Stilts and Masks Workshop in Blind River

Posted by on April 29, 2015 in Blogs | 0 comments

Hello again!

We have been busy over the last several weeks with the Rivers Speak project and our skill-building workshops. In late March we held our Puppet Making workshop at Serpent River First Nation. Then, on April 18 & 19, we visited Blind River to host our next skill-building workshop, focussing on Stilt Walking and Mask Making.




We brought two talented artist-facilitators to Blind River with us. Sarah King-Gold, the artistic director for Myths and Mirrors Community Arts in Sudbury, brought her performing background of stilt walking and theatre performance for participants to learn about and engage in.


Teaching participants about balance on stilts


We also brought in Sean Frey, a mask, puppet and shadow puppet animator who has worked with Jumblies Theatre in Toronto. Sean has a great aptitude for bringing scenes from stories to life through mask making, which was demonstrated over the course of the weekend’s workshop.


Sean Frey working on Wolf Masks


As the weekend unfolded, Thinking Rock’s workshop attracted visitors and participants from several communities including Spanish, Elliot Lake, Serpent River First Nation, Mississaugi First Nation, Iron Bridge, Thessalon, Echo Bay, Sault Ste. Marie and, of course, Blind River.


End of Workshop performance


Underpinning it all was the development of a Kaswenta, the Two Row Wampum, one of the original treaties that outlines the principles of how Anishinaabe people of this area and the Visitors can work together from a foundation of Trust, Mutual Respect and Friendship.

This workshop was made possible by funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Ontario Arts Council – Conseil des arts de l’Ontario, and Theatre Ontario‘s Youth Theatre Training Program.


Learning about Kaswentah and Two-Row Wampum Belt


We will continue to offer opportunities over the next few weeks and months to learn more about the Rivers Speak project and Thinking Rock Community Arts. We are offering these workshops as a way for local community members to learn about the different artistic skills that can be incorporated in creating a community play. We invite everyone to become involved and learn about these skills as a participant, a maker, and even as a performer when Thinking Rock’s community play launches in summer 2016. These workshops are open to all, regardless of age or artistic experience.

In June, Thinking Rock will be offering another skill-building workshop at Mississaugi First Nation focussed on Theatre and Movement, which will be facilitated by the talented team from Aanmitaagzi from Nipissing First Nation.

An Elliot Lake workshop will follow in mid-August, when we bring Jumblies Theatre’s Ruth Howard and Arts4All‘s Liz Rucker to lead community members in exploring the use of Theatre Design and Words in a community play.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and check back on our website,, for further details.