Ami McKay is the critically acclaimed author of three bestselling novels, The Birth House, The Virgin Cure and The Witches of New York. Her diverse body of work also includes radio documentaries, non-fiction essays, stage plays, choral arrangements, and incidental music. Her debut novel, The Birth House was a # 1 bestseller in Canada, winner of three CBA Libris Awards and nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Her play, Jerome: The Historical Spectacle premiered with Two Planks and a Passion Theatre in 2008. She co-wrote Nothing Less! with Ken Schwartz and served as music director for Two Planks’ 2017 season.
Visual Arts Mentor
Sara is a painter and installation artist who lives in Halifax with her husband and son. In her first career as a professional musician, Sara played with the Calgary Philharmonic and the Vancouver Symphony, the Winnipeg Ballet and Toronto Dance Theatre, and in numerous string quartets. Since switching to Visual Arts, Sara has exhibited across Canada, in the US, Europe and South America, and is the recipient of Canada Council and Nova Scotia Arts Council Grants. Her work is in private and public collections. She is an instructor in the Painting and Drawing Department at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.
Ian Sherwood’s fifth studio album “Bring The Light”, produced by Daniel Ledwell, is filled with the same hooky cleverness that has endeared Sherwood to his audiences. This time, the deft work of Ledwell’s production brings Sherwood’s songs a new dimension of beauty and depth.
Guitar, saxophone, huge songwriting and a voice that won him a 2013 Canadian Folk Music Award for Contemporary Singer, Ian Sherwood Brings The Light to every stage he stands on. A born story teller and a constant creator, his music dances the line between folk and pop. His live performances thrive on intimacy. Whether it’s a theatre show or large festival stage, his persona is irresistible and completely destroys fourth walls.
When not touring the UK, US or all across Canada Sherwood produces for other artists as well as for theatre, film and television. He most recently won a 2017 Robert Merritt for Outstanding Original Score for the play “Tompkinsville”. He was named Best Male Artist of the Year by the 2012 International Acoustic Music Awards and was the 2008 and 2010 Music Nova Scotia Musician Of The Year. Bob Mersereau of CBC Radio, Fredericton described him as “… a natural performer who entertains as much with his wit and stories as with his songs.”
Chris O’Neill is an actor and playwright co-founder of Two Planks and a Passion Theatre with Ken Schwartz in 1992, developing it into a national touring company. She has been acting professionally since 1988, performing in many productions including national tours, and written four plays with Ken Schwartz, since 1992. She has been teaching and mentoring theatre for young people since 1994. Selected Two Planks performances: Unity (1918), Macbeth, Schoolhouse, Nothing Less, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Liberation Days, The Tempest and Turn of the Screw, The Miracle Man and Dustbowl Joan, 937, As You Like It and The Iliad, Lysistrata, The Crucible, and The Odyssey.
Awards: The Queen’s Diamond and Golden Jubilee Medals for contribution to community and Canada, and the Valley Arts Award.