Derdeyn: The Pipeline Project flows again

The Pipeline Project

Jan. 10 to 20, various times | Firehall Arts Centre

Tickets and info: From $20 at

Jan. 24 & 25, 7:30 p.m. | Anvil Centre, New Westminster

Tickets and info: From $20 at

Not since the heyday of the logging blockade on Lyell Island has an issue entered the public debate as fiercely as proposed pipeline development across B.C. The complex politics of Canada’s oil industry are as murky and sticky as the oilsands and have pitted different communities against each other across the province and nation.

The Pipeline Project is a co-production between Savage Society and Itsazoo Productions examining these ongoing cultural conflicts in a dynamic and moving theatrical work.

Written by Sebastien Archibald, and First Nations artists Kevin Loring (Lytton First Nation) and Quelemia Sparrow (Musqueam Nation), the show premiered at Richmond’s Gateway Theatre in 2016 receiving rave reviews. Now it is returning to local stages in Vancouver and New Westminster before moving to Ottawa for the Undercurrents Festival in February. While certainly provocative, challenging and confrontational, the Pipeline Project is also funny, inventive and entertaining.

Loring says the new production has continuously evolved, as have the ongoing pipeline debates. Workshopped at both the Talking Stick and B.C. Buds Spring Arts festivals, it took time to get the right model.

“When it began, the Northern Gateway pipeline was looking imminent and the whole idea was to theatrically present the issues around it and also the Vancouver Observer’s publication titled the Pipeline Wars: Enbridge,” said Loring. “That initial literal attempt was two hours and forty-five minutes long with a cast of thousands and it was excruciating. So we went back to the drawing board and discovered that even around a table of seemingly like-minded liberal arts types there was a lot of really strongly held different positions and that was the drama.”

Kevin Loring, Quelemia Sparrow adn Sebastien Archibald of the Pipeline Project. 2017 [PNG Merlin Archive]

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Kevin Loring, Quelemia Sparrow and Sebastien Archibald of the Pipeline Project.

Using their own round table arguments as a jumping-off point, the trio developed a multimedia show that The Vancouver Sun’s Jerry Wasserman noted ” … offers an encyclopedic array of arguments, cleverly and vividly theatricalized.”

“It became really apparent that there was this world view disconnect between First Nations and the rest of the

Source:: Vancouver Sun – Entertainment

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