Our Fundraising Dinner

Thanks to everyone who attended our fundraising dinner: The Art of Reconciliation.

This was a wonderful evening to mingle with the community, share a delicious meal, and be inspired by the creativity of award-winning multi-media artist KC Adams!

The 1491 menu, created by Chef Steven Watson of the Common Wealth College, was a very special experience that included 3 sisters soup, Sumac rubbed smoked pickerel on duck fat fried wild rice cake, Bison with burned sage, tobacco, berries, fired parsnip, and roasted potatoes.Wild rice pudding with corn, blueberries, hazelnuts, and maple. Such a delicious and unique experience!

And the evening capped off with an engaging talk by KC Adams, sharing her art and her story with all who attended.

We are grateful for the amazing artists who were part of our evening, and for the incredible community of people who came out to support us.

 

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Workshops 2019/2020

We have an exciting array of emerging artist workshops for the 2019/2020 season.

We began the year with the Launchpad Project!  Our new emerging artist program that brought together 10 emerging artists under the fabulous guidance and mentorship of Victoria Hill and Lindsay Johnson. This group of enthusiastic emerging artists participated in intensive workshops with professional artists like Directing with Brenda McLean, Devised Theatre with One Trunk Theatre’s Andraea Sartison, movement with Tanja Woloshen, and improv with Outside Joke’s Andrea del Campo. They then took this skill development and devised a show for FemFest 2019 called To Kill a Lizard.

Sara Groleau, one of the participants, expressed how grateful she was for the opportunity to join with other creative, enthusiastic emerging artists.

“I loved how everyone on our team had different backgrounds and perspectives. I’m happy that I got the chance to take creative risks and try new skills that I probably wouldn’t have tried outside of this environment. I’m honoured that our show was a part of FemFest because it’s such a great festival and it made me feel that much more at home in Winnipeg’s strong theatre community. My favourite part was the people: the Sarasvàti team including our coordinators/facilitators, our workshop leaders, and of course my fellow LaunchPadders!”

This was a fantastic platform for emerging artists to collaborate and develop their skills, create a show from scratch, and perform on the FemFest stage. Also at FemFest this year we offered a Pop Art Performance workshop with xLq and a Playwriting Masterclass with Yvette Nolan. xLq’s workshop gave participants a chance to explore Pop Art Performance, audience interaction, and creating safe spaces to explore and push the boundaries of performance. And Canadian playwright Yvette Nolan worked with and challenged emerging playwrights to hone their craft, culminating in a reading of excerpts of new pieces by the participants at a performance we called Leaping off the Page.

Our workshop series has already been a success this year and it’s just the beginning…

Up next we start off our first of four Coffee with a Pro series – where emerging artists will have a chance to sit down with a professional in their field, ask questions, learn, and engage in an intimate conversation about their craft. Our first session will be on playwriting and we are excited to have Audrey Dwyer as our professional! Along with being the new Assistant Artistic Director at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Audrey is an award winning multi-disciplinary artist with over twenty years of experience working as an Actor, Director, Playwright, Teacher, Facilitator and Mentor.

Then early in 2020 we’ll be offering a movement workshop with contemporary dancer and choreographer Ali Robson. Ali works in both dance and theatre and is curious about collaborating across disciplines and creating work with and for people of all ages. She has worked as a dancer, teacher, choreographer, rehearsal director, movement coach and collaborator since 2004. She brings a special combination of dance and theatre expertise and we are very excited to have her on board!

We will also be offering panel discussions on important topics in the theatre community and more workshops for emerging artists throughout the year, so keep your eyes peeled for more information soon and check out our latest blog post for more on workshops.

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Up Next for Sarasvàti

110 artists and production crew, 39 volunteers, and countless audience members made FemFest 2019 a huge success! We reflect on this in our latest blog post and are gearing up for a fantastic season of new projects, workshops, and performances ahead.

Coming up we have a fundraising dinner featuring award-winning multi-media artist KC Adams and a special 1491 menu, and our emerging artist workshop series will be kicking off in the upcoming month. The workshops will continue throughout the winter and spring offering mentorship opportunities with professionals in various theatrical fields, as well as, workshops and panels on a variety of exciting and thought provoking topics – stay tuned for more on this soon!

March 2-8, 2020 we will be holding our annual International Women’s Week Cabaret of Monologues and May 21-24 we will be presenting the work that has been created as part of our Seven Visions Reconciliation Through Theatre Project. This will be the result of 7 workshops throughout the year that bring together Indigenous youth, elders, and artists to create a safe space to tell their stories through art.

Lots to look forward to, for more details about the year ahead see our blog post!

 

 

 

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Community Service Recognition Award

Our Artistic Director, Hope McIntyre, and Sarasvàti Productions are proud recipients of the Community Service Recognition award that will be presented as part of the sesquicentennial (150th year anniversary) of Mahatma Gandhi. 

In celebration of this event the Mahatma Gandhi Centre of Canada (MGCC) will be honouring Mahatma Ghandhi by holding two days of activities.

The October 2nd event will be co-sponsored by the CMHR and the Borden-King Institute. Following the garlanding ceremony at the Mahatma Gandhi Statue at 5:30 pm, and a commemorative talk in the CMHR Lecture Hall at 6:00 pm by the Gandhian scholar Professor Vinay Lal of UCLA, USA, there will be a screening of Richard Attenborough’s acclaimed 1982 movie “GANDHI”. This event will be open to the public and free of charge. Complimentary tickets for the event can be obtained online from the CMHR or by phone 204-289-2000.

The Annual Gala Dinner of the MGCC will be held on October 3rd at the Buhler Hall of the CMHR, starting at 6:00 pm. His Excellency Dr. Vikas Swarup, High Commissioner of India to Canada will present the keynote address. Community Service Recognition Awards will be presented to the following: Mr. James Favel & Bear Clan Patrol; Drs. Daya & Chander Gupta; Mr. Bashir Khan; Ms. Hope McIntyre & Sarasvati Productions; Mr. Kishore Modha; Councillor Devi Sharma; and Mr. Sushil K Sharma. A commemorative book entitled “Embracing Nonviolence and Reconciliation”, edited by Ms Manju Lodha will be released. Tickets can be purchased for $75 by emailing info@gandhicentre.ca.

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Last Weekend of FemFest 2019

The final weekend of FemFest 2019 is around the corner and you still have time to catch the exciting programming at our festival this year.

Touring Shows

This year FemFest is bringing some truly unique performance experiences with our touring shows Like Mother, Like Daughter and 4inXchange will be playing throughout the weekend.

Don’t miss your chance to take in 4inXchange. The Toronto based Pop Art duo known as xLq bring a theatrical style unlike anything you’ve seen before. The performers create a safe space to explore questions about value, intimacy, love, and truth in this interactive game created for only 4 audience members at a time, through a series of of dialogues, chances, competitions, and meditations.

You will interact with the performers and your fellow audience members – but don’t be intimidated! They make it fun and comfortable, while at the same time creating a truly unique and thought provoking experience.

With only 4 slots per show be sure to book ahead on our website or by calling our office M-F, 204-586-2236. Here’s an Instagram boomerang of xLq to spark your interest.

Like Mother, Like Daughter is another touring project not to be missed. This project brings together real life Indigenous and Immigrant mother/daughter pairs to share their stories in an improvised format originally co-created by Toronto’s Why Not Theatre and London’s Complicité Creative Learning. Brought to Winnipeg for FemFest we have an amazing group of local mothers and daughters participating in the project. Click here to check out our latest blog post and find out more about them. The performance ends with the audience sharing a meal with the participants and continuing the conversation! 

Local Shows

There’s still a chance to catch our walking tour All Winnipeg’s A Stage. Travel around Winnipeg’s downtown to pop up parks and shops and enjoy the incredible talents of local performers. Highlights include multilingual Spoken Word poet Amber O’Reilly sharing her poetry at the eclectic local used book store Bison Books, the gorgeous indie folk melodies of Philippine born singer/songwriter Hera Nalam – featured in our latest FemFest video, and Dancer, choreographer, and ASL interpreter Ms. Iris Perchaluk (z eye) embodying the lyrics of music in a truly unique way…among others!

And last but not least the world premiere of Baby Box a new play co-written by 3 established Canadian playwrights who created this piece from 3 uniquely different female perspectives on the experience of placing a baby in a baby box. Directed by our Artistic Director, Hope McIntyre, choreographed by Ali Robson, and performed by local Winnipeg performers this show is original blend of movement, lyrical text, and powerful prose.

Be sure to book ahead to ensure you don’t miss your chance to catch all that FemFest 2019 has to offer!

 

 

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FemFest 2019 More Accessible Than Ever

This year at FemFest 2019: All The World’s A Stage we are offering ASL interpreters and Child Minding services for select performances throughout the festival.

ASL Interpreting

There will be 4 performances with ASL interpreting, helping to make the festival more accessible and inclusive to as many community members as possible.

Raising Stanley/Life with Tulia: September 15th 2:00pm
Launchpad: September 17th 8:30pm
Baby Box: September 18th 8:30pm
Like Mother, Like Daughter: September 19th 6:30pm

Child Minding

We understand that as a parent, finding time to enjoy theatre child-free can be nearly impossible. That is why this year, we are happy to offer Child Minding at FemFest for 3 selected performances, free of charge!
Child Minding will need to be booked 24 hours before the performance start time. You can book your child’s spot by emailing info@sarasvati.ca or calling (204) 586-2236.

 

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The Art of Reconciliation

Please join us for an evening with award winning, multi-media artist KC Adams (kcadams.com). We are excited to present this unique event that ties in to our current work, but also allows folks to gather for an inspiring talk over wonderful food.

The Art of Reconciliation – a fundraising evening and dinner featuring a Special 1491 Menu

Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Doors open at 5:30 PM

Location: Crossways in Common, 222 Furby Street (corner of Broadway and Furby)

Parking: Street parking is available as well as the Thompson Funeral Home (across Broadway), after business hours only.

Tickets $50, includes a tax receipt for $25. Cash wine bar. Purchase now!

KC Adams is a Winnipeg-based artist who graduated from Concordia University with a B.F.A in studio arts. Adams has had several solo exhibitions, group exhibitions and been in three biennales including the PHOTOQUAI: Biennale des images du monde in Paris, France. Adams participated in residencies at the Banff Centre, the Confederation Art Centre in Charlottetown, the National Museum of the American Indian and the Parramatta Arts Gallery in Australia. She was the scenic designer for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Going Home Star: Truth and Reconciliation. She co-designed a 30-foot public art sculpture called Niimama for the Winnipeg Forks and a piece for the United Way of Winnipeg called Community. Adams was awarded the Winnipeg Arts Council’s Making A Mark Award and Canada’s Senate 150 medal recipient for her accomplishments with her Perception Photo Series.

Art of Reconciliation Poster

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FemFest 2019 Features Downtown Winnipeg

Feeling unsure of how to navigate your way downtown? Our latest video by Snow Angel Films will show the ropes! From transportation to details on our walking tour, find out why downtown is a great place to see theatre. 

The performer in the video with the beautiful voice is singer/songwriter Heram Nelam who is part of our FemFest 2019: All Winnipeg’s A Stage Walking Tour. Hope to see you at FemFest running Sept. 14-21st.

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Assistant Artistic Director Announced

The Board of Directors of Sarasvàti Productions is pleased to announce the appointment of Elizabeth Whitbread as Assistant Artistic Director. Hope McIntyre, as founding artistic director, has indicated a need to transition the company to new leadership in a year’s time. The filling of this position will support both the longevity of the company and allow McIntyre to focus on other pursuits.

Whitbread was born and raised in Winnipeg and trained in theatre at the University of Winnipeg. Since graduation, she has been splitting her time between Winnipeg and Toronto, most recently working as the Communications and Administrative Coordinator with The Theatre Centre in Toronto. Her previous experience includes producer of the Toronto Fringe Youth Takeover Night, assistant producer of Seven Siblings Theatre, associate producer of Lost & Gone, participant in the Festival Administrators Program with the Paprika Festival as well as the Young Innovators Program at the Nightwood Theatre, and emerging artist in residence with Theatre Projects Manitoba. She is now eager to bring her skills and energy to supporting transformative theatre that has been the hallmark of Sarasvàti’s 18 years of collaborative work in Winnipeg.

“I’m thrilled to be returning home and taking on the role of Assistant Artistic Director,” said Liz Whitbread. “Sarasvàti does incredibly important work in the Winnipeg theatre community as well as in advancing issues of social justice and equity and I’m really looking forward to making those community connections and learning from Hope and the rest of the team.”

The Board of Directors is excited about the energy and willingness to learn that Whitbread brings to the company at this time of transition and change. With the request to the board by founder and long-serving director Hope McIntyre to begin succession planning, it became an urgent priority to recruit an Assistant Artistic Director to work side by side with McIntyre as she takes Sarasvàti into its 19th season in Winnipeg, learning from her vast experience and absorbing crucial knowledge and trade practices. Whitbread takes up her position in time for FemFest, allowing her to be involved in job shadowing during this signature event of Sarasvàti’s calendar year and then to begin assisting with programming decisions for the rest of the 2019/20 season.

The community owes Hope McIntyre a debt of gratitude for creating and leading what has become the most established of independent theatre companies in Winnipeg and uniquely positioning Sarasvàti Productions as an innovator in transformative theatre. The Board of Directors knows it will be difficult to fill her shoes but believes that the best way to honour McIntyre’s contribution is to ensure that Sarasvàti continues and grows as a leader in transformative theatre that presents significant social issues engages in community collaboration and supports emerging artists. With the hiring of Liz Whitbread as her assistant, the preparation for succession has begun and the ground laid for an effective year-long transition of responsibility and new leadership.

The position of Assistant Artistic Director has been made possible with the generous support of the Winnipeg Foundation.

 

About Sarasvàti Productions: Founded in Winnipeg in 2000, Sarasvàti Productions is experimental and transformative theatre that presents significant social issues; engages in community collaboration; and supports emerging artists. FemFest has been up and kicking since 2003 and to date has showcased hundreds of artists!

 

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Emerging Artist Resource List

This summer we held a Making a Living in Theatre workshop as part of our emerging artist workshop series. This was a fantastic opportunity for professionals, new theatre artists, and everything in between to discuss how to make a living in the theatre industry. Panelists and theatre professionals Katie German, Karen Schellenberg, Donna Fletcher, and Simon Miron were invited to guide the discussions.

Some topics discussed included the process of putting on your own production, receiving grants for your production, and finding local artists to collaborate with, among many other great topics! Panelists were able to offer insights and share stories.

Some of the workshop participants expressed interest in having a resource list for emerging artists. We have the compiled a list here to get the process started. Feel free to let us know anyone we missed and we’ll continue to grow this list!

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