Field Notes

Original photo by Megan Nicole. Kiss makeup added by us.

Kerri Breen was made for lovin’ you baybeh.

COE’s big break?
A certain immaculately conceived Newfoundland metal band will be opening for KISS at Halifax Rocks.

Children of Eve, a local band which was transplanted to Halifax in 2007, won the opportunity through a Molson Canadian Rocks contest after successfully facing off against other bands from Atlantic Canada.

They didn’t expect to be selected to compete, let alone win the grand prize.

“None of us in [the band] really like the idea of music as a competition,” says vocalist Joel Upshall. “Everyone who plays music is out there doing the same thing, and pitting East Coast musicians against each other isn’t something we’re all about. …We were just feeling extremely fortunate to be playing with some awesome bands from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and PEI.”

The band is honoured to be playing with the guys who boldly wore black and white face paint back when WCW’s Sting was still in short pants.

They aren’t die-hard fans, but they respect the impact KISS has had on rock and roll.

“We like Love Gun and their harder tunes,” Upshall says. “As long as it isn’t a ballad we’re cool.”

The show is happening on July 18 on the Halifax Common. Fellow Newfoundland band The Novaks will also be performing at the show.

O’Leary at large
Renowned photographer Sheilagh O’Leary is giving politics a shot.

She’s running for one of four councilor-at-large positions on St. John’s city council.

“I always had my eye on the councilor-at-large position,” she says, adding that it is a philosophical, issue-based position.

O’Leary has been a community activist for two decades. She’s a mother of three, a small business-woman, and she’s worked for “umpteen” non-profit organizations in the city. She says there’s a strong connection between being an artist and an activist, and that her personality is suited to being an advocate at the source of decision-making.

“I’ve been frustrated for a very long time watching other people run the city either in a very laissez-faire or tepid way, or in a way I’m in deep opposition to.”

O’Leary’s first priority is city planning. She’s pro-development, but says development should lend itself to the creation of vibrant communities. The city, she says, has been functioning on a piecemeal, development-by-development basis for too long.

She’s also very interested in environmental preservation, community safety, and of course, she’s a huge advocate for cultural and heritage issues.

Nominations won’t close until Sept. 1, at which time the full list of candidates will be released. The election will be held on Sept. 29.

Solitary summer
Artist Mike Flaherty is spending his summer completely off the radar.

For the next three months, he’ll be hanging out by himself on the Grey Islands—an uninhabited island group off the east coast of the Northern Peninsula—as part of an art project investigating the romantic cliché of the rural potter.

He’ll be building his own pottery kiln while there (which is why he had to bring a ton of bricks by boat).

“The project is quite simple in concept: I will bring the necessary materials (bricks and other hardware) with me to the islands, along with everything I need to document the piece and to survive there alone for the summer, says Flaherty on his website. (He could not be reached for an interview, naturally.)

He is documenting the experience with video, photography, drawing, and his own oral narrative. He was inspired by a book of poetry called The Grey Islands by John Steffler, writes Flaherty.

The protagonist travels to the Grey Islands for an extended period of time to realize his romantic notion of survival. Flaherty sees a connection between this idea and the archetype of the rural potter “who survives on the margins of contemporary society and economics.”

In the end, Flaherty will exhibit the results of this massive, unique project.

If you’re curious about his whereabouts, you can follow his GPS signal online at

NLAC dough spread thin
The Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council (NLAC) says the province’s increase in artistic output has posed a challenge to its budget.

Applications for the spring professional project granting session were up 60 per cent from the fall, and 20 per cent from this time last year.

This resulted in an acceptance rate of just under half the applications received from artists, groups, and organizations, with many grant recipients receiving just a fraction of what they asked.

“The quality of applications has been getting higher and higher in recent years,” says NLAC Chair Carmelita McGrath in a release. “Peer assessment committees are faced with the unenviable task of deciding whether to provide partial funding to several worthy applicants, or full funding to a few.”

The organization says its major funding boost from the provincial government has stimulated artistic production. In the process of getting its budget doubled over three years, the organization also gained a heightened public profile, which also may explain the increase in applications.

On the not-so-somber side, the projects that were awarded funding this time around look diverse and fresh. Field Notes will be profiling some of them in the coming weeks. You can check out the full list of recipients and brief project descriptions at

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