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Canton Main Street to Host Volunteer Fair on Feb. 6

2016 Volunteer Fair red header flyerBy John Fitts 

CANTON – For some, the concept of volunteering might seem daunting but local organizations are often in need of an extra set of hands – whether one can help on a regular basis or just perform the occasional task.

On the afternoon of Feb. 6, Canton Main Street is inviting the community to a Volunteer Fair – a chance to learn a little about the different organizations that do so much for the town, whether it’s supporting kids on the field, serving on a town board, helping the elderly, curating fresh local food, helping the less fortunate or facilitating the arts. There will also be some children’s activities and chance to win prizes.

The event will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. on Feb. 6, in the lower level of the Canton Community Center at 40 Dyer Ave. Organizations will tell participants about their groups and volunteer opportunities.

“Generally, the organizations don’t have a forum like this to explain to people the value they bring or the value individuals can bring to town,” said Amy Parchen, president of Canton Main Street.

Canton Main Street is looking to provide just that venue and hopes to make the event an annual one.

… Continue Reading

Author Lauren Tarshis Visits Canton Intermediate School

Connecticut-based author Lauren Trashes recently visited CIS. Photo courtesy of Kelly Conway

Connecticut-based author Lauren Tarshis recently visited CIS.
Photo courtesy of Kelly Conway

Connecticut-based author Lauren Tarshis visited Canton Intermediate School on Jan. 22.

Author of the popular historical fiction “I Survived” series, Trashes has also penned the Emma Jean Lazarus books, intermediate non-fiction short stories and edits Storyworks magazine

“Lauren Tarshis managed to touch so many readers with her story of how she came to be a writer,” said library media specialist Kelly Conway. “Readers identified with her unconventional path and struggles to get to where she is today.  One of her messages about how practicing your interest can create opportunities more so than merely pure talent was not lost on the listeners.  Boys and girls alike worked hard doing independent projects to earn lunch with her in the library.  The buzz in the hallways after seeing her presentation centered around ideas the students had for their own writing pieces.” … Continue Reading

Farmington Valley Stage Company Presents a Trio of Short Plays from Area Author, Director

Shows take place at Town Hall on Jan. 22, 23 and 24

By John Fitts 

While it has largely built its reputation on classic plays, Farmington Valley Stage Company is offering some different options this season, including a light-hearted musical review and three original shorts from a local author.

The latter takes place this weekend as the company performs three original works from Bloomfield resident Geoffrey Craig.

“I thought this would be kind of interesting,” said Doreen A. Cohn, producer for the shows and artistic director of the stage company. “We’re trying to have a variety in our season.”

In May of 2015, Craig attended the company’s production of “Five Women Wearing the Same Dress.” He took the opportunity to meet Cohn and show some of his work.

The company is not only producing three of Craig’s plays but also brought him on to direct and lead discussions following each performance.

Craig said he’s enjoyed the experience so far.

“It’s a wonderful company; I’ve really enjoyed working with them,” he said. “The cast is terrific. It’s been a real pleasure.” … Continue Reading

Around Canton: Jan. 13, 2016

Mills Pond. Photo by John Fitts

Mills Pond Recreation Area.
Photo by John Fitts

By John Fitts 

Good morning Canton. After a little more overnight snow, the National Weather Service is predicting a mostly sunny day Wednesday with a high near 27 and a westerly wind from 13 to 16 miles per hour, with the occasional gust approaching 40 mph.

Today, there are several things going on in Canton, including a 1 p.m. presentation of “Be Your Own Healthcare Advocate the senior center. At Canton High School, the varsity wrestling team takes to the mat at 4 p.m., followed by boys basketball action, with JV starting at 5:30 p.m. and varsity at 7 p.m. … Continue Reading

Images of Canton: Funky Dawgz in the House

The Funky Dawgz Brass Band came to Canton High School on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016 as part of a Canton Parents for Music concert series. Several Canton High Students also sat in with The Funky Dawgz. See more about the band, which came out of the University of Connecticut music scene, at http://www.funkydawgzbrassband.com.

The Jeff Holmes Band comes to Canton High School at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 24. Any proceeds from the concert benefit Canton Parents for Music, which funds music enrichment programs. Tickets, which are $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors, can be purchased here.

For full-screen versions of the photos below visit https://johnfitts.smugmug.com/Funky-Dawgz-at-Canton-High/

Gallery on The Green Hosts Reception for Members’ Show

Photo courtesy of Tom Cameron

Photo courtesy of Tom Cameron

Submitted Article

On Saturday evening, Jan. 9, 2016, The Gallery on the Green launched its 2016 season with the openings of separate exhibitions in each of their 3 gallery spaces.  The main gallery hosted an exhibit of the “Members’ New Work” that included over 50 pieces from 36 member artists. Upstairs galleries feature the work of painter Jessica David and professional photographer Gregory Kriss.

More than 100 guests and artists attended the free opening receptions for all three exhibits, which remain open until Feb. 7.  Over the year the Gallery on the Green will host 25 separate shows (many concurrently) during its 9 scheduled display periods.  The next opening is scheduled for Saturday evening, Feb. 13 and everyone is welcome. … Continue Reading

Portraits of Canton: Poet Veda Leone

Veda Leone

By John Fitts

Spoken word poetry is giving Veda Leone the voice she always sought.

“It’s vulnerability,” she said. “It’s just an opening of the deepest parts of someone. They’re sharing it in a way that just leaves you stunned or breathless or crying. I think the healing power of writing is something I didn’t quite understand until this past year.”

While she discovered the art form a few years earlier, she was further enthralled by an “Evening of the Spoken Word” at the Gallery on the Green in the spring of 2014. Readers included some of her future friends and mentors – Chivas Sandage, Nora Jamieson and Jackie Welsh.

Soon, Leone was residing in the village, drawing inspiration from “the artists, writers, teachers and free spirits in Collinsville” and by January of 2015 was attending Sandage’s “Write Like a River” workshops.

In July, Leone began attending weekly poetry open mics in Northampton, Mass. … Continue Reading

The Funky Dawgz Brass Band Appears at Canton High School on Saturday

The Funky Dawgz Jazz Band plays Canton High School on Saturday, Jan. 9. Band Press Photo

The Funky Dawgz Jazz Band plays Canton High School on Saturday, Jan. 9.
Band Press Photo

By John Fitts 

This Saturday, approximately a half dozen members of the Canton High School jazz ensemble will be on the spot as they sit in with the The Funky Dawgz Brass Band.

The students won’t have a chance to rehearse with the band this week, study the charts or know exactly what or how long they’re playing.

“They’ll work that out right before they play — in the true spirit of improvisation,” said John Mastroianni, Canton’s K-12 Music Department Supervisor, high school band leader and teacher.

Presented by Canton Parents for Music, The Funky Dawgz Brass Band will play in the Canton High School auditorium at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday Jan. 9. … Continue Reading

The Week Ahead: Jan. 4 to Jan. 9, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-01-03 at 11.33.36 AMAs we enter the first full week of 2016, there’s a variety of events in Canton. Following are a few of the options. For specific times and locations visit our calendar.

On Monday, residents can take advantage of such programs as Wii bowling at the Canton Senior Center and an informative tech drop-in session at the Canton Public Library.

Tuesday brings a morning story-time at the library as well as an afternoon of video game fun for the older kids. In the evening, the Canton girls take to the basketball court at the high school and the Permanent Municipal Building Committee meets in the community center.  Tuesday night fun continues in Collinsville with Trivia at Wilson’s and an open mic at the Crown and Hammer. … Continue Reading

Gallery on the Green to Host Members’ New Work Exhibit

Gregory Kriss, “Harmonic Reflections #44”

Gregory Kriss, “Harmonic Reflections #44”

Opening Reception is Jan. 9

Submitted Release 

The Gallery on the Green has its annual exhibition of “Members’ New Work” from Jan. 8 through Feb. 7.  Featured are photography, painting, drawing, prints and sculpture by the membership — one hundred talented local artisans. In addition, upstairs galleries have solo exhibitions by painter, Jessica David and by professional photographer, Gregory Kriss.

Jessica David studied fine art and art history at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn before training as a painting conservator at the University of Cambridge, UK. She now works as a conservator at the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven. The subjects of David’s paintings are typically rundown, derelict locations that have a special meaning to her.   Applying oil and acrylic spray paint, she merges photographs and memories into something new, beautiful and independent from the original context. Her paintings incorporate effects common to photography, such as blurring, vignetting and overexposure. … Continue Reading


Upcoming Events

8:30 am Daily Mass @ St. Patrick Church
Daily Mass @ St. Patrick Church
Mar 27 @ 8:30 am
1:30 pm Wii Bowling @ Canton Community Center
Wii Bowling @ Canton Community Center
Mar 27 @ 1:30 pm
Have you ever wished you could continue to bowl without putting on bowling shoes or lugging a heavy ball?  You’re in LUCK!!  Join the Canton Senior Center Wii Bowling Team, The Canton Rollers.  Show off your bowling skills or learn new ones at the Senior Center.  Mondays at 1:30pm, Wednesdays ...
7:30 am Canton Food Bank @ Trinity Episcopal Church
Canton Food Bank @ Trinity Episcopal Church
Mar 28 @ 7:30 am – 9:30 am
The Canton Food Bank is accepting fresh produce (as well as non-perishables of course!) every Tuesday from 7:30am-9:30am. Please keep them, and those less fortunate in our community, in mind as your backyard gardens begin to bloom and produce a bountiful harvest!  
8:30 am Daily Mass @ St. Patrick Church
Daily Mass @ St. Patrick Church
Mar 28 @ 8:30 am