This Month in Arts History

September 1

1926: Playwright James Reaney was born in Easthope, near Stratford, Ontario. He won three Governor General?s Literary Awards for drama: in 1949 for The Red Heart, in 1958 for A Suit of Nettles and in 1962 for Twelve Letters to a Small Town and The Kildeer and Other Plays.

September 2

1945: Novelist Victor-Lévy Beaulieu was born in Saint-Paul-de-la-Croix, Quebec. He won a Governor General?s Literary Award (French fiction) in 1974 for Don Quichotte de la démanche.

September 3

1995: Poet Earle Birney died in Toronto. He won two Governor General?s Literary Awards (poetry or drama): for David and Other Poems in 1942, and for Now is Time in 1945.

September 4

1895: Painter Antoine Plamondon died in Neuville, Quebec. He specialized in portraits of the bourgeoisie and copies of religious works.

September 5

2000: Soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian won First Prize in the international Operalia competition.

September 6

2000: Videographer and master story-teller Vera Frenkel received the Canada Council?s Bell Canada Award in Video Art.

September 8

1969: Painter Frederick Varley died in Toronto. Romantic and independent, he was known as the ?gypsy? of the Group of Seven.

September 9

1959: Pianist Angela Cheng was born in Hong Kong, moving to Edmonton as a child. She often performs with her husband Alvin Chow and her brother Alan Cheng.

September 10

1924: Haida chief and master artist Charles Edenshaw died in Masset, British Columbia. His artistry and traditional knowledge first came to the attention of anthropologists and museum collectors in the 1890s. He worked in wood, argillite and precious metals.

September 11

1925: Composer Harry Somers, C.C., was born in Toronto. His music was performed around the world and he composed major scores for stage, concert hall, film, radio and television. He was a founding member of the Canadian League of Composers.

1934: Jazz pianist Oliver Jones, O.C., was born in Montreal. Trained exclusively in classical piano, he turned later to jazz, and played in the Festival international de jazz de Montréal every year from 1981 to 1999, opening and closing the festival seven times. He also toured widely in Canada, Europe, Africa and the Caribbean.

September 13

1943: Novelist Michael Ondaatje was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka. In 1992 his novel The English Patient won the Governor General?s Literary Award (fiction) and shared the UK?s Booker Prize.

September 14

1985: The Calgary Centre for the Performing Arts opened with a gala performance featuring Brian Macdonald?s choreography for R. Murray Schafer?s composition The Garden of the Heart.

September 15

1901: Dance teacher and choreographer Gweneth Lloyd was born in Eccles, England. A co-founder of the Winnipeg Ballet Club in 1939, she helped transform it into the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

September 16

2005: English horn player Harry Freedman, O.C., died in Toronto. After 25 years (1946-71) playing with the Toronto Symphony, he turned to composition, writing , in addition to orchestral works, music for film, television and theatre. He received three commissions to write full-length scores for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

September 17

1939: Dancer and choreographer David Earle was born in Toronto. Co-founder of the Toronto Dance Theatre in 1968 and of the Dance theatre David Earle in Guelph, Ontario in 1996, he has choreographed over 130 works. In 2006 he won the Canada Council?s Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts.