One of the most interesting things about the Culture Days Animateur program in Saskatchewan is that they were specifically seeking working artists. I know at least some of the others have some educational component to their background, as do I, but essentially, all four of us are working artists practising in our respective fields. The MOST questions, hands down, that I get from people in the communities that I have been in contact with are some variations of: “What projects are you working on?”, “So, are you in a play right now?” or “What are you doing next?”.
I think that this was a fantastic model for the Animateur program to be built on. Surely, as Animateurs we are facilitators and educators, but first and foremost we are artists. And so, I've attempted to find a way to balance my own work with that required of me through SaskCulture. While I'm booked extremely solid in August and September (still a few openings though, email me if your community is interested!) the schedule was much lighter in June and July. So, that time became dedicated to booking stops, planning workshops and my own work.
I also think it is critical for Saskatchewan artists to take opportunities to show the rest of Canada what we’re capable of doing here. As I've talked about in my other posts, the depth of talent in this province is incredible, and I think we should all take any chances we get to get out to the rest of the country and share what we’re doing here. And so, I jumped at the chance to be a part of Theatre SKAM’s Bike Ride festival out in Victoria, BC!
The fine folks at SaskCulture were more than happy to allow me the 10 days in early July that I needed to go out to Victoria and represent Saskatchewan on the national stage. This was a fantastic opportunity to be a part of a pilot project that involved Theatre SKAM introducing national companies to the Bike Ride festival for the first time. The project involved a collaboration with 7 Saskatchewan writers, another Saskatchewan actor (currently living in Vancouver, but she still counts!) and me. The experience was incredible, top-to-bottom.
To me, this is part of being an animateur – keeping up with my profession so that when I’m asked by a community participant what I’ve been working on lately, I have a great answer to give. Thanks to Theatre SKAM and SaskCulture for letting me make it all happen!
- Share This