For the last 50 years, the RFF has fostered inclusivity, creating a festival environment that welcomes diverse audience members, artists, and volunteers. This spirit of community will come together at our 50th Anniversary Festival in 2019 with special programming. The name of this special programming —All Our Relations—comes from the Lakota “Mitakuye Oyasin,” meaning we are all related or all are related. This concept is at the core of First Nations’ spirituality, grounded in the belief that all living things are connected. The understanding that what we do affects the world around us is a starting point in treating others with respect and kindness.
We are looking for passionate people to join the All Our Relations Choir one of the central pieces of this special programming. The All Our Relations Choir, led by Saskatchewan musicians, Juno award nominated artist Megan Nash and her sister Jenna Nash, will rewrite songs that helped shape the labour movement and the RFF. This choir will develop up to 10 new songs through a collective creative process starting this May. The process will involve six three-hour group sessions on lyrical and melodic development as well as one 2 hour rehearsal guided by the songwriting experience of Megan and choir experience of Jenna. Choir members will also reflect on their experiences of the RFF (historically) and/or their current relationship to the festival to inform their work. The process will culminate in August with a 45-minute performance as part of our free daytime programming at the 2019 Regina Folk Festival.
Our aim is to focus on recruiting a diversity of choir members, prioritizing inclusivity to integrate marginalized voices to participate. This will ensure that any celebration of our collective history and visioning about the future focus on those voices that may not have predominated in the past. All are welcome.
Our intention with this project is to create a new inclusive community that makes room for varied voices in the RFF and within the labour movement. A choir is a community. We will carve out a place for everyone in this community, including those who may not want to perform, but who might have an interest in writing music or lyrics. Taking the time to be mindful in creating these relationships will ripple out into the broader community, spreading a message of love and peace at a time when we need it most.
To join RFF’s All Our Relations Choir, please email the RFF office to register.