Music, Fun and Art at Centennial Theatre this Sunday

We thought that our readers might like to know a little bit more about the Healing Benefits of Art Music and Laughter event, taking place on Sunday, November 13 at Centennial Theatre, so we asked Eric Akbar Manolson, coordinator of the With RESPECT to our Elders project, to tell us more about it.

Eric, what is this event all about?

Mostly, the event is about four things: fun, laughter, connections and learning. We want people to meet other interesting people they might otherwise never have met… especially, people from different generations.

What inspired this event?

The original inspiration came after meeting Ann and Robert from the group The Castaways (they will be playing in the lobby as people arrive). Years ago, I saw them play at the Legion. They were so welcoming and non-judgmental, spontaneously inviting myself and other young musicians on stage with them and I thought, ‘I bet most Bishop’s students and young people in the area have no idea there is this whole vibrant layer of old-time music going on, with older people dancing too’.

That’s how it started. After that, the With RESPECT to Our Elders project began the Great Intergenerational Music Festivals, of which we have done 8 over the last 3 years. In that time, we have also presented numerous intergenerational art workshops. When we saw the positive effects these arts-based programs were having, we decided to study them more closely. Now, to share and celebrate what we have learned, we are creating this event!

What will happen during the day?

At 1:30 pm, there will be a musical multimedia show in Centennial Theatre which will feature a variety of performers, including:
– Sierra Morena will offer jazz standards and other music to open the show;
– Jason Krpan, will offer drumming;
– Albert Nerenberg (one of the only ‘laughologists’ in Canada who studies the health effects of laughter all over the world) will be commenting on his latest films;
– Shannon Brown will show the connection between making art and feeling good;
– Dr. Andrea Drumhaller will present some of the latest scientific findings on creativity and the brain.

This will be followed by a choice of workshops at 3 p.m.: Yael Filipovic, from the Foreman Art Gallery’s Community Art Lab will lead an art workshop, Janet Angrave will lead a Tai Chi workshop, Michael Jensen will teach juggling and circus arts, and Albert Nerenberg will lead a laughter workshop. Finally, there will be a reception in the theatre lobby at 3:45 p.m., during which participants will be invited to visit theme areas and information booths to learn more about the healing benefits of art, music and laughter and more.

In addition to all of this, participants will meet Lennoxville centenarian, Joan Thomson, and Jan Graham, who will be playing music from the 20s, 30s and 40s. During the intermission, playwright Gonzalo Vilches-Cabrera will present a short original play and, at the end of the afternoon, Amos Joannides will offer a rare ‘unplugged’ performance in the theatre lobby.

Do people need to purchase tickets, or register in advance for the event? Do participants have to attend the whole event?
Tickets for the event are available at a cost of $2 in advance or $5 at the door, and can be obtained through the Centennial Theatre box office (819-822-9692). As for the workshops, people can register that day for the workshop of their choice. People can choose to attend any part of the afternoon that they like, or they can choose to attend everything.

How can people find out more?

They can call Townshippers’ Association at 819-566-5717 (toll free: 1-866-566-5717) or e-mail me at [email protected] Information is also available on facebook, through the Townshippers’ Association page (

Any final thoughts you would like to share with readers?

So many people are helping to make this event a reality. I feel it belongs to everyone: All ages, all languages. There are a few particular people that I would like to thank for their contributions, however, and they are: Kim Bailey and her OPALS group, Dorothy Gillick and her 50+ club, Marie-Claude Laquerre, Claudette of Fleurist Lennoxville who is donating flowers and balloons, Luce, Sonia and Chantal at Centennial Theatre, the Ville de Sherbrooke’s Borough of Lennoxville, as well as the staff and Board of Townshippers’ Association.