A Carnival is rolling into Nelson this summer, and its destination is the historic CPR Station in Railtown. This afternoon event will take place on August 19th beginning at 2:30 p.m. outside the Nelson & District Chamber of Commerce Visitor’s Centre.
The Railtown Carnival is the third dance event this summer hosted by the Capitol Theatre as part of a Canada 150 project that celebrates history through dance. Dance Locale 2017 provides opportunities for city residents to engage with Canada’s history in an active and artistic way that will help build on our sense of pride, understanding and attachment to our country’s past, present and future. “We are so thrilled with the response from the community and their show of support for the Dance Locale events so far!” exclaimed Stelio Calagias of Front Street Dance. “The Railtown Carnival is all about families embracing social unity, celebrating and sharing appreciation and the love of music, dance, food, and street
artists. Just like historically when the circus or carnivals travelled from town to town by train.”
The event will include roving and stage performances by the Front Street Cabaret Dancers, Circus Acts Insomniacs, aerial acrobatics, stilt walkers, puppetry and more! Front Street Dance studio member Nemia Darwell and his two sisters Sauhiara and Zanieha will perform indigenous dances; a Grass Dance, a Women’s Traditional Dance and a Fancy Dance. Carnival style offerings will also include free face painting, popcorn and balloon animals amongst other local vendors.
“The CPR Flats and historic Railway Station was chosen as a site for this project because it is a significant cultural reminder of Nelson’s economic roots.” says Stephanie Fischer, Executive Director of the Capitol Theatre. “We also want to celebrate the many generations that have inhabited this place and made of use of its resources long before the train track was laid down.” The Flats were used for millennia by indigenous peoples, for seasonal settlement for fishing, access to hunting and a plant gathering grounds. The low lying riverside geographic location of the Flats also provided agricultural use as a Chinese market garden, prior to the industrial expansion in the 1900s.”
Project partners Front Street Dance, Dance Fusion and Dance Umbrella studios have all collaborated on choreographed pieces that respond to the history and our emotional connectedness to specific geographic locations throughout town. A final Dance Locale event will take place December 7th at the Capitol Theatre that will celebrate indigenous youth, song and dance.