Battle of the Birds, echoes from the past

By Stuart Derdeyn at The Province

The Talking Stick Festival, which explores aboriginal culture through the arts, was founded by performance artist Margo Kane in 1992. The Full Circle First Nations Performance artistic managing director has worked tirelessly to present a wide range of creative disciplines in specialized settings, and there is no question that the careers of many First Nations artists have benefitted from it. Governor General award-winning actor and playwright Kevin Loring (Where The Blood Mixes) appeared at the inaugural Talking Stick cabaret.

The Talking Stick Festival, which explores aboriginal culture through the arts, was founded by performance artist Margo Kane in 1992. The Full Circle First Nations Performance artistic managing director has worked tirelessly to present a wide range of creative disciplines in specialized settings, and there is no question that the careers of many First Nations artists have benefitted from it.

Governor General award-winning actor and playwright Kevin Loring (Where The Blood Mixes) appeared at the inaguaral Talking Stick cabaret.

“I trained in acting at Studio 58 and then did the very first cabaret before there even was a festival, performing my solo show which developed into my Governor General’s Award-winning play,” says Loring. “And I also signed up for the very first Full Circle First Nations training program which was so important as it was completely different education from traditional theatre school. It really helped to explore new modalities of developing and telling our stories which has been vital to my work since.”

Loring’s company Savage Society brings the community-based theatre project titled the Battle of the Birds to the 15th annual Talking Stick Festival. Based on the Nlakap’amux/Thompson tribal story of a community confronting the issue of domestic violence, it is set in the mythical time before time while also incorporating historical source materials.

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