Smith for President

Tara Thorne has ATBN (all the big news) on NSCAD, BLIP and TPB.

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A couple months after Paul Greenhalgh jumped ship for OCAD, NSCAD University has named its new president.

David B. Smith is an alumnus of NSCAD and MIT and has been a faculty member at the University of San Diego since 1997. He is currently the chair of the school’s art department, and Special Assistant to the Provost—which we had to look up, we admit, and it means a senior academic administrator, so not quite the president but up there.

“The role of president of NSCAD University is a tremendous opportunity and responsibility,” says Smith in a statement. “I am both delighted and honoured to be returning to the institution that was instrumental in my professional development. NSCAD changed my life profoundly and I am deeply grateful to be given this opportunity to give something back to the school that gave me so much. My wife Miro and I are thrilled to be coming home to Halifax and to NSCAD—the place where we first met. I am particularly looking forward to working closely with faculty, staff, students and the broader community to ensure NSCAD remains the premier university of the visual arts both nationally and internationally.”

Smith will take the reins as the 16th president of NSCAD on August 28. No word on whether he needs a summer sublet.

BLIPpin’ sweet

We’re stoked to report that the city’s soft-seater venue pool is expanding to include a new multi-purpose space, and in a surprising place—the BLIP.

“It’s a developing area and there’s not a lot of infrastructure,” says Ann Cosgrove, executive director of TheatreHalifax. “And what it does do is it opens the arts to a whole new audience and that, I think, is as important as building the building.”

The building in question, a facility that will include professional sound and lighting, a dance stage, reception area and an outdoor amphitheatre, is currently being constructed at 283 Thomas Raddall Drive, attached to but independently operated from Halifax West High School. “We’re 600 seats,” says Cosgrove, who’s already fielding booking requests, “so we’re larger than Alderney Landing. We have a professional dance stage, an elevated floor. We’re a multi-presentation space. Neptune is pure theatre—it has its own audience, its own productions. We’re looking at touring groups, a variety of things.”

The $2 million project, which has received funding from all three levels of government, doesn’t have a set start date but aims to open in the fall. This Sunday sees a benefit “walk and rock” in support of TheatreHalifax. Individuals and teams have the choice of either a 2.5km or 6km route, each starting at Halifax West, and upon their return participants will be treated to a free show (it’ll cost you $5 just to see the gig).

“This is the first benefit walk they’ve ever had out here,” says Cosgrove. ”We’re bringing a lot of new things to the community—first benefit walk, first outdoor concert. First time ’round you don’t really know what to expect, but we know we’ll have a good turnout because the word’s really gotten out in the area and all across the city.”

The show’s diverse line-up includes October Game, Afro-Musica, Fax 4, Steven Bowers and El Viento Flamenco. The event will be hosted by Q104’s JC Douglas and Bill Carr.

“This is what you can expect to see in this space—this is what this theatre is all about,” says Cosgrove. “It’s like a centre of the arts. It’s to show the diversity of talent that we have, this is what we’re going to showcase—so come out and enjoy it. Let’s get this thing finished.”

Registration begins at 12pm on June 25 at Halifax West and the walk starts at 1pm. Visit www.theatrehalifax.ca and this space, for updates as the project nears completion.

The Big day?

We hear the much-delayed Trailer Park Boys movie, possibly called The Big Dirty—the plot has been kept under puzzlingly tight wraps by cast and crew—will open nationally on October 6.

Call us crazy, but that’s just a few short weeks after both the Toronto International Film Festival and, more importantly, the Atlantic Film Festival close.

Show us your dope. email: tarat@thecoast.ca

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