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Scavanger Hunt: Engaging the public with the Bow River

This week I participated in a Scavanger Hunt. Although, this wasn't your typical scavanger hunt where you are given a list of items you must go collect or take pics of with your phone. Instead, this scavanger hunt, organized by Mudfoot Theatre artists Geneviève Paré and Ian McFarlane, had us picking up trash along Calgary's Bow River. Not only were we cleaning up the banks of Bow River but we were also keeping an eye out for interesting objects; objects that could potentially be used to make puppets. Puppets? Yes, puppets!

"Mudfoot Theatre is a Calgary-based theatre company committed to devising contemporary folk narratives through humble magic. [They] are an independent company under the artistic direction of Ian McFarlane and Geneviève Paré. With [their] feet in the mud and [their] head in the clouds [they] work collaboratively with interdisciplinary artists to reinvigorate the Canadian Ethos through the performing arts

Their upcoming project is called "River", an interdisciplinary puppet theatre production, which seeks to charge a new level of meaning and connection with the Bow River. Through puppetry and live music, Mudfoot Theatre is adventuring to tell a bold and intimate story informed by the historical, environmental and mythical significance of the Bow River.

Although these artist are ultimatly producing a theatre show the run up to the creation of this project included this community clean up as a way to not only clean up the trash and find interesting objects to create work out of, but to also engage the public with the Bow River.

"The Bow River is a critical lifeline for the province, providing us with clean drinking water, irrigation for agriculture, hydroelectric power and habitat for wildlife. It can be both beautiful and treacherous. It is a symbol of home for many southern Albertans, and in the wake of the 2013 flood, this community holds even greater reverence to the destructive and also unifying power of the Bow River."

For more information on Mudfoot Theatre please go to their website

RIVER: A Puppet Myth

A Collective Creation with Ian McFarlane, Geneviève Paré, Lindsey Zess-Funk, Jesse Plessis, Jesse McMann-Sparvier, Lane Shordee, Ali DeRegt.

Premiers June 7-11, 2016 at the Joyce Doolittle Theatre in Calgary, Alberta.

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