Vanier theatre company preparing for local fall festivals, new 2020 show
From their base in Vanier, a group of performing artists are travelling the province teaching high school students circus arts – juggling, acrobatics, aerial arts, improvisation and storytelling – in between international tours that have taken performers to Europe and Africa.
Stéphane Guertin and several friends launched Créations In Vivo in 2007 and quickly hit a home run with the theatre company’s first show.
A performance of mixing songs with storytelling won the “Coup de foudre” from Réseau Ontario. The award led to the company touring Francophone schools across the province.
The show was such a success that Guertin and his colleagues performed it more than 70 times in front of more than 20,000 audience members between 2008 and 2012.
But it turns out that Créations In Vivo was just warming up.
With funding from the Ministry of Education, the company now offers free workshops to schools that help students create and stage street performances, shows and musicals.
Créations In Vivo has also hired Ottawa talent to tell the region’s unique stories.
For example, the theatre’s company upcoming 2020 show – Vaches, The Musical – is a story about how cows died during the 1998 ice storm. But what sounds like a sombre story on the surface will be told with a hearty dose of humour, said Éric Perron, Créations In Vivo’s new executive director.
“Our mission is to mix things up and find new ways to tell a story,” Perron said. “We always try to do something new.”
New Vanier home
Créations In Vivo is in the process of packing up and moving out of its current location at 255 Montreal Rd., but won’t be going far. The theatre company is expanding and moving to 269 Montfort St., between Marier Avenue and Park Street. Perron said it was important to retain a Vanier location.
“We are (located among) the highest concentration of French Canadians in Ottawa, and we are close to all of Ottawa’s downtown theatres,” he said. “It’s perfect.”
Artists from Créations In Vivo will be performing during Beechfest on Sept. 7 and will also be a part of Vanier’s 50th celebrations. The company is well known for its busking and street performances and, while the details are still being finalized, Perron said they will likely be doing some street animation.
Ottawa-Vanier MP Mona Fortier said organizations such as Créations In Vivo are an essential part of the community.
“When organizations like Créations in Vivo invest resources in our community, emerging artists can develop their skills and neighbours are brought together through unique experiences,” Fortier said. “This is even more impactful when it allows minority language communities to thrive through artistic and cultural expression.”
Perron said one thing he loves about this company is the opportunities they give their artists.
“We hire all levels of talent, all ages and each one has the freedom to create,” Perron said.
Fortier underscored the importance of this philosophy, noting the value of providing Francophone residents with an opportunity to express their creative side within their community.
“Créations in Vivo is a fantastic channel for Francophone artists to learn, grow, and showcase their talents on a new scale,” Fortier said.