Juno-nominated folksinger's tour celebrates 100 years of labour history
One of Alberta's best-known folk singers is coming to the Olds to present stories about the early years of Alberta labour through song.
Maria Dunn will lead a trio of performers into the Olds College Theatre on Monday evening, May 7, 2012 as part of a Province-wide tour to celebrate the Centennial 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 about 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 Olds concert was organized in conjunction with the Alberta Division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, which will be kicking off its Annual Labour School at the College that week. As well, school participants will be encouraged to visit the Olds Library, which will be hosting a labour history display from May – June 30, 2012.
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.
For more information or for tickets call:
Maria Dunn, 780-430-8560
Ed Hanson, Education Officer, CUPE Alberta Division firstname.lastname@example.org
Jason Heistad, Vice-President, AUPE, Olds College 403-373-2532 email@example.com
Or call: Winston Gereluk, AFL Office at 780-483-3012 firstname.lastname@example.org