Field Notes


The SPARKS literary festival wants us to “come revel… in the sparks of mind and imagination that defy winter in all its manifestations” with them this Sunday, January 17.

“I spend more time indoors in winter, certainly, and not only because of the impassable sidewalks.” says fest organizer Mary Dalton. “Winter can intensify many pleasures, both of body and mind: friends, a fire, steaming cocoa, hot toddies, a riveting book. The SPARKS Festival, in bringing readers and writers together for a day full of literary activities and conversation, is a perfect winter activity, one I hope will become a yearly St. John’s winter ritual.”

This cozy gathering of local writers and their connoisseurs, supported by the Faculty of Arts at Mun, is the first for St. John’s, despite the thriving amount of publishing activity in our small city.

“Many of the writers involved… travel throughout Canada and other countries reading at festivals,” says Dalton, “yet they have no chance to meet and mingle and share their writing with the people of their own city.”

The festivities, taking place at Petro-Canada Hall, School of Music at MUN, kick off at 10:30 am and go all day, with a reception starting at 6 pm. Bring a lunch (there will be coffee though), stay all day, and hear readings from Janet McNaughton, Micheal Crummy, Lisa Moore, and much more. It is totally free and open to all. More information and the day’s schedule is at
—Juls Mack


Artist, installed

Ben Rigby is the A1C Gallery’s first International Artist in Residence and you can can go see what he’s up to throughout January. Rigby, who grow up in Cornwall, England and works as a sculptor between there and London, plans to build three installations this month in the downtown St. John’s galler. The progress can be seen by the public on Wednesdays from 12 pm to 5 pm throughout January.

“The first, titled ‘Dot to Dot’, is a study of nuclear power station reactor locations,” says Ribgy. “The second is based on the 1986 Challenger space crash of which I was present at, and the third is based on information collected from Bell Island.” Rigby has been visiting the small island since his arrival. In particular he has been studying the Bell Island boom phenomenon—a mysterious explosion in 1979.

The artist has been here a month and says he has enjoyed his time in Newfoundland immensely. “It has been by far the most unexpected and pleasant surprise that I have ever had from anywhere I have visited.”

The A1C Gallery is at 8 Clift’s-Baird’s. Admission is free.