Entertainment Briefs 

Discover ancient and endangered Africa at Uli’s

Uli’s Flipside opens its doors for not just a culinary, but a cultural experience, as well with a free slide show, this Monday night, Feb. 3 at 8 p.m.

Local photographer and artist, Christina Nick, has just returned from a 20-month voyage to the remote and ancient parts of South America, Africa, Europe and Newfoundland. She will showcase stories, art and photographs from her time with archeologists on digs in the Andes and assisting at a vulture and cheetah rehabilitation centre in Namibia.

Nick got up close and personal with the cheetahs in order to draw them. She’d feed them and sit in their habitats, only inches away.

"They’d test me by throwing rocks and snarling but if you held your own they figured you were an equal," Nick said.

On the archeological digs in the Andes, Nick had to get through caves full of baby skeletons.

"We also had to crawl on our bellies through tiny caves camouflaged in the cliffs."

Nick is best known for her large welded steel sculptures and mixed media paintings.

Local child selected for Sound of Music

Six year-old Alta Lake schoolgirl Abigail Winter-Culliford shined above almost 300 other little cuties vying for the role of Gretl, the youngest of the Von Trapp children, in a New Westminster stage production of the Sound of Music.

Abigail practised all the songs from the movie and learned a few of her own in preparation for the auditions.

"I wasn’t nervous but I had a few caterpillars in my stomach," said the toothy moppet.

Mom, Sadie, a music teacher at Myrtle Philip and director of the Moving Chords Youth Show Choir, said Abigail had grown up with music and performance in the house.

"As a baby she’d always want music and she loved the songs from the Sound of Music so I never felt I was pushing her into something she didn’t want to do."

Sadie said Abigail was amazing at the audition.

"When her name was called out, she ran off rearing to go. For two hours she had to be without me and she obviously coped fine. She’s a focused little thing, loves to perform and exudes confidence, which probably helped her get the part."

Abigail is in rehearsals with the Royal City Musical Theatre Company three times a week to prepare for her April stage debut. The show stars TV personality Norm Grohmann as Uncle Max, who Abigail has already taken to.

"He’s really funny," she giggled.

Pre-sales are strong with more then 10,000 tickets sold. The season runs from April 10-26 in New Westminster and May 9-11 in Surrey. Whistler residents can get a special discount through Abigail by quoting her name when booking. Phone the theatre company at 604-522-4306.

Release the Inner Freak with a good book

Make some time for yourself and grab a helpful book by Pemberton author, Lee White.

Better still, support the book’s launch at the Pony Espresso this Monday night, Feb. 3 at 6 p.m.

Rapt In Awe: Releasing the Inner Freak, is a practical manual to help people incorporate spiritual and Aboriginal outlooks and practices into their modern daily lives. White conceptualised the book several years ago before handwriting the final copy in the mountains. The Outward Bound guide who also works with young offenders has spent a lot of time in the wilderness.

"I climb, I ski and kayak but I also grew up in natural areas bordering reservations. I have always confronted the social dichotomy of the different existences," he said.

White studied writing under acclaimed, yet unconventional author, Richard Wright, who became his mentor throughout the project. His experiences with natives in Canada and Africa, with the Zulu people, also brought him new ways of thinking.

"Through all my experiences and the people I have met, this book has become a clear guide for me. I’m not trying to do the guru trip, I’m trying to pass on things I’ve learned to help others find their own internal guru," White says.

Rapt In Awe is a print-on-demand book available on-line at www.worldbliss.com for $22.50. White will be signing copies and speaking at the launch.

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