Published On: Mon, Jun 3rd, 2013 at 12:51pm

Walking Theatre Company at Holyrood this month

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The Walking Theatre Company, and their offspring ‘Canadian Walking Youth Theatre’, present the Scottish debut of an original work “Selkirk’s New Nation” at The Scottish Parliament in June.

Scottish Social Enterprise, The Walking Theatre Company (TWTC), produce a unique brand of interactive outdoor theatre, engaging audiences within the play, the cultural heritage and natural environment that surrounds them.

The Canadian Walking Youth Theatre is made up of a diverse group of pupils from Powerview School in Manitoba, descended from Canadian First Nations, (Cree, Ojibwe, Mètis) and French, Irish and Scottish settlers.

“Our fantastic story started when Powerview School teacher, Nancy Kovachik, visited Scotland in 2010. She came here to take part in a Fiddle workshop, hosted by Mari Campbell, on the beautiful western Isle of Lismore. Quite literally as she got of the boat, she was whisked along to join in a Walking Theatre Company show: TWTC working with their first youth team ‘The Lismore Walking Youth Theatre’ were doing what they do best that day; entertain!

“Nancy was in her own words “utterly swept away by the experience” and immediately after the show, she grabbed Artistic Director & Playwright, Sadie Dixon-Spain, saying “can you bring this amazing thing to Canada”; and so an unusual transatlantic adventure began.

“Selkirk’s New Nation” was born! The play written by Sadie Dixon-Spain, shaped by the youth teams own heritage and cultural references, explores the impact of Lord Selkirk’s ‘Scots’ Settlers upon Canadian history and the legacy shared by the Canadians and the Scots today. A TWTC team worked in Manitoba for 3 weeks, this May, forming the very first ‘Canadian Walking Youth Theatre’ and producing the play to 4 public performances around the province over 1 very hectic and hugely fun weekend. Politically with the Mètis people this year, being granted their own ‘land rights’ by the Canadian Government, after an ignored treaty of 1870, the story has held a special connection for many of our audience and the Scots Diaspora. For 100’s of years the Mètis people have been a ‘hidden people’ without land, or identity, lost like the generations of cleared Highlanders, however, like Selkirk’s people, they have found their ‘own way’.

“Nancy’s extraordinary vision was so much more than the creation of a play, and a transatlantic collaboration. The inspirational work of Staff, pupils and the community of Powerview has led to over $100,000 Canadian, being raised to enable their Youth Team to come to Scotland in June and perform the play at Holyrood and on the Isle of Lismore in June 2013, thus beginning their own Scottish adventure. This visit is very poignant to many of the youth group who feel they will be visiting their ‘home from home’ for the very first time and represents a lifetime opportunity, and to perform at Holyrood with the support of Scottish MSP’s is an extraordinary boost, the event has been kindly sponsored by Mr. Mike MacKenzie MSP.”


525330_10201220494699847_599768850_nAdmission to the performance at The Scottish Parliament is by invitation only; please contact us to be added to the guest list.

The Isle of Lismore performance Sunday 30 June 2013 at 14.30hrs is a public event, followed by tea in the Café.

For more information, and Guest List enquiries, please contact or call 01369 820 115.

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About the Author

- Founding Editor of The Edinburgh Reporter. Edinburgh-born multimedia journalist, and always available for freelance work. A keen iPhoneographer!

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