Festival d’Artistes of Artists

Chaleur Bay - Festival 2015 - Baie des Chaleurs



212 St Andrew, Bathurst, New Brunswick

OPEN/OUVERT: Fri-Sat / Ven-Sam / 10-3

Celebrate Art & Artists of Chaleur Bay during May 2015

We are now planning our Spring Garden of Artists for 2015. Please help us grow. We are looking for individual, independent artists to join us.

Joignez-nous durant le Festival du Printemp d’Artistes et participer à des activités gratuites.

Thank you everyone who helped Chaleur Arts by voting:
Good luck to contestants who made it to the finals

Chaleur Bay Artists are Looking forward to something wonderful …
Here it is … Coming out of Balmoral New Brunswick … Next September …
Read about the upcoming Arts Symposium:


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Ugly Woman

Magazine with picture of ugly woman on cover … Hmmmm … Would it sound better to say “ugly picture of woman”?

No matter, George … gallant of you to point it out to me as a source of reading for IWD.

And as you might be wondering why the women are depicted as so ugly … Well think maybe it has anything to do with the beatings?

I realize it might not be your favourite topic of discussion but until it stops …

And … Until women have financial independence

It should be the topic of every IWD day discussion

Why do women need financial independence?
Because it enables them to live in safer, healthier environments
Because it provides access to resources needed to escape from dangerous abusive situations.
Because they don’t have to trade their body and soul for room and board.

Doesn’t the thought of a woman being abused … or a man for that matter … Doesn’t it make you feel just a mite ugly too, George?


No George, no idea who that ugly woman is. George, put away that mirror.

Dead Letter Office

Yesterday I finally did it. I built up the courage to send a letter to Honourable Mr. PM of my country.

What did I talk about? How did I say it?

I spoke about Basic Income and told Honourable Mr. PM that I felt we needed Basic Income.

How did I say it? Not in my own words, beause, having no talent for languages and never having learned to speak the language of bureaucrats and politicians and all their friends, I came to the realization that I needed expert help. Therefore I used the better part of the recommended text offered at the website http://www.basicincome.com

An exerpt from my letter:

“To: Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper
Prime Minister
Parliamentary Bldg.
Ottawa, ONT.
K1A 0A2

Dear Prime Minister

Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: Everyone has a right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. ”

Yes, I know what you are thinking dear reader. My letter would never reach Mr. Honourable PM. It would be read by some machine. At least three months would pass before I might expect an answer. The answer would go something like: Your letter is important to us … Blah blah blah … The PM office is unable to … blah blah blah … Due to Privacy … Blah blah blah … wishes you the best in your future endeavours … Blah blah blah …

Imagine my surprise when I received an immediate response to my letter

“… Sorry, we were unable to deliver your message to the following address.”
Oops I guess the return address was wrong. All those newsletters I’ve been receiving the past few years … supposedly coming from Mr. Honourable PM … It finally occurred to me that maybe they were coming from a different source … Hmmm a mystery in the house …
So … Try again is what I did. Checking the email address carefully … Typing it in … Pop … Out went the message.
Again … Instant reply:
“Sorry, we were unable to deliver your message to the following

— Below this line is a copy of the message.”

Can there be a message without a messenger?
Can there be a commons without commoners?

Last Call

Hey George
Want to go to Toronto?
Not today … October 3rd … Well there is this amazing free night of art … You know George … I do believe Scotiabank really supports art and artists … Well maybe not here in Bathurst, NB … So … Shall we move to Toronto?

No George … Missed the deadline … Well you know how I feel about competitions …
Besides the deadline is today … Well really …

We missed another deadline, George. Oh well …m
Go to Toronto? Do you think? Evenafter the warning I just received?

Oh, did you not see it?

Someone just warned me that I might die if I left Bathurst, NB.

Hooooo … Hoooo … Hilarious, George. Like that is not just one more been-there-done-that scenario? Talk about those experiences? No George, you wouldn’t believe me anyway.

Ask any homeless person how scary and dangerous is life for those who dare to venture outside the boundaries constructed for them.


Maybe ask the warriors try to help them.

Take a walk? You want me to take a walk?
On the coldest night of the year?
George, have you no heart inside that wee black and white feathered breast?
Can we talk about this first?

Think Ahead

I’m thinking …

March 8, 2015 IWD

So … What exactly does that mean?
What do we anticipate?
Hope for?
Dream about?
What are we willing to question?
Ask for?

What’s it gonna be, George?
Good weather?
In March? Is that a reasonable request?
May as well hope for world peace.

Hmmm maybe hope for good weather by May

Mind if we think back,

It was March 8, 2012 and the weather was beautiful.

I had such great hopes, George. Wonder why I became invisible.

Do you suppose it was because I didn’t send any money?
I guess that’s what it was about … Raising money … Not about celebrating International Women’s Day was it?

So … Because I did not collect money … Because I had no money to donate … Well I was made invisible … Sigh … Story of my life …

Oh well … Better than the year I was thrown out of the local Bathurst NB IWD celebration because I was not content to be a nice little lady and sit quietly while the visiting dignitary droned on and on about how women needed to … Hmmm never did quite understand what the point of it all was … then again … Do motivational speakers ever really have a point?

Well no George, I was not unruly or argumentative. I simply openened my mouth … Asked a few questions … Hmmmm … Guess not all motivational speakers deal well with questions, do they?

Was I there by invitation? Well, it wasn’t free. I was sold a ticket to the event. I paid my own way in. No charity there.

I’ve not been to an IWD gathering since then.

This Year?

Will I?
I have no idea George? Is it really something for us … The invisible women? Or is it designed to provide higher salaries for NGO managers. It still isn’t the women who get the jobs, George. Women get the leftover scraps and we are only tolerated as long as we are content to remain unseen and unheard.

Speaking of scraps, George, you know all those cans and jars of food we’ve been thinking about donating to the food bank? Well, I’ve changed my mind.

Because I’m a poor artist? Well, maybe that too … But have you seen this:

No George I don’t think so … That stuff about throwing rotten eggs and tomatoes and mushy cream pies at politicians … No that was only in those old movies … Never be allowed today .. Besides … What a waste of good compost …

And no George … I don’t believe that throwing rotten eggs and tomatoes is a legitimate motivator for raising salaries … Besides … What’s all this fuss about raising minimum wage … Sure, it helps those who already have a job. What about those whu don’t … Those who don’t have a job I mean.

Hockey Rules

Now I really have nothing against hockey except when the rules of hockey begin to take over other aspects of our cultural life.

There really is a collision of culture going on and hockey appears to have won.
Dig, dig, dig. Get out there and win. Kill the B——s. We’ve all heard it, haven’t we?

And there is the money. As far as I can recall, I’ve never heard of a free hockey game. After all, hockey players expect to be paid … Well paid.
Ice time … That has to be paid for too. Is that why so little ice-time is given over to public skating? Is this because many people cannot afford skates and ice-time or is it because hockey-players have become so much more important than non-hockey people who might skate for the enjoyment, the fresh air or the exercise.

Hockey rules? In more ways than we would have imagined a generation or so ago, hockey rules our society. No matter what, we are expected to belong to some team or other and loyalty to that team is paramount. Scheming within the team is OK if it helps you win. Rules are made to be broken as long as what goes on within the team stays with the team. It is seen to be perfectly alright to ignore or even ostracize any independent person who has no team behind them.

And the ostracized person hasn’t a hope in h— of getting a foot in the door of opportunity that is guarded by all those well-paid teams so determined to win at all costs.

Finally … An opportunity … The Pan American Games …


And they say it’s “open to all New Brunswick artists”

Sing? Play an instrument? Juggle balls? Walk on stilts? Swallow fiery swords?

Hmmm … Team approval?
Hey George! Get over here willya! Tell me … What exactly do you suppose is meant by professional?

Ya … Well me and George …
Well we’re a team
Don’t you know …
A bit of a motly crew
Who else?
Any artist
Who wants to join us.
No leader
We’re all equal.
Not much time
Until March 15
Suppose we’ll make it?


Who decides who is and is not a New Brunswick artist?
The jurors will pass judgement?
And who are the jurors?
Hmmm unnamed huh?
Must we join NBArts to find out?
OK … How much?

Waste of time and energy?
You think so too George?
Yah … I guess I do know
How these things work
An opportunity is written into some budget.
Those on the inside
Are passed the approved list
Of pre-approved candidates
Then the criteria …
Well that is written to describe
In almost exact terms
The Chosen One …
Who will then be
Juried and found to be the winner
Is that it George?
Is that how these things work?

Why do they bother
With a competition
Well after all George
This is a Democracy
It must be seen
That equal opportunity
Is open to everyone.

Wellllll … Maybe maybe not
But that’s the way it is
Has been for a long long time
Nothing new under the Western Sun

The Motley Crew?
No George, not the band
I mean my team.
Can’t produce a show without a team
Found a list
They just might do
That is
If any are still alive

Look George …
More friends we might meet

Whaddya mean … You don’t think the Blacklist is so bad.
George, are we talking about the same sort of Blacklist

I thought not …

The chosen and the unchosen … Is that what the battle has become, George?

Think double-speak will work, do you George? Change the term Blacklist from it’s original meaning … Cause confusion so it becomes easier to ignore someone who complains about being blacklisted or even marginalized.

Take the word “closure”. Bet that onw makes you feel warm and fuzzy, huh George? Think again … Never mind … That’s another issue.

More doublespeak? Ahhhhh … Here’s an example of doublespeaking into existance the ultimate “goodcop”Blacklist

So getting back to the original meaning of “Blacklist” … could that Hollywood 10 type Blacklisting happen in Canada as it has in the United States? What do I think?

Hmmm … I guess we’ll never be allowed to know, will we?

Suppose that was what my friend meant when she called a certain someone a bad bad man? Did He do this?

Surely George … Not now … Not in the 21st Century … It cannot still be happening … Do you think?
No comment huh? Guess I might ask an expert http://www.historians.org/


OK George … I’m willing to give in … Go with the flow … Quit rowing upstream …
Thinking about a team is what I’m doing.

You really can’t do much on your own.

One problem George … How do I get the right team?

For example here is what looks like an impressive list of names to drop …

Yes, George, I’m just about at the point of desperation to do a bit of name-dropping.

That is just the problem …

All we have here is basically a list of names and associations and such … no contact information, no proof that the whole thing isn’t a tangle of fluff meant to impress … Who was that fellow who almost became French President … You know the one with the 10 or so bed-girlies …

Yes … him … or whoever it was was who replaced him at his bank … You know, George … I think it controls all the money in the world. Sorry, George. Forget what they call it.
Hmmmm … So you don’t know any of these folks either?


Gentrification & Art & Traffic Flow

My thoughts are that people should not be forced out of their own community through neglect or lack of equal opportunity or, in some cases, public work projects that can make or destroy whole neighbourhoods and business communities.

I have spent a lifetime watching alternate governments exert their power to disrupt generations-long neighbourhood dynamics and traffic flow. Old family businesses which are vulnerable to extended road closures were bound to fail. Whether this was done through design or stupidity Is beyond my ken. Such decisions are made behind closed doors through which few of us are ever invited, especially those who won’t meekly agree.

Gentrification and assimilation have long been used to cleanse communities of any uncooperatives such as artists and writers and objecters who dare step into that fuzzy space the power-brokers cannot fathom.

The thing is that artists and writers often bring value to those run-down buildings nobody else would consider inhabiting. The poor souls might even be happy there until the gentrifiers swoop in. If the developers do make a profit while “cleaning up the mess” who will object except maybe a few poor artists or writers.

I don’t blame any one government agent. They are merely pawns in some larger game sweeping away any artist who refuses to sit quietly in some government-approved corner whitewashing their words or their art.

Happy Valentine’s Day

What valentine?
Oh … I see George … You’d like me to sign a Valentine, would you?

A blank Valentine card … One with a funny image outside and no words written inside, huh?

Well, write something in it first George. You know I don’t sign anything with blanks … Learned that one a long, long time ago … Signing off under blank cheques and blank spaces can really get a person into trouble.

Dozens of people have already signed without question? Because by saying nothing you offend nobody no matter what language they speak … I see your point there George.

Hmmm … so let me see the picture on the front of the Valentine Card you are sending our PM.

Hmmm … Did your dozens of signatories see the image on the front of this card, George?

Well I’m frowning because I don’t find it one bit amusing … Quite in bad taste really.

Well yes it might be as funny as those Charlie jokes but I didn’t find them funny either.

Sorry George. No, I wouldn’t care if the picture were drawn by New York’s highest paid artist. Nope … Not signing.

Instead I’d like to send our PM a nice big fuzzy hug for Valentine’s Day.

Guess the PM won’t be receiving a Valentine from me again this year.

No George, I don’t have the flu.

Is It Too Late?

Is it already too late?

Have all the artists moved away or given up completely?

Is that why, year after year, our area is pretty much overlooked by those colourful New Brunswick tourism publications?

I am still here and I’m hosting an artist festival in May. Anybody who is interested is invited to become involved.

There is no big slush fund. So far there are no paying jobs, and no luscious contracts. For the last six months there has been mostly just me working as an unpaid volunteer.

After fifty years of experience as a local artist I am taking this opportunity to invite the community to become involved in building something out of almost nothing.

The Artist Festival Headquarters is located at the art centre at 212 St. Andrew St. Bathurst, New Brunswick until at least the end of May. The door will be open every Friday and Saturday from 10:00 to 3:00 and people are cordially invited to drop in and ask about free registration for the festival.

By the end of May I should know how much support the Chaleur community has for art and artists.