By These Presents: “Purchasing Toronto” (video)
A site specific investigation of the Toronto Purchase and subsequent land cessions. Historical text, petition, and oral memory are brought to life through a vibrant all-Indigenous cast.
By these Presents references Etobicoke Creek., which has never been ceded and is now subject to a water claim by the Mississaugas of the Credit. The creek is the disputed western boundary of the Toronto Purchase of 1787 and the eastern boundary of the 1805 Head of the Lake cession (treaties 13 and 14 respectively). Scenes were shot at the waterfront boundaries of the Toronto Purchase and Fort York Historic Site.
Director: Ange Loft
Written by Ange Loft and Victoria Freeman
Co-director: Martha Stiegman
Edited by Amy Siegel and Adrienne Marcus Raja.
Cast: Brendan Austin, Candy Blair, Jill Carter, Theresa Cutknife, Pesch Nepoose, Jamie Oshkabewisens, Ashley Riley, Kitsuné Soleil, Jesse Wabegijig
Recent and Upcoming Screenings:
ReFrame Film Festival, Peterborough, Jan. 25, 2020 (Part One only)
Historical Gathering, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, Feb. 19, 2020
Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) conference, Toronto, May 2020 (conference cancelled due to pandemic)
Glasgow Short Film Festival, Glasgow, Scotland, August 17-23, 2020 (online UK only)
Asinabka Indigenous Film Festival, Ottawa, September 16-17, 2020 (online)
San Francisco American Indian Film Festival, November 6-14, 2020 (online)
By These Presents: “Purchasing Toronto”
Co-writer of three videos and historical researcher for Jumblies Theatre multimedia installation at the Small Arms Inspection Building, Mississauga, for the Toronto Biennial of Art, September 21 to Dec. 1, 2019. Lead Artist: Ange Loft
Birds Make Me Think About Freedom
Co-Writer and performer, with L’Arche Toronto Sol Express and Cheryl Zinyk
October 22, 2019 Kings UC, Western University, London Ontario
Previously performed (and streamed live on video) on March 19, 2019, as part of Flying to Freedom, an event organized by Community Living Ontario, marking the 10th anniversary of the closing of Ontario institutions for people with intellectual disabilities, Al Green Theatre, JCC, Toronto
Premiered: 2018 Toronto Fringe Festival, July 6 to 15, 2018,
Reviews from first production:
Talking Treaties Spectacle
A MOBILE HISTORICAL MUSICAL PERFORMANCE directed by Ange Loft for Jumblies Theatre
Co-writer, with Ange Loft, and historical consultant
OCTOBER 4TH – 7TH, 2018
AT HISTORIC FORT YORK, TORONTO
Mooney On Theatre Review
First performed at the Indigenous Arts Festival, Fort York, June 23 & 25, 2017
choreographed by Sachar Zarif
Dance Ontario Weekend,
Paula Fleck Dance Theatre,
January 16, 2016.
IGNITE! Experimental Open House and Presentation
Historical Presenter, Participating artist
Canadian Music Centre, Toronto
September 12, 2015
A collaboration between Jumblies Theatre, Musica Reflecta, and the Canadian Music Centre, that brought 6 composers and over 20 musicians, dancers, visual artists, and actors together for one day to create and performed six site-specific aural/theatrical compositions that were developed in response to my presentation on the Indigenous history of Toronto. Presenter and participating artist.
UNDERNEATH: A City Place Cantata
My poem “Fish Refuse Coming into the River” was included in the libretto of this new cantata commissioned by Jumblies Theatre. Performed June 26, 2015, George Brown Waterfront Campus, and June 10 and March 28, 2015 at The Ground Floor, Jumblies Theatre. Music composed by Martin van de Ven, with original songs by Rosary Spence, featuring Vania Chan, Brian Katz, Arie van de Ven, Shifra Cooper, Victoria Peter, members of the Ground Floor and Making Room Community Choirs .
TRAIN OF THOUGHT
Participating artist, May 22-27, 2015,
Winnipeg, Kenora, Thunder Bay, White River, Sudbury, Toronto
Train of Thought was an amazing cross-Canada odyssey by train, bus, and car, an evolving community arts journey from west to east coast, “a counter-colonial route to collect and share stories, buried histories and imagined landscapes of the land where we live: as it might have been, as it is, as it could be: drawing on perception, memory, history and imagination; merging whimsy and serious intent, bringing together artists and community members, the land’s first people and all those who have found refuge here over the years and generations.”
See my Traveller of the Day Blog for May 27
April 11, 2015
A Sol Express Production
Paper Mill Theatre
STAND UP, STAND OUT
SPOKEN WORD PERFORMANCE, June 14, 2014, Guildwood Park, Scarborough
Contributing artist to Restless Precinct, a site specific, group exhibition and performance series developed by curatorial collective SUM°, which transformed Scarborough’s Guildwood Park through engagement with the landscape, architectural fragments and communities that populate and absent the site. Curated by Reena Katz and Alize Zorlutuna.
Stand Up, Stand Out
In a world of racial hierarchies that tried to tag him as inferior and “below” Europeans, Oronhyatekha, a Mohawk doctor and the Supreme Chief Ranger of the International Order of Foresters, built the tallest building in the British Empire — at the corner of Bay and Richmond streets in downtown Toronto.
My spoken word performance/collage brought the remaining fragments of the facade of Oronhyatekha’s 1895 Temple Building into dynamic conversation with two texts. The first was the 1904 catalogue of his collection of artifacts, which was displayed in the Temple Building and included “exotic curiosities” from his travels, miniatures of architecturally famous buildings, and historically and culturally significant items from the Indigenous nations of the Great Lakes. This collection was donated to the Royal Ontario Museum soon after the museum was founded, and some of it is still on view today. The second text consisted of two letters to the editor written by Oronhyatekha and published in the Toronto Daily Mail in December 1875 in response to letters by white men disparaging Indigenous and Six Nations people and in particular their treatment of women. My words – and Oronhyatekha’s – played with elevations, appearances, comparisons, collections, and what remains.
THEATRE, June 19-20, 2013, Papermill Theatre, Todmorden Mills
A Production of Sol Express
Sol Express is made up of individuals with intellectual disabilities who work with program director Cheryl Zinyk, and with other professionals in the creative community, to develop skills in drama, dance, voice and art. Sol Express’ goal is to promote opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities and to allow them to share their gifts with others through creative expression.
CEREMONY, April 1, 2013, Ward Island
Reworked Jewish Seder ceremony incorporating the Indigenous history of Toronto, with Ruth Howard, artistic director of Jumblies Theatre, First Nations singers Rosary Spence and Marie Gaudet, and First Nations chef Peter Jones.
SONG-WRITING WORKSHOPS, Fall-Spring 2012-13, Cedar Ridge Creative Arts Centre, Scarborough
Historical consultant and participant in song-writing workshops incorporating the Indigenous history of Toronto, with First Nations singers Rosary Spence and Marie Gaudet, Jumbies Theatre director Ruth Howard, as well as musician Cathy Nosati and singer Sharada Eswar for a Scarborough youth group, Tamil seniors groups, and Scarborough Native Child and Family Services, hosted by Jumblies Theatre, Fall/Spring 2012-13.
LET OUR GHOSTS BE SPIRITS
THEATRE WORKSHOP PRODUCTION, April 22, 2011, The Theatre Centre
Historical consultant and co-writer
Let Our Ghosts Be Spirits, a play about the Indigenous history of Toronto, was co-created with Indigenous theatre artists Jani Lauzon and Penny Couchie. Produced by One Spoon Productions.