It's All About Community

If you read this column regularly, you’ll know how much I admire Jon Turk and his ability to recreate his experiences for an audience through written and spoken word. His first two books, Cold Oceans and In the Wake of the Jomon are a creative non-fiction lover’s dream – passionate explorations of beautiful landscapes and the power and fragility of the human spirit. Turk’s third book The Raven’s Gift delves even deeper into the soul and follows the writer on his travels through Siberia in search of new ways to connect with the environment. There, he crosses paths with a hundred-year-old Shaman named Moolynaut who mends his broken and battered body by connecting with a spiritual Raven.

His journey was much more intense and mind-altering than even he could have imagined; meetings with residents of tiny, isolated communities opened him up to new ways of seeing the world and challenged his scientific brain with ancient cultural beliefs and shamanistic practices. Much later, the stories he gathered on his voyages brought the explorer to collaborate with Dr Jody Weber of Boston-based Weber Dance. Together, these two artists have interwoven a powerful performance of dance and storytelling based on Turk’s experiences in the Northern Arctic and the mystical and visceral journey he took there.

Weber firmly believes that the meeting of minds was no mere coincidence; rather a unique series of synchronicities that brought them together to develop the piece into a full-length performance featuring a collection of seven stories from the book and seven pieces of dance. Visuals of Turk’s trip are also featured to give the audience a sense of the unique places to which he travels.

Synchronicity and the Sacred Space will be performed at Traynor Hall at Fernie Secondary School on Saturday, November 17 at 7pm. Tickets are available online at www.weberdance.org. Dr Weber unknowingly titled this column when he told me that ‘It’s all about community.’

While these two great artists have been working diligently to bring their performance to Fernie, The Arts Station has been working on another wonderful event for November. The bi-annual Lantern Festival has chosen the theme “River on Fire” this year and will host a free, friends and family-oriented evening on Saturday, November 24. The festival will include the incredibly popular lantern parade – you can help by making a lantern at the Arts Station in the weeks prior – look for posters with times and dates. It’s free to participate although donations to cover the cost of the LEDs are welcomed. The shorter parade this year will bring participants back to the Arts Station where a variety of interactive stations will encourage the community to become part of the art. Shadow boxes and light projections are just some of the features to be included, or you can wander the “lantern garden” to view the larger installation pieces, warm your hands by the fire or enjoy a hot chocolate. The event is completely free and everyone is encouraged to attend and be inspired by the bright and beautiful river-themed displays and collaborative artwork. Contact www.theartsstation.com for more information or to participate.

Supporting the community in two ways is the Ladies Night of Indulgence on Friday, November 16. This annual event typically sells out well in advance and offers a decadent night of shopping, wine, appetizers, entertainment and mingling as Fernie’s ladies come together at the Ghostrider Trading building on 2nd Ave. Clawhammer Press and Ghostrider Trading will be working together to provide a magical evening of friends and fun. As usual, there will be loads of great door prizes, along with the deep pre-Christmas discounts and the entire $15 entry price will be donated to local charities. Drop by the store to pick up your tickets.