David Dumont (red shirt) drums with a group of children at last Fridayss Children’s Festival in Ashcroft

Loring play premiers at River Festival

Among many other great activities will be the premier of Kevin Loring's Battle of the Birds.

It’s only a week away and one of BC’s best little festivals begins it’s twelfth season in Lytton on Labour Day weekend.

With two Saturday afternoon stage performances followed by basic workshops, Circus West from Vancouver is back by popular demand. Best known for its youth training and performance program in the lower mainland, CircusWest offers children, teens, and adults an opportunity to explore Circus Arts in an encouraging, non-competitive environment.

The mini-workshops that follow their stage performances are an introduction to basic juggling – scarves, balls, rings – and balance games suitable for all ages.

Everyone who joined in the workshops last year was truly delighted with the performances and with how quickly they were able to pick up basic juggling skills in the workshops.

Lytton is also excited about a new First Nations event this year, and they are especially proud to see a popular celebrity back in town. Award winning playwright and actor Kevin Loring has come home to Lytton for this year’s festival.

Born and raised in Lytton, Kevin’s prestigious writing awards include the Governor Genera’s Award for English-language drama, Herman Voaden Playwriting Competition and the Jessie Richardson Award for Outstanding Original Script for his play Where the Blood Mixes.

As an actor, his credits include roles in the television series Da Vinci’s Inquest, Arctic Air and Health Nutz, and the film Pathfinder, as well as stage roles including Michel Tremblay’s Saint Carmen of the Main, George Ryga’s The Ecstasy of Rita Joe and Edmund in an all-First Nations production of William Shakespeare’s King Lear at the National Arts Centre.

His Savage Society’s production is the culmination of a month long community project that involved his team and dozens of participants from the community.

“It’s great to be back home,” said Kevin.

The Battle of the Birds will take place on Sunday Sept. 6 at 2:30pm.

Based on a traditional Nlakap’amux story about a community confronting the issue of domestic violence, Battle of the Birds is a story set in the mythical time before time, when animals appeared like humans with animal attributes and spoke a similar language. The Bird nation is alarmed because Bald Eagle is abusive to his wife. Golden Eagle convinces the bird nation to conspire with him to rescue Bald Eagle’s Wife from him, but this means war.

Battle of the Birds is a community engagement theatre creation. This theatrical premiere is comprised of accomplished and award winning cast and is full of songs derived from collaborations with professional artists alongside community members.

Created and Directed by Kevin Loring, with Renae Morriseau, Sam Bob, Ron Dean Harris, Sandy Scofield and Kieran Wilson, and with the support of the Lytton Tribal Council and Western Canada Theatre (Kamloops). Supported by the BC Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, and First Peoples Cultural Council Aboriginal Arts Awards and New Pathways to Gold Society.

Three wonderful days of enjoyment and entertainment are only a scenic hour away from Ashcroft.

Look for your copy of the Lytton River Festival brochure in today’s Journal.

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