Juno-nominated folksinger's tour celebrates 100 years of labour history
One of Alberta's best-known folk singers is coming to the Drumheller Valley to present stories about the early years of Alberta labour through song.
Maria Dunn will lead a trio of performers into the East Coulee School Museum on Sunday afternoon, May 6, 2012 as part of a Province-wide tour to celebrate the Centennial of the Alberta Federation of Labour. Appearing before Maria will be Drumheller native and singer-songwriter Joe Vickers, who will present some of his own songs that were inspired by the rich mining history of the Valley.
"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 concert Maria will present in Drumheller 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.
Troublemakers is presented as part of the Drumheller Valley's second annual Mayday Miners Festival, which will kick-off with a procession in downtown Drumheller on May 5 with people carrying a placard bearing the name of a miner in their family tree. This will be followed by a street festival with Outhouse Games, music, historic characters, and a barbeque. Other events include Pony Days at the Atlas Coal Mine, a display of historic photographs at the new community facility, "Meet a Miner" at historic mine sites, and the Maria Dunn concert at the East Coulee School Museum on May 6. For more information, see www.atlascoalmine.ab.ca/specialevents
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
Susan Keeley, Retired CUPE Rep, 403-607-0433 firstname.lastname@example.org
Naomi Kikoak, East Coulee School Museum, 403-823-6102 c 820-507 email@example.com
Or contact: Winston Gereluk, AFL Office, 780-483-3021 firstname.lastname@example.org