Wisdom – Nibwaakaawin – sabiduria – sagesse – sabedoria
Humility – Dabaadendiziwin – humildad- humilité – humildade
Honesty – Gwayakwaadiziwin – honestidad – honnêteté – honestidade
Truth – Debwewin – verdad – vérité – verdade
Courage – Aakode’ewin – coraje – courage – coragem
Respect – Minaadendamowin – respeto – respect – respeito
Love – Zaagi’idiwin – amar – aime – ama
Ring of Fire is inspired by the Anishinaabe Seven Grandfather Teachings: Wisdom, Courage, Respect, Honesty, Humility, Truth, and Love, which serve as the basis for the organizational structure of the procession (the “bands”) as well as guides the working principles of its making.
The procession features seven large-scale, elaborately costumed “Sentinel” characters, each representing one of the teachings and “played” by some of the core collaborators of the project:
Duke Redbird is a Métis poet, activist, actor, filmmaker, Elder, mentor, and storyteller and one of Canada’s most prized artists. He was the first Métis to receive a master’s degree from York University. In 2013 he received an Honorary Doctorate from OCADU. Duke Redbird is also one of the advisors for the project and conducted workshops with the ORATORS on the Seven Grandfather Teachings. He plays the Sentinel “Wisdom” in the procession.
Mark Brose is a graduate of Ontario College of Art, a musician, goldsmith, performer and longstanding Picasso PRO artist associate since its beginnings as the Dis This! Group. Mark is also as a disability rights activist. He made his choreographic debut in 1999 with Slipping Ground. Among other things he was co-creator of the film in.clu.sion, played Gordie Hull in the award-winning heist comedy OOPS! And performed in the Peggy Baker choreographed Geometry of the Circle at the Vancouver Olympiad and Abilities Festival, 2011. Mark plays the sentinel “Courage” in the procession.
Wanda FitzGerald is a playwright and actor, was President of Glenvale Players and studied theatre at York University and Seneca College. She performed in OOPS! (SummerWorks, 2006) and has had plays produced for New Ideas with Alumnae Theatre. Wanda directed and acted in the feature indie film, Bad Wine, performed in The Dispute, (Picasso PRO, 2007), and produced her play Common Criminals in collaboration with Ryerson’s Live Describe Team, 2008. She is an Access consultant, has participated in Picasso PRO programs since 2004 and maintains an arts and access blog, “Access Fitz.” Wanda plays the Sentinel “Respect” in the procession.
Sheila Boyd was born with spina bifida, club-foot and scoliosis, but she has never let her disabilities be an obstacle to her goals. She is a singer and actor who has appeared in the television shows Suits, Due South, Goosebumps, Exhibit A, and the feature film 54 and A Simple Wish plus many cabaret theatre productions, sings the Canadian and American national anthems at hockey games and events. She was a former ACTRA Toronto Performers Diversity Advocate and Chair of ACTRA’s AccessAbilities Task Force and a past Board Member of the Abilities Arts Festival (now known as Tangled Art & Disability). Sheila most recently appeared in the Dora Award nominated Obeah Opera (b current/Theatre Archipelego) March 2012, Toronto and Talking Movement (Picasso PRO/Miriam Rother) November 2012, Toronto. Sheila is also performing the lead role of Ruth in the new play Calcedonies by J. Nisker currently in the development/workshop stage. She plays the Sentinel “Honesty” in the procession.
Cathie Jamieson (Debwewin)
Cathie Jamieson was born February 1991. She is a Native Artist from the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation reserve with family ties to the Six Nations reserve. Jamieson is part of the Ojibway and Mohawk Nation, from the Bear Clan. Art isher form of communication: it is how she shares her narratives and stories of life. Jamieson works creates oil paintings, drawings, sculptures, photos, and video that are influenced and shaped by her native identity. Jamieson’s body of work looks at themes of: the dream realm, spiritual connections, native culture, powwow dancers, clan systems, natural elements, landscapes, figures, sound, and abstract forms. Each piece of work becomes an experiment with paints, fabrics, new application techniques, concepts and materials. It goes back to the origins of traditional teachings, as you create a craft or item it will be accompanied by a teaching or narrative to pass along the story to the next generation. Cathie Jamieson plays the Sentinel “Truth” in the procession.
Terrence Ho is a power wheelchair hockey athlete with TPWHL. He is a passionate sports writer, a huge supporter of the Paralympics and Para sports, an Accessibility Ambassador, and is the Co-Founder of Equal Grounds with his brother Terrance Ho. Torrence plays the Sentinel “Humility” in the procession.
Melissa Addison-Webster studied Expressive Art Therapy, Haliburton School of the Arts, has an Honours Bachelor Degree in History (Trent) and Honours Degree in Social Work (Lakehead). She has performed at Eight-to-Eight, From the Floor (Peterborough), and the fFIDA Dance Festival (Toronto). Melissa has collaborated with Picasso Pro since 2006 and was a founding member of the Getting in Group (G.I.G) an exploration and performance at the Theatre Centre (Toronto). Melissa plays the Sentinel “Love” in the procession.
Credits: Each custom-made, complex “Sentinel” structures are produced during the prestigious Louis Odette Sculptor-in-Residence program – a four-week intensive with advanced students at the School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design, York University.