Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hug the Chef, Kiss the Bagpiper

This morning Hannah came to work wearing the latest in bicycle helmet fashion. She's a fantastic baker and we love her breakfast cookies!

Megan Mormon lures us to the water cooler with candy corn and all sorts where we sink into the comfy couches and let our guard down while she giggles and takes notes in a tiny book. What she misses, Adam twitters. The walls have ears my friends.

Jason Fielding and his partner chat with us a bit about his piece, setting us straight about some of historical references. He was puzzled that we would be concerned over the question of whether or not he was Métis, and said that in his research he discovered that European traders would marry First Nations women who belonged to tribes along the waterways that the men traded along. "Before there were Métis, there were European fur traders," he says. I think its interesting that we immediately tend to associate the fur trader costume with people of Métis heritage. I love Canada's fascination about which ethnic heritage we all come from and as an artist it's come to the point where you need to choose whether you state your identity out front or deliberately leave it ambiguous. Anyway, I wrote about how I read the piece below without knowing where his family came to Canada from orginally. I also asked his father, whom I happened to meet at the performance, because it's a question I ask almost anyone as a matter of curiousity.

Hugs to the chef, who is cooking up something that is definitely not breakfast cookies.

Anyhoo, please do use the comments function here on this blog, even if you choose to be completely anonymous, or call your self Dirty Sox. Converse! Engage! And if I consider your post offensive or inappropriate I will just trash it. Because I can.


  1. I do not recall making the statement: "Before there were Metis, there were European fur traders." being made. The garments of the fur trader are not the same as the garments worn by the tribes existing in North America. Although, European Fur Trader's adopted similar clothing materials ie: furs in order to survive in the harsh Canadian climate. European's coming to Canada acquired survival knowledge from First Nations people, also marrying women from tribes to establish trade relations in order to exploit the country's vast natural resources. Metis, were originally considered to be the progeny of french traders also known as "Voyageurs" and First Nations people. The French traders typical uniform consisted of Red Scarves, and a more flamboyant style than that of the Hudson's Bay Trader who was more utilitarian in there garb, resembling the costume in the performance. The Hudson Bay traders who would often wear such a costume were originally recruited from the Orkney Islands, Scotland, and draft dodgers found along the docks of England. Although viewing the piece within the context of the performers ethnic background is somewhat limiting within the broader scope of the performances messages.

    Thank you for stimulating dialogue around the piece and this critical aspect of Canadian History.
    Keep up the good work

  2. Thanks for the information Jason. Sorry if I misquoted you. You're right, I didn't want to get too focused on the performer's ethnic background, but I did want to cover some of the dialogue that has been generated by your performance.

  3. Hello. I think there are some other things to glean from Jason's piece because it is also about how early travelers traveled throughout our vast nation and also how they got here - from very early visitors over ice bridges - to Vikings on large ships to large British ships to refugee boat people seeking a better live and new homes.