FIXT POINT helps Mimico residents tell their story
Featured Story: FIXT POINT
Across Canada, neighbourhoods are changing. Development, shifting populations and growing cities are just some contributing factors. Whether residents stay, have just arrived, or decide to leave, each will amass their own collection of impressions, experiences, and memories. Just as the personality of a main street is complemented by the individual businesses that line its sidewalks, many personal stories can work together to tell the tale of a community. This is what FIXT POINT is doing with their extensive project, The Tale of A Town: recording stories from communities across Canada, with the aim to preserve local heritage and promote neighbourhood culture.
Led by husband and wife duo Charles Ketchabaw (Managing Director) & Lisa Marie DiLiberto (Artistic Director), FIXT POINT is a professional theatre and media company based out of Toronto.
The multidisciplinary company received a Toronto Arts Council Artists in the Library grant for The Tale of a Town - Mimico, where their “storymobile” was stationed outside of Mimico Centennial Library from October to November 2014. Trained volunteers and team members spent these months recording stories from local residents, editing, and posting them online. “I’m just always overwhelmed by how generous people are when they come in [to the storymobile]. They start sharing a piece of themselves and a piece of their place with me,” states Veronica Simmonds, Associate Producer of The Tale of a Town – Mimico.
Described as a “small town in a big city,” Mimico has experienced a lot of change in the past two decades, particularly after the amalgamation of the City of Toronto. The shifting landscape is exactly what The Tale of a Town wants to capture. “There’s a lot of new development starting up, and all the old factories have been shutting down, so it’s interesting to be here in this moment of transition, and to hear all kinds of perspectives on the town,” says Simmonds. Tales about the extinct roller skate rink, the Mimicombo, and the Christies Cookie plant give listeners a glimpse of what was, while stories such as Library Love paint a picture of what is.
“It’s been amazing to be based out of the library. The library is just such a centre of the community,” notes Simmonds. For artists and organizations such as FIXT POINT where connecting with communities is central to their work, being able to work in a library is an enriching experience. “The Artists in the Library program is such an incredible opportunity for the community and for artists to connect with each other… What’s amazing with The Tale of a Town, is that people don’t necessarily think about the stories of their town. But they are suddenly realizing, ‘oh, my story is valid, my story is important, and it’s worth sharing.’ I feel like this library residency project allowed us to share that with people.”
FIXT POINT will be touring Canada until 2017, for The Tale of a Town – Canada, in collaboration with the National Arts Centre. You can always tune in and catch the latest stories by visiting their website: thetaleofatown.com/stories