Culture: Gordon Lightfoot, Wildlives & Age of Arousal


Gordon Lightfoot: If, like me, your primary knowledge of Gordon Lightfoot comes from one cassette tape in your dad’s Cutlass Supreme, there’s a surprising (and enjoyable) amount of the man to be had on YouTube – and more than just the songbook classics “Sundown,” “Canadian Railroad Trilogy” and “If You Could Read My Mind.” Lightfoot, with his perfectly moderated baritone, can stray into blandness, but he’s taken up a deserved station as Influential Canadian Artist. Catch him while you can on one of his rare cross-Canada tours. April 10 and 11, The Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts,


Wildlives: Set in a remote hamlet in the Laurentians, Montreal writer Monique Proulx’s sixth novel tells the story of a patchwork community of misfits – Lila (a guilt-ridden “landlady of the forest”), Violette (an emotionally dented beauty), Jeremy (a frog whisperer), Claire (a murder-mystery writer) and Simon (a prurient male nurse) – and explores themes of trauma, forgiveness and the secrets sewn into our personal travails. Translated into English for this new D&M edition, Wildlives was a French-language finalist for the 2002 Governor General’s Award for fiction. April 2009, $22.95 from Douglas & McIntyre,


Age of Arousal: This age in which we live – if you count the flicker and tease of webcams and music videos – is just fine for arousal, thank you. But Linda Griffiths’s new play harks back to an era of Victorian desires on the brink of explosion. The action centres on five women who in 1885 are exploring new-found erotic and economic freedom. The Toronto Star calls Griffiths “one of this country’s best playwrights,” and her play (directed in Vancouver by the omnipresent Katrina Dunn) argues that out of a collision of corsets and petticoats can arise a crescendo of libido and wit. April 16 to May 9, Granville Island Stage,