In 2014-2016, Maria Dunn, Don Bouzek, Catherine C. Cole and Janice Melnychuk collaborated on a community history and video ballad about North Edmonton.
Packingtown involves archival research, recording oral histories, scanning photographs and writing songs inspired by the people who worked at the meatpacking plants and lived in the community during the height of the meatpacking industry there (early 1900s to 1980s). Packingtown Edmonton will come alive through a walking tour, website, and video ballad (song and video interwoven) while creating a permanent archive for Alberta.
Ground Zero Productions (GZP) www.gzpedmonton.org, a theatre company that develops works of creative non-fiction for the stage, is leading the project. Videographer Don Bouzek, historian-curator Catherine C. Cole, and singer-songwriter Maria Dunn are collaborating with the support of northeast resident Janice Melnychuk. The project is funded by the Edmonton Heritage Council, Edmonton and District Labour Council, Alberta Historical Resources Foundation, and the Alberta Federation of Labour.
The Packingtown video ballad had two workshop performances (December 2015 and May 2016), inviting feedback from interviewees, community members and former workers. Public performances of the completed video ballad began in May 2016. Please check the concerts page for further information.
Additional information on the project: www.packingtown.org