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Year of the Typewriter: Live from Elphinstone

Agnes The TypewriterHere we are. The first day of Year of the Typewriter.

Here is Agnes. She is a 1921 Remington Rand. She is named after Agnes Campbell Macphail the first woman to sit in Canadian Parliament. She was a radical Progressive and a supporter of women in politics, "Most women think politics aren't lady-like. Well, I'm no lady. I'm a human being." Our Agnes is also a radical, a progressive and the medium for the voice of the wilderness to emerge. But this piece is not about Agnes.

Here is Kendra. She’s a writer, a director, a theatre maker, and the artistic director of The Only Animal. Also, a forager and farmer, Fanconi lives in the tiny town of Roberts Creek on the slopes of Mt Elphinstone. She makes theatre with a deep connection to place. But this piece is not about Kendra.

This piece is about wilderness in translation, the narrative of landscape, the impossible task of rendering the natural world in 26 letters. This piece definitely isn’t about photos taken on an i-phone—but here there are some. It’s not about 10 second video bites, but here you will find some.

Here’s the first day:

The trail is a ribbon of cedar duff and moss. After about an hour I stop to write awhile at Clack Creek.

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It’s been almost a year since my early explorations on this project with dramaturg Ruth Little at the Banff Centre. I have to remember how to wake up Agnes.

Clack Creek Forest. It’s hard to break apart a forest into pieces, and to say that this day takes place in Clack Creek Forest is a bit like separating out a grain of wheat from a loaf of bread…however BC Timber identified this forest as a cut block slated to be clear cut between January and March of 2018. Here is the edge of the cutblock:

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I will be sharing some of the words and stories that come out of the year as we go along here, but today I just want to end with this simple sight:

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a sign that says nothing lets the forest say it all.

The Only Animal creates cultivates and inspires theatre work that arises from a deep engagement with place.