SEPTEMBER 2014 COMPANY SPOTLIGHT
Learning together in advance of Going Home Star – Truth and Reconciliation
On September 3, Company dancers and staff of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet participated in a cross cultural awareness training session, lead by Doris Young, a Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Survivor Committee Member.
Young is a Residential School Survivor and educator committed to finding ways for Aboriginal people to work towards reconciliation with Canadian society.
In an emotional session, Young shared her experiences with those in attendance. She spoke of attending a residential school from the time she was three-years-old, and shared stories of her time there.
Young spoke about how she came from a loving family and a stable household, and how spending 10 months each year at a residential school affected her connection to her culture.
RWB dancers and staff members were moved by Young’s presentation and walked away with even more knowledge of the direct effects of the residential school system.
Prior to Young’s session, on August 15 RWB Company dancers and staff attended a gathering in Libau, Manitoba, hosted by Shirley and Mel Chartrand. Attendees participated in a traditional pipe ceremony, and a delicious feast graciously prepared by our hosts. Some of those in attendance participated in a teaching circle, where they heard residential school survivor Theodore Fontaine speak about his experiences, while others participated in a light sweat lodge ceremony.
As the RWB approaches the world premiere of Going Home Star – Truth and Reconciliation, it is important that our dancers and staff participate in learning sessions about residential school experiences and Aboriginal culture. We are expressing the stories and experiences of residential school survivors and their families. In learning more about these experiences, we hope that we are able to share the spirit of reconciliation with a wider audience.
Going Home Star – Truth and Reconciliation is based on a story by Canadian author Joseph Boyden, choreographed by Mark Godden and features an original score by Juno Award winning composer Christos Hatzis. The ballet features on stage performances by Polaris Prize winning Inuk Throat Singer Tanya Tagaq, and Steve Wood and the Northern Cree Singers.
At the RWB’s Season Launch for the 2014/15 season on April 3, 2014, The Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation commission of Canada, commended the RWB for creating a ballet that highlights the courage and resilience of Aboriginal peoples.
“These are profound, compelling themes, not just for Aboriginal families and communities, but for all Canadians,” said Sinclair.
The opening night of Going Home Star – Truth and Reconciliation, on Oct. 1, will feature an on stage pre-show chat with The Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, Dr. Marie Wilson, and Chief Wilton Littlechild. A cultural display of items from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada will be on display in the Concert Hall Lobby from Oct. 1-5.
RWB’s Going Home Star – Truth and Reconciliation runs Oct. 1 – 5 at the Centennial Concert Hall. Tickets start as low as $29 plus taxes and fees and can be purchased online at rwb.org, in person through the RWB Customer Service Office at 380 Graham or by calling 204.956.2792 or toll free 1.800.667.4792. Groups of ten or more should contact the RWB Customer Service Office for more information on group discounts.
100 Years of Loss Exhibit
The Royal Winnipeg Ballet is honoured to announce the inclusion of the 100 Years of Loss exhibit at the Centennial Concert Hall (Lobby level) during the run of Going Home Star – Truth and Reconciliation. The exhibit will be free to view for ticketholders. Created by the Legacy of Hope Foundation, in collaboration with the Aboriginal Healing Foundation and Library and Archives Canada, the 100 Years of Loss Exhibit is a bilingual mobile exhibition designed to raise awareness about the history and legacy of residential schools. The exhibition consists of eight thematic pods (4 in each official language), and a wavy wall that presents interweaving timelines.
About 100 Years of Loss:
The impact of 100 Years of Loss is in the breadth and depth of the information and stories provided. It traces early relationships between European colonists and Aboriginal Peoples and examines the policies, attitudes, and events that would lead to the formation of the Residential School System. It reveals the experiences of Residential School students, their families, and communities, and highlights the extraordinary efforts of Survivors – both actual and intergenerational – to ensure that the Residential School System is not a hidden part of Canada’s history. It concludes with reflections on the importance of healing and reconciliation between nations and amongst individuals.
Throughout the research, planning, design, and development phases of 100 Years of Loss, the LHF worked closely with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis curriculum developers, researchers, and curators, and drew upon a wealth of Survivor testimony. This method assured that the program was developed in a culturally respectful manner and that the materials accurately reflect the experiences of Survivors.
About the Legacy of Hope Foundation:
The Legacy of Hope Foundation (LHF) is a national Aboriginal charitable organization whose purposes are to educate, raise awareness and understanding of the legacy of residential schools, including the effects and intergenerational impacts on First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, and to support the ongoing healing process of Residential School Survivors. Fulfilling this mandate contributes towards reconciliation among generations of Aboriginal Peoples, and between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in Canada.
Pay What You Can tickets for Going Home Star – Truth and Reconciliation
The RWB will have its first Pay What You Can evening (suggested donation of $20) to provide patrons the opportunity to see a performance at a reduced rate. These tickets will be available on Thursday, Oct. 2 only, and will go on sale at 5:30pm and will be available up until ten minutes before the show begins at 7:20pm. Tickets are cash only and limited to one (1) per person. Visit our Pay What You Can table to receive your tickets.
Because of the high volume of patrons for Pay What You Can performances, seats will be allocated by RWB staff by best availability. Pay What You Can tickets are final sale and this offer cannot be applied to previously purchased tickets or combined with any other offer. Pay What You Can tickets are only available in person at the Centennial Concert Hall.
Donate to RWB’s Ticket Access Program
Ticket Access Program relies on the generosity of individuals and organizations to donate funds to subsidize additional tickets for Going Home Star – Truth and Reconciliation. All of the donated funds will go towards complimentary or subsidized tickets for Indian Residential School Survivors, Elders, students and community agencies. We are inviting individuals and companies in the community to support this initiative. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Get your tickets for RWB’s next performance of the season and the family favourite holiday tradition, Nutcracker. When midnight strikes, young Clara’s enchanted Christmas gift leads her into a wondrous world… with the valiant Nutcracker at her side, Clara defeats the Mouse King and his army of mice, and journeys to the Land of Snow and the Kingdom of Sweets. There, the Sugar Plum Fairy bids everyone to dance in their honour. Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s acclaimed production of Nutcracker is a sheer delight, and features endearing Canadian scenes such as a snowy pond hockey game and a battle on Parliament Hill. This year’s production will be even more heart-warming with the addition of twelve white furry friends! Danced to Tchaikovsky’s timeless score, we will take you to a wondrous adventure this holiday season. RWB’s Nutcracker runs Dec. 20 - 28 at the Centennial Concert Hall. Children’s tickets are only $25 plus taxes and fees and can be purchased online at rwb.org, in person through the RWB Customer Service Office at 380 Graham or by calling 204.956.2792 or toll free 1.800.667.4792. Groups of ten or more should contact the RWB Customer Service Office for more information on group discounts.