Welcome to Reid Between the Lines

Jun 14th, 2015 Welcome Message Rob Reid 12 min read

As I was about to enter my 30th year at the Waterloo Region Record, the company floated yet another buyout in a losing campaign to forestall the declining fortunes of daily newspapers. I was counting down the clock to my 64th birthday, and had recently celebrated my two sons’ graduation from university and college, so I was ready to entertain the prospect of early retirement….


Remembering September Trout

Oct 14th, 2016 Armchair Fly Angler Rob Reid 8 min read

I was recently purging my electronic archives in honour of autumn cleaning when I came across the earliest personal essay I wrote celebrating my passion for fly fishing. I was still working as an arts reporter for the Waterloo Region Record at the time. Reading it after a decade evoked pleasing memories which I’d like to share. I’ve added some current reflections for context in…


Carrying Folk Music Into the Next Decade

Oct 11th, 2016 Music Rob Reid 8 min read

Folk Night at the Registry launches its second decade of co-presentations between Old Chestnuts Song Circle and the Registry Theatre. The partnership has been one of the most fruitful for the live performance venue, located in the heart of downtown Kitchener. Program artistic director Jack Cole has booked acoustic artists from England and the U.S. in addition to Canada. A couple of concerts cast a…

Tony McManus

Paying It Forward at the Registry: Season 16

Oct 6th, 2016 Film & Cinema, Music Rob Reid 16 min read

The Registry Theatre is my favourite live performance venue in Waterloo Region. It has the inspired and affordable programming, the staff starting with program director Lawrence McNaught and the warmth, accessibility and intimacy to satisfy all my entertainment needs. The vibrant performing arts presenter located in the heart of downtown Kitchener has unveiled its playbill for its 16th season. For less than $250,000 annually, the Registry…


Music of Rivers

Oct 3rd, 2016 Armchair Fly Angler, Books & Literature, Celtic World Rob Reid 10 min read

Fly anglers and writers — not to mention fly angling writers — are fascinated by the evocative relationship between music and rivers. I’m no exception. One of my favourite fly fishing writers, W.D. Wetherell, who is also an accomplished author of novels, short stories and non-angling essays, reflects on the music of rivers in a chapter titled Symphony in Vermont River, the first volume in…


Last Cast: Thoughts on the Closing Season

Sep 30th, 2016 Armchair Fly Angler, Books & Literature Rob Reid 9 min read

Like most kids, I grew up associating September with new beginnings. From elementary through high school and from university through graduate school, the month was the threshold we crossed to a new year — with all the excitement and expectation that passage entails. As an arts reporter on daily newspapers for more than three decades, September marked the beginning of a bustling autumn of entertainment…


Shining the headlights on Night Drive

Sep 17th, 2016 Books & Literature, Music Rob Reid 14 min read

I don’t know why I write these lines It’s not like I could send you the letter It’s that I love you more after all this time It’s that I wish I’d shown you better — Night Drive First there was Night Drive the song. Now there’s Night Drive the book. Both celebrate the love of one brother for another brother. Garnet Rogers released the song…


Modern Man in Search of a Soul

Aug 30th, 2016 Theatre Rob Reid 5 min read

STRATFORD — The late Robertson Davies once observed that Canada’s two greatest writers were Anton Chekhov and Henrik Ibsen because both reflected a Northern sensibility. Symbolically speaking Davies was right on the mark — or so I believe. How you interpret the Stratford Festival production of John Gabriel Borkman at the Tom Patterson Theatre determines the depth of your appreciation. It’s often stated that Ibsen’s…


More Fun Than an Emollient Exemplum

Aug 25th, 2016 Theatre Rob Reid 5 min read

With friends like this, who needs enemas?      — as spoken by Beralde, brother of the hypochondriac Argan STRATFORD — This might come as a shock to those reared on Hollywood film and television, but the penis and pissing, not to mention the rectum and defecating, penetrated comedy long before Animal House and Family Guy. These were common targets of low fun in the…


Bassin’ on the Grand

Aug 20th, 2016 Armchair Fly Angler Rob Reid 7 min read

Inch for inch, pound for pound, the gamest fish that swims — Angling pioneer Dr. James Henshall’s enduring observation about bass in his classic The Book of Black Bass, published in 1881 Mention the Grand River over a frosty pint in a local pub and most fly fishermen assume you’re talking about the stocked brown trout fishery in the tailwater between Shand Dam at Belwood…

GilGarratt as RobertDonnelly

Truth is Stranger Than Drama at Blyth

Aug 12th, 2016 Theatre Rob Reid 10 min read

We must never take words for granted. There’s no such thing as happy endings; something always comes after. — Peg Dunlop BLYTH — The last two of four world premieres at the Blyth Festival have sent me barrelling down memory lane in a literary roadster. If Truth Be Told and The Last Donnelly Standing take me back to when I was introduced to Canadian arts…

Me holding a 15-inch bass

Fishing Dogs & Pleasing Poppers

Aug 11th, 2016 Armchair Fly Angler Rob Reid 9 min read

My fly angling buddy Dan Kennaley has a fishing dog. His nine-year-old golden retriever Maggie spends hours trying to catch minnows in the shallow waters in front of the cottage Dan shares with his family on a postcard lake in Muskoka. Exercising the Two Ps of Fly Fishing Maggie’s methodology is a model of patience and persistence. With the exception of her wagging tail, she…


The Eagle(smith) Has Landed

Jul 31st, 2016 Music Rob Reid 8 min read

I’ve known Fred Eaglesmith for more than three decades. I fondly remember the first time I interviewed the fiercely independent artist in the kitchen of a farmhouse between Brantford and Hamilton he was sharing with his wife at the time. He had a thick blond beard and was wearing a plaid work shirt and denim overalls. We sipped cold beers as our conversation ranged far and wide over the musical landscape. Born…


O Brother, How I Love Those Fishless Nights

Jul 21st, 2016 Armchair Fly Angler, Single Malt & Food Rob Reid 6 min read

If you play hockey and don’t score any goals, you lose. If you play baseball and don’t hit any runs, you lose. If you play basketball and don’t shoot any baskets, you lose. If you play football and don’t score any touchdowns or field goals, you lose. However, if you fly fish and you don’t catch any fish, you still win. ‘What?’ the competitive sceptic…


Just Keeps on Racing

Jul 20th, 2016 Welcome Message Rob Reid 7 min read

CAMBRIDGE — I’ve been attending the Mill Race Festival of Traditional Folk Music for most of its 24 years. In fact, the free-admission, three-day celebration of folk music held at the height of summer is my favourite festival. It doesn’t attract the big crowds of the Kitchener Blues Festival; it does’t have the high profile of Guelph’s Hillside Festival. But founding artistic director Brad McEwen…


Breathing Life into a Trio of Dramatic Kings

Jul 13th, 2016 Theatre Rob Reid 5 min read

Four lagging winters and four wanton springs end in a word: such is the breath of kings — Richard II STRATFORD — Graham Abbey is a true child of Stratford. Not only has he been a member of the festival company over 18 seasons, he’s Stratford-bred. This season he adds the credentials of dramatic adapter and associate director to his diverse acting credits. Abbey has edited…


Portrait of Madness, Evil & the Supernatural in a Nightmare World

Jul 8th, 2016 Theatre Rob Reid 5 min read

Blood will have blood — Macbeth STRATFORD — Macbeth is the most terrifying Shakespearian tragedy because of its portrait of madness, evil and the supernatural — all of which manifest themselves as reality rather than as metaphor, sign or symbol. Stratford Festival artistic director Antoni Cimolino has constructed his production — a season highlight continuing through October 23 at the Festival Theatre — on the…


Paddling into the Mists of Mystery on Canoe Lake

Jul 3rd, 2016 Books & Literature, Visual Arts Rob Reid 7 min read

The death of Tom Thomson resembles a ghost story told around a campfire late at night beneath a panoply of stars, with the Northern Lights dancing in the distance beyond a dense enclosure of boreal forest. Those who believe Canada’s most famous painter died under suspicious circumstances — whether misadventure, foul play or murder — will view Gregory Klages as a killjoy or stick-in-the-mud. In…


Seeing a World in a Grain of Huron County Sand

Jun 30th, 2016 Theatre Rob Reid 8 min read

To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour — Auguries of Innocence by William Blake BLYTH — In his sophomore season at the helm of the Blyth Festival, artistic director Gil Garratt is staging a quartet of world premieres that tell stories harvested from…


Casting Lines on the Waters of Friendship

Jun 27th, 2016 Armchair Fly Angler Rob Reid 10 min read

And each year on the river, once or twice, I will meet men and women with a fire of generosity in them, of love for others that God required old prophets to have. — David Adams Richards In contrast to family, we choose our friends — at least according to the old adage. I don’t know whether he chose me or I chose him, but Gary Bowen…


Send in the Clowns

Jun 23rd, 2016 Theatre Rob Reid 3 min read

STRATFORD — I have loved the beautiful heart-aching ballad Send in the Clowns since Judy Collins recorded it in the 1970s. However, I’m not a big fan of A Little Night Music, Steven Sondheim’s romantic romp of mismatched couples in turn-of-the-century Sweden. Inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s 1955 cinematic comedy Smiles of a Summer Night, the musical adaptation is too ‘vaudevillian’ for my tastes. And this despite…


American Dream Transformed into Nightmare

Jun 17th, 2016 Theatre Rob Reid 4 min read

STRATFORD — Had the term ‘American Dream’ not existed it would of had to be invented for Arthur Miller. In Death of a Salesman, Miller’s 1949 Pulitzer Prize-winner, the disillusioned salesman Willy Loman is destroyed by what he perceives as the dream shared by all Americans. Miller began examining the dream transformed into nightmare two years previously with All My Sons. Although his sophomore play was…


In Love with Shakespeare

Jun 15th, 2016 Theatre Rob Reid 4 min read

I will have poetry in my life                        — Shakespeare in Love STRATFORD — Romeo and Juliet is not one of my favourite Shakespearean plays. But as I was taking in Shakespeare in Love on a recent evening, I found myself yearning for the tragedy about ‘the pair of star-cross’d lovers.’ It’s no surprise that…


Last Goodbye to Mr Hockey

Jun 12th, 2016 Books & Literature, Journeys Rob Reid 10 min read

There’s a small tattered black and white Kodak snapshot buried somewhere in an old photo album showing a smiling five-year old boy standing in front of the Christmas tree. He’s smiling because Santa brought him his first Detroit Red Wings jersey (red with its distinctive white winged-wheel), red pants with white stripe down the sides, gloves, shin pads and red socks with horizontal white stripes…


Tributaries Flow from Carl Beam

Jun 12th, 2016 Visual Arts Rob Reid 6 min read

The Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery established a close relationship with the late Carl Beam. In 2004 gallery curator Virginia Eichorn organized It’s All Relative, a touring exhibition featuring 50 ceramic works by Beam, wife Ann and daughter Anong. Following the artist’s death in July 2005 from complications due to diabetes, the Waterloo gallery hosted a memorial service. I was honoured to be invited as a…


Where Trout Rivers Flow Both Ways

Jun 10th, 2016 Armchair Fly Angler, Books & Literature Rob Reid 14 min read

The river flowed both ways. The current moved from north to south, but the wind usually came from the south, rippling the bronze-green water in the opposite direction. — Margaret Laurence Like the river in Margaret Laurence’s 1974 novel The Diviners, the trout rivers of Roscoe, New York, flow both ways — at least symbolically. This ‘impossible contradiction, made apparent and possible’ is the result…



May 19th, 2016 Theatre Rob Reid 6 min read

Before completing my first shift in the newsroom of the Waterloo Region Record, I was off to Niagara-on-the-Lake to review the opening week of the Shaw Festival. It was late May, 1986. I had just been hired as one of three arts reporters at what was then known as the Kitchener-Waterloo Record. It turned out to be the sixth — and last — newspaper for…


Have Sax — Will Travel

May 11th, 2016 Music Rob Reid 3 min read

I first met John Tank in 2011 when he returned home to perform at the Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival. Accompanied by his wife and legendary Toronto-based pianist Bernie Senensky, I was immediately struck by the tenor sax virtuoso’s warm, gracious friendliness. Tank’s reputation certainly preceded the introduction, but regrettably it was not recognized by the festival. Born in Kitchener, Tank had been living in New…

David Francey

Canada’s Robbie Burns

May 10th, 2016 Music Rob Reid 4 min read

I first met David Francey at a house concert hosted by Jack Cole, founder of Old Chestnuts Song Circle and artistic director of Folk Night at the Registry, which just celebrated its 10th anniversary. It was 1999 and the Scottish-born, Toronto-raised singer/songwriter had just released his debut album Torn Screen Door. He was accompanied by Montreal-based guitarist Dave Clarke and multi-instrumentalist Geoff Somers, who eventually…


Cradle of American Fly Fishing Endlessly Rocking

Apr 28th, 2016 Armchair Fly Angler, Books & Literature Rob Reid 10 min read

the best fishing is done not in water but in print — Sparce Grey Hackle One of the highlights of more than three decades of writing about the arts for daily newspapers was reviewing the opening week of the Stratford Festival. While nothing could draw me away from that cultural privilege, a thin shadow of regret fell over opening week festivities a few years ago…


A Cinematic River Runs Through Waterloo

Apr 13th, 2016 Armchair Fly Angler, Film & Cinema Rob Reid 8 min read

A cinematic river runs through Waterloo for the fourth consecutive year with the return of the International Fly Fishing Festival. Founded in 2011, the festival — popularly known as IF4 — grew from a handful of screenings in western Canada to more than 100 screenings across the country and the U.S., as well as internationally. ‘We’re truly international,’ confirmed Jennifer Bird, publisher of Fly Fusion,…

Algonquin - Homage to Tom Thomson by Ken Danby

Land of the Canoe

Apr 8th, 2016 Armchair Fly Angler Rob Reid 8 min read

I haven’t done as much canoeing as I would have liked over my six and a half decades on the planet. For example, I’ve never gone wilderness-tripping. However, I have canoed since camping as a youngster. My partner Lois canoed growing up during summers at her family cottage on Lake of Bays. For a couple of years she owned a yellow canoe. As an avid…


Roots Weekend at the Registry

Apr 5th, 2016 Music Rob Reid 8 min read

Many roots music fans are amateur musicians, which makes learning from the pros a special treat. In 2014 the Registry Theatre presented its inaugural Roots Weekend, a combination of concert performances and workshops featuring two pairs of Canadian artists. Acoustic blues artists Rick Fines and Suzie Vinnick joined ukulele ace James Hill and cellist Anne Janelle. Last year the popular downtown Kitchener performance venue ventured…


Delta Bluesman Finds Inspiration in Montreal

Mar 27th, 2016 Music Rob Reid 4 min read

(Browne) gives me that kind of tingle like when I first heard Leadbelly and Big Bill Bronzy                               — the late Long John Baldry Canadian music fans have long lamented homegrown artists who leave the Great White North for the greener pastures of fame and fortune south of the 49th Parallel….


Bluegrass a River with Many Tributaries

Mar 10th, 2016 Books & Literature, Music Rob Reid 6 min read

I’m a huge fan of what is commonly known as Americana music. My ears were blown open in 1996 when classical cellist Yo Yo Ma teamed up with bassist Edgar Myer and fiddler Mark O’Connor to release Appalachian Waltz. Four years later the trio released Appalachian Journey. The trio’s innovative fusion of classical music with bluegrass, old-time country, mountain music, folk, jazz, rural blues and…


On the Funny Side of the Street: A Night of Brighter Laughter

Feb 1st, 2016 Archives Rob Reid 3 min read

Christine Lavin has been tickling the collective heart of the New York City folk/singer/songwriter scene since 1984, when she left hospital work to pursue music full time. Born and raised in Peekskill, a city nestled within the New York Metropolitan area in Westchester County, Lavin became the de facto den mother of the NYC acoustic music community, performing and recording while promoting such artists as Suzanne…


Big Man, Big Voice, Big Talent

Jan 24th, 2016 Music Rob Reid 6 min read

Matt Andersen is a big man with a big voice and a big talent. I mean BIG. The New Brunswick-bred blues artist has the kind of vocal force — force is the only applicable noun — reserved for opera and selected gospel singers (I’m thinking of the powerful contralto Mahalia Jackson as an example). Although a gifted songwriter and guitarist, it’s his soulfully expressive voice that sets…


Wild Speck: A Poem

Jan 21st, 2016 Armchair Fly Angler, Books & Literature Rob Reid 1 min read

— inspired by Ted Hughes’ poetry collection River Fish hits, split cane stick lifts to set hook. Line tightens, almost audible, a tuned guitar string. Rod bends in sweetly singing arc, shivering crazily, a snake roused from slumber. Electric vibration, sliver of refracted light, evanescent — Frozen in the Now. Hearts race in syncopation, fish torpedoes, conspiring with current. Shout of ‘fish on’ interrupts hallowed…


Tom’s Top 10 or Reluctant Recommendations from a Fly Fishing Pro

Jan 18th, 2016 Armchair Fly Angler Rob Reid 4 min read

He didn’t want to do it. He rejected the bait for as long as he could. But finally Tom Rosenbauer succumbed to constant harping from listeners to his Orvis Fly Fishing Guide podcast for a list of his favourite fly angling books. I found the 11 January 2016 podcast posted with Phil Monahan on Twitter and gave it a listen. The New England-based fly angler/author needs…

James Keelaghan

Can Take the Songwriter Out of the Prairies; Can’t Take the Prairies. . .

Jan 16th, 2016 Music Rob Reid 4 min read

I first talked to James Keelaghan more than a quarter century ago, when he was an emerging singer/songwriter. At 56 he’s one of Canada’s not-so-old elder songwriting statesmen. He’s also artistic director of Summerfolk, the annual summer roots festival based in Owen Sound, celebrating its 41st anniversary. At the time Keelaghan was based in his hometown of Calgary. He was one of a handful of Prairie-bred…


Trim & Dram

Jan 11th, 2016 Journeys, Single Malt & Food Rob Reid 5 min read

I harbor an aversion to barbers usually reserved for dentists. The cause of this pitiful condition extends back to childhood when my dad, a professional firefighter for nearly four decades, fancied himself an amateur barber. Every couple of months — until I was working and able to finance trips to a barbershop adorned with a Toronto Maple Leafs calendar, assorted outdoor magazines and remnants of pungent…


Poet as Savage Angler

Dec 14th, 2015 Armchair Fly Angler, Books & Literature Rob Reid 8 min read

I imagine this midnight moment’s forest: Something else is alive Beside the clock’s loneliness And this blank page where my fingers move.                               — The Thought-Fox Ted Hughes wrote with his penis as much as with his fountain pen. It was both his greatest strength and his greatest weakness, which cast the…

Creative Enterprise

Down for the Count

Dec 10th, 2015 Media Notes Rob Reid 3 min read

WATERLOO REGION — The Creative Enterprise Initiative is down for the count, surviving on life support for a year. It appears Waterloo Region’s municipalities are easing the beleaguered arts organization down gently before closing the lid of the coffin. Waterloo Region Record municipal reporter Paige Desmond reported that regional councillors voted to give the organization $141,000 in 2016, with the proviso that it shut down…


Musings of an Obsessive Diarist

Dec 6th, 2015 Books & Literature, Celtic World Rob Reid 9 min read

Robertson Davies was a cunning literary prestidigitator whose legerdemain spanned the breadth of his writing. After all, he disguised Fifth Business, his masterwork, as an epistolary novel rather than acknowledge that it is a postmodern fusion of spiritual autobiography and romance quest in the shape of C.G. Jung’s myth of individuation. Similarly, while written as a letter to his headmaster, the novel is actually a…


Old Fantastical Duke of Dark Corners

Dec 3rd, 2015 Books & Literature Rob Reid 7 min read

Twenty years ago Canada lost one of its great writers: Robertson Davies. I offer these recollections and reflections with a merry heart on the anniversary of his passing and acknowledge the release of the captivatingly engaging first volume of his selected diaries under the evocative title of A Celtic Temperament. The first book I ever read that wasn’t mandatory school reading was Fifth Business. It…


Celtic Crusade with a Canadian Thrust

Nov 29th, 2015 Books & Literature, Celtic World Rob Reid 5 min read

Once upon a time the Medieval Celtic World was synonymous with the Dark Ages. That perspective began to be challenged, and was eventually modified, with a series of books with titles that made grandiose claims championing Celtic achievement in all its manifold forms. The Celtic stone got rolling at a rapid clip in 1995 with How the Irish Saved Civilization. Subtitled The Untold Story of…


Voice of the Land Celebrated in Documentary

Nov 29th, 2015 Books & Literature, Film & Cinema Rob Reid 13 min read

Bush land scrub land —                Cashel Township and Wollaston Elvezir McClure and Dungannon green lands of Weslemkoon Lake where a man might have some                opinion of what beauty is and none deny him                                    …


Just Keeps on Popping

Nov 28th, 2015 Music Rob Reid 6 min read

Like the Energizer bunny, Glenn Smith just keeps on popping. The irrepressible blues impresario is turning the page on a new chapter in his ongoing Book of Blues in Waterloo Region. Like any compelling narrative, it’s an evolution of what happened previously. Smith, who spends most of his time running Ethel’s Lounge, the popular watering hole in UpTown Waterloo, is starting a new venture called…

Creative Enterprise

Critique of Arts Funding Sting

Nov 16th, 2015 Media Notes Rob Reid 4 min read

The Creative Enterprise Initiative has learned nothing from the errors of its ways in the not-too-distant past. This is sad and regrettable, but not unexpected given its tenuous leadership. Waterloo Region tax payers remain in the dark as to what really happened when Heather Sinclair, CEI’s founding CEO, was unceremoniously fired in 2014 following a couple of years of abject failure — at considerable cost to taxpayers….


Ballad of Spoon River

Nov 16th, 2015 Theatre Rob Reid 2 min read

If you think small town America was a kinder, gentler place, simpler and more innocent in the early years of the 20th century, think again. Pick up a copy of Spoon River Anthology. Published in book form in 1915, Edgar Lee Masters’ collection of short, free-verse poems pulls the lid off the collective coffin of a small town in the midwest through a series of…


Union of Canoe & River

Nov 16th, 2015 Books & Literature Rob Reid 9 min read

I wish I had a river                — Joni Mitchell, legendary Canadian singer/songwriter First God made the canoe, then he created a country to go with it                — Bill Mason, legendary Canadian canoeist and filmmaker Rivers and canoes comprise the great Canadian union. This bond of geography and history, place and identity,…


Taking a Detour Home

Nov 15th, 2015 Music Rob Reid 6 min read

Scott Merritt has the talent to be a household name across Canada. But talent isn’t enough to lubricate the star-making machinery of the music biz. Happily, popularity and wealth aren’t an accurate measure of success. In Merritt’s case, talent coupled with integrity and a warm even-keeled temperament combine to make him the quintessential songwriter’s songwriter, not to mention a highly respected independent producer and recording…


Folk Anthem of Justice, Mercy & Peace Marches On

Nov 6th, 2015 Music Rob Reid 5 min read

Kitchener — There have been few periods in the history of popular music when song and politics converged more powerfully and with such endurance as the folk revival of the 1960s. Following in the footsteps of Paul Robeson, Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger and The Weavers, a generation of young artists wielded music as a means of political activism, social protest, justice and peace….


Singing Songs of Tom & Group of 7

Nov 5th, 2015 Music Rob Reid 10 min read

It is imperative that the artist reveal through the medium in which he is happiest, what he sees, thinks and feels about his surroundings. – Franklin Carmichael No contemporary Canadian singer/songwriter better embodies and reflects the spirit of the Group of Seven than Ian Tamblyn. It took the celebrated artist a staggering 38 albums, but he has finally dedicated a recording to the legendary artists he so…


Renaissance & Beyond: Community in Song

Oct 26th, 2015 Music Rob Reid 7 min read

Large choirs repeating the same familiar repertoire year after year is not my idea of deeply enjoyable choral music. Think of it this way, as much as I love turkey with all the trimmings (I don’t mean to offend turkey lovers), goblers every Thanksgiving, every Christmas and every Easter gets tiresomely predictable. This is when tradition degenerates into cultural tyranny. Now replace the word ‘turkey’ with the…

AboveLake Superior

Tracing the Footsteps of the Group of Seven

Oct 14th, 2015 Film & Cinema Rob Reid 6 min read

The Group of Seven remains a paradox. No Canadian artists are more familiar in terms of simple identification. Everyone has heard of the Group of Seven, right? But, after a century, do we really know the group’s seven founding members — Lawren Harris, J.E.H. MacDonald, A.Y. Jackson, Franz (Frank) Johnston, Arthur Lismer, Franklin Carmichael and Fred Varley — as individuals? Do we really know what…


Quiet Joys of Choral Evensong

Oct 13th, 2015 Celtic World Rob Reid 3 min read

Since joining Church of the Holy Saviour’s community of faith four years ago, I have wrestled with a perplexing question: why do so few parishioners attend Evensong? To me the evening choral service, which is conducted on the third Sunday of every month  from September through May, is the midtown Waterloo Anglican church’s best kept liturgical secret. I’m not qualified speak to the liturgical components…


Folk Night at the Registry

Oct 2nd, 2015 Music Rob Reid 9 min read

KITCHENER — I first met Jack Cole and his wife Lori, a ceramic artist, more than 25 years ago. I had applied to rent the upper apartment of their two-storey home in an established neighbourhood adjacent to downtown Kitchener. I didn’t get it. Although we shared a love of folk music and I had a steady job as an arts reporter for the Waterloo Region…


A Life with Words

Sep 28th, 2015 Books & Literature Rob Reid 10 min read

Writers rely on words to communicate with readers. But synchronicity occurs between writers and readers when experiences are shared. This happened as I was reading A Life with Words, a new memoir by Richard B. Wright. I have long admired Wright’s novels. He’s not only a fine novelist, he graduated from Trent University (where he was later awarded one of three honorary doctorates) as a…


Fearing Comes to Waterloo

Sep 24th, 2015 Music Rob Reid 2 min read

The clock is ticking down on a pair of complementary events roots music fans and aspiring roots musicians will not want to miss. Stephen Fearing is visiting Waterloo on Friday (September 25) for an evening concert at First United Church following a rare songwriting workshop in the afternoon at the Button Factory. The acclaimed singer/songwriter/guitarist is well known to area music aficionados, having appeared many…


Joy of Fly Fishing

Sep 19th, 2015 Armchair Fly Angler, Books & Literature Rob Reid 8 min read

One of the deepest pleasures afforded readers of fiction is discovering a writer through synchronicity, as if you were destined to find a specific writer in the dense wilderness of literature. It’s a gift bestowed on readers by inquisitive literary gods. This happened to me most recently with a couple of writers born and raised in Appalachia, where they continue to live and write —…


Registry Theatre Launches 15th Anniversary Season

Sep 15th, 2015 Film & Cinema, Music, Theatre Rob Reid 22 min read

It’s never a wise investment for municipalities to throw good public money after bad private profit. Nonetheless, municipal bureaucrats and politicians are often seduced by big, inefficient operators at the expense of small, efficient, community based groups. It’s amazing how readily gullible politicians, aided and abetted by a misguided bureaucracy, parted with $270,000 of taxpayers’ money to underwrite the Big Music Fest. Mark Higgins, the smooth-talking promoter…


Remembering No Great Mischief

Sep 5th, 2015 Books & Literature Rob Reid 16 min read

The 14th annual One Book, One Community campaign is quickly approaching. Emily St. John Mandel visits Waterloo Region to introduce readers to her National Book Award and PEN/Faulkner Award nominated Station Eleven. She arrives September 22 and remains through September 24, participating in a whirlwind of public readings. I had the honour of conducting public interviews in the City of Waterloo as part of the…


Songs of Rain, Snow & Remembering

Sep 2nd, 2015 Archives Rob Reid 2 min read

While listening to Lynn’s Jackson’s contemplative Songs of Rain, Snow and Remembering I was reminded of the adage: Every cloud has a silver lining How this old saw relates to the Kitchener singer/songwriter’s eight studio album is self-explanatory. Jackson sings her sad songs with such passion, empathy and eloquence that she draws listeners back from the edge of despair to a safe place of solace…


Raymond Carver as Angling Poet

Aug 31st, 2015 Armchair Fly Angler, Books & Literature Rob Reid 18 min read

Raymond Carver was celebrated as one of America’s best short story writers before his death from lung cancer at the age of 50 in August 1988. He was also a poet. He published eight volumes of poetry in his lifetime. During the last five years of his post-alcoholic career, he oversaw publication of three major collections — Fires (1983), Where Water Comes Together with Other…


Fireside Fishing Anthologies

Aug 29th, 2015 Armchair Fly Angler Rob Reid 18 min read

The anthology is a time-honoured form of outdoor sports and angling literature. Fireside or bedside collections have been common and popular since the early years of the last century. Most of the prominent outdoor magazines collected articles, essays and stories for publication as anthologies. I found a handful of recent anthologies especially interesting, in addition to a worthwhile collection of reviews of must-have sporting and…


Turning Human Baseness into Comic Gold

Aug 26th, 2015 Archives Rob Reid 4 min read

STRATFORD — The Stratford Festival’s 63rd season opened with Antoni Cimolino directing Hamlet with a sure creative hand. The 2015 season’s last production is The Alchemist, an acid comedy written by Ben Jonson — William Shakespeare’s friend, rival and sometime critic — also directed with a steady hand by the festival’s artistic director. The two productions bookend a season that maintained an admirable level of…


Love’s Labour’s Found

Aug 20th, 2015 Archives Rob Reid 4 min read

STRATFORD — You don’t have to be familiar with the chronology of William Shakespeare’s plays to sense that Love’s Labour’s Lost is an early effort. It’s obviously the work of a young playwright anxiously strutting his stuff. Brimming with ‘poetry, wit and invention,’ Shakespeare negotiates the forest of language, occasionally losing his way, as he edges along the winding path towards dramatic mastery. Paradoxically, it…

Guy Davis

Blues Live On

Aug 9th, 2015 Music Rob Reid 5 min read

I asked for water, she gave me gasoline                     — Saturday Blues performed by Guy Davis KITCHENER — This is the first time in the TD Kitchener Blues Festival’s 15-year history that I didn’t try to cover as many acts as possible in my capacity as an arts reporter for the Waterloo Region Record. With retirement…

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Such Stuff as Dreams

Aug 9th, 2015 Archives Rob Reid 3 min read

I am alone on the moon — Mary’s Wedding BLYTH — William Shakespeare said it most beautifully — we are such stuff as dreams are made on. Stephen Massicotte takes Shakespeare’s observation to heart in his lovely dream play Mary’s Wedding. It’s the last of the four main stage plays to be presented by the Blyth Festival this season; it’s the first production to be directed…