Attics to Stages
Letters are a unique insight into Canada's history, telling the stories of not a nation, but a person and their subjective view of the world they live in.
The letters that we bring forward are special glimpses into the lives of the average Canadian through the terrible times of war.
The history of war often becomes about the major wins and losses, about the number of casualties and the triumphant returns.
These letters remind us about the real people that lived in the chaos of these wins and losses. By bringing these stories to the stage, we hope to ground people in the realities of this nation's involvement in wars, for better or for worse, and bring us closer to our legacy.
In November 2019, we hosted our first event, with thirteen speakers reading 30 letters to a sold-out audience at the Canadian War Museum. The letters were taken from the South African War in 1900, all the way to Canada's recent involvement in the war in Afganistan. Written by soldiers, loved ones, and officers who became the bearers of bad news, they shed light on the many ways that war has affected Canadians throughout time. Each of the presenters had a unique connection to the letters they were reading, such as retired Ottawa Senators Captain Daniel Alfredsson, who read the condolence letter written to the family of another Ottawa hockey legend, Frank McGee.
We held our event at the Barney Danson Theatre in the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. We also had the pleasure of hosting the Canterbury Trebles Women’s Ensemble who sung beautiful renditions of period songs such as "A Long Way to Tipperary."