Where is our 2016 Event??

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jarkko
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Where is our 2016 Event??

Postby jarkko » Fri May 09, 2014 5:19 pm

One might think that it’s pretty early to write about the 2016 Event now – we are still looking forward to the next one in Dublin this August; Paula and her effective Event team have worked so hard to make the 2014 Event in Ireland a reality – and with such a unique program! If you haven’t registered yet, do it now!

However, we have also received suggestions about the 2016 Event, and before doing any decisions, we need to discuss the future Event policy.

First of all, we have to remember that the Events are possible only if we have some members who are willing to organize the Event in their home city. Before the 2014 Event in Ireland, we have met in Lincoln UK (1998), Montreal (2000), Hydra (2002), New York (2004), Berlin (2006), Edmonton (2008), Krakow (2010), and Madison WI (2012).

The first one to write me about the 2016 happening was Vicky Hynes, who has organized The Leonard Cohen Feast in St John’s, Newfoundland, annually for 14 times. She has suggested that the 2016 Feast could be moved to summertime and become one of The Events:
Maybe we get to host an International Cohen Event right here in St. John's Newfoundland, Canada.

St. John's Newfoundland is the most easterly location in Canada, to Europe. There are direct flights from St. John's to Dublin and London England now. It is one of the most popular locations to travel for tourists in all of North America and the capital city's airport is only a 10 minute drive.

Really, it would be quite attractive to Europeans as we host to thousands from France,Germany, Japan, Iceland, Norway, Australians, every summer.

There is a great deal to experience here in Newfoundland at that time of the year! Culturally and geographically and historically just here on the Avalon Penninsula!

We are the oldest British colony in North America (since 1497) and only became a part of Canada in 1949.

I just know we could give this all the push it would need to make it a fantastic experience in 2016, for all involved.
This week I have received an email from Kim Solez in Edmonton. He organized the Event in 2008, and is the founder of the annual Leonard Cohen Nights. He says:
Ken Chapman and I met recently to discuss the 2016 Leonard Cohen event. We decided to make our event the 2016 International Leonard Cohen event

I am aware of the concerns about international audiences in North America but with the help of our people we can generate substantial local audience to supplement the international one so we will be OK. In addition the images from 2008 make it obvious that we can put on quite a good show and many of the same people will be involved including Tori Sheldon and Karen Slevinsky.
So far we have not had any Events twice in the same city. Since the beginning of our Events, Europe and North America have alternated.

We have learned that the Event activity is higher among the Europeans although not so many want to travel overseas. Only a handful of European members participated in the Events in Edmonton and Madison, and therefore missed so many memorable moments and unique programs. At the same time, it also looks like the Americans and Canadians are not active Event goers even though the get-together happened to be in North America. That’s why many European old-timers have suggested that the future Events should be organized in Europe only.

I know that our European members have discussed the 2016 Event, and we are aware that Henning has volunteered to do one of the next Events in Hamburg, Germany.

I think we have to handle the general policy of our future Events now, before any decisions can be made. What do you think about the North America/Europe issue? Or having an Event twice in the same city? Where would you like to have the 2016 Event?

We seem to have three realistic alternatives (maybe even more?) for 2016. What do you guys think? It would be important to get comments especially from those of you who might participate in the 2016 Event.

Also note that we will continue with our biennial Hydra meet-ups between the bigger Events. Our next Hydra gathering will be in summer 2015 (let’s discuss the exact timing later!). It is also possible that a number of members will meet somewhere at the 4th Walking Weekend in the fall of 2015.

Now over to you friends!
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LC&LC
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Re: Where is our 2016 Event??

Postby LC&LC » Fri May 09, 2014 6:11 pm

Hi Jarkko,
As much as I think it's only fair to have one event in Europe and the next in Northern America, a less remote location than St Johns would be easier for the few Europeans willing to go to. I've had a quick look on aircanada.com, with made up dates, the direct fligts from/to London are very very expensive, well over 1000€ (and those from continental Europe should aslo add the cost of transport to London....). Airline companies have much better fares to the big American/Canadian cities...
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Re: Where is our 2016 Event??

Postby KimSolez » Fri May 09, 2014 6:24 pm

Hi all and thanks, Jarkko,

Here in more detail is what we are proposing for the International Leonard Cohen event in 2016. Lawyer Ken Chapman and music promoter Peter North are partnering with me on the event. Ken was a student at the University of Alberta during Leonard's pivotal 1966 visit when Leonard transitioned from an ordinary person to a celebrity and remembers it well.

The Edmonton 2008 event http://www.leonardcohennights.org/index2.html which Peter North organized with me was in many ways the most well organized International Event we have ever had with the most high profile performers. Many of the same people will be involved in 2016 as in 2008, including Tori Sheldon, Anne Vriend, and Karen Slevinsky. You can see the pictures from 2008 here: http://cohenites.blogspot.ca/search/label/MainPage

Here below are more details of what we are planning for 2016:

Background:
The night in 1966 the Sisters of Mercy song was written pictures were taken of Leonard Cohen with the sisters of mercy (UofA students at the time both of whom still live in Edmonton) and I have those pictures. That night Leonard was evicted from the MacDonald Hotel and went down Jasper Ave. to the Alberta Hotel where the song was written. Radio station CKUA is now situated in the reconstructed Alberta Hotel. The Photographer Rocco Caratozzolo is also now back in Edmonton.

We preparing a pitch to the CKUA leadership for their collaboration. We will meet with them in mid-June likely.

We also plan collaboration with the Edmonton Film Festival starting this year 2014, so we can be presaging/promoting the 2016 event by partnering with them in the 2014 and 2015 (and 2016!) film festivals.

To get an idea of what we are planning in 2016 have a look at this four minute video from Future Day and the Mallory Chipman set. :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qRD56qVpOQ From 00:07:28 (4 minutes)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgJ4qdq_fd4

(Mallory will be performing at least one Cohen tune at the Edmonton Jazz Festival on July 27, 2014 at we plan to video that.)

See also:

http://www.slideshare.net/ksolez/leonar ... ed-in-2016

http://www.slideshare.net/ksolez/leonar ... 2016-event

Tentatively we plan to attend the Dublin event and pitch the Edmonton event from the stage, and also provide a sample there of the Edmonton talent that will be part of the event.

I look forward to your thoughts!

Best regards. - Kim
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Re: Where is our 2016 Event??

Postby lizzytysh » Sat May 10, 2014 3:17 am

I got quite excited when I saw St. Johns as a possibility. Its beauty is stark and somehow lush at the same time, from what I've seen. I'm wondering if the flights might be easier, if landing first in NYC and then a flight/train to St. Johns.

I like the idea of alternating, as the U.S./Canada folks would always be paying the expensive flights, which we can't afford any more than anyone else. I'd like to see participation increase for those Events, though. Even so, our Dublin Event hasn't garnered the attendance that it deserves or was anticipated.

Not sure about any of it, but these are my initial thoughts.


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Re: Where is our 2016 Event??

Postby LisaLCFan » Sat May 10, 2014 4:10 am

lizzytysh wrote: I'm wondering if the flights might be easier, if landing first in NYC and then a flight/train to St. Johns.
A train, from NYC to St. John's? Perhaps you ought to look at a map!
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Re: Where is our 2016 Event??

Postby lizzytysh » Sat May 10, 2014 8:05 am

Perhaps, I ought to. Sometimes, my mind takes off without me, brainstorming possible solutions. Are flights out, as well? I haven't checked any airlines, either. There seemed to be enough time for that.

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Re: Where is our 2016 Event??

Postby harald » Sat May 10, 2014 1:50 pm

Perhaps I ought not comment on this as Dublin will be my first Cohen event, but I´ll do it anyway.

As I see it we have three somehow official biennial gatherings, the LC Event, Hydra and the LC Walking Weekends. Different as they surely are, all three offer the opportunity to meet the forum friends.
The latter two events are always in Europe. Europeans not willing or able to travel transatlantic have still there chances to meet.
So I´d plead for keeping the alteration between North America and Europe for the LC Event.

More, if also the LC Event was always in Europe we´d somehow lose the global radiation of the our community, become “provincial” in a way.

Well, in case the next North American event had too little interest, we could still rethink it again for the future.

It´s a pity that events more spread over the “rest” of the world are not practible.
Maybe the Australians with their large community might once think about something like our European Walking weekend.

That all said, the Event again in a town where it has already been doesn´t sound very tempting to me.
For the European LC Events that might likewise count for having them in a country where it has already been.

Last, my personal attendance: In years with concerts of Mr. Cohen I´ll probably not attend any event, as all funds of time and money would go in concert trips. If there are no concerts I´d probably attend a European event and at least think about a Northamerican event.
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Re: Where is our 2016 Event??

Postby KimSolez » Sat May 10, 2014 2:14 pm

Hi Harald et al.

It is hard to argue with the logic of alternating events between Europe and North America. The first large Cohen fan gathering was Montreal in 2000 and we need to continue to foster that constituency, as well as welcome new people. Have a look at the pictures from the Edmonton 2008 event, it will be as good as that if not better this time! Really fun to be part of!

Best regards. - Kim
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Re: Where is our 2016 Event??

Postby Hartmut » Sat May 10, 2014 4:44 pm

jarkko wrote:Our next Hydra gathering will be in summer 2015 (let’s discuss the exact timing later!).
I like the sound of that, for some reason ...
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Re: Where is our 2016 Event??

Postby Mabeanie1 » Sat May 10, 2014 5:49 pm

There are some very interesting points and suggestions coming up in this thread already. Here's my twopenn'orth for what it's worth.

First of all, I would love it if the annual NL Feast of LC was moved to the summer. I have always wanted to go but the late December timing just doesn't work for me. Not only can the NL weather be a bit dodgy in December, not to mention rather cold, that particular time is filled with family commitments and it's difficult to get away. Should the Feast then be developed in to our event? My thoughts are that the two things are separate and should stay that way. The Event is primarily a social occasion for people with a common interest to come together. Some of that context might be lost if our event effectively became merged with the local event that is the Feast.

For the record, though I have never been to St John's beyond transiting through the airport, I visit Nova Scotia fairly frequently, have toured The magnificient west coast of Newfoundland, met many Newfies on my travels and am very familiar with Newfoundland music. I think St John's - and Newfoundland in general - would be a fantastic location, in theory. But contrary to what Vicki says, it's not necessarily easy to get to. At the moment there are direct flights to St John's from Europe in the summer but it's just as likely as not that Air Canada will have decided to scrap them by 2016. It's happened before - they even scrapped direct flights to Halifax NS at one point, hence the transiting through St John's. Also St John's is not generally well known despite the large number of tourists. That combined with the potential difficulty getting there will be enough to put a lot of N Americans off, let alone visitors from Europe and beyond.

I like the idea of alternating between Europe and North America for our event but location is everything. Not to put down the tremendous job that Paula and the Dublin team are doing, one of the reasons why Dublin has proved to be such a popular location this year is that the city has a certain mythical status in the LC world. Leonard himself seems to be in love with the city and many of the Irish concerts have acquired legendary status. Add to that the fact that so many people have Irish roots and the event gives people the excuse they needed to visit the city.

It's hard to think of locations in North America which have the same draw. A return to Montreal is the obvious suggestion, with the prospect of visits to Parc du Portugal, Westmount, McGill and so on. I think New York would also have the same draw but it would also no doubt be a very expensive prospect. The other obvious possibility would I suppose be Los Angeles with the prospect of spotting Leonard at his favourite ice cream shop and the remote hope that He might just pop in for a drink! Musically NY and LA would be great prospects because of the number of musicians potentially available locally but neither location would be cheap and musicians tend to be off touring the festivals in the summer.

To sum up, I think we need an attractive location for the event as much as we need organisers. I have never been to Edmonton but I am not convinced that it would draw people in in sufficient nubers despite the proximity of the Rockies. Please prove me wrong Kim and Lisa!

That brings me to another question: who do we want the event to be for? Do we want it to be a lavish affair with first class (and expensive) musicians or should we accept that it will always be a small, more limited event for maybe 80-100 people? A chance to meet up and little more. If the latter then the possibilities for suitable locations are much wider as it's basically a social gathering and little more. The "usual suspects" will do their utmost to participate wherever it is and the location of the organiser will no doubt determine the location of the event as it has done in the past.

Having said that, I raised the question previously whether in this day and age the event needs to be put together by local members. At the time there seemed to be a strong sense that it did but I think it is worth revisiting the question on a regular basis. It is much easier to organise things remotely now than it was even 5 years ago though I'm sure that the extent to which this is true will also depend on location. I would feel rather more confident about organising something in NY from leafy Warwickshire than I would organising something on Hydra for example - but maybe that's just me.

So many questions - and not many positive suggestions for solutions I'm afraid. So, to finish on a positive note, may I propose that Henning host the 2018 event in Hamburg? We spent a few days in the city last summer and loved it.

Wendy
Last edited by Mabeanie1 on Sat May 10, 2014 5:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Where is our 2016 Event??

Postby LisaLCFan » Sat May 10, 2014 5:57 pm

lizzytysh wrote:Perhaps, I ought to. Sometimes, my mind takes off without me, brainstorming possible solutions.
I was amused by your suggestion. Checking the geography may give you a laugh, too!
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Re: Where is our 2016 Event??

Postby lizzytysh » Sat May 10, 2014 6:23 pm

Yes, no doubt it will, Lisa. My mental recollection is that it juts out quite far eastward... so it would seem to require going around a looooooong bend, but not knowing the rail system in Canada... who knows. [I guess you ;) ~ and until I actually take time [sometime in 2014-15 ;)], maybe me, too. :)
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Re: Where is our 2016 Event??

Postby lizzytysh » Sat May 10, 2014 6:30 pm

More, if also the LC Event was always in Europe we´d somehow lose the global radiation of the our community, become “provincial” in a way.
In a nutshell, yes, harald... exactly 8)


I recall helping out with the New York Event from afar... someone always needs to show up locally to check out certain things. It can be done, of course, but not as easily. The Events I've attended have had a wide variety of wonderful offerings, and finding the simply social time was always the challenge.

My preference is for a different locale each time... we broaden our 'world' so much when that's the case... having local areas of great interest that we can see for the first time, etc. And going to somewhere that's integrally of great interest. So, returning to the same place, no matter how much better the Event might be than the last becomes secondary in my preference.

If organizing from afar can be more efficiently done [with the advent of technology as it is], I'd LOVE to go to Croatia... and that was considered before, as well. Yes, Hamburg, at least offers a different area and different things that draw people to it than Berlin.

Just scattered thoughs, but my first one, echoing harald's, remains primary... even though I think at one time I thought maybe it WOULD Be best to just stick with Europe. However, now... :)
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Re: Where is our 2016 Event??

Postby LisaLCFan » Sat May 10, 2014 6:48 pm

lizzytysh wrote:Yes, no doubt it will, Lisa. My mental recollection is that it juts out quite far eastward... so it would seem to require going around a looooooong bend, but not knowing the rail system in Canada... who knows. [I guess you ;) ~ and until I actually take time [sometime in 2014-15 ;)], maybe me, too. :)
Just look at the map... St. John's is that little dot, at the far right side of the image. NYC is the dot at the bottom of the image. Are you laughing yet?
Inset_map_-_Northeastern_North_America_v2 [nyc etc].jpg
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Mabeanie1
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Re: Where is our 2016 Event??

Postby Mabeanie1 » Sat May 10, 2014 6:53 pm

I guess you have to know that Newfoundland and Labrador are joined in name only - but even if they were physically connected and there were trains running, I don't think I would fancy the journey. Isn't it around 10 hours drive to cross Newfoundland west to east, never mind all the rest?

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