In partnership with the Dream Big Conference, Jumblies Theatre is conducting a series of workshops across Canada for their massive “Train of Thought“ project starting on the West Coast with Vancouver Moving Theatre and their “Big House” event then working their way towards North Bay Ontario. We are very lucky to have these events feeding into our conference and look forward to the community arts extravaganza that is coming.
Create, Discuss, Travel, Feast, Learn, Change Tracks
Train of Thought is an evolving community arts journey from west to east coast, with on-board activities and over 15 stops along the way. At each stop, a travelling company will get off until the next train comes through. Local arts organizations will host interactive events, and add to creative tasks. Additional travellers will hop aboard to join in conversations and art-making en route.
Train of Thought was hatched by a group of artists who wanted to share community engagement practices and projects. We asked ourselves what theme merited such a huge cross-country undertaking, a question that led to a focus on collaborations and alliances between First Nations and settler/immigrant artists and communities: the most challenging and urgent matter that all of us are grappling with and learning about, from our different regional and cultural perspectives.
Train of Thought will ask many questions: What’s not on the map? What other forms of mapping are there? How can we see the places where we live through new eyes? What protocols are there of arrival, gathering and departure for the territories we pass through? What place names can we learn and imagine? What stories are important to pass across the country? How can we grieve and celebrate together in the shadow of colonialism? How can community-engaged arts help us enter into these questions?
Train of Thought takes a counter-colonial route to collect and share stories, buried histories and imagined landscapes of the land where we live: as it might have been, as it is, as it could be: drawing on perception, memory, history and imagination; merging whimsy and serious intent, bringing together artists and community members, the land’s first people and all those who have found refuge here over the years and generations.
Train of Thought is less about trains than about the relationships and discoveries that the journey will enable. When the train can’t take us where we want to go, we’ll defect for a while to buses and cars, and rejoin the VIA train route when we can.
Train of Thought is an imperfect and incomplete adventure – part of a longer and unending imperative to learn, connect and help to change tracks.
Train of Thought is produced by Toronto’s Jumblies Theatre with partners all across Canada. You can learn more about them all by exploring this website as it grows and develops.
Presenters and Participants: Ruth Howard, Keith McNair, Don Bouzek, Savannah Walling, Cathy Stubington, Martin van de Ven, Carol Finlay, Will Weigler, Ange Loft, Columpa Bobb, Eliza Knockwood, Alana Forslund, Liz Rucker, Lilia Leon, Beth Helmers, Sharada Eswar, Sam Egan, Sasha Tate-Howarth, Kelty McKerracher, Aaron Leon, Cassondra Trudeau, Iehente Foote, Chris Cruz, Darla Contois, Lindsey Bond, Mackenzie Konecny, Julia Hune-Brown, Eli Howard and Arie van de Ven