Feeling blue? Head to UTSC for some pick-me-up performances

The University of Toronto Scarborough Campus tries to beat the winter blues with fantastic performances by students in the performing arts during the Winter Blues Festival.

“The Winter Blues Festival was started in 2010 as a way to showcase the arts and culture here at UTSC,” Andrew Hercules, the communications coordinator for UTSC events, said.

“It is held in the winter because it is the one time where everyone could do with a pick-me-up, and the Winter Blues Festival provides that opportunity.”

The festival runs from Jan. 30 to Feb. 3 and showcases many talents from the school, as well as from some industry professionals.

“Art can take you so many different directions that it is just sort of a starting point I think.”

– Colette Urban

On Feb. 2, Colette Urban, a performing artist who started up Full Tilt (an art residency program and organic farm in Newfoundland), came to the university to discuss what she does and the different performances she creates at her home in Newfoundland.

She told the students about a few of the many art projects she created over the years. One included having an elephant brought to Newfoundland for one of her most memorable pieces of work.

Urban, who was a professor before she retired in 2007 and relocated to Newfoundland, knows the importance of studying and being involved in the arts.

Performing artist Colette Urban recalls one of the more interesting art performances she experienced at her home in Newfoundland.

[audio:http://www.torontoobserver.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/ColetteUrban.mp3]

“Art can take you so many different directions that it is just sort of a starting point I think,” Urban said. “But if you are open-minded enough [you will] be able to think about things in a broad range, and I think art does that.”

The Winter Blues Festival takes different forms of performance art and puts them on display around the school for everyone to enjoy. Drama, music, and poetry readings are all showcased throughout the week.

“For this year we have new events like the UTSC piano and guitar competition, and old favourites like lunchtime music breaks and Poetry Idol,” Hercules said. “This year we also have a free concert by Autorickshaw to end the week’s festivities.”

If you are interested in attending any part of the Winter Blues Festival, visit their website for a list of events.