From left, Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg, Miriam Colvin and Molly Wickham are working on a seven-year collaborative dance and performance project called The River Talks. (BVCA photo)

From left, Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg, Miriam Colvin and Molly Wickham are working on a seven-year collaborative dance and performance project called The River Talks. (BVCA photo)

Artists discuss The River Talks project on Zoom

The Bulkley Valley Concert Association hosted a Zoom meeting on The River Talks

The Bulkley Valley Concert Association (BVCA) held an artists talk on Jan. 21, where three artists shared their artistic process on The River Talks project.

The River Talks project has been four years in the making with three core artists, who are women, mothers and community leaders, researching cross-cultural pathways to make art on Wet’suwet’en Territory.

Each artist has different cultural histories and experiences of privilege and oppression. Each artist is working within the Indigenous protocols set out for the territory and over the next three years are creating a collaborative dance and interdisciplinary performance, which will take place on the banks of the Wedzinkwah (Bulkley) River, and a documentary film following their process.

During a Jan. 21 Zoom call, 30 people participated. The artists shared how, even though they are three very different people, they are finding places of commonality, speaking honestly and enjoying creating dance, songs and images together.

“Perhaps most importantly, they are taking the time needed to align themselves with this land and Wet’suwet’en protocols,” said Miriam Colvin, one of the artists.

The other two contributing artists are Molly Wickham (Wet’suwet’en Territory) and Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg (Vancouver).

“The river is our fourth collaborator, actually she is really the leader,” Colvin said. “She is a powerful force, a place of meeting, supplier of salmon, landscape of humbling magnitude, connector of ecosystems, flowing artery between rural and urban, front door of our communities.”

The River Talks performances will take place along the river in 2023. Audience members will be in rafts and along the banks, and some will float down the river, passing dance and music at the pace of the current.

Funding for The River Talks is by the BC Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, BV Arts Council, Myriad Dance Projects and Tara Cheyenne Performance.