A Message From Manitoulin Island!

Apologies for the lateness in posting this. As we speak our intrepid colleagues Neil and Elly are working their way back from Canada where they have been working on plans for an exciting international collaboration we hope to undertake for Glasgow 2014.

The largest 'fresh water' island in the world and meaning 'great spirit island'.

This is a report back from Manitoulin Island, Ontario, Canada where we are researching and developing a potential project for the cultural element for the Commonwealth Games 2014, with a first nation theatre company Debajehmujig (meaning storyteller in Ojibway and Odawa).

We are coming to the end of our first week here and we've been fortunate enough to have had so many varied experiences. These include performing a spontaneous piece of entertainment for an 'elder's' 85th birthday, playing serious bingo in Wikwemikong Reservation, fishing for 'smelts' at 3 in the morning and just this afternoon being instructed on the first nation history and the teachings of the pectroglyphs (carved images on rocks) and a crucial part of the Ojibway culture.

Everyday we have sessions discussing ideas and exploring connections that could make up the elements of our performance project for the Commonwealth Games, boards of lists are accumulating around the Debajehumujig Creation Centre.

We don't have all the answers yet, but everything we have spoken about and shared will make the partnership and creation process so much easier after our return. The atmosphere in the building is very comfortable, community cooking is the norm for lunch and the general pace very contrasting to life at the Citizens Theatre.
Who knows what adventures lie ahead!
Elly Goodman and Neil Packham

Ed. We're excited to bring performance from this cultural exchange to Glasgow and will keep you posted on the project as we hear more.