A Celebration of Niagara's Migrant Workers

 



Every year thousands of migrant workers travel to Niagara from Mexico, the Caribbean and elsewhere, to work in the region’s $2.8 billion agricultural industry.

In 2010 neXt Company Theatre piloted a documentary theatre project called ‘Remember to See the Worker Too’ involving migrant workers, local actors and visual artists.

In 2011 year we created a larger event in collaboration with regional actors, musicians, dancers, filmmakers, as well as, of course, farmers and migrant workers.

 

Download show program.

Download flyer.

 

View photos here.

 

View the oversized puppets that were created for the production by In the Orchard Arts.

Migrant Workers in Niagara

While they are living in Canada for sometimes more than 8 months each year and have worked in these positions for often over 10 years, agricultural migrant workers remain categorized as “temporary” workers in Canada, with very few protections under Canadian law, and specifically concerning labour laws.

 

(For more on the history of migrant work in Niagara and essays by contributing authors, please download the production program here.)

 

Proceeds to Support the Children of Migrant Workers Education Fund

On January 26, 2011 neXt Company Theatre will be present a cheque in the amount of $1,500 to the scholarship fund for the children of migrant workers organized by Brock University and Niagara College and hosted with the Niagara Community Foundation.

 

 

 

Documentary Theatre at neXt

An integral component of the neXt Company Theatre mandate is to employ theatrical means to ‘document’ the people, places, and creatures of Niagara.


This documentary approach allows us to collaborate extensively with recognized or emergent groups. Such collaborations result in the people involved ‘speaking for themselves’ with the assistance of trained artists and facilitators.


Based on our previous experience with these types of projects, this approach results in increased solidarity among participants, a clearer sense of identity—both collective and individual—as well as heightened feelings of agency.


That these activities are happening in a highly aesthetic milieu only increases the intensity of the    experience for participants, and the resulting documentary works involve audiences in a potentially significant and affective fashion.


We believe these kinds of projects actively promote community integration and complexity, increase communication across ethnic and socio-economic lines, and draw the wider community into reflexive discussion and reflection about its own composition, priorities and values.

Thanks to Our Generous Partners and Supporters!

 

The Niagara Migrant Workers Group (NMWIG) is comprised by member organizations who have a vested interest in the social inclusion of migrant workers in Niagara.

 

Thanks to Julia Blushak for the original art used in the production materials.

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Brock Congress 2014

  • "Khalida was an exhilarating, challenging and informative night at the theatre. Jason Jazrawy is an extraordinary performer. He takes you right to the emotional edge and then ever so gently releases his grip on your heart strings. David Fancy never flinches from the truths he is telling. He insists that we walk his walk with him. He insists that we care."
    - Kate Trotter, Canadian film, television and theatre phenomenon


neXt Company Theatre is grateful for support from:

Twenty Valley Tourism, Niagara Falls

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