Workshops & Presentations


 2011 Workshops, Panel presentations & Special Events: 


Barry Ahenakew, Louise Halfe, Dawn Dumont and Marcel Petit
Location:  Production Centre “La Troupe du Jour”

Bannockdotes is somewhere between “The Debators” and a night at the Improv where the public selects a few topics to which our invited authors will debate and discuss.  Join Barry Ahenakew, Louise Halfe, Dawn Dumont and Marcel Petit and Barry Ahenakew as they share impromptu stories with humour, laughter and wit.

Book Launch & Open Mic at the Roxy
Location:  The Roxy Theatre

MARIA CAMPBELL presented by Gabriel Dumont Institute
Maria Campbell’s highly-acclaimed Stories of the Road Allowance People is the quintessential collection of traditional Michif stories. Since it was first published in 1995, this treasured resource has given voice to Métis Elders and has informed both Métis and non-Métis about the traditional Michif worldview. The Gabriel Dumont Institute is honoured to offer this invaluable book in a new edition. With a new story and introduction by Maria Campbell, new artwork by Sherry Farrell Racette and a narration component in English and in Michif, Stories of the Road Allowance People provides readers with poignant retellings of Michif traditional stories handed down from lii vyeu—the Old People.

HAROLD JOHNSON presented by Thistledown Press
Harold Johnson is launching his fifth book, The Cast Stone, a fictional account of a US invasion of Canada that forces First Nations to decide where their loyalties lie with respect to a history of Treaties and racial conflict.  Johnson has four previous publications: Billy Tinker (fiction, Thistledown Press, 2001), Back Track (Thistledown Press, fiction, 2005 ), Charlie Muskrat (Thistledown Press, fiction, 2008), and Two Families: Treaties and Government (non-fiction, 2007, Purich Publishing). Both Back Track and Two Families were nominated for Anskohk Book Awards in 2006 (Book of the Year and Fiction) and 2007 (Book of the Year) respectively. All his titles have been nominated for Saskatchewan Book Awards.

DAWN DUMONT presented by Thistledown Press
In spring 2011 Dawn Dumont launched Nobody Cries at Bingo -- a comedic and affectionate look at life on the Rez drawn from Dumont's experiences growing up on Okanese First Nation. Dumont is an exciting addition to ânskohk as she is well-known for her work on APTN as co-host of APTN's Fish Out of Water, her four plays that have been produced by CBC Radio, and her contributions to popular programs such as CBC Radio's Definitely Not the Opera and CBC TV's The Debaters. Dumont is a comedian with eight years of experience behind her.

Readings and book signing will be followed by an Open Mic Event open to all genres of literary arts.

Curtis Peeteetuce & Alan Long
Session A:    Playwriting
Location:   Production Centre “La Troupe du Jour”

The one hour workshop is presented in four components: 1) What is Theatre? 2) What is Playwriting? 3) How Does A Play Get Produced/Published? 4) An Interactive Theatre Exercise.

Target audience:  Anyone interested in writing for theatre, general public

Janet Rogers & Marcel Petit
Session B:    Poetry in audio and video

Location:    PAVED Arts

Examples of recorded audio poems will be played with discussion and questions and answers to follow.  Participants will screen Janet’s video poems and partake in a discussion regarding funding sources for video projects, story boarding, visualization with poetry and avenues where video poetry can be screened.     Participants will also view the video poem titled “Insult to injury” named after the poem and featuring homeless women, addicted women and street workers reciting poem to camera.  A powerful short video produced by Marcel Petit followed by an open discussion.  If time permits, participants may bring their own poem to share with group.

Target audience: Aboriginal authors, poets, film students, teachers, general public

Larry Loyie & Constance Brissenden
Session C:    Perspectives on Aboriginal Publishing
Location:   Ukrainian Orthodox Church

This is a look at the Aboriginal publishing industry from an Aboriginal viewpoint. Cree author Larry Loyie shares an insider’s perspective as a published author since 1998. Included is an informative and up-to-date overview of the industry based on interviews with publishers, authors and librarians by co-author Constance Brissenden. The presenters will make suggestions for submitting manuscripts and share a list of Canada’s Aboriginal publishers.

Target audience: Aboriginal authors, librarians, teachers, general public

Wes Funk
Session D:    Self-publishing 101 – The 3 Essential Steps
Location:    Core Neighbourhood Youth Coop

The digital age has dramatically altered the Canadian literary landscape and writers are currently searching for new methods in which to allow their stories to manifest.  Wes will cover the three major steps to self-publishing. “Publish – Distribute – Market” walking you through each amazing details of the journey to publishing your own material.

Target audience:  Emerging writers, general public

Session E:   Grant Application & Resources
Location:    Ukrainian Orthodox Church Hall

Join representative of the Canada Council for the Arts, Saskatchewan Arts Board and Saskatchewan Writers Guild as they present the resources and grants available to established and emerging authors.

Target audience:  Emerging writers, established authors, general public

Dawn Dumont
Session F:    Writing for Comedy

Location:    Core Neighbourhood Youth Coop

What a better way to warm up a crowd than telling a well-crafted joke. Dawn will share her life as a stand-up comic; present the different style and the important element of writing a good joke.  She will guide participants in writing a three minute set for stand-up comedy.  Time permitting, participants will have an opportunity to present their work and test it with the group.

Target audience:  Inspiring comedian, general public

Priscilla Settee
Session G:    Reading of  Âhkamêyimowak – The Strength of Women
Location:    Production Centre ``La Troupe du Jour``

Âhkamêyimowak is a Cree word which embodies the strength that drives women to persevere, flourish, and work for change within their communities. Women are the unsung heroes of their communities, often using minimal resources to challenge oppressive structures and create powerful alternatives in the arts, education, and the workplace.

The stories included here are by women with vision, who inspire and lead those who have lived in their midst. Stories are a means of transmitting vital information from within community as well as to outside communities.

Target audience:  General public

An intimate evening with Tomson Highway, accompanied by Krystle Pederson
Location:   The Roxy Theatre

Tomson Highway was born in a snow bank on the Manitoba/Nunavut border to a family of nomadic caribou hunters. He had the great privilege of growing up in two languages, neither of which was French or English; they were Cree, his mother tongue, and Dene, the language of the neighbouring "nation," a people with whom they roamed and hunted.

Today, he enjoys an international career as playwright, novelist, and pianist/songwriter and all we can promise is an evening to remember.


Panel 1    Publishers Panel Presentation
Karon Shmon - GDI
Barry Ahenakew – SICC
Wes Funk – self-published author
Location:    Ukrainian Orthodox Church All

Join representative from First Nations and Métis publishing institutions along with private publishers and self-published author to discuss the challenges and the opportunities in working with publishing companies.

Target audience:  General public

Dawn Dumont
Session H:    Writing for Comedy

Location:    Production Centre “La Troupe du Jour”

What a better way to warm up a crowd than telling a well-crafted joke. Dawn will share her life as a stand-up comic; present the different style and the important element of writing a good joke.  She will guide participants in writing a three minute set for stand-up comedy.  Time permitting, participants will have an opportunity to present their work and test it with the group.

Target audience:  Inspiring comedian, teachers, librarians, general public

Janet Rogers
Session E:    Creative Writing for Youth

Location:    Core Neighbourhood Youth Coop

Youth will be show examples of the progression from self-publishing to getting published in anthologies to developing manuscripts.  They will observe ways a poem can live in print, as a recording and performed.

They will participate in a writing exercise focused on “identity” as youth, as indigenous young people and/or young adults.  They will be invited to share their writing as they wish to do so.
Target audience:  Youth

Panel 2    Writing for children
Location:    Ukrainian Orthodox Church Hall

Join Leah Dorion, Darryl Chamakese, Larry Loyie & Constance Brissenden and Wilfred Burton as they share their experience of writing for children.  Learn about their journey, style and research process. Authors will be available to answer questions from the audience.
Target audience:  Emerging and established authors, librarian, teachers, general public

Louise Halfe and Lisa Bird-Wilson
Plenary:   ânskohk Aboriginal Writers Circle Inc.
Location:    Ukrainian Orthodox Church All

Would Saskatchewan Aboriginal writers benefit from a collective, grassroots organization designed to help promote Aboriginal writers and their writing, to advocate on behalf of Aboriginal writers, and to promote the richness of Aboriginal literature? Be a part of the birth of the ânskohk Aboriginal Writers Circle Inc. as established and emerging First Nations and Métis authors come together to create a path for the Aboriginal literary arts. In this plenary session, Aboriginal writers along with those interested in fostering the development of Aboriginal writing will have the opportunity to help shape the direction and mandate of this fledgling organization.
Target audience:  Emerging and established First Nations and Métis writers in all genres, general public, those interested in fostering the development of Aboriginal writing

Nihilistic Apathy
Session J:    Performance by John Adrian McDonald
Location:    Production Centre, “Troupe du Jour”

John will perform an 11 minute psychological piece entitled "Nihilistic Apathy", which was performed at the 2010 Two-Story Cafe in Prince Albert.  It's a dark and morbid psychological experience and is geared toward an adult audience.  It is poetry intertwined with silent movement; a monologue recorded in studio played over the performance.
Target audience:  Geared toward an adult audience

Panel 3   Oral Tradition to the Printed Word
Darryl Chamakese (SICC), Karon Shmon (GDI), Barry Ahenakew and Maria Campbell

Location:    Ukrainian Orthodox Church Hall

Over the past several years, an important question has challenged many of our First Nations and Métis writers:  “How do we carry our story forward from oral traditions to the printed word while respecting the sacredness of the knowledge given to us?”  Darryl Chamakese from the Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Centre and Karon Shmon from the Gabriel Dumont Institute will present the protocol developed by their respected organisations created to assist writers in this process. 

As we bring our Festival to a close, Barry Ahenakew and Maria Campbell will share their literary journey and provide insight into the importance of carrying the story forward.

Target audience: Emerging and published writers, teachers, librarians, literacy community and general public
Duration:  2 hours

 This Year we are pleased to host:

"An Intimate Evening with Tomson Highway" 

 Friday, October 21st at 8:00 p.m.

Tomson Highway has written three children’s books published by HarperCollins Canada, an academic work Comparing Mythologies, and has acted as Writer-in-Residence at several universities. He returned to playwriting in 2004 with Ernestine Shuswap Gets Her Trout, and then wrote the libretto for Pimooteewin: The Journey, a dazzling new opera written in Cree, which premiered with the Elmer Iseler Singers in 2008 and toured Northern Ontario in the spring of 2010.

Tomson Highways’s contributions to Canadian theatre and cultural life have been recognized with his induction into the Order of Canada and a National Aboriginal Achievement Award, as well as many other honours. His work both illuminates the collisions between Native and non-Native cultures in Canadian society and offers compelling portraits of joy and sorrow that give us a greater understanding of the human condition. 

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