Welcome

Welcome to our Tioram Enterprises Inc. website.

Tioram Enterprises Inc., is a company founded to foster creative endeavours in the areas of entertainment and writing for the Arts. Tioram Enterprises Inc. has 3 divisions. They are briefly described below.

Castle Publishing, continues adding to its series of any-time-greeting-cards using the artwork of some of our best known names in Entertainment. These cards are created in art forms other than those for which the artist is best known. A painting from a well-known actor, for example, or sculpture from one of our successful theatre directors.


Dan MacDonald, successful as an actor, director, writer and narrator over a 60-year career. Here his fans will be kept up to speed on projects in which he is presently involved as well as those lined up for the future. You’ll also find odd pieces of interesting historical information and stuff that should be of interest to others in the entertaining industry.


Tioram Arts Projects, a production company dedicated to bringing top-notch professional presentations to areas not usually included in the schedule of major tours. The company has been in existence for over a quarter of a century and has been involved in all areas of the world of entertainment. While the company has functioned continuously since 1983, its activities are sporadic and varied and its personnel are employed ad hoc according to the requirements of the proposed show.

Other items regarding Dan MacDonald’s activities may also be on this page.

 

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BOOK OF MEMORIES

reflectons-coverA special project was completed this summer by our Castle Publishing arm. In August the 1956 Graduating Class of Mount Saint Vincent College marked its 60th Anniversary with a Reunion in Halifax. Dan MacDonald’s wife, Nancy, is one of its graduates and suggested creating a “little project” on the Class as a gift to her classmates. Like Topsy, “it grow-ed” into quite an ambitious undertaking, ending as a 60-page booklet with history, coloured photos, memories and personal anecdotes by and about this special group of accomplished women.
A quote from the book states, “REFLECTIONS is a small book of memories about a small number of women who graduated from a small college in Nova Scotia in 1956. Their numbers were small but their influence was huge.
In 2016 they came together to greet their fellow classmates, to celebrate their lives and to reminisce about their days “at the Mount”. Mount Saint Vincent College was the only all-female school of higher learning in Canada at that time able to grant degrees.
Reflections, this small collection of memories, a gift to her classmates from Nancy Fry MacDonald and her husband, Dan, was a creation of their company, Castle Publishing.”
The publication, shown here, met with great success with many members deeming it a “gem of a book” and something they will treasure forever.

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PICTOU ACADEMY 200TH ANNIVERSARY

Dan MC's Official Opening

Dan MC’s Official Opening Ceremony

Honours were heaped on his hometown’s famous school, Pictou Academy (PA), on completing its second century of educational excellence at the beginning of a week of get-togethers, reunion parties and seeking/bumping into old classmates and friends in Pictou at the beginning of July, 2016.

Dan MacDonald emceed the event which included words of praise from His Honour Brigadier-General J.J Grant, Nova Scotia’s Lieutenant Governor, several educational representatives, the usual clutter of politicians, culminating in the unveiling of a monument to mark the milestone. The monument was donated by major PA donor, Helen Scammell, in memory of her father, a strong, vivid supporter of his alma mater. The unveiling was performed by PA’s oldest graduate, Nan MacKean (105 years old).

Guest Speaker was Dr. Jock Murray, celebrated universally for his medical expertise as well as his historical research and writings, and recipient of many awards including our country’s Order of Canada. Dr. Murray is a more recent alumnus of PA, an  institution known throughout the world for its prodigious production of top scholars and professors since it establishment in 1816.

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The Politics of Culture

The following is a draft version of two excerpts from books-in-progress, The Politics of Culture. The first is about the beginning of events which would lead to the separation of Canadian Actor’ Equity Association (CAEA) from the U.S. union, Actors’ Equity Association. The second deals with the awakening of the collective bargaining concept following an unpleasant season with the Stratford Festival.

Continue reading

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SPEAKING ABOUT DAYS AT FAMOUS PICTOU ACADEMY

Dan spoke in Pictou, Nova Scotia, recently at a book launch for Cradle of Knowledge, the story of that shiretown’s famous Pictou Academy (PA), which celebrates 200 years of service in 2016. Pictou Academy jpgThe book, by prolific Pictou County author, Monica Graham, outlines the school’s difficult political-religious beginnings, the tenacity of its founders through amazing setbacks and interference, to its worldwide academic acclaim and a long list of internationally famous graduates and into more modern times with its own financial and political difficulties and on to continued academic strength.
Dan in PictouDan’s speech, entitled It Comes Down to People, delivered a number of personal stories about the people who taught at the Academy during his time there. He especially spoke about three staff members who had a pivotal influence on his career: a brilliant Scottish Headmaster, Robert Kennedy (most Headmasters were still brought over from Scotland at the time), a beloved History teacher, Mrs. Hugh Sutherland, herself a “Gold Medalist” as top student during her studies at PA and the first woman to be hired as an “academic teacher” there, and a new English teacher, George Graham, freshly arrived from New Brunswick who loved Shakespeare and quickly involved himself in school drama club activities.
Dan recounted how these special teachers recognized his talents and quietly arranged for the awarding of two scholarships, enabling him to enroll in a theatre course at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. It was the only such course available in Canada at the time and, with scholarships in hand, Dan hitch-hiked to the West Coast, finished the course and stayed to begin his long, solid professional career.

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FILM INDUSTRY DEALT DEATH BLOW BY GOVERNMENT

Many will already be aware of the devastation caused by a Nova Scotia Provincial Budget unceremoniously dropped on the film industry in this most beautiful part of Canada this spring. The following is my article from the Summer Edition of PAL’s THE NEWS.

CLIPS FROM THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR

Without consultation, and singularly lacking in logic, the Nova Scotia Government’s budget of April 9th ripped the carpet from under the feet of our film industry. Producers immediately cancelled productions and artists scrambled to create enough work to remain in the province. Crews and technical workers spoke of moving elsewhere, young families were left wondering how to cope with the sudden loss of expected gigs, even some home-grown production companies questioned remaining here and all were left scratching their heads at the stunning and obvious stupidity of destroying a growing and successful industry that had been contributing hundreds of millions of dollars to the Provincial Treasury, and incomes and spin-off benefits to citizens throughout Nova Scotia. The refundable tax credit cost the government $24 Million in 2013-14, but contributed about $155 Million and supported 2,700 needed jobs.
The NS Government continued shouting their mantra about cutting spending, refusing to understand how immediate and devastating their action was, even quoting incorrect and biased information to justify it. The arrogance of their position and the public eruption of support for our industry throughout the province -regular citizens as well as outraged artists- failed to elicit a review of the act’s damages or consideration of a number of amendments put forward in Legislature sessions by the opposition. Instead, government held fast to their position that all spending must be trimmed, indiscriminately, and the film industry was probably one of those areas able to be slashed without too much backtalk. Boy, were they wrong!

5,000 March for Film

5,000 March for Film

The industry immediately organized to demonstrate the strength, support and financial benefits of its presence in the province, especially by mounting a record-breaking, day-long protest of 5,000 people circling the Legislative Assembly block, peacefully but loudly disrupting political dialogue with slogans, music, excellent speeches, plenty of emotion -and NOISE, lots of noise- and with well organized, disciplined and involved participants. The governing Liberals were forced to see they had attacked a hornets’ nest of anger and frustration.
Screen Nova Scotia, an all-disciplines advocacy group quickly emerged to spearhead the defence of the industry. Talks were eventually forced and Government came to the table, though still led by a recalcitrant finance minister, Hon. Diana Whelan, and backed by a bobble-headed caucus.
A new programme, the cumbersomely worded Nova Scotia Film and Television Production Incentive Fund, was proposed to keep Nova Scotia’s screen industry competitive. Unfortunately, it was modelled on a not-too-successful incentive programme from elsewhere and contained many provisions deemed by much of the film industry to be unworkable, if not ridiculously disruptive, only serving to further demonstrate the government’s lack of understanding of the basic practicalities of film production. Sections of the industry were ignored and the arts community quickly zeroed in on missing funding for developing filmmakers and digital media support. And, there was a rumoured “cap” on the Fund amount which, at approximately $10 Million, would not go far to support the quality of feature filming being created in the province and could lead to early funding exhaustion and possible squabbles amongst producers for any workable financial involvement. Of course, there was the major question of stability of the industry. Despite the government’s apparent opinion on the subject, films are not slapped together over a few beers in a bar à la Mickey Rooney’s, “We have a barn, let’s do a show”.
Ongoing during these discussions were myriad administrative problems caused by the government’s lack of foresight in closing the efficient and knowledgable Film and Creative Industries Nova Scotia office and turning the whole mess over to the completely unprepared Nova Scotia Business Inc. NSBizInc had to rehire many of the just-fired Film and Creative personnel because they were unable to answer producers’ questions. Not surprising considering there was no film production expertise in their ranks and items as basic as application forms and new regulations were unavailable. In fact, regulations regarding the new Incentive Fund were still being argued over. Producers were finding it impossible to consider working in Nova Scotia and fled to friendlier places.
Meanwhile, Premier Stephen McNeil ignored the problems, insisting he would pay no heed to objections from opposition parties, the industry nor the growing howls of protest in the province. Not to worry though, we were assured a “critical priorities” list was being developed (didn’t happen!) and when the Incentive Fund came into play on July 1st all would fall smartly into place (didn’t happen!).
Today the number and value of productions falls far short of previous summers with many cancellations and delays recorded, and almost each day we hear about another film family considering moving away. Some hope the move is temporary, others, however, have thrown in the towel and are lost to Nova Scotia permanently.
It is interesting to note that, short days ago, a Liberal cabinet shuffle relieved the Hon. Diana Whelan of the Finance portfolio. This suggests the blustering Premier was not pleased with her handling of the film crisis after all. Unfortunately, it also suggests that McNeil and his cowed caucus were willing to destroy a successful industry rather than admit to having moved too precipitously on a film tax programme which had been improving each year, profiting Nova Scotia financially, culturally, physically and touristically, while spin-off benefits were shared by areas throughout the province.
Well, we had a good year for lobster, and we do live in paradise when the sun’s out. We’ll survive! A pity we have to start rebuilding a 20-year success story, but we will. Things will be better next year!

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EXCERPT FROM THE HEALER BLOG

This is a contribution to The Healer blog contributed by Dan. He played Larry in this new feature film. The accompanying shot is the property of the film company.

THE HEALER Happenings – Posted July 3, 2015
By Dan MacDonald (“Larry” in the film)
With filming completed in Aspotogan earlier this week, it seems appropriate for me to tell you more about that location. Some may already be aware; others may not. The house in which we were shooting is, of course, haunted.
Not by anyone we might know, but by an elderly lady who looks down, ready to scold, from her post in the upper front window where she watches in vain for her returning fisherman-husband, a man who went missing many years ago.
My performer colleagues may have noticed I was, perhaps, a bit “constrained” during our shoot last Thursday. It was certainly not because of the company present. Rather, it was because of the “presence” of The Lady in the Window.
Firstly, a muffled revelation: I am the seventh son of a seventh son. Those of the Scottish persuasion will understand the significance of that statement – whether they believe in “second sight” or not. Others will pooh-pooh the whole idea as nonsense. I, myself, try not to put too much store in it … but there are times when circumstances, strangeness, atmosphere and, yes, my Scots’ ancestors, insist I pay at least a modicum of attention.
Some of you may have experienced a niggling sense of tension in the Aspotogan house at various times, particularly during camera reverses when much equipment, furniture and props are noisily shifted about. Such “tension” would not have interfered with our work, being felt only slightly, although causing a lingering “Was that anything?” question.
Most of you did not venture into the grassy, front area that slopes down to the sea at this location, but those who did might have sensed they were being “observed.” And not by another member of the crew! The Lady finds change disturbing and, in the event of further shooting on this site, I would suggest you look up to the window and simply reassure her that no harm will come to her home … as I did on Thursday. She then appeared more relaxed and welcoming. I had hoped to go up to her station in the window and comfort her but shooting didn’t permit such an opportunity.

The “interference” was so slight that, to most of you, nothing appeared out of place throughout your time there. Some few of you may have briefly questioned a tingling sensation. This is to assure you that you are not coming down with anything, and to assure everyone that The Lady is a benign presence and might even grow to enjoy such visits. Just give a friendly nod to her in the window. DM

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ARTISTS’ GREETING CARDS CONTINUE

In operation since November of 2010, the Artists’ Greeting Cards Project continues. In establishing the project as an ongoing money-raiser for PAL Canada Foundation, an organization dedicated to providing assistance to older members and associates of the performing arts, Castle Publishing undertook to donate any profits from the sales of these cards to PAL. We were able to cut a donation cheque during early operations though sales have been sluggish lately.

Profits are to be donated each fiscal year-end and, as sales allow, we hope for  meaningful increases over the years.

Castle Publishing adds additional cards to its catalogue from time to time. Presently there are over a dozen cards available and discounts are available for larger orders. Cards may be purchased online or through our agent in Toronto, at LULLIDAZA in Stirling, Ontario, directly from the publishers in Hubbards, Nova Scotia or through the purchase order on the Artists’ Greeting Cards page.

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The Healer Shoot Draws to a Close

An especially happy experience working with writer/Director, Paco Arango, leading actors Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Camilla Luddington and a highly talented supporting cast, along with a first-rate Bluenose crew on this heart-warming comedy. Due for release in 2016, this film is sure to be a crown pleasing night out for the family. See it!

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Failte Cloinn Raonall Vol 2, #2 May 2012

Click here for Clanranald Newsletter May/12 in PDF format

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