A Music Director’s perspective on Aladdin Jr.

A Music Director’s perspective on Aladdin Jr.

Dianne Pare on break with Bill McCrone during a rehearsal for Les Mis in February 2014 One of the great infusions of energy in the Fort McMurray performing arts community has been Dianne Pare.  I first met her at the Keyano Conservatory, where she was teaching private piano lessons.  Eventually she signed on to the
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Crowsnest Scavenger Hunt

Crowsnest Scavenger Hunt

Each year, the Wagner side of the family (Heather’s side) gathers somewhere for a weekend reunion.  In the past we have convened for house boating in BC, camping in Saskatchewan, and various other locales and activities.  This year, our destination was Neil and Susan’s place in Hillcrest Mines, one of the small communities that comprise
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Aladdin set to soar

Aladdin set to soar

Every night at about 9 o’clock, Ben’s bedroom door closes and the music of Aladdin begins.  For an hour to an hour and a half he belts out his songs, full voice, probably with no sense that we’re on the other side smiling, appreciating. It is a considerable measure of success, watching this 11 year
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Descending into silence

Descending into silence

My favourite part of a long drive is when the entire car descends into silence.  Alone in our separate thoughts and activities, Heather reading and the boys playing on the iPads, we were on the final stretch of our long trip from Fort McMurray to Red Deer when everything became still. Usually after 6 hours
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Painting Freddy Mercury

Painting Freddy Mercury

The photo of Freddie Mercury I was using as my painting guide was fuzzy and lacking detail.  It was hard to discern a finger from a fingernail.  I had sketched it out on the canvas the night before and felt like pieces were missing, nuances that would help the character of the late lead singer
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The difference a wafer thin sheet of seaweed can make

The difference a wafer thin sheet of seaweed can make

Over the last couple of days, perhaps as much as a week, I’ve wavered from the Ideal Protein protocol insofar as having a few wafer thin sheets of seaweed following my evening snack.  They are lighter than air, with no sugar and very little carbs; what harm could they do? It felt like my weight
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The new Grand Central

The new Grand Central

As I physically parted with my first painting of the growing number that have come out of the shop/studio this July, I had a moment where I realized how many connections, conversations, interviews and stories emerge from my various social media platforms that I use.  Dan Lines, on Facebook, saw one of the earlier “crazy”
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Painting men vs painting women

Painting men vs painting women

“You realize that you’ve only painted men,” said my wife Heather, after a long string of watercolour portraits.  “Why is that?” (insert uncomfortable pause here) As I reflect on 40 years of drawing and painting – and yes, I have a big pile of material that goes back that far – my subjects have largely
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So much in one little visit

So much in one little visit

I spent the morning sketching out Katy Perry, the 29 year old pop sensation, in preparation for painting an 18″ by 24″ portrait in the afternoon.  Before I sit down for a long stretch of painting, I prefer to clear my mind of things by getting things done that need to be done: cutting the
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10 days in

10 days in

I’m 10 days into the Ideal Protein program.  Pants are starting to feel less tight, shirt collars fit better, and suit jackets are a bit roomier.  You see I purchased and/or altered most of my wardrobe when I was down around 180 pounds, which I am within 5 pounds of now.  It was an investment,
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