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Top 10 of 2012
1. Top Arts/Entertainment Story of 2012
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1. Frank Macdonald included on IMPAC award list In November, Inverness writer Frank Macdonald’s second novel “A Possible Madness” was long-listed for the 2013 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, six years after his first book, "A Forest for Calum," was long-listed for the same honour. The prestigious award, worth approximately $150,000, is considered the most valuable annual literary prize for a single work of fiction published in English. The short list will be announced in April.
2. Busy year at CBU Art Gallery The Cape Breton University Art Gallery hosted a multitude of thought-provoking exhibits in 2012 including ProletariArt 2012: The People’s Art Exhibit, featuring work from Cape Breton artists; Sense of Place, a national touring exhibition from the Windsor Printmakers Forum; The Glass Is... exhibit featuring contemporary visual arts pieces from nine emerging island artists; Soft Forces featuring Gordon Kennedy’s latest sculptures; and a visual poetry exhibit showcasing pieces from two recent books of visual poetry including Cape Breton’s Jesse Ferguson
3. 40th anniversary Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design The Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design spent 2012 celebrating its 40th anniversary in a big way. To mark the milestone, the centre launched a 40 Years of Hands-On Creativity campaign in February, and successfully hosted 40 events, gained 40 new memberships and raised $40,000, all in 40 weeks.
4. Losses for island arts community 2012 was a year of tremendous loss for the Cape Breton arts community with the deaths of guitarist Dave McKeough and his wife Donna, as the result of a car accident in Millville in June; photographer Carol Kennedy died of cancer in July at the age of 67; Raylene Rankin in September at the age of 52; singer-songwriter John Ferguson in October at his home in Cole Harbour; and writer-comedian Dave Harley, known by many for his role as General John Cabot Trail, in November.
5. Cape Bretoners do well at East Coast Music Awards Cape Breton artists represented the island in fine fashion once again at the East Coast Music Awards, held in Moncton, N.B. in April. Six island musicians took home eight awards — Keith Mullins and Scott Macmillan each earned two awards, and Carmen Townsend, Gordie Samspon, Jimmy Rankin, and Rawlins Cross featuring Cape Breton native Ian McKinnon earned one award each. Rankin led all artists heading into the awards weekend with eight nominations.
6. Another successful Celtic Colours International Festival The 16th edition of the festival was another success story, with thousands of music fans and hundreds of Celtic artists from around the globe converging on Cape Breton for nine days in October. Attendance at festival concerts and events was on par, or better, than previous years. Approximately 2,000 people volunteered their time toward some aspect of the festival.
7. Filmmakers enjoy continued successs New Waterford filmmakers Ashley MacKenzie and Nelson MacDonald continued to enjoy big success with their short films. Following on the success of “Rhonda’s Party,” their latest short film “When You Sleep” screened at numerous film festivals around the globe including the Cannes Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival and at the Atlantic Film Festival. They’re also set to shoot their next project, the short film “Stray,” in Cape Breton.
8. Musical stars perform on island Legends of the musical world continued to make their way to Cape Breton in 2012, including American pop-rock icons Huey Lewis and the News; John Mellencamp, the Grammy Award winner behind rock anthems like “Authority Song” and “Jack & Diane;” American country music stars Tracy Lawrence and Mark Chesnutt; the legendary California-based Nitty Gritty Dirt Band; and Charley Pride, one of the best-selling country artists of all time.
9. Cape Bretoners shine at Nova Scotia Music Week Cape Breton native Keith Mullins was a two-time winner at Music Nova Scotia awards weekend, and several other island artists took home single awards including Angelo Spinazzola, John Campbelljohn, Carleton Stone, and the Barra MacNeils. Sydney will host Nova Scotia Music Week for the first time in 2013.
10. Gordie Sampson Songcamp continues its success In its third year, the Gordie Sampson Songcamp continued to bring together Nova Scotia’s best young songwriters. Held each summer in Ingonish and facilitated by Sampson, Steven MacDougall and Carleton Stone, the camp is designed to help young songwriters gain experience and develop tools that will benefit them in their writing careers. Participating songwriters in 2012 were Dylan Guthro, Breagh MacKinnon, Dave Sampson, Elijah Wohlsmuth, Natalie Lynn, Evan Meisner, Molly Thomason, Mo Kenney, Barb Cameron, Jenny MacDonald, Brandon Johnson, Laura Roy, Seamus Erskine, Willie Stratton, Dana Beeler, Kyle Mischiek, and Samia Nassim.