I collaborated with Roedde House Museum's Billie-Ann Woo and Sara Hepper on a Family Day Scrapbook / Motto Mashup crafting activity drawn from the Victorian era. Victorians were big fans of paper-craft and hand-embroidered and calligraphied (often biblical) words to live by.
We want our audience to have fun so we encourage everyone to make a motto that's meaningful to them and remember it doesn't have to be perfect. We also remind everyone that you can send your handmade piece to a loved one and share all those good vibes with great old-fashioned snail mail! All the materials and info for this workshop may be found on the Roedde House Museum's website.
For Year of the Ox, the Strathcona Community Centre invited me to help with their Lunar New Year celebrations. I was thrilled, but it was a bittersweet engagement because with Covid safety measures limiting social gatherings, people are not able to enjoy the most fun aspect of celebration - togetherness! I also had a lot to learn from Chinese community members about the traditions and symbolism around this very important and joyful holiday that heralds the coming of Spring.
We decided to make some videos and audio recordings to share the traditions of new year with the community. There are two videos led by Katherine To showing how to make lanterns from red envelopes and one about how she makes dumplings at home, plus a video, shot and edited by Emmett Race, of calligraphy teacher Lau Wai Yin writing traditional New Year couplets that are used as a decoration on doorways.
All the Lunar New Year content can be found on the Strathcona Community Centre website.
For 2020's Winter Solstice I worked with Secret Lantern Society on one of their "Celebrate at Home" Solstice videos. Since we were all adapting to Covid-19 restrictions, Secret Lantern Society's usual grand Winter Solstice festivities were replaced with an online Zoom performance and a host of How-to videos for making lanterns, headdresses and "sunny" foods. The resulting videos are a wonderful resource (shot and edited by Martin Borden of Union Street Films) and show that being agile and adapting to circumstances can yield some lovely, positive results.
You can find all the other How to Videos at Secret Lantern Society