Bringing the Community Together While We Are Staying Apart

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Odyssey Theatre offers Ottawans a fun and safe way to celebrate historic green space

What do Boer War soldiers, Lord Strathcona, actors, painters, naturalists, students, historians, athletes, families and theatregoers all have in common?   It is a passion for Strathcona Park, an arts and heritage greenspace on the Rideau River, minutes from downtown Ottawa.

Odyssey Theatre has been connecting with audiences from its stage in Strathcona Park since 1986. This summer the Theatre, along with two amazing partners – Mental Illness Caregivers Association (MICA) and Action Sandy Hill (ASH-ACS), brings the community together online to participate in the collective art experience: Strathcona Park Diaries.

A unique grassroots arts project for the community

Strathcona Park Diaries premieres on July 6.  Video episodes posted on Odyssey Theatre’s Facebook page will feature interviews with artists, historians, ecologists and other Park aficionados, all of whom will share experiences, joy, wonder and secrets of the Park. Odyssey artists will recount their favourite stories of working in the Park including bizarre weather, hilarious bloopers, dogs on stage, costume reveals, SWAT calls to nearby Embassies and more. One of the most exciting aspects of the Strathcona Park Diaries will be the chance for the public to add their own diary entries by posting on Odyssey’s Facebook page throughout the summer. It is the perfect way to participate in a community arts project from the safety and comfort of home.

According to Artistic Director Laurie Steven “From tornados, to power outages to animals living under our stage, we realized our artists have a lot of great stories to tell about our time in the park.  Although we can’t physically be in the Park this summer, this unique project gives us a way to draw the community together and participate in the arts.”

An art and photography contest is open to the public with fun categories for all ages to share their visual inspirations about the park and a chance to win prizes.

Ottawa theatre director and playwright Chelsey Fawcett, Artistic Producer of Strathcona Park Diaries, says: “Strathcona Park Diaries will showcase multiple layers of amazing history and community involvement that will be shared through engaging and entertaining docu-series films for your enjoyment. We hope to inspire new visitors to the park and provide a sense of pride for the community.”

Strathcona Park Diaries Series premieres on July 6th with new episodes every Monday and Thursday. Our photo and art contest runs August 1st to September 1st. The Project Finale on September 12th includes prizes for our contest winners.

To get involved in Strathcona Park Diaries and the Art and Photo Contests, the public can go to Odyssey Theatre’s Facebook page or visit www.odysseytheatre.ca.

Strathcona Park Diaries is made possible in part with funding from a TD Park People Grant.

About Odyssey Theatre

Strathcona Park Diaries is part of Odyssey Theatre’s A Virtual Odyssey – a rich digital theatre series with something for everyone.  Odyssey Theatre is Canada’s award-winning mask and Commedia dell’Arte theatre. For over three decades we have stirred imaginations with extraordinary plays that include epics, comic fantasies, satires, tragedies, and madcap comedies. Our stunning performances weave masks, puppets, music, dance and ritual. Behind the scenes we create original plays, train professional artists and reach out to the community to introduce new audiences to the magic of live theatre.

To get updates and find out more, follow us on social media.

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