Eva Baldi: rising star

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by: 

Kate Aley

Eva Baldi of Beechgrove is only 16 years-old but her eyes are already fixed on the bright stage lights of the future. The grade 10 student recently performed a major role in the Broadway musical play In the Heights at Philemon Wright High School (PWHS) in Hull. Written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the story is set in a Hispanic community in New York City that is facing familial change and economic challenges. Eva played the role of Camilla Rosario.

Above, Eva at home with best friend Jetty.

Naturally ebullient and open, Eva did admit to a small attack of stage fright on opening night. “The first show, I felt like I would mess up, I was really nervous,” she said. “The first performance, my hands were really shaking. I have to do a bunch of hand gestures for that part and when I looked down, my hands were shaking! I had to grab them to hold them still.”

Eva, with co-star Joe Evenson playing Kevin Rosario, in the opening number, "In the Heights".

By that point, the 50-person cast had been rehearsing solidly for four months, including every Saturday and every PD day.

At the first audition, all of the hopeful actors sang a specific song from the play.

“It’s a really difficult show, so the first auditions are to see if you have the vocal [strength],” Eva explained. “From that, [the director] would pick call-backs, where you had to sing the songs for the certain characters.”

Eva won the part of Camilla, the mother of the lead female character and the co-owner of a business in Washington Heights, where the play is set. At first overjoyed at her daughter’s return from university, Camilla is devastated to learn that she has actually dropped out. The role required Eva to take on a wide range of complicated emotions.

Camilla demonstrates her strength and grace at a critical point in the story.

 “Some characters, like with Daniela, you get to be fun, to be crazy and have a crazy accent,” said Eva, referring to another, more flamboyant part. “But my character, she has to go in and change the mood, it has to get serious; it’s not like you get to be the likeable character. It’s not like someone will come out of the show and say, “I really liked the mom”.”

Kevin and Camilla Rosario, key business owners in Washington Heights, tackle a major change in their fortunes.

This is the first big production Eva has been in, having previously taken part in Music Makers and short plays written by class mates.

In fact, her move to Philemon Wright from Pontiac High School in Shawville was prompted by meeting well-known local actor and singer, Bristol’s Phil Holmes. Holmes runs the drama department at PWHS and directed and conducted In the Heights.

“He did A Christmas Carol with the Pontiac Community Players last year,” said Eva. “I was in that and met him there. Then my friend April took me to see last years’ show American Idiot at PWHS. I said, “I want to be in that,” and I said, “Mom, I want to switch schools”!”

Eva wants to continue with acting and singing, considering the drama program at CEGEP John Abbott College in St Anne de Bellevue after high school and possibly continuing to Sheridan College in Oshawa to study musical theatre. But for now she must wait until the next PWHS show is chosen for 2018 before she can walk the boards again.

She related how, on closing night for In the Heights, the entire cast cried on stage, following five intense performances over four days.

“At the last night, there were a bunch of speeches and a lot of people got flowers,” Eva recalls. “At the last bows, it was so sad but it was so good. You spend so much time with these people and you work so hard. It’s a lot of work, but I wish we did more shows.”

Final bows with the full In the Heights cast and chorus.

Nos autres nouvelles / Our other News

The beginning of everything: "Origins" watercolour show opens

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by: 

Kate Aley

You are invited to an extraordinarily moving exhibition of new work by renowned Luskville painter, Ruby Ewen.

Entirely painted in watercolour, the pieces immerse the viewer into multiple magical realms of creationism, imagination and classic myth.

Show runs: Friday, June 22 (opening event, 6 -- 8 p.m.) to July 22, 2018

Site: Stone School Gallery, 28 Mill St., Portage du Fort.

Cooking meets trucking at new restaurant

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by: 

Kate Aley

After two years of extensive renovations, Au Coin du Camionneur, also known as Trucker's Corner, opened in Luskville on Sunday June 17. 

Owners Benoit Galipeau and Robert Bergeron have completely reconfigured the building at the corner of the Eardley-Masham Road and Highway 148. New lighting, comfortable seating and large windows that open onto a breezy patio create an inviting ambience.

Building a new future for Pontiac with slaughterhouse project

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by: 

Kate Aley

After five years of planning, construction has now started on the Les Abattoir les Viandes du Pontiac. Set on five acres on the outskirts of Shawville, the slaughterhouse is the brainchild of Quyon entrepreneur Alain Lauzon and three partners, Sofian Elktrousie, Ibrama Diagne and promoter Gilles Langlois.

“We are aiming to be open by end of October,” said Lauzon last week, as he watched forms being set for more concrete to be poured.

Turtle S.O.S.: Save Our Shells!

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Trouble in paradise.

It's June and that means those crazy turtles are once again roaming dirt side roads and busy highways alike; intent on finding mates, water and good nesting places as they have always done, paying no mind to the deadly wheels zooming past. I stop for a lot of turtles at this time of the year and so far we have all lived to fight another day. However I have never seen a turtle stuck in the bone-dry and baking-hot rink at the Luskville Community Centre before. Bad turtle terrain for sure.

Open letter to the Municipality of Pontiac recognizing the work of our municipal firefighters

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by: 

Sandra Barber

To whom it may concern:

Re: Recognition of volunteer Firefighters

While sitting at our dining table enjoying our first coffee of the day on Sunday, May 20 at 6 a.m., my husband and I both heard a very loud “thunk” and wondered what the heck it was. Curiosity motivated my husband to investigate further; he checked our basement, nothing amiss. Checked the living room located on a lower level, noticed a man sitting outside on the guard rail.

Kickin' it: Pontiac youth get into soccer

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by: 

Kate Aley

Some might say that young people are glued to their screens all day and all night. But that's harder to say when so many bright young people are running, kicking, playing and laughing in Luskville every Monday evening.
Community soccer classes started up on Tuesday, May 1st at the Luskville Recreational Park. The two- to four year-olds play in the softball field. The older group, aged five and up, play on the soccer field to the north.

How do rural communities comply with Quebec's Organic Strategy?

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by: 

Kevin Brady

Current Situation:

The Québec residual materials management strategy includes a progressive reduction and an eventual a 'ban' of organic material from municipal landfills by 2020. Municipalities that comply with the policy are eligible for funding to help offset the costs. As with the Municipality of Pontiac, many municipalities have chosen to pass resolutions to initiate door-to-door collection, with costs paid for by the residents.

Get ready, get set, get out: disaster preparedness in a bag

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by: 

Kate Aley

Remember this?

As the Pontiac watches epic levels of flooding in both New Brunswick and B.C. and considers our own possible return to inundation, it's time to let paranoia rear its helpful head and get ready to get out of the house. The concept behind having a so-called Go Bag is to have ready everything you might need to survive, out-of-doors, for about 72 hours... until help arrives or the zombies get you.

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