Ray Marshall served as general manager of Lindsay’s storied Academy Theatre from 1985 to 2006 — 21 consecutive years of service. After Marshall moved on, there have been at least nine general managers, and currently there is no general manager at all.
This revolving door — and the erosion of good will associated with it — is not only threatening the theatre’s reputation but its continued operation.
The Academy, said to be the most technically perfect theatre in Canada, is the crown cultural jewel of Lindsay. It was once led and nurtured by Dennis Sweeting, the founder of Kawartha Summer Theatre (KST), who was also the first president of the Association of Canadian Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA). His wife, Maggie Sweeting, was the administrator.
In 1834, a town plan for Lindsay was envisioned on what was then nothing more than a cedar swamp. The planners envisioned something different, and grander than the Purdy Mills hamlet which had been established south of the Scugog River almost 15 years previously.
Kent and Victoria Streets were designed to be one and a half times wider than the standard 66-foot right of way. As the final report on Downtown Heritage Conservation District notes, this was done “presumably to highlight their importance but also to make maneuvering horses and carts that much easier.”
So urban planning for this area of our city has, from its very outset, consisted of a blend of anticipating future transit needs and a vision of something bigger and special.
Where there is young people and vitality, you’re going to find punk rock. — Henry Rollins
One of Lindsay’s most famous bar brawls and the start of punk rock in the CKL happened on the same time at the same place on the same night. It was the late spring of 1980 and Lindsay’s first punk rock band, The Lindsay Huns, were playing at The Central Hotel on William Street — a long gone Lindsay landmark.
Musicologists will argue about the exact start of punk, and who started it, but punk rock had been around, and had been a growing musical and cultural movement since 1977, and probably earlier. The term itself — coined in the early 70s — was used by a few musical journalists to describe the style known as garage-rock.
At the March 19 Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting, Council heard from Dianne Lister and Susan Taylor, representatives from the Kawartha Lakes Arts Council (KLAC) and the Cultural Centre Committee, who recommended that Council strike a working group to examine the possibility of a cultural centre for the municipality.
The invitation: To participate in a trial run of a Kawartha Lakes Arts & Heritage Trail “Experience.” Over the course of a weekend participants are to be introduced to the art of dry stone walling. They will restore a section of the roughly 150-year-old Laidlaw wall that lines a stretch of Balsam Lake Drive.
The invitee: An Advocate columnist with minimal manual dexterity, little aptitude, and the soft hands of a scribe.
The Experience: Orientation
It’s a chilly Saturday morning in late October when we meet in the warmth of the Days Inn lobby: a writer, a museum volunteer, an economic development officer, a travel agent, and a dry stone mason.
Not hard to identify the mason, our instructor. John Shaw-Rimmington is lanky and weathered looking, with a white beard and untrimmed hair. His handshake is strong, and the hand that wraps around mine is roughened, reddened, one fingernail black.
In 2014, a coalition of artists and organizations formed Kawartha ArtsVote to bring awareness to the cultural sector in advance of the 2014 municipal election. In the lead up to the 2018 municipal election this October, they are re-launching ArtsVote, working with Kawartha Lakes Heritage Network, and shining the light on the cultural sector once again.