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Full cast rehearsals started 1 week after the end of Camp for Thinking Rock Community Arts staging of their community play “The Rivers Speak”, which occurred in at the Mississagi First Nation’s Pow Wow grounds near Blind River in early September. James Stephens, members of The O’Schraves, and several AlgomaTradders provided music for this ground-breaking and emotionally-moving work that joined First Nations and Settler communities in a creative journey that included stories, action, music, and magic. The play was partially developed at AlgomaTrad Family Camp from 2014 through 2017 If you didn’t catch it the first time around, you can check out some photos and a synopsis of what happened HERE.
We then got our hands dirty and our backs sore planting over 2, 000 trees as part of a grant from the Province of Ontario’s Great Lakes Guardian Community (GLGC) Fund to re-naturalize the section of the Two Tree River that winds through the home of AlgomaTrad’s future Heritage Arts Centre. We collaborated with Central Algoma Secondary School, White Pines Collegiate and Kensington Conservancy to provide an opportunity for students from CASS and White Pines to learn about the Conservancy and AlgomaTrad’s work and to help plant over 1,000 trees on September 19. The rest of the trees were planted by a team of 20 AlgomaTrad board members and volunteers on Sunday, October 1. More information about the entire project can be found HERE.
Continuing on a growing partnership, AlgomaTrad and Kensington Conservancy hosted a Bird Feeder Building Workshop at the Hall at the old camp and future heritage center on the F&G Line on St. Joseph Island on October 7. About twenty-five participants from the age of 3 to 93 took home a bird feeder hand built by themselves. Volunteer Mike Jones provided the basic materials and instruction…thank you MIKE! (Mike was also the lead volunteer on the AlgomaTrad/Kensington Conservancy/Johnson Township hosted Bird Nest Box Building workshop in the spring. Now all us Bird Feeder Builders are going to take part in the Conservancy’s Desbarats Christmas Bird Count – anyone can be involved, click HERE for more information.
AlgomaTrad has been collaborating with the Healthy Kids Community Challenge North Channel to provide community dance programs in local schools. Funding provided by the HKCC North Channel has enabled AlgomaTrad Artistic Director Julie Schryer to share traditional forms of social dancing with all the classes at Central Algoma Elementary and Arthur Henderson Elementary Schools this fall, with more schools lined up for the New Year. Julie has been leading this program in schools for quite a number of years, particularly at the St. Joseph Island Central Public School, but the HKCC funding has opened up this opportunity to more schools in the region. There are also plans for AlgomaTrad to provide after school programs in the New Year as part of of the new Healthy Kids Community Challenge theme “Power Off and Play!”. More info to come!
The O’Schraves had the great pleasure of playing dances for three weddings of several AlgomaTrad Alumni this fall…in fact, Sam and Jessica Whitley met at an AlgomaTrad Dance! The O’Schraves also spread the AlgomaTrad love as the featured group at the Hey Fever Dance Weekend put on by Ottawa Contra Dance.
AlgomaTrad has entered the Phase 2 application process with the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation for funding to build necessary infrastructure at the proposed heritage center site at the old camp on the F&G Line and are hard at work with BDO in the Sault on the business plan to accompany the application. At the same time, we are completing grants as part of the overall funding requirements to FedNor and Cultural Spaces Canada. We also submitted a capital grant application to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for the same project and an Ontario Arts Council Northern Arts application to acquire funding for a weekend Heritage Harvest Festival in the fall of 2018, which, if successful, will feature concerts, music and craft workshops, and a fall supper featuring local foods…we’ll keep you all posted as we continue to develop plans to build and expand on All Things AlgomaTrad!
We appreciate your support!