What Is A Brief Canadian History?
A Brief Canadian History is a multi-media music/theatre performance. It is an education package designed to celebrate and promote a deeper awareness of Canada, and Canada's First Nationís art, culture and history. A Brief Canadian Historyís purpose is to ask the question, "Why are we still searching for our Canadian identity?" to audiences across the country, while encouraging them to arrive at their own answers to this question.
A Brief Canadian History brings a fresh focus and interpretation to the historical figures and events that have shaped both Native and Canadian history. The title was chosen to represent the period, which began when Europeans occupied and commenced their exploitation of Canada. This is indeed a brief period of time, when viewed from the context of native history, which dates back some 10,000 years. This engaging performance takes its audience on a geographical and cultural voyage across Canada, touching on events that have boldly or subtly helped to define our nation.
Our performances highlight legendary Canadian figures and historical events such as: Louis Riel, the Last Spike, Alexander Graham Bell, the Underground Railroad, the Scottish Highland Clearances, the Klondike Gold Rush, Les Patriotes, the Irish Famine, the Blackfoot, Tom Thomson, the sinking of the Titanic, women and the right to vote, John McCrae & WWI, The Depression, WWII & Elsie MacGill, Hugh MacLennan, Canada joining the United Nations, the FLQ Crisis, the Oka Crisis, and the struggle of First Nationís attaining the right to vote.
Throughout the performance, music provides the linking thread, which engages the audience in an age-old storytelling tradition. The narratives and songs are designed to relate the stories of people, events and places, as well as to encourage debate and discussion. While dealing sensitively and without cultural bias with these subject matters, the narratives and songs illustrate the integral aspects of our past and also demonstrate the need to explore these issues so that we, as Canadians, may use their lessons to shape our future.
A Brief Canadian History, a uniquely Native-Canadian performance, is especially geared towards the schools, embassies, cultural centres and festival networks. It provides a forum for debate and for classroom discussion on subjects which include Canadian history, music, art, geography, literature, political science, and Native issues.
Following performances a facilitator or First Nations cultural worker may be hired to encourage audience discussion, to answer questions, and to elaborate on the themes explored in the music.