said Dutcher to CBC in 2018.

Writing and re-arranging these songs weren’t just a means of creating art, but also a way for Dutcher to connect with his ancestors, his past and future. While the songs are sung in Wolastoq, a language only spoken by approximately 100 people, the music tells an overwhelmingly beautiful story and the narrative breathes through the albums’ 11 tracks. You can’t miss this show! Thursday October 3 at FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

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