FemFest – Planning for the Unknown

Yes, there will be a FemFest! What that will look like is still a work in progress. Our amazing team is developing multiple contingencies depending on the reality that we may be in come September. We are optimistic that there still may be live events. Perhaps smaller audiences nicely spread out. Maybe it will be a hybrid year with some live and some virtual offerings. Like many other festivals and performing arts organizations we are exploring, experimenting and ready to offer the best programming we can.

FemFest 2020 logoFemFest 2020 will run from September 19 to 26. Our theme this year is Engaging Community. We chose it two years ago as part of long-term planning. Now of course this theme means something very different. Ways to engage have certainly changed, but at the core of our work has been and will always be community. Before the world paused we had lined up three amazing touring shows and a stellar guest artist. We’ll be announcing these acts with our brochure later this month as our ideal for September. It is a mix of work that tackles identity in terms of the struggle to fit in to a community; work that continues to allow us to pursue our commitment to reconciliation; and even some sketch comedy to lighten the mood.

Most exciting is working with guest artist Chantal Bilodeau. She is truly living through the crisis, as a former Canadian now in New York. Whether live in Winnipeg or virtually, we have an array of activities planned with her facilitating on the theme of climate change and the arts.

Chantal Bilodeau photoChantal Bilodeau is a Montreal-born, New York-based playwright and translator, whose work focuses on the intersection of science, policy, art, and climate change. Her plays and translations have been presented in a dozen countries around the world, and she is a recipient of the Woodward International Playwriting Prize as well as the First Prize in the Earth Matters on Stage Ecodrama Festival and the Uprising National Playwriting Competition. She serves as the Artistic Director of The Arctic Cycle and is currently at work on a series of eight plays that look at the social and environmental changes taking place in the eight Arctic states. 

“I really look forward to FemFest! I’m excited to connect with people in Winnipeg and start to imagine together the just and sustainable future we want to create.” – Chantal Bilodeau

Ah, the FemFest ramp up is beginning! This time of year is always fun for us as we welcome the energy and enthusiasm of summer youth positions. Although they won’t be physically in our office quite yet, we are excited that Samantha Desiree – our PA from last year – is returning. Sami runs Beau Theatre Co. and is finishing her degree in theatre at the University of Winnipeg. Stay tuned for news on our Marketing and Community Outreach Assistant summer position. You can expect to hear more from both of them as the journey to the festival continues.

In the meantime, we still have a couple slots in our Producing 101: Virtual Workshop and save the date for our first virtual One Night Stand reading series on June 11th at 7pm.