Over the summer of 2013, a group of over one hundred community members from 16 to 88 years old took part in an unconventional theatre production in Victoria BC. From the Heart: enter into the journey of reconciliation was performed in a beautiful 14,000 sq. ft. indoor labyrinth made from salvaged doors and windows, trees, and hundreds of metres of fabric, all lit by paper lantern lights. In the alcoves and chambers of the labyrinth, the audience encountered songs, scenes, and shadow theatre performances created by our ensemble of non-Indigenous Canadians to tell the transformative stories that have deepened our understanding about the lived experience of Indigenous peoples in Canada. We created the show to encourage dialogue about what it might mean for non-Indigenous people to take responsibility for learning more about our own history as a first step toward standing in solidarity with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people.
UPDATE: On May 7, 2015 we launched the book that tells the story of the project—what we did and why we did it. Designer Kit Maloney has beautifully illustrated the large-format 118 pages with photos and graphics. The book is called From the Heart: How 100 Canadians created an unconventional theatre performance about reconciliation.
Last summer Will went on a seven-week book tour to twenty cities and towns across the country, promoting the book as a way to encourage other communities in Canada to do their own productions of From the Heart. He was traveling with upwards of 70 settler and First Nations theatre artists and others on a national project called Train of Thought. The project was about fostering and building alliances between First Nations artists and communities and settler/immigrant artists and communities.
Click below on What’s Next to read Will’s blog from the Train of Thought tour. The most recent post is shown first. Scroll down to the bottom to read from the beginning.
From the Heart: enter into the journey of reconciliation was produced and directed by Will Weigler in partnership with VIDEA: A BC-based International Development Education Association and The Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria with funding from the BC Arts Council and Province of British Columbia, The Vancouver Foundation, Vancity, the CRD Arts Development Service, The Hamber Foundation, and with additional support from the Victoria Times-Colonist, The First Metropolitan Church of Canada, Uptown Mall, and iD2 Communications, Inc.