As part of our proposed celebration for Canada150, SALON Theatre is developing a series of 13 artistic and creative residencies in historically significant buildings that are off the beaten track, in rural, or perhaps isolated communities across Canada. Members of the company will identify an appropriate site and partners in each province and territory of the country and proceed to arrange a residency of 2 to 4 weeks. We will inhabit the historic site, research and take inspiration from the site and the community, listen to stories and issues from the community and proceed to create a theatrical performance that reflects that rich history back to the people of the area. The show will ideally be presented in the historic space, re-animating museums, homes, outdoor sites and more. The process of these residencies and the resulting performance will be documented through audio and video and then represented digitally and online to encourage an exchange amongst these diverse communities and the rest of the country.
The program draws upon the rich Canadian tradition of collective artistic creation that reaches back to The Farm Show and more recent work by companies such as Toronto’s Jumblies Theatre and Saskatchewan’s Common Weal. Challenged by vast space and small concentrations of population, these intimate histories can be lost or buried in irrelevance. This theatrical/digital series seeks to offer these communities a means to share their stories with our artists, amplifying a few voices into a louder celebratory cry that can echo across Canada using theatre and digital media as a megaphone.
The intimate histories of these small spaces and places, often outside the capitals of our provinces and territories, provide a picture of Canada not always promoted by mainstream media. Our artists, with the benefit of 4 years of the SirJohnA2015 project, have significant experience in drawing inspiration from historical characters and stories to explore the idea of Canadian identity, to engage our youth, and to animate a place rich in Canadian heritage.