Start date: 21 June, 2017
End date: 25 June, 2017
Jumblies Theatre will present Talking Treaties at Historic Fort York’s Annual Aboriginal Arts Festival, in partnership with First Story Toronto and the Nagamo Collective from June 23 to 25, 2017.
The Lead Artist for this project is Ange Loft, working with with historian Victoria Freeman, director Jill Carter, composer Melody McKiver, choreographers Brian Solomon and Lilia Leon, and many other artists and commuting participants.
The event includes three inter-related elements that focus on Toronto's Indigenous and Treaty histories and contemporary voices.
1. Multi-media interactive installation throughout Historic Fort York, which playfully and provocatively conveys knowledge and sparks thought and conversation about Toronto residents’ relationship to the place where we live. Including: personally-tailored acknowledgements of the land; a giant four-poster bed with community-created Turtle Quilt and other artifacts; a life-size sculptural representation of all the items exchanged in the Toronto Purchase (including 2,000 gun flints, 24 brass kettles, 120 mirrors, 24 laced hats, a bale of flowered flannel, and 96 gallons of rum); and a giant layered flip map of Toronto (showing lost rivers, indigenous settlements, and treaty boundaries).
2. Theatrical Pageant, featuring large-scale puppets and imagery, community singers and dancers, original and traditional music and choreography - engaging artfully with and guiding the audience through the installations and the venue of Historic Fort York.
3. Under the Concrete, the premier of a choral work for community choir and professional singers and instrumentalists, composed by Martin van de Ven with singer-songwriter Rosary Spence, setting to music verbatim text from the Toronto Purchase (Treaty 13), as well as fragments of poetry by Victoria Freeman, and snippets of news items and text generated by residents of CityPlace and the Fort York area.
Talking Treaties aims to inspire a deeper understanding about our city and country, as it addresses and seeks to redress the lack of acknowledgement of First Nations as a founding partner of Canada, which pushed Indigenous peoples to the margins and excluded them from the benefits of Confederation. The project will build awareness of how treaties have shaped history and relationships of this area.
Talking Treaties is funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, the Government of Ontario, Toronto Foundation, JP Bickell Foundation, Metcalf Foundation, Ontario Trillium Foundation and Inspirit Foundation.
Nature of the Project Reach
Talking Treaties is based in the stories and histories of Toronto, but participants in the project will come from across the province and country.
- Celebrate the histories and contributions of Indigenous people, and support them in recovering culture and gaining pride, respect and visibility;
- Provide a stronger sense of home, place and belonging for settler-descent, newcomer and refugee people and communities;
- Foster new and deeper understandings and perspectives about Canada – where we are, how we got here, and how we can imagine equitable, positive and inclusive futures;
- Spark awareness, curiosity and new perspectives about Toronto and Ontario Treaty history and current implications;
- Provide mentorship and leadership opportunities for young and emerging First Nations and culturally diverse artists and arts leaders;
- Bring diverse community members of all ages and abilities together to express themselves in ways that forge new connections and a desire to continue working and creating together.
This work is inherently participatory - all are invited to take part. Collaboration within the 150Alliance community could involve: volunteering, assistance with performance/production, outreach and promotion.