A Certain Place: The Bernie Martin Festival

A Certain Place: The Bernie Martin Festival


In Partnership with Public Energy – Experience this place through theatre, music, art, and spoken word: past, present and future.

A Certain Place: The Bernie Martin Festival is a multi-arts festival featuring over 75 local artists, established to emerging. Celebrating both new work and the extraordinary output of local artist Bernie Martin (who passed away in 1995), the festival includes live performance, a gallery exhibit, workshops in film and spoken word, mentorships with youth, initiatives to connect local artists with social service sectors, and a critical panel on regional artmaking past and present. Running over the month of November, A Certain Place will leave you seeing this place – your place – with new eyes. Experience home through the works and dreams of local artists.

Bernie was a prolific multi-disciplinary local artist with a strong spirit of mentorship running through his career. His greatest gift was his ability to give other artists permission and encouragement to produce their own work. A Certain Place offers public performances, events, and learning opportunities through the month of November.

Artwork reproduced with kind permission of JoEllen Brydon  |  www.joellenbrydon.com


Festival Overview: a-certain-place-overview

Festival Spotlights.
Find out about all five disciplines in this
multidisciplinary festival here:

Visual Arts: a-certain-place-art

Spoken Word: a-certain-place-spoken-word

Music: a-certain-place-music

Film: a-certain-place-film

Theatre: a-certain-place-theatre


Thurs November 3-Sat Nov 5 
One Act Plays
TTOK 8pm   |   $15 or pay what you canTwo short plays by Bernie Martin, interpreted by amy m. cummings (motley collective): “Do It Yourself,” and Andrew Root, “The Disgusting Old Man from Kartoon”

Wed Nov 9
Songwriting in the Round
TTOK 8pm   |   $10 or pwyc
A songwriting workshop featuring Benj Rowland, Jill Staveley, Cris Cuddy, Winona Wild, and Ali McCormick, as they discuss their craft and play some tunes.

Thurs Nov 10-Sat Nov 12
One Act Plays II
TTOK 8pm   |   $15 or pwyc
A Bernie Martin play directed by emerging artist (and Drool collective member) Skylar Ough: “Meat and Potatoes,” and an adaptation of a Bernie short story by The Nervous System (Brad Brackenridge and Kate Story): “Life Comes To Resemble Unimaginative Literature: Or, The Moment Of My Death”

Press release here: a-certain-place-week-two

Monday Nov 14
Words on Fire! Spoken Word for Youth presentation
TTOK 8pm  |  $10 or pwyc
Spoken word artist Ziysah von Bieberstein has been working with youth through the festival, teaching spoken word techniques. Come see the results! In partnership with New Canadians Centre, Niijkiwendidaa Anishinaabe Kwewag Services Circle, Rainbow Youth Program at PARN, and others.

Wed Nov 16
Bernie Martin + Faltan Mas
TTOK 8pm   |   $10 or pwyc
An original documentary by local filmmaker Brian Mitolo, “Bernie Martin” – world premiere. And a screening of Bernie Martin performing “Faltan Mas,” his evocative monologue about violence and justice inspired by his visit to Guatemala in 1993.

Press release here: bernie-martin-doc-premiere

Thurs Nov 17
Regional Artmaking: Myth and Reality
TTOK 8pm   |   FREE
A critical panel discusses the mobilization of the concept of “regional” in artistic practice and production. Arts funders love the word. But what do artists who live there think? With panelists amy m. cummings, Dave Tough, Kate Story, Victoria Ward. Moderated by Su Ditta.

Fri Nov 18
Opening reception: Bernie Martin – Of Another Place
Evans Contemporary 6-10pm   |   FREE
Curators talk at 8pm
Opening reception of an exhibition of Bernie Martin’svisual artworks. Talk by curators Jon Lockyer and Victoria Mohr-Blakeney contextualizing Bernie’s work as a regional artist. Charcuterie, wine and refreshments will be served! Show runs through to December 17

Weekend at Bernie Martin’s
The Spill – all ages event!
8pm and into the night   |   $10 or pwyc
Weekend at Bernie Martin’s interprets Bernie’s songs. Featuring Benj Rowland, Jay Swinnerton, emerging musician Ben Bruns, and friends, with an appearance
by Words on Fire!

Sat Nov 19
Wordplay Cabaret: Bernie Remixed
TTOK 8pm   |   $10 or pwyc
The Peterborough Poetry Slam Collective will interpret some of Bernie Martin’s poetry and feature original and exciting works of spoken word reflecting on the themes in Bernie’s poetry.

Monday Nov 21
Spoken Word: Transforming Trauma to Resilience through Narrative
TTOK 8pm   |   $10 or pwyc
Spoken word artist Wes Ryan has been working with members of the group Healing from Within at the John Howard Society, as part of the festival, offering tools for creating original spoken word. Come see the results in this public performance.

Tuesday Nov 22
Film Workshops Showcase
TTOK 8pm   |   $10 or pwyc
Filmmakers Lester Alfonso and Brian Mitolo have been leading two separate filmmaking workshops through the festival: Lester has been working with senior citizens on Creative Nonfiction filmmaking (in association with ReFrame Film Festival); Brian has been working with local performing artists to create Cinematic Stories. Come see the works in progress and meet Peterborough’s newest emerging filmmakers in this casual showcase.

Friday Nov 25-Sat Nov 26
Dark Passage
TTOK 8pm Fri, 2pm Sat. TWO SHOWS ONLY!  |  $15 or pwyc
Juno-award-winning musician Brian Sanderson presents his interpretation of one of Bernie’s most difficult and engaging works.

Sunday November 27, 8pm.
Remembering Bernie
TTOK 8pm   |   FREE
Open to all friends and admirers of Bernie Martin. Come share a story, a memory, a reflection, a song, a poem, a wish. Refreshments provided. Featuring Pat Walsh and his guitar.

Wed Nov 30-Sunday Dec 4
Myrmidon, presented by Public Energy.
TTOK 8pm, except 2pm on Sunday Dec 4   |   $15. pwyc on Wed evening only.
Presented by Public Energy, this remount of last year’s wildly successful presentation of Bernie’s poetic play “Myrmidon” features performers Kate Story and Curtis Driedger. Directed by Ryan Kerr, designed by Martha Cockshutt


Cinematic Stories
Filmmaker and teacher Brian Mitolo leads local performing artists through a “filmmaking 101” process, using a film script of Bernie Martin’s as a jumping-off point. At TTOK. Contact bmitolo@gmail.com …Keep in mind there is a limit of 5 persons for these workshops.

Creative Nonfiction
Filmmaking Workshop Age 60+ Edition
A documentary filmmaking workshop for seniors, led by filmmaker
Lester Alfonso, partnering with ReFrame.

Words on Fire!
Workshop series for newcomer, Indigenous, LGBTQ2I and activist youth to develop writing and performance voice. Facilitated by Ziy von B, with guest coaching from various poets and theatre artists. In partnership with New Canadians Centre, Niijkiwendidaa Anishinaabe Kwewag Services Circle, Rainbow Youth Program at PARN, and others.

Transforming Trauma to Resilience through Narrative
Led by spoken word artist Wes Ryan, working with the Healing From Within
program at the John Howard Society. At JHS

Mentoring: Established artists Ryan Kerr, Benj Rowland, and Kate Story will be mentoring 4 youth in theatre direction, music, and theatre tech throughout the festival.

Connection: ACP will work with artists and social service organizations,
developing strategies for linking independent artists with local non-arts groups.


TTOK: The Theatre on King, 159 King Street
Directions: Go up the alley just west of George, across from the King Street Parking Garage. Turn left in the parking lot to find the theatre entrance.

The Spill Cafe, 414 George Street North

Evans Contemporary Gallery, 129 ½ Hunter Street West, 3rd floor

wedge1Lead Artist Bios and Organizational Profiles

Lester Alfonso is a Peterborough based writer, filmmaker, photographer, video artist, radio producer and host. Check out his official website www.lesteralfonso.com for more info.

Ziysah von Bieberstein is a queer, Jewish parent , community organizer and spoken word artist who is grateful to call Nogojiwanong (Peterborough) home.

Brad Brackenridge is The Nervous System, a puppet-based theatre company which has created and produced performances for Emergency, Erring, Artsweek, Luminato, The Theatre on King, 4th Line Theatre, and so many more!

Ben Bruns is an emerging musician. He lives in Lakefield, and turns 17 this year. He grew up surrounded by music, and looks forward to more of the same during the festival!

amy m. cummings is a bilingual collective lover of all arts and identifies as a rounded thespian and creative kwe.

Su Ditta is an award winning media arts curator and arts management consultant who has worked in every province of Canada.  She is probably best known for her work as Associate Curator at the National Gallery of Canada and as Head of the Media Arts Section of the Canada Council for the Arts. Her thinking on regional art making is informed by both recent theoretical discussions and the politics of arts funding.  She is currently the Executive Director of the Electric City Culture Council (EC3) and is grateful to be living here, entwined in the local arts community.

Ryan Kerr is the artistic director of Fleshy Thud and The Theatre on King. He is a performer, director, playwright, and theatre technician.

Bill Kimball is the artistic producer for Public Energy, which supports the work of dance, theatre and performance artists at local, provincial and national levels.

Eryn Lidster is a Peterborough resident and Trent University student working to build a portfolio in theatre tech and stage management.

Jon Lockyer is a curator, educator, and writer from Toronto, Ontario. Lockyer currently lives in Peterborough, Ontario where he is the Director of Artspace.

Quinn McGlade-Ferentzy enjoys writing, her cats, and complaining loudly about liberal humanism. When not working away on one of her various obscure hobbies, she can be found hunched over a vat of coffee while her brain melts out her ears.

Brian Mitolo is a writer/director and filmmaker.

Victoria Mohr-Blakeney is a writer and curator with an MFA in Criticism and Curatorial Practice from OCADU. She is currently Performance Curator Intern with Public Energy.

Skylar Ough is a member of the DROOL art collective. Skylar works within various
disciplines in the visual arts including painting and drawing, sculpture, photography, and bookmaking. She has acted and stage managed for The Theatre on King and others for the past three years. “Meat and Potatoes” is her first experience as a director.

Janette Platana is a writer and educator. Her short story collection, A Token of My
Affliction, was a Finalist for the 2015 Trillium Book Award. She works in schools and in agencies delivering arts-based programming to youth.

Andrew Root is a writer, improviser and creator of Crime City, a monthly radio drama & podcast (SoundCloud.com/CrimeCitySeries). He lives in Peterborough with his lovely wife and their charming pets.

Benj Rowland is multi instrumentalist singer songwriter who has been working as a
professional musician for over a decade. Benj’s music has been presented in concert venues and festival stages across Canada.  In 2015 Benj’s band Mayhemingways
were awarded Best duo act at Peterborough’s wire awards. In 2014 Benj received 
Instrumentalist of the year at the wire awards. In 2006 Benj was Peterborough folk festival’s emerging artist of the year.

Wes Ryan is a poet and workshop facilitator who believes through collective narratives we stitch together niches of resilience into tapestries for change.

Brian Sanderson is a Juno award winning musician and performer currently residing in west Quebec. A former Silverheart, Brian currently tours internationally with Sheesham and Lotus and Montreal’s Esmerine.

Kate Story is an award-winning theatre artist and writer. From Newfoundland, she makes her home in Peterborough.

David Tough is a Peterborough-based educator, writer, and musician. He’s co-publisher of Electric City Magazine, has a PhD in Canadian history, and writes strange sad songs.

Victoria Ward is a rural artist/writer. She is an outspoken advocate for artist’s rights who works ad hoc for CARFAC Ontario. She can be reached @hotspurstudio

Evans Contemporary is a Peterborough, Ontario gallery dedicated to the presentation of creative projects by national and international contemporary artists.

Fleshy Thud is a dance/movement-based theatre collective with a mission to create, produce, and promote new experimental artistic works of excellence by regional artists.

Peterborough Poetry Slam Collective is a multi-disciplinary group of spoken word artists. Poets from our scene have featured on stages across Canada and internationally.

Peterborough Theatre Users Group is a theatre and performance support organization, dedicated to initiatives that support performing arts organizations, artists, and environments that serve under-resourced and emerging performing artists.

Public Energy is an animator of contemporary dance, theatre, performance, and
interdisciplinary work.


  • 4 workshops
  • 4 mentorships with youth
  • 1 visual art exhibit
  • 1 focus group connecting regional artists
    with social service sectors
  • 1 critical panel on regional artmaking
  • 75 artists, emerging to established
  • 12 performances (theatre, spoken word, music, film)

Supported by Peterborough Theatre Users Group, The Ontario Arts Council,
and the City of Peterborough

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