Women’s powerful stories take centre stage this March
Winnipeg (February 15, 2023) —The Shoe Project is taking to the stage for the first time in Winnipeg on March 11 and 12, 2023, at the Manitoba Museum. This evening event features personal stories written and performed by newcomer women living in Winnipeg.
The Shoe Project reveals how footwear – whether selected by choice or imposed in difficult circumstances – can make or break a journey, shape the present and open the door to a new future. Shoes are a metaphor for journey and transformation. For those who have embarked on the long journey to a new life in a new country, shoes are a powerful metaphor for their journey. In each city participants are recruited, through newcomers associations and social media, based on their desire to write and share their stories.
Among the performers taking the stage in Winnipeg are ten women who have arrived in Canada from nine different countries, including Ecuador, The Congo and Ukraine.
“Working with these women has reminded me to never give up when you have a dream. They have reaffirmed how strong the heart and the will of women is; and when a healthy warm environment is built, women become sisters by heart-helping and supporting each other no matter religion, culture or skin colour,” said Geraldine Gruszczyk, Winnipeg Shoe Project coordinator.
The ten women have attended ten weeks of workshops led by writing mentor Patlee Creary and performance coach Rachel E. Smith to uncover and craft the story of their journey to Canada, shaped around a pair of shoes. And then they take to the stage. The experience of sharing these deeply personal stories is empowering, and, for those who are there to hear, profound.
“There’s this sense of community and shared strengths that signals over and over again that immigrant journeys and arrivals are different, but the lived experience of being a Canadian newcomer, a newcomer parent, a newcomer professional, are profoundly the same because of the systems and structures that are in place and the humanity that we all share,” said Patlee Creary, Shoe Project writing coach.
The Shoe Project started in Toronto in 2011, and now has chapters in six cities across Canada. Led by professional Canadian writers and theatre artists, these workshops and performances lift the voices of women immigrants and refugees into Canada’s national conversation.
Performances are on Saturday, March 11 at 7:00 pm and Sunday, March 12 at 2:00 pm in the Manitoba Museum Auditorium. Tickets are $10 and available on the Manitoba Museum website.
The Shoe Project Winnipeg is made possible by the financial support of Manitoba Arts Council, Winnipeg Foundation, Winnipeg Suicide Prevention Network, and The Shoe Project.