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Ribbon Skirt Cultural Project

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts under the granting of "Creating, Knowing and Sharing for Indigenous Peoples" for supporting Stardale Women's Group Inc. in the Ribbon Skirt Cultural Project.

It was a mighty effort to complete this project while COVID-19 had limited our contact.

When we began this project with the Elders, the helpers and the young girls coming together, it was magnificent to be part of the synergy which was flowing. Listening to the stories and the guidance from our Elders was beneficial for all whom partook in the sewing circles.

The Ribbon Skirt Project was a component of the performance creation stage production of "The Road," which was to launch at the Stardale Gala on May 14. The Gala was cancelled due to COVID-19. Alas, all is not lost, as we will be having all the girls together on the stage in the near future when it's safe to do so.

We humbly thank all the women who assisted in the teaching of the girls how to sew. Several girls made comments as to how relaxing sewing was. It was new beginnings as they learned more on their culture and women's roles in their community.

Ribbon Skirt Project

Cancelled: Stardale's Charity Fundraising Gala


Stardale Gala

Stardale Gala

Uncertainties of The Road

Blog entry #16 in the development of the Road series for Stardale

Written by Eugene Stickland - May 15, 2020

Had things unfolded according to plan, we would be preparing for a gala event on Thursday May 14, featuring the premiere of the performance piece The Road. No doubt this would have been a fantastic event; rehearsing, rewriting, finalizing costumes, taking care of a thousand little details - all part of mounting a live theatrical production.

It doesn't matter who you are, or where in the world you live, nothing is unfolding according to plan these days. So what can you do but adapt and try to make the best of a bad situation?

As you probably know by now, this winter I worked with the girls, giving them writing prompts to create a performance piece, their reaction to the findings of the Commission on Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women. The way we work together is that I take their words and then edit and assemble them to create a script for them to perform. As far as possible I try to use only the words they have written.

Over the last couple of months, we came to realize as the rest of the word (including Broadway) came to realize that it may be some time until we can enjoy live theatre again. We understand now that in order to have something to show for our efforts this year, we will have to shift formats, from live theatrical performance to video. This means reimagining the words the girls have written from a play script into a video script.

Basically, the fundamental different between a play and film is that a play is a story told with words, a film is a story told with images. We have no shortage of words - the girls were very eloquent and industrious throughout the winter and I have literally hundreds of recipe cards which they wrote their thoughts on.

What we need now are images and that's where our videographer Vanessa Wenzel comes in. What words we do have will have to be edited and pared down, refined and precise.

It's exacting work. Vanessa and I have our work cut out for us this summer. And that's only the beginning. Once we have the script, we will need to film the girls in a variety of settings and yet we don't know as we move forward how that will even be possible. As is the case with the rest of the world, we are at the beck and call of the virus.

There's no road map, no rule book, but we will manage as best we can.

Meanwhile, Helen and her staff continue to adapt, working with the girls in any way they possibly can. They drop off goodies and supplies to the girls' houses. You can see from photos they take the joy this brings them.

Every week, we have a Zoom-style meeting to check in and see how everyone is coping. Using the same format, staff are encouraging the girls to express their feelings though art - some of them are really amazing artists. We will share some of their art work with you in future blogs.

And they are writing, which makes me all kinds of happy. I am a diarist myself, and at such times I think I would go quite mad if I wasn't able to express myself in my diary. I highly recommend it to all of you.

One of our girls, one of my rock star writers, Kris, shared this with us this week and I will leave you with her words.

Stay well, stay safe!

Kris wrote:

Child, you say you know me but you don't know all of me. You only see half of what I am. You cannot see all of me. I have things hidden deep within everyone's mind. I have many scars with different lies. I hide in your mind and you don't even know I'm there. I'll eat you up within a few years. Your body will be covered with scars and your eyes will be glass. Dear child, I'm death in disguise. I'm your depression and I don't plan on letting go. You can act like I'm not there but I'll grow. And grow. And grow. Till I'm all that you can see. I'll disguise myself as you. And you'll hate what you see. I'm your mirror. But you can't break me. I BREAK YOU!!!

Previous entries can be found in the Eugene's Blog section of the site.

Stardale Pop Up Art in the Park Series for Canada 150

Canada 150

Stardale Women's Group Wins Prairie Action Award for Youth Leadership Innovation Solutions in the Prevention of Violence and Abuse with the Honourable Lieutenant Governor of Alberta - Lois Mitchell

Prairie Action Award

photo of girl with mask on Our Videos


The Make Believer Project
The Make Believer Project

Pop Up Art
Stardale Pop Up Art in the Park Series for Canada 150

Charity Gala
STARDALE GALA 2017 at Spolumbo's Calgary

Cook Off
Calgary Co-op and Stardale Girls Cooking Program Pilot

Power of the Arts
The Power of Arts with Michaelle Jean

movie camera Life As You Don't Know It - a comic book by young Aboriginal girls.

Research report by Stardale

Alesha's Dream

Stardale is looking to recruit innovative women in Calgary who are ready to work within the framework of our after-school projects for young Aboriginal girls ages 10-17.

Last updated May 17, 2020

Life As You Don't Know It comic book
Designed by Copian in collaboration with Stardale Women's Group Inc. Foundation