As part of the 2020 Downtown Eastside, Heart of the City Festival, now on until November 8th, The Firehall Arts Centre and Vancouver Moving Theatre are presenting – In the Beginning: A Cultural Sharing – from Wednesday, November 4th to Saturday, November 7th.
Five cultural sharing events will take place over four days including; Over The Mountains, From The Waters, Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh, and Squamish.
Coast Salish/Dené storyteller, filmmaker and performer Rosemary Georgeson and the Firehall’s Artistic Producer Donna Spencer delve into the stories and history of the Indigenous peoples in the area that we now call Vancouver prior to and during colonization. Over five evolving events, Georgeson, Spencer, and moderator Kim Haxton are joined by Indigenous elders, knowledge keepers, and artists from the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh homelands; and those who came down the rivers, across the waters or across the mountains to area.
In the Beginning: A Cultural Sharing includes stories of the land told by people of the land with images projected of the land and waters as well as historic and personal photos. This is the second stage of the exploration of the many individuals and groups from different cultural heritages who have made Vancouver’s East Side, and in particular Strathcona, Chinatown, Gastown and Paueru Gai (Powell Street), the neighbourhoods they are today.
During the Firehall‘s 2019-2020 season, and the 2019 DTES Heart of the City Festival, Rosemary Georgeson and Donna Spencer, with assistance from Vancouver Moving Theatre’s Artistic Director, began this exploration of the
history of the neighbourhood surrounding the Firehall Arts Centre. Drawing on collected materials from a number of sources, the collaborators explored the neighbourhood through reference materials and found information on the many different cultural communities who lived and worked there and contributed to the rich history of the neighbourhood as well as the broader city of Vancouver. During this first project, they kept questioning “where are the Indigenous voices in this history?” – so they began the process of seeking out those who could help reveal and unwrap the stories of those who lived in that area prior to contact, colonization, and settlement.
This and the hope to create a greater understanding is what In the Beginning: A Cultural Sharing is about, to share in the experience yourself find ticket information at firehallartscentre.ca