Sharing Stories Through Art

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First-time playwright Kevin Loring spent nine years developing his play about the trauma and survival of Aboriginal people in Canada. Set in his hometown of Lytton, Where the Blood Mixes is about a man who must come to terms with his past in order to move forward with his life.

"The play is about reconciliation and redemption - that's the heart of it. It's also about the rebirth of a community that is coming to terms with their history in residential schools," explained Kevin, a member of the Nlaka'pamux First Nation. "The name of the play comes from the name of my village, Kumsheen. The direct translation is 'the place inside the heart where the blood mixes' and the play is a tribute to my people."

Where the Blood Mixes was awarded $95,000 from Arts Partners in Creative Development, a fund initiated by 2010 Legacies Now, along with five funding partners. The money made a workshop tour possible, which helped Kevin fine tune his script, with stops in Toronto, Vancouver, Kamloops, Trail and Lytton.

"The grant was instrumental in allowing the play to be the success that it was. It was instrumental in us being able to present a top quality piece of theatre and to tour and workshop it to get solid community feedback," said Kevin.

The play received an overwhelming level of support and praise in Kevin's hometown and is now in the process of being published as a book.

"I needed my play to be about surviving and survivors, about reconciliation and healing," Kevin explained. "It opened up a lot of stuff, but in a good way. The play celebrates survivors."

Arts Partners in Creative Development (APCD) assists BC arts and cultural organizations to create and develop new works or further develop existing works. APCD is in partnership with Canada Council for the Arts, Province of BC, City of Vancouver, Vancouver Foundation and VANOC.