It was during the third week of the Songs and Stories of Migration and Encounter workshops that the participants fully dove into the creative process. With reflections on the words and ideas shared during the first two weeks the youth were inspired to begin brainstorming and creating their piece for the final performance on October 22.
In Menelik Hall, the facilitator Ons Barnat set up the musical instruments to let the youth practice and play with. They chose some popular songs to jam to, getting them into the rhythm and mindset of creative ideas. We welcomed back Reverend Phyllis who shared more stories of her life and experiences in Whitney Pier. She brought with her a Speech Stick – which brought everyone together to share wonderful thoughts about the people in their lives that they love and have influenced them.
In Cheticamp we had the amazing opportunity to sit down and have an interview with Myron Sims, a community elder from Cheticamp. Myron talked about his experience as a Chogyam Trunpa disciple in the 1970’s. Myron also showed us his piano playing skills, which developed from a long time love of Jazz and RNB music.
This week at Étoile de l’Acadie we had the opportunity to work in their beautiful music room. The youth had decided they wanted to create a song as their final showpiece. With that they started the initial steps to writing a song: creating a beat. This beat was created by one of our youth step dancers. With that beat we recorded the first round of lyrics, focusing of the proudness of being a francophone from Cape Breton Island.
In Membertou we welcomed to new indigenous elders: Jane and Clifford. They both had amazing and animated stories to share. Both Jane and Clifford were so excited to have the opportunity to chat and share with the youth, encouraging them to create some lyrics. By the end of our session the youth had written down some possible lyrics that were directly inspired by the elders.
This week really demonstrated the inspiration that comes from talking and learning from our elders. It led the youth to develop their own stories and share feelings that can be expressed in their creative showcase. Everyone is looking forward to seeing what the following workshops will bring, and will continue building on what they’ve accomplished so far.