Chautauqua: The Interlake Trail was the second round of our award-winning Interlake outreach project that took us through our 2020-2021 Online and On the Land Season. In 2018, a merry band of artists travelled Manitoba’s beloved Interlake region- building relationships, creating art and hosting over 150 events in less than a month! In this second round, artists and community adapted collaborations, workshops, creation and performances that spanned live streams, digital content, outdoor performances and art installations!
A team of 10 artists explored the beautiful region between Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipeg- discovering the highways and hidden pathways that connect both urban and rural citizens, and from that our artists created projects inspired by the region’s stories and in collaboration with its citizens. You can still engage with the art that was made by some of these artists by exploring this page!
This series of 4 radio plays, created and directed by Marsha Rasmussen Knight and written in collaboration with Jo MacDonald, takes 4 stories inspired by the land in between Lake Winnipeg and Lake Manitoba and travels the sound waves into YOUR ears. SS Keenora, Arborg Fire, Colorado Low, and Stories From Our Elders were performed and recorded with community members and performers who voice the characters and build a soundtrack from household items!
Painted over the course of our two Chautauqua tours in June and in September of 2021, these community murals are installed in our host towns – Selkirk, Riverton, Arborg and St. Laurent. Each features work from the community and students, and were specially designed to represent each host town.
“i carry your heart was created over the past two years. The original proposal I made to Theatre Projects when they approached me about being a part of their upcoming Chautauqua tour was that I wanted to research the theme of isolation and its effect on the body. Two months later a global pandemic hit the world, and the research I proposed took on a very different meaning. While this piece is not about COVID, it cannot be separated from it. We have all been deeply affected by this experience. As an artist I love to work in collaboration with others. The process is as important as the product. Learning to make art in a time when we could not sit together, play together, share together was challenging, and in the beginning, often lonely. It has been a gift to find innovative ways to continue to connect with an artistic community on this piece. I carry your heart was created through letter-writing, on-line workshops, late night phone calls, drives up and down many highways, on the water, in the city, over glasses of lemonade in back yards. It was created in collaboration with so many amazing artists from the Interlake and Winnipeg, who so generously and gently shared their stories and gifts with me. While I am so pleased to be able to share this work with you as a film adaptation of the final piece, there is a tiny grief in its completion. It became very clear in my research that community is the antidote to isolation, and I am grateful for the medicine this community has been for me.” – Claire Thérèse Friesen.
An evening of stories and songs inspired and lived by the Interlake region featuring the release of Daniel Jordan’s debut EP and with lovely local guest artists! Daniel is a masterful storyteller – you’ll be taken away to stories you haven’t heard before, or maybe you’re taken back to a story you’ve heard!
Shayna Pollock explores the concept of residence in relation to the living spaces within her home community of Selkirk and its surrounding areas, in this performative installation. This work highlights the use of clay and glass as a medium to invite contemplation through an imagined space of ancestral pathways in contrast to the present.
Rain Breaker by Emily Solstice Tait is contemporary dance piece that enlivens the textures, colours and atmosphere of the Marine Museum of Manitoba in Selkirk. Filmed on location, this piece was generated throughout a year of choreographer/dancer Emily Solstice Tait and dancer Tanner Manson collaborating and playing together. Performed to original composition from Arborg Percussionist Sage Stoyanowski.
Hañwakañ, DJ Boogey the Beat and top Manitoba skateboarders toured the Interlake’s skateboard parks in June of 2021. In their vlog style video diary, Hañwakañ and company explored and shred the skateboard parks up in Stony Mountain, Oak Bank and Lundar.
During presentation in September 2021, a pink lemonade stand was set up, drinks were poured and, in a community installation, guests were invited to write on little patchworks that got hung up on a clothesline, anonymously inviting people to write pick-up lines, love poems, something that makes their heart flutter – a moment for someone to share what filled their heart and to spread some love.
Wind & Water features choreography by Emily Solstice Tait danced by Manitoba Interlake’s Averie Johannesson and TPM’s Artistic Director Ardith Boxall. It enlivens the prairies of the Arborg & District Multicultural Heritage Village and the waters of Finn’s Beach – on Treaty 2 Territory. This contemporary dance piece collaborates with film, dancer and the elements to create a lovely visual feast for the eyes, accompanied by original composition by Arborg Percussionist Sage Stoyanowski. Filmed by BNB Studios – Buio Assis, edited by PJ Jordan, with mentorship from Andraea Sartison.
The Recipes That Made Us is a series of 3 charmingly wholesome 20 minute episodes, where you learn how to make 3 Interlake-beloved recipes and the history & stories behind them: bannock, celery sauce and vinaterta taught by Martine Sawanis, Owen Eyolfson, and Marlene Taylor & Alice Bjornson, respectively! The four guests are pillars in their communities, and TPM was so lucky to have been able to spend a day with each of them, hearing stories, learning about their communities and of course making and breaking bread.
CHAUTAUQUA: THE INTERLAKE TRAIL
Arborg is a booming beacon in the Interlake- both economically and creatively! The town’s cultural roots run deep and are apparent at all intersections- from the Arborg & District Multicultural Heritage Village to the Icelandic River, from the High School arts classes to the Arborg Legion, and the Creative Cocoon! Music and dance fill the nights and barn lofts, and your bellies are always full be it bannock, vinarterta or perogies. Enjoy tales of New Iceland from devoted citizens who keep history alive from generation to generation.
Snake up the Six and take a right at Esso Havakeen Lunch to enter the charming town of Eriksdale! A town with diverse agricultural routes, the sense of community overflows like milk in their creamery. Home of mural painters, choral singers, hard working volunteers, and one famous escaped convict, Eriksdale shines brightly on the highway to Winnipeg’s north (or south--- depending where you are coming from). Our stop here also brings us to lovely Lundar, historic and lively St. Laurent, artistic Ashern and more!
A magical town layered in history and mythology. Step out your door and into a fishing boat, on to the waters of Lake Winnipeg. Many lives have been lost in these waters, but more fish have been caught and more stories have been woven like the thread that connects the Indigenous, Métis and Settler neighbours of this mighty town. The rich musical heritage of the 1960s hootenanny movement has impacted generations of talented musicians and left a legacy of artistic spirit that is mighty powerful! The train doesn’t stop here anymore, but the road trip is worth it to uncover a jewel of Manitoba.
Swimming up the current from the basin of Lake Winnipeg will take you along the mighty Red River to maritime city Selkirk. Here the grass is greener, the catfish are greater and the streets are laden with history of the building of a province and the growth of this urban centre, nestled between the water and prairie fields. Beneath the streets you can imagine the long trodden pathways of Métis and Indigenous peoples who gathered at the river’s banks long before the place had its current name.
Map by Danielle Friesen.