CONNECTION TO LAND
BY SYMMETREE THEATRE, BERTEIG IMAGING & ARTS COUNCIL WOOD BUFFALO
OCTOBER 2022 | WOOD BUFFALO BOUNDARIES OF TREATY 8 TERRITORY.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
Land Acknowledgements have been delivered at the start of meetings and events across Treaty 8 Territory with the goal of encouraging people to understand and show respect for the longstanding Indigenous history that has brought everyone together to reside on this land. While this is an admirable step towards reconciliation, we see the practice evolving from a meaningful one to a simple “check-box-that-needs-to-be-ticked”. Symmetree Theatre believes this to be, because people are not taking the initiative to understand the history of the land and Indigenous Peoples’ relationship to it; an important prerequisite for delivering a meaningful land acknowledgement, as well as calling attention to our need to build mindfulness around current reconciliatory issues with Indigenous understanding at its root.
This video series will catalyze the discussion by showing its audience the importance of our land’s Indigenous history, through individual performance videos. The project will involve hiring 3-4 Indigenous artists who practice different art forms that would lend themselves well to being highlighted on film (a literary artist, dancer, a singer or musician, for example). They would be tasked with creating pieces within their art form which draw from their interpretation of their own connection to the land.
ABOUT THE COMMISSION
Symmetree Theatre is welcoming proposals from Indigenous artists who are local to the Wood Buffalo boundaries of Treaty 8 territory. These proposals should highlight the full vision for a performance video that would explore the themes of "Connection to Land", in as much detail as possible. We welcome proposals from any art form (e.g., dance, literary, music).
Selected artists will be responsible for creating a 3-5 minute original narrative, recruiting and leading a team of artists to support that narrative.
We encourage artists to meaningfully involve Elders and Knowledge-Keepers from their own communities in the development of their proposed piece. Symmetree Theatre will provide financial support for honorariums or tobacco offerings to accommodate this, where appropriate.
The performance will be recorded with a professional videographer commissioned and compensated by Symmetree Theatre. Artists will realize their vision by collaborating with others, including videographers and project managers.
Each proposal must have a designated "Lead Artist". They will act as the point-contact for the project and will arrange for a preview performance of the piece to be made available to the videographers ahead of time. This can be in the form of an in-person rehearsal, or a draft recording of the performance sent digitally. This will include some documented material, explaining the Lead Artist's vision. The Lead Artist will be required to sit in on meetings to help plan creative and logistical elements of the performance in advance with our creative team.
All final submissions must be 100% original, royalty-free and free from risk of being flagged for copyright violations.
Lead Artists will receive $1000.00 (including GST) for the creation of their work. Additional funds may be available for supporting artists, and additional materials (e.g., props).
The project will adhere to the following approximate timeline:
Feb 1 - Artist call closes
Feb 15 - Artists selected
Feb 21 - Weekly meetings begin
April 13 - Performance ready for submission to videographers
May - June - Recording of video material
July - August - Videographers edit material
Oct 3 - Final videos submitted to Symmetree Theatre
SUBMITTING A PROPOSAL
Symmetree Theatre is accepting proposals through the Arts Council Wood Buffalo opportunities portal, which can be found here. Registering is completely free, and the portal will walk you through how to compile your proposal.
We are also accepting oral applications for this opportunity. For more information or for any support submitting for this opportunity, please contact Luay Eljamal at 587--674-1625 ext 102.
Artist must be Indigenous
Artist must reside within the Wood Buffalo boundaries of Treaty 8 Territory
Proposals must incorporate the land in Treaty 8 Territory
ABOUT THE VIDEOS
The final videos will be artistic and cinematic in nature (not documentary/expose), and will be local to Treaty 8, highlighting not only the performers, but the locations and spaces around the performers that are iconically “Treaty 8”. They will premiere as part of Arts Council Wood Buffalo's 2022 Buffys Awards Showcase, and will live in perpetuity thereafter online.
For examples of similar projects, please preview the following:
We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.
This project was developed in collaboration with: