THE BRIDGE COMMUNITY PROJECTS
A key part of Solo Chicken Productions mandate is to engage in and promote community arts. With this in mind, a central part of The Bridge Project has been to collaborate with various community groups, schools and organizations and to facilitate opportunities for each group to animate a moment on our bridge timeline. Solo Chicken provides facilitators, artists and materials and each partner provides the inspiration, perspective and participants.
School Days with Connaught Street School
Students at Connaught Street explore how schools have changed by taking sketches drawn at the School Days Museum on York Street, and drawing their modern replacements on mylar paper courtesy of Angela Black from Open Your Art. Special thank you to the Board of Directors at the School Days Museum for opening their doors for the Students at Connaught Street School, and to Angela from Open Your Art for her time and materials.
Stories of Culture with Kelly Baker
The Bridge Project’s “Stories of Culture” Photography Workshops explore the diverse narratives of what “Canada” means to a group of newcomer youth in Fredericton. Within the context of Canada 150, it is important to cultivate diverse stories of what exactly it means to be “Canadian”; what “Canadian culture” actually looks like; and the opportunities for Canada’s future. Participants learn to use photography as a way to communicate their stories and display their unique perspectives as newcomer youth. Thanks to Art Auction Funds raised with the help of Isaac's Way and 65+ New Brunswick Artists for helping to fund this project!
Artist RUDI AKER worked with St. Mary’s Youth during the annual Ekpahak Camp at Charlotte Street Arts Centre to design this mural. The youth were asked to explore their own concepts of indigeneity and informed of the history of how their communities have changed in their lifetime. This mural is centered around the palom (salmon) – how they were once abundant in the Wolastoq and at this point in time, how few remain.
What is Home?
Through tableau, movement and voice, this piece tells a story about finding place or a sense of “home” in the context of migration. For many, this is a continuous process; an ongoing journey of discovering and rediscovering who we are and where we belong across borders or in a particular place or space. Performed and created by the MCAF Girls Youth Group, including: Pascaline Labelle, Lucy Ahuka, Melanie Nagbe, Purnima Sharma, Rina Sunchuari, Dorcas Furahisha, Deborah Furahisha, Omoyi Ahuka. ALEX RIOUX co-facilitated the workshops with MADELEINE WHALEN who both thank the girls for being extremely generous with their time, honesty, and creativity.
Len and Cub
In collaboration with the New Brunswick Queer Heritage Initiative, with photos provided by the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, Solo Chicken will be mounting portraits from 1910-1920 of Leonard Keith and Cub Coates. Although the exact nature of their relationship is lost to time, they have been referred to as boyfriends, and Len was eventual driven out of his home for being gay. This installation hopes to remind people that homosocial relations go back further than people realize, and these relations are often oppressed and erased throughout history.
The Language of Laughter
Solo Chicken partnered with MCAF to create this film that centred around a Laughter Yoga class for MCAF seniors. What do you do when language and culture put up a barrier? Moving through the barrier of language and culture, the language of laughter helped to build a sense community and togetherness between participants.
In honour of the ECOLE BATTISEUR ‘s 10-year anniversary the school hosted Artist SYLVETTE FORTIN as Artist in Residence. During the residency she helped the students create kites, with each student getting to contribute to a different section of the kite. The inspiration behind the kites was to create space where the culture of each student could be shared.
Flags a Plenty
To commemorate the 52nd anniversary of the introduction of the maple leaf flag, the FREDERICTON PUBLIC LIBRARY had children visiting the library create their own Canadian flags, representing visually the things most important to them about living in Canada. Thanks to Kim MacLean, Stephanie Kingston, Steven Carson, and Victoria Ackerman for facilitating and coordinating the project.
Banned Books Display
A display of Canada's former and current band books will be present on The Bridge.
More into to come!
With the support of Solo Chicken Wolastoqiyik artist SQOTEWISQ JUDIE ACQUIN-MIKSOVSKY led a basketry workshop for a group of Syrian women at MCAF where she shared the technique of traditional Wolastoqiyik basketry. The women created baskets and then filled them with items that represent ‘home’. The aim of this project was to build connections and understanding between cultures through connection and knowledge.
No One is Illegal Fredericton procured welcoming words when the first flux of Syrian immigrants came in 2016 on cue cards. They will be blown up people will walk through them on the bridge. The idea is to be the welcoming words that allow our country to continue to grow as the multicultural nation thatwe claim to be. People may fill out there own cue cards with welcoming words and give them to the members of NOII.
What is Drag?
In collaboration with the HAUS OF RIVERS and using photos courtesy of the Provincial Archives, Solo Chicken will be displaying photos of men play acting as women from an internment camp in Amherst, Nova Scotia while a group of contemporary drag performers from the Haus of Rivers and more mirror these in tableaux and connect the past with the present. The project aims to get audience to examine gender and how it has been performed in different contexts.
Bliss Carman students ALICE NEWLING, BEA CULLIGAN and RAILI SCOTT perform Canadian hits from the 70’s to the 2000’s, reminiscing on Canada’s musical history under the direction of DEE CHIASSON. From Neil Young, to Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen to Feist, these Canadian Artists influence the youth of today. Thanks to Jared Mallard!
Wilmot United Church
Alex Rioux will be leading a group of Wilmot’s youth in creating an original piece exploring the churches long progressive history which will conclude with the moment Wilmot became an affirming congregation, opening its doors to people of all sexualities and gender identities.
Using text from ‘Canada’s Founding Debates’ by Janet Ajzenstat as the source material, we have crafted short scenes that offer a glimmer into the jousting that took place between politicians from 1864-1873 as the building blocks for Canada came together. Politicians David Coon, Kate Rogers, Brian MacDonald and more will be on-hand to bring some reality to the past. Don’t miss this bipartisan event.
What is Canadian Culture?
Senior citizens of Evelyn Grove Manor united with ceramic artist Shinaid McGillivray are seeking their personal translations to the question “What is Canadian Culture?”. They are discovering their answers through clay masks. By exploring historical uses of masks worldwide they come to their own understandings of what the masks purpose is, especially in the modern world. Integrating Canadian symbolism, personal stories, and historical significance creates a colourful answer to this question. These artworks are not only a celebration of Canadian culture, they also bring a perspective of each individuals personal experiences of being a Canadian.
Mimi Musique Choir
The MIMI MUSIQUE choir, directed by Myriam Dionne Poitras, is comprised of young signers between the ages of 5 and 17 as well as adults who share the love of choral singing. The choir participates in many events and community activities in the Fredericton region, such as the Christmas show, family church choir and the Premier’s Open Door event. In June, the students of MIMI MUSIQUE school presented a show entitled “Canada, 150 years of songs” and also participated in the opening and closing ceremonies for the Acadian games.
Wilmot United Church began many years ago as the Fredericton Methodist Church but in 1850, the worst fire in Fredericton’s history began next door to the church. By evening, almost 2000 people were left homeless and many businesses were destroyed as well as the church. It was soon agreed that a new church be built - complete with a tall steeple. It is said that it may have been Lemuel Allen Wilmot, himself, that was responsible for the choice of a hand for the top of the steeple. With a four-foot index finger pointing heavenward, it was created from a single white pine log by a woodcarver -Edward Charters. Although it had to be removed because of decay in 1974, it still stands silently in the corner of the sanctuary reminiscent of days gone by. For the 2017 Bridge project, we decided to create a replica of the hand so all could see its size and perhaps even have their picture taken beside what was once the tallest part of Fredericton’s landscape.
MALA - Stories of New Brunswick
Dialogue New Brunswick’s mandate is to strengthen social cohesion by fostering a rapprochement between English-speaking and French Speaking New Brunswickers. In an effort to promote and increase mutual understanding and respect between communities, Dialogue NB and its partners have undertaken the Mala project. Mala is a Mi'kmaq word that means "where I'm from". Mala reaffirms our shared histories, reveals the richness of our spirit and celebrates our successes and our ingenuity. Mala was projected onto the façade of the Legislative Assembly as part of the Canada 150 celebrations.
The Stepping Stone Troubadours
The Stepping Stone Troubadours is a group of senior singers, harmonica players, and a pianist who meet every Tuesday and enjoy music and fun.They go out into the community to entertain other seniors in Nursing Homes, Special Care Homes,Senior Residences and Wheels to Meals.Participation in fund raisers for Non Profit organizations is their way of giving back to the community.For the Bridge Project, they have chosen a selection of War Songs to celebrate Canada's great military history.
Here and Now!
Lisa Anne Ross in collaboration with the Bluebell Montessori School Children are bringing to life the vision of Isis Brennan. As children we are rooted in the present. We have little remembered past and no context for our future so we revel in the present. Each moment stretches. But as we age and our relationship to the past expands and our connection to the future becomes more tenable we begin to skip over the present. During The Bridge Project HERE & NOW will place a small army of kids at the end of the bridge, with homemade camera’s in hand ready to ‘photograph’ the audience with the hope that it will slow down the race for the past and future and place our audience firmly in the present.
'Wooded Roots' by St. Dunstans Parish
When the first Jesuits arrived on our shores they came to the woods. Wood features prominently in our church imagery. It is both a personal and collective metaphor. We are the wood of the ark, we are the wood of the manger, we are the wood of the cross. Being Catholic is a sharing of roots, a strength of core, an embracing of the seasons. This collage is the joint work of our parish. Our ancestors are inscribed on the trunk and branches of the tree. Our prayers and hopes are the leaves, renewed with the seasons. The Spirit transpires from our roots, through us, through our prayers. We share them with you. Please take a leaf, keep it, plant it, let it take root. Although many of us don't share the local ancestry, it is a remarkable experience to come from away and be met by one's own roots up on arrival.