Vancouver-primarily based theatre business wins $3K in inaugural awards

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A Vancouver-based theatre company is in the countrywide spotlight for working with art as a resource for local weather motion. 

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The Only Animal Theatre Society has received two inaugural awards this month – the Rewilding Arts Prize from the David Suzuki Foundation and Rewilding Journal, as nicely as the Environmentally friendly Award from the Qualified Affiliation of Canadian Theatres – in recognition of the company’s endeavours to reinforce the bond involving people and character by means of artwork.

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Whilst the enterprise has existed for 17 yrs, founder Kendra Fanconi believes there’s a lot more cultural appetite than at any time for art that invites audiences to help make the environment a superior area.

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“So a lot of folks are suffering from weather stress and local climate grief and it doesn’t actually assistance to go through extra content and get more terrified – people today freeze up,” Fanconi explained to CTV News.

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“I believe what can assistance is what artwork does, which is to consider persons collectively collectively on a journey to new spots, to transformation. I feel that artwork – and theatre, specifically – has so lots of delights that we can offer. We have humour, elegance and magic, and we can deliver all those points to this very tricky, hefty story that we’re residing by means of to assist us procedure and recognize a new orientation to it,” she claimed.

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A lot more than 550 artists applied for the 2022 Rewilding Arts Prize, but only six were chosen.

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The Only Animal is a single of two B.C. artists that built the reduce, and each individual will be awarded $2,000 and be profiled in Rewilding Journal.

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The other B.C. winner, Natasha Lavdovsky, is a multi-disciplinary arts who mainly performs with lichen.

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Fanconi describes Lavdovsky and her fellow awardees as eco-artists who use normal materials to generate art independently.

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“Our work is a small diverse in that we’re normally working with unique designers, we’re usually making things alongside one another,” she stated.

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1 way the enterprise is at the moment collaborating is as a result of its a few-yr initiative “The Artist Brigade,” the Environmentally friendly Award-successful project picked by PACT.

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As section of the initiative, The Only Animal selected 100 Canadian artists—whose disciplines incorporate theatre, dance, good arts, eco-arts, poetry, photography, filmmaking and movie recreation design—to operate with the corporation for a 12 months to provide artwork to the local weather crisis.

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“The approaching 12 months will aspect the commission of up to 10 artists of the Artist Brigade to produce their individual local weather artwork performs, forming a doing the job team inside of The Only Animal with ongoing mentorship and assistance as they go by the innovative cycle,” PACT wrote in a information launch earlier this thirty day period, saying the winner of its very first-at any time $1,000 award.

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Fanconi says the company’s target is to invite audiences to tumble in love with the normal world, which is why their displays hardly ever get area in theatres.

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“We get the job done to link men and women to these organic spots since we know that if they slide in love—you guard what you enjoy,” she reported.

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The Only Animal is presently endeavor a generation like no other—The Thousand Year Theatre—which is set to be total by 3022.

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Logistically, that means the corporation is functioning with silviculturists and other conservation biologists to develop a forest entire of species like Douglas firs, cedar and hemlock—plants that are outfitted to endure the ailments of a shifting weather.

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“We’re not just creating a established that is likely to conclusion up going to the dump in a 5-ton truck, we’re wanting at how we can basically lead to producing the environment a far better position,” Fanconi stated.

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“We’re planting a theatre that will come to its full maturation in a thousand years working with the keystone species of our forest, but also to sort of plant an thought in our society that we can assume a thousand yrs into the potential and that individuals can be a steward of that planet to appear.”