It’s been a long winter. Between the cold, the pandemic and the inability to attend live performances, summer cannot come soon enough. However, even while the weather is getting warmer, live performing arts centres are still unable to open and share live events with audiences- likely well beyond the end of this month. At this point, artists and arts organizations have adapted to shifting programming and sharing things in new, digital ways. As a result, this month is full of streaming and virtual opportunities instead.
A New Year’s Celebration (Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra)
Admit it- you’ve been looking for an opportunity to start 2021 all over again. Fortunately, so has the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra. While the Orchestra has been unable to create or present new concerts due to the current stay-at-home orders, they’ve extended the run of their New Year’s Celebration performance throughout the month of May. Featuring both a string quintet and woodwind quintet, the performance was recorded in some well known venues throughout the city; so you can pretend that you’ve gone out for the evening while staying safe at home. Grab some bubbly, make a resolution, and ring in 2021 all over again.
Firehorse & Shadow (Dreamwalker Dance Company)
If this show sounds familiar, it’s because it was one of our February picks. But it’s on the list again this month because the performance really is that good. Combining video, shadow puppetry, dance, music and theatre, Firehorse and Shadow is an interactive web performance that promises to be like no other theatrical or virtual experience. Commissioned by CanAsian Dance and performed by the Dreamwalker Dance Company with support from the Banff Centre and National Ballet, the production “explores family lineage with a focus on the dualistic ying and yang elements expressed within the bodies, lives and choices of three generations of women.” If these connections alone weren’t enough to suggest that this performance has bigger audiences and stages in its future, the unique performance style and delivery should. The performance is available online for the entire month of May by registering through Eventbrite.
Music Mondays (City of Hamilton)
Fifteen local musicians have partnered with the City of Hamilton and the Hamilton Music Advisory Team (HMAT) to share five concerts- each featuring a different genre of music. On May 3, the series will feature R&B; May 10- Blues; May 17- Hip Hop; May 24- Classical and May 31- Rock. Prerecorded and compiled together with introductions from local music industry reps and members of the HMAT, each series highlights three different local artists in a mini-concert format released each Monday in May. The free series will be released on Facebook at the Hamilton Music page and on the City of Hamilton’s YouTube channel.
Hamilton Black Film Festival
The new festival is also Hamilton’s first created by and for Black, Indigenous and people of colour. Debuting from May 28-30, the inaugural Hamilton Black Film Festival will be available to watch virtually through the Westdale Cinema and will feature seven feature films, seventeen short films and six short documentaries. Highlighting a number of Canadian creators, synopses available in the film catalogue for the festival promises relevant and conversation-sparking films about topics impacting individuals both in the BIPOC community and beyond. Passes for the festival are available online for the three-day festival through the HBFF website.