Cornwall, part 1

January 24, 2011 at 1:32 pm (Entertainment) ()

Today I’m kicking off a series on this rather fabulous city* that I live in. I’ve blogged about this before, but I’m going to reiterate my frustration with the residents who are constantly finding the negative aspects rather than accepting the positives. I’m going to focus on those positives.

Just as a disclaimer, I don’t think Cornwall has it all, and I don’t for a moment regret leaving it to attend school and experience more of the world. There are pieces of my heart all over the place, but even so, it’s good to be back.

I’m going to begin with the arts.

Jimmy Rankin performs at Aultsville Theatre.

I was officially given the arts and entertainment beat for the Standard-Freeholder, which immediately developed somewhat of a bias on behalf of all of the incredible talent I met, heard, saw. I’ve shot a music festival, checked out an arts open house, talked with dozens of musicians, watched locally-made films, interviewed several big names, been impressed by the pros at the Playhouse, and done some photography on the side for Aultsville Theatre. So many people that have been featured in my stories have expressed sincere gratitude for the exposure; a number of sources have thanked me profusely for the coverage. So yeah, I rather love my corner of the newspaper.

There is so much talent here. And not just that, but passion and cooperation. I’ve been very impressed with the lack of competition – not that musicians aren’t serious about getting ahead, but they love what they do regardless and are willing to work with others. It’s not just musicians too; so many artists are investing back into the industry and collaborating with other artists of their genre. It’s very encouraging.

But of course there are some of the opposite persuasion. Performers like John McDermott and Gordon Lightfoot book concerts in the city, but instead of dishing out the cash and supporting the industry, people complain that no one they like ever gets off the highway here. There are a few that have their own agendas for the arts and culture community instead of encouraging joint initiatives and municipal efforts.

I’m thankful they are not the majority.

* Though my focus is Cornwall, often my opinions include Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry as well.

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2 Comments

  1. Keitha said,

    Hi Cheryl,

    This is an AMAZING blog theme and I can’t wait to read more! Cornwall is where we choose to work, play and live and I applaud you for making others aware of the great things we have here.
    Cheers,
    Keitha

  2. Jack Skafte said,

    Hi Cheryl,
    I love Cornwall even though I don’t live there anymore. My grandparents (on both sides) moved to Cornwall because of work. My maternal grandfather had moved his family from Holland to Montreal in 1954 and after 1 year there he moved to Cornwall to work on the St. Lawrence Seaway. My paternal grandfather who came from Denmark in 1926 worked in construction all across Canada until he came to Cornwall to work building Howard Smith Paper Mill in 1933. He then bought a farm in Summerstown and settled down. I lived, went to school and worked in Cornwall for 22 years until moving to NS.
    Cornwall has gone through a lot of changes (as any city does). The paper mill is gone. TCF and Courtalds (the factories that my father worked at for 25 years) are gone but people are still there because there is a thriving community.
    Jack

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