Duke and Duchess of Cambridge unveiled “The Canadians Opposite Lens” by Welshman Augustus John: the latest Canadian War Museum acquisition

Will and Kate paid tribute to the nation’s war veterans with a visit to the Canadian War Museum, where they met with veterans and war brides spanning several generations.

The couple was at the museum to help unveil a 40-foot wide painting titled “The Canadian Opposite Lens” (by the Welshman Augustus John) which depicts soldiers on Vimy Ridge against a chaotic backdrop of trucks and bursting shells.

“This impressive work of art, with connections to Canada and Great Britain, portrays part of the experience which helped define Canada as a nation during the First World War,” the president of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation Mark O’Neill said in a statement released ahead of the ceremony.

The painting was intended to be the centrepiece for a Canadian war memorial art gallery that was never built. Instead, the piece sat in John’s studio in London, England where he worked on it sporadically until his death.

While moving through the museum, the Duchess of Cambridge continued to impress royal watchers with grace and elegance.

Standing in front of an unfinished painting by celebrated Welsh artist Augustus John in Ottawa, Kate demonstrated an ease with officials and regular Canadians at the Canadian War Museum, royal watcher Bonnie Brownlee told CTV News Channel on Saturday.

“It’s almost as if she was born to be living the life that she lives right now,” she said.






Stairway To Snowdonia: at the Ottawa Jazz Festival?

Join the Ottawa Welsh at the Ottawa Jazz Festival 2011.

Robert Plant will be playing on Thursday June 23 at Confederation Park, Ottawa.

For more details and tickets, visit http://ottawajazzfestival.com/

Welsh mythology also forms a basis of Plant’s interest in mystical lyrics. He grew up close to the Welsh border and would often take summer trips to Snowdonia. Plant bought a Welsh sheep farm in 1973, and began taking Welsh lessons and looking into the mythology of the land (such as Black Book of Carmarthen, Book of Taliesin, etc.) Plant’s first son, Karac, was named after the Welsh warrior Caratacus. The song “Bron-Y-Aur Stomp” is named after the 18th Century Welsh cottage Bron-Yr-Aur owned by a friend of his father; it later inspired the song “Bron-Yr-Aur“. The songs “Misty Mountain Hop,” “That’s the Way“, and early dabblings in what would become “Stairway to Heaven” were written in Wales and lyrically reflect Plant’s mystical view of the land. Critic Steve Turner suggests that Plant’s early and continued experiences in Wales served as the foundation for his broader interest in the mythologies he revisits in his lyrics (including those myth systems of Tolkien and the Norse).[18


Pontrhydyfen man’s adoption shock at 66 – His Mother found in Ottawa..

A PENSIONER did not discover he was adopted until he was 66 – even though his children and fellow villagers long suspected it.

Desmond Williams never had any idea he might not be related to the loving parents who had brought him up. But in a recent row with his wife she blurted out: “You want to find out who your father is!”
Read More http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2011/06/19/pontrhydyfen-man-s-adoption-shock-at-66-91466-28901450/#ixzz1Q3V8uvhS

Musical: Home Child coming to Ottawa!

Hello All,

I was reminded this morning that the musical Home Child is coming to Ottawa at the end of the month.  I believe I mentioned this at a committee meeting last fall after seeing an ad in a theatre program.

The musical is based on the story of a Welsh family who had three or four of their children sent to Canada as part of the Barnardo orphans/Home Child program.  It is being presented by the Goya Theatre group at Centrepointe on May 26-29.  Tickets are $27.50 each.  Showtimes are 8 p.m on the 26, 27 and 28, and 2 p.m. on the 28 and 29th.  Further information is on the website www.homechildmusical.com

I think it would be good for us to mention this to our membership (email blurb) and also to advertise at the event.  I don’t know if it is too late to put an ad in the program booklet, or if we can insert those colourful flyers that Gareth made for March 1st, but I think we should ask.  I do not have time to do that so I would suggest that someone else on the committee check into it and follow up.

Please keep in mind that the Merched Dewi are coming up that weekend and that a concert is organized for Sunday afternoon, the 29th.  Some of us are hosting as well and will be busy Saturday night, but I plan to suggest to my guests that we go see it as part of a Welsh weekend, if they arrive on Friday.


New Books about Wales!

The Welsh in an Australian Gold Town, Ballarat, Victoria 1850-1900 (University of Wales Press)
By Robert Llewellyn Tyler.

This book provides an analysis of the Welsh immigrant community in the Ballarat/Sebastopol gold mining district of Victoria during the second half of the nineteeth century. The author was born in Newport in SE Wales and read History at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth. Copies of the book can be ordered through Amazon.com.

Russian-born pianist Xenia Pestova is leaving Ottawa for Wales…!

Music for Piano and Toy Piano

Russian-born pianist Xenia Pestova fell in love with the sound of the Schoenhut toy piano in 2008, when she heard a recording by Isabel Ettanauer of Karlheinz Essl’s Kalimba.

Pestova loved the piece and the sound, and she immediately ordered a Schoenhut baby grand. Since then, she’s premiered several pieces for toy piano, often including them in concert with traditional piano pieces, as she’ll do Friday at Mackay United Church.

“I enjoy the toy piano because it offers a contrast to the big concert piano,” she says. “The instrument itself inspires us to smile and invites us to take ourselves less seriously. I am happy to continue sharing the instrument’s distinct sound with my audiences.”

For the traditional piano, Pestova will perform contemporary pieces by Canadian composers Chris Paul Harman, Steven Naylor, Heather Hindman and Scott Wilson.

Pestova has lived in Ottawa since 2004 but will be leaving next week for a university teaching position in Wales. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25 at MacKay United Church, 39 Dufferin Rd. Tickets, at $15 and $10, will be at the door.

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/health/Choral+concerts+galore/4338261/story.html#ixzz1GFcKMwm1

Ottawa Citizen: A Welsh Widow in the King of Siam

West meets East in terrific King and I
From left to right are Matt Farrell as The King of Siam with Rachael McAuley as Anna Leonowens/ The King and I–Earl of March Secondary school Cappies–Anna, a Welsh widow, travels to Bangkok to teach the king’s children about Western culture. Although she immediately butts heads with the headstrong ruler, Anna soon falls in love with the man, though political turmoil and cultural differences threaten to separate them. This is the sixth musical by the famed American songwriters Rodgers and Hammerstein.

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/West+meets+East+terrific+King/4325284/story.html#ixzz1FAcNU1WR