Spatial Poetics XVI: KIYO生き残り

Honouring the living memory of invisible lives
Sat, 8 July 2017, 7:30 PM
Vancouver Buddhist Temple, 220 Jackson Avenue

Presented by Powell Street Festival Society in association with the O k’inādās Collective
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Advance Tickets – $12, Tickets at the Door – $15


Spatial Poetics, the Powell Street Festival Society’s annual evening of experimental performance pieces, returns July 8, 2017 for its sixteenth year with “Spatial Poetics XVI: KIYO 生き残り (Honouring the living memory of invisible lives).” In Spatial Poetics, artists are invited to create new performances together and encouraged to work beyond their usual disciplines.

Spatial Poetics XVI: KIYO生き残り is a multi-disciplinary, one-on-one performance commemorating the lives of the invisible. Using the little-documented life of picture-bride Kiyoko Tanaka-Goto as a starting point—and considering the time and space that their own bodies occupy on unceded Coast Salish territories— artists Ayumi Goto, Mark Haney, Lisa C. Ravensbergen and Julie Tamiko Manning invite the audience to witness their tribute to Kiyo’s untold, but familiar story of determination and survival through her defiance of cultural, gender and societal expectations.

Whispered memories of Kiyo reveals ambivalence as well as respect. She was a brothel owner, entrepreneur, and mother. In the spring of 1942, she resisted evacuation and was first incarcerated in Oakalla Prison. In Greenwood during internment, she was a purveyor of dandelion moonshine. Kiyo was one of the first Japanese Canadians to return to the west coast, assimilating into Vancouver’s Chinatown community. In the construction of this year’s performance, the artists underwent an in-depth preparation phase. “While the spontaneity of Spatial Poetics is something we value, we felt that this sensitive subject needed careful consideration and facilitated an unprecedented year-long research phase,” describes co-curator and Powell Street Festival executive director Emiko Morita. “Artists were encouraged to explore the many dimensions of Kiyo and, in doing so, enhance our understanding of Japanese Canadian history as well our perspective on vulnerable people amongst us today.”

Spatial Poetics XVI: KIYO生き残り (Honouring the living memory of invisible lives) precedes the upcoming 41st Annual Powell Street Festival taking place August 5 – 6 at Oppenheimer Park and surrounding streets and venues. Spatial Poetics XVI is made possible with generous support from project partner, the O k’inādās Collective, as well as the Canada Council for the Arts, British Columbia Arts Council, the Province of British Columbia, and the City of Vancouver.

About the Artists:

Ayumi Goto is a performance artist currently based in Kelowna, Traditional Syilx Territory. Born in Canada, she draws upon her Japanese heritage to challenge sedimented notions of nation-building, cultural belonging, and human-land relationships in her creative work. She has served as the art facilitator at the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre in Vancouver. Over a period of 104 days in 2013, Ayumi ran 1568.5km in homage of the Nishiyuu Walkers and to sonorously shadow Cheryl L’Hirondelle and other Indigenous songwriters who have composed and performed extensively across the land. Her practice is deeply influenced by Roy Miki, Shirley Bear, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Adrian Stimson, and Peter Morin. Ms. Goto is a Ph.D. candidate at Simon Fraser University’s School of Communication.

Composer and double bassist Mark Haney is Composer-in-Residence at Mountain View Cemetery and Artistic Director of The Little Chamber Music Series That Could. Haney is best known for “Aim for the Roses” (2010); an avant-garde double bass suite that tells the true story of Canadian daredevil Ken Carter through narration, layers of double bass and a musical representation of 499 digits of pi. (“A daring aim, well jumped.”- The Globe and Mail; “Aim for the Roses is, to say the least, a singular achievement.”- The Victoria Times-Colonist). In 2016 producer/writer/director John Bolton and Opus 59 Films made a musical docudrama about Aim For The Roses and its creation, in association with Super Channel, and with project assistance from the BC Arts Council. This film opened the 2016 DOXA Film Festival in Vancouver and was the recipient of audience and critical acclaim.

Julie Tamiko Manning is an established theatre actor and creator from Montreal. She has appeared on stages across Canada from school gyms in Nunavik to the independent stage in Vancouver to the national stage in Ottawa. Selected theatre credits include: Isabella Bird in Top Girls (Segal Centre), Amelia in Othello (Scapegoat Carnivale/Segal Centre), Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Repercussion), Nancy in Oliver! (National Arts Centre), Innocence Lost (Centaur/NAC), A Christmas Carol (NAC), The Place Between (Chëyikwe/Native Earth Performing Arts), Life is a Dream (Scapegoat Carnivale/Centaur Theatre), Skin (Black Theatre Workshop), and For Art’s Sake (Geordie Productions). She premiered the roles of Jam in Greg MacArthur’s girls! girls! girls! (Teatro Comaneci/FTA), Tokyo Rose in Marie Clements’ Burning Vision (Rumble/Urban Ink/ FTA/ Magnetic North),and Mielke in the English premiere of Marilyn Perrault’s Rock, Paper, Jackknife (Talisman/Centaur). Her first play Mixie & the Halfbreeds (co-written and performed with Adrienne Wong) was produced by Neworld Theatre in Vancouver. Most recently she collaborated with Ottawa performance artist, Matt Miwa, on The Tashme Project ( a verbatim play about the Japanese Canadian WW2 internment experience.

A tawny mix of Ojibwe/ Swampy Cree and English/ Irish, Lisa C. Ravensbergen is grateful to her Coast Salish relatives for hosting her in their territory for almost 25 years. She has worked across Canada with many theatre companies, establishing herself as a multi-disciplinary artist, creator and writer, Jessie nominated actor, dramaturge, director, and dancer. She supplements her somewhat eclectic and thoroughly enjoyable practice of theatre and community collaborations with the delights of motherhood and the challenges of self-produced works. She is an Associate Artist with Full Circle: First Nations Performance, a member of Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas as well as a graduate of TWU and SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts. This summer, her most recent directorial efforts take to the road: “Café Daughter” (Workshop West Playwrights’ Theatre) opens the Canada Scene Festival at the National Arts Centre in June and “Only Drunks and Children Tell The Truth” (a co-pro with Western Canada Theatre) opens at Thousand Islands Playhouse in August. She is a Playwright in Residence with Delinquent Theatre; her play, “The Seventh Fire” will receive a workshop production in 2018. Her recent performance as Johnny in Drew Hayden Taylor’s “God and the Indian” was praised by the Georgia Straight as “nothing short of stellar.”