If you’ve been a Thompson resident since the start, or have history of the city you would like to share, this is your chance. The Tale of a Town is a national theatre and oral history initiative that is making its way to Thompson next week.
Charles Ketchabaw, managing director of FIXT POINT, says they’re travelling across Canada recording stories and history of the downtown scene in different communities, and have been doing for the past year. The family, with their two-year-old-son will arrive in Thompson and will be collecting stories June 8-9. “We take our mobile recording studio, and we park it on the main street, and invite residents, stakeholders, and community members in and tell their stories about their main streets.”
Ketchabaw says they’re doing this project leading up to Canada’s 150 anniversary in 2017, where they will tour the cities again with a play created from the stories they’re told.
Many downtowns are losing their sense of community, says Ketchabaw, and he doesn’t want that to happen. “Downtown community culture is changing rapidly across the country. Local is going global and a lot of our main streets are disappearing. So our thinking was that it’s a problem because none of these things are really being remembered, and there’s not a lot of oral history developed around main streets.”
Each story collected with go into the Tale of a Town archive, and will be edited down to create one- or two-minute stories that will be mapped digitally on an online map of Canada. Citizens will be able to click on the cities and hear about the history. The stories are also used for podcasts.
Ketchabaw says he hopes this project will re-engage communities to their main streets, and create a new bustling area. The group will be set up at the Thompson Public Library during their stay in the city. Ketchabaw noted he hopes to speak to long-time residents who have been in Thompson since the city was created to fully understand the history of the northern community.
Anyone who is interested in speaking with the Tale of a Town when they’re in Thompson can call Ketchabaw at 416-895-7825 or email Charles@fixtpoint.com. More information can also be found on their social media sites under FIXT POINT.
After Thompson the team will be travelling to Churchill on June 11-16 to hear stories even further north, then will continue on to Saskatchewan and Alberta.