Maria Dunn to Perform ‘Troublemakers’ at Medalta Potteries

Juno-nominated folksinger's tour celebrates 100 years of labour history

One of Alberta's best-known folk singers is coming to Medicine Hat to present stories about the early years of Alberta labour through song.

Maria Dunn will lead a trio of performers into Medalta Potteries on Thursday evening, May 3, 2012 to kick off a province-wide tour as part of the Centennial celebrations of the Alberta Federation of Labour. The tour, which consists of 13 concerts, will wrap up in the Crowsnest Pass during its Doors Open Festival on the August long weekend.

"I am thrilled to be a part of the AFL's Centennial celebrations," says Juno-nominated Maria Dunn. "It is an excellent opportunity to celebrate the efforts and accomplishments of the labour movement in Alberta, to remind ourselves where we come from, and to ensure that we preserve these precious, hard-won rights - the right to collective bargaining, unemployment insurance, equal pay for women, public education, living wages, workers' health and safety standards and compensation, public health care, pensions, and so much more."

The Medicine Hat stop is also scheduled as part of the year-long Centennial Program at Medalta Potteries to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the Medicine Hat Pottery Company in 1912. Ron Mason, education co-ordinator and head of interpretation at Medalta, also a local artist, will open with a few of songs he has written about work in the clay-works industry. (See the Medalta Centennial Program Guide at http://issuu.com/medalta/docs/medalta-2012-program-guide)

The concert Maria will present is Troublemakers: Working Albertans, 1900-1950, which documents the history of working people in Alberta's early days, depicting the resilience and hope which brought them through experiences of immigration, internment, exploitation and the Great Depression. She will sing of union organizers, feminists and radicals who led the earliest struggles, attracting the attention and punishment of the authorities. Appearing with Maria Dunn will be Shannon Johnson (fiddle) and Terry Morrison (guitar), both well-known artists in their own right.

This multimedia event will utilize video to introduce as well as situate songs in their historical context, with visual images of the people and the locations in which the stories occurred. In each case, Maria will add her own personal introduction before presenting the song, a combination which will make for an engaging and educational 60-minute presentation.

A Juno-nominated storyteller through song, Maria's lyrics are set to melodies inspired by Celtic and North American folk traditions. Many of the songs in Troublemakers appear in Maria's 2004 CD, We Were Good People, Producer: Shannon Johnson with the McDades, Craig Korth, Byron Myhre, Michael Jerome Browne and others.

This concert, as well as GWG: Piece-by-Piece, the other presentation for this tour, continues a tradition of labour music that has played an important part in the history of work and workers' organizations. Maria has entertained in hundreds of union and political gatherings, fundraisers and concerts across Alberta and Canada, as well as in other parts of the world. She writes her own material and has worked with Ground Zero Productions, Shannon Johnson and such writers as Catherine Cole to produce the concerts that will make up the 2012 Centennial Tour.

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For more information or for tickets, call:

Maria Dunn, 780-430-8560

Quentin Randall, Medalta Potteries at 403-529-1070

Dave Condon, President, Medicine Hat Labour Council, 403-504-8001 djcon@telus.net

Or call: Winston Gereluk, AFL Office, 780-483-3021 winstong@fastmail.fm


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