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Corner Brook-born artist, writer earns New York theatre award recognizing her lifetime of work

Corner Brook born Magie Dominic was recently awarded the Artistic Achievement Award from the New York Innovative Theatre for her lifetime of work in the arts in New York. -  Don Arrington Photo
Corner Brook born Magie Dominic was recently awarded the Artistic Achievement Award from the New York Innovative Theatre for her lifetime of work in the arts in New York. - Don Arrington Photo
CORNER BROOK, N.L. —

Magie Dominic has worn many hats as her 75 years have taken her from Corner Brook to New York.

An artist, writer and teacher, Dominic received the Artistic Achievement Award from the New York Innovative Theatre in September.

The award recognizes her lifetime of work.

Dominic was born in Corner Brook and grew up on Central Street.

From an early age, she had an interest in writing and art. Her first published piece was a poem in the Regina High School newspaper.

But it was an advertisement in a magazine for the Art Institute of Pittsburgh that set her off in life.

After working for a year to save the money to go, an 18-year-old Dominic left Corner Brook in 1962 and headed to Pittsburgh.

“I went off looking for the world.”

After two and half years she moved to Manhattan and lived in New York until 1971.

“I just happened to leave Newfoundland at a critical time,” she said.

“It was the Vietnam War. It was the whole artist movement was happening. It was new music, this group called the Beatles were seen for the first time. All this stuff was happening for the first time.”

New York, she said, was exploding with the new art, new music, new theatre, the peace movement, civil rights, women’s rights.

“And I just happened to be here.”

She worked from 1965-1968 at the Caffe Cino, the first off-off Broadway theatre in the world, and did everything from acting and directing to helping with the sets. 

When she left New York she moved to Vancouver for two years and then to Woodstock. 

It was in a time after the famous Woodstock festival. Dominic said it was a gorgeous place for her daughter to grow up, much like Corner Brook.

It was an artist colony, which was perfect for Dominic because she was able to show her work.

She moved back to New York in 1985, and still lives there.

She’s had what she calls “a bizarre” work life, which has included working as a dresser for the Metropolitan Opera and the daytime soap opera “All My Children.”

“That’s another whole hat that very few people know about,” she said. 

She’s still writing, and has published three books, two memoirs “The Queen of Peace Room” and “Street Angel” and one she co-edited with a friend about a New York playwright.

Her memoirs have won and been shortlisted for awards.

Receiving the Artistic Achievement Award came as a bit of a shock to Dominic, but one she is very proud to earn.

“It all sort of came together with my work in writing and art,” she said. “It was for my lifetime of work in the arts in New York.”

And she still has a lifetime to go.

Dominic still teaches, is the archivist for Caffe Cino and is currently working on a new book.

“It’s just a perspective of getting older and what one hopes to have learned.” 

diane.crocker@thewesternstar.com
Twitter: WS_DianeCrocker

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