curtis & marien at opening

Curtis Driedger (left) and Marion Lewis in A Swinging Canadian Couple by Dennis Tourbin, performed Nov. 10, 1984 at Artsapce in the Market Hall

And so begins the 21st season of Public Energy!

On Monday September 8, Public Energy kick-started this year with their season launch at Market Hall.

A crowd of people including locals, performers, and artists gathered to hear Bill Kimball, Public Energy’s Artistic Producer, discuss the new season and the amazing performances that will be taking place throughout the year—and, of course, to hear Kimball read a preview poem from the production Totally Multi.

“Public Energy is a multidisciplinary of performing arts,” explained Kimball. “We bring touring dance, theatre and multidisciplinary companies and artists to Peterborough and we produce local artists at Market Hall and elsewhere.”

In unveiling their upcoming season, Kimball stated that an eclectic blend of local, national, and international talent will be featured.

“There’s a mix of artists coming here from Toronto and around the world, South Africa, and Israel, and also from around Canada, and to see them mixed on one program with the best artists from Peterborough is exciting for me.”

The first event of the season, Paris, La Nuit, took place at Peterborough’s Artspace on Friday September 12 and was a roaring success.

“Paris, La Nuit is a recreation of a painted play called Paris, La Nuit by Dennis Tourbin,” Kimball stated. “Dennis Tourbin was a poet a painter and a performer who co-founded Artspace, which is the most important contemporary art gallery in Peterborough.”

Kimball told of how Tourbin opened up galleries—like Artspace—to theatre, which gave a lot of artists their first step up.

On Saturday September 13, Public Energy’s second production, Totally Multi, took the stage at Market Hall as a production that featured many different artists, writers and musicians who worked either directly or indirectly with Dennis Tourbin.

The production included both original work and selections of work by Dennis Tourbin.

Together, Paris, La Nuit and Totally Multi were put on conjunction with The Language of Visual Poetry, an exhibition of Tourbin’s work.

Along with the shows Public Energy produces throughout the year, the organization is also actively involved with professional development of up and coming artists within the community.

‘Fuelled By’ is the name given by Public Energy for the support that they give to local artists.  “When a local artists puts on event that they are doing almost on their own, we step in and help produce it,” says Kimball.

Ten years ago Public Energy changed their name from Peterborough New Dance, and that’s when the organization began to call things Fuelled By. “Fuelled By is really special projects that are happening here in Peterborough,” explains Kimball.

The other element of Fuelled By is the artist in residence.

“Heidi Strauss is going to be here for a week working in the theatre, working on her lighting sound and video,” says Kimball.

When asked why these artists would come to Peterborough of all places Kimball responded, “I think Peterborough because we’ve got this legacy of artists and organizations that do contemporary work.”

Heidi Strauss has an upcoming performance as part of Public Energy titled Elsewhere happening later on in the season.

The next Public Energy event happens October 10 at Market Hall, and if you want the details, well, you’ll just have to check out Public Energy’s website, or find one of the thousands of brochures that have been printed and dispersed throughout the many different local cafes and restaurants here in Peterborough.

There are so many wonderful opportunities for learning and expanding our artistic selves and here in Peterborough, where we are fortunate to have such an incredibly talented and committed group of artists. All we have to do to see is open our eyes.