Juno-nominated folksinger's tour celebrates 100 years of labour history
One of Alberta's best-known folk singers is coming to Lethbridge to present stories about the early years of Alberta labour through song.
Maria Dunn will lead a trio of performers into the Galt Museum and Archives on Friday, May 4, 2012 as the second stop in a province-wide tour that is part of Centennial celebrations of the Alberta Federation of Labour. The tour consists of 13 concerts, and will wrap-up in the Crowsnest Pass during 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 Maria Dunn concert, which is being hosted by the Galt Museum & Archives, will take place on the eve of a Centennial "Picnic in Park" being organized by a local committee in Lethbridge, the birthplace of the Alberta Federation of Labour 100 years ago.
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.
Centennial Celebrations on Saturday, May 5th will begin with a "March of Unions" at City Hall, where marchers will gather at 11:15 a.m. for a short ceremony. They will then proceed to the Galt Gardens to kick off a "Picnic-in-the-Park" at 12:15 p.m., with greetings from the City and labour leaders and an introduction of local union presidents. This will be followed by a picnic lunch that will allow adults to relax while children take part in races, face painting, bouncy castles, games and other activities. Music will be provided all afternoon by the Lethbridge Band and the Bamboo Guppies.
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 information, contact:
Maria Dunn, 780-430-8560
Leslie Hall, Galt Museum, Tel: 403-320-4700 firstname.lastname@example.org;
Richard Merrick, President, Lethbridge Labour Council 403-942-1229 email@example.com
Or call: Winston Gereluk, AFL Office at 780-483-3021 firstname.lastname@example.org