This Radio Doc, made by myself and pal Marion Gruner was a popular feature documentary on CBC Radio. It features former foundry workers from the long defunct and now contaminated IMICO foundry in Guelph, Ontario, artists who squatted there, and the famous Reverend Wally Tucker who bought the land for a dollar to establish his Church of the Universe (The church uses marijuana as a sacrament and promotes nudity as a demonstration of human honesty).
I also made a fast short film with the audio from the interviews with the old foundry workers for Hidden Histories with the Guelph Film Festival. See here: Ghost: IMICO
A Sense of Wonder is a collaborative project that seeks to cultivate creative, inclusive, and imaginative processes, which connect with and express d/Deaf culture through the convergence of art and social practice.
A Sense of Wonder is led by Guelph-based interdisciplinary artist Dawn Matheson in collaboration with d/Deaf and hard of hearing kids and youth from across Southern Ontario. In Wonder, the kids are the boss.
Commissioned by the Art Gallery of Guelph and supported by Ed Video Media Arts Centre, Wonder engages multimedia, performance, and video to provide access and insight into d/Deaf arts in an exploration of the presence of deafness over the absence of sound.
Fresh off, a stellar exhibit last year at Art Gallery of Guelph and a Downtown Guelph projection. A Sense of Wonder Videos were also screened at Toronto’s Hot Doc’s Cinema for the Toronto International Deaf Film and Arts Festival!! WOWZA. WHAT an honour! Toronto International Deaf Film and Arts Festival
2018 will see one of the films featured in KW’s CAFKA art festival! Projected on Kitchener City Hall’s Cube!
Dawn Matheson is now working at EC Drury School for the Deaf’s Grade 11 and 12 media studies class coming up with new works for YEAR TWO. Thanks to Ontario Arts Council Artist in Education Grant!
4 films in total were created as part of YEAR ONE of Dawn Matheson’s A Sense of Wonder collaboration with d/Deaf youth throughout Ontario.
-We’ve run around in the forest with GO PRO cameras making movies at The Guelph Outdoor School (IF A TREE FALLS)
-We’ve felt music wearing vibration vests: put our heads in tubas, hugged double basses in FEELS LIKE MUSIC (You will experience the vibration vests at the exhibition!)
I had re-ignited my interest in Radio Doc with my broadcast of Allen in the summer (‘Who Is Allen’ on CBC)
Started listening to old CBC Docs and came upon one Marion Gruner and I made years ago– so many GUELPH voices, and on land that has STILL never been developed and still contaminated: IMICO, in the ward.
So many reincarnations and creative use: Hempire Village, the most imaginative– Good old Wally Tucker and the Church of the Universe.
And voices long gone of foundry workers.
I’ve taken some of the audio to remix into a short film screening with Hidden Histories/ Guelph Film Festival but the audio from it is still so precious.
Here is info on the remixed film screenings in NOVEMBER in Guelph as part of The Guelph Film Festival: Hidden Histories
And here is the radio piece- definitely worth a listen.
Who is Allan, a radio documentary I produced for CBC Radio kicked off the summer season a couple years ago on Canada Day. It tells the story of the stories people made up about a man they didn’t understand: Allan, a seemingly educated, sophisticated man who appears homeless, well-known to many in his community of Guelph, Ontario. What’s his real story? And what are all the myths?
“Since fear and social norms often forbid us to ask a stranger questions, people have made up stories to try to understand how Allan came to be. Often great big dramatic stories! In this doc, I seek out those stories, then ask Allen himself for his ‘real’ story.”
And Here’s a little blurb the local paper wrote:
CBC Radio to feature Guelph producer’s documentary on Canada Day
By Mercury staff
GUELPH — A radio documentary by multimedia journalist Dawn Matheson will bring a story about Guelph to people across the country on Canada Day.
The story of a longtime Guelph character known as Allen will kick off CBC’s national Summer Radio Season on Canada Day as part of a new program called The Doc Project.
Matheson’s radio documentary, titled “Who is Allen?,” will air on Canada Day, July 1 at 7:30 p.m. and be repeated Thursday at 9:30 a.m. on CBC Radio One.
Matheson was one of about 20 producers chosen in a countrywide call to create radio documentary for CBC in a ‘boot camp’ held in Toronto over the past winter.
The documentary, featuring dozens of Guelph residents and Allen himself, explores the nature of story creation, Matheson says.
“Allen is a well-known figure on Guelph’s streets for the past 35 years, but most don’t really know him,” she says. “He appears to be a lonely mystery with a long tangled beard and torn clothing happily reading the New York Times at Guelph’s Welcome In drop-in centre, park benches throughout downtown and many cafes.
“Many Guelphites assume he is homeless, or that a tragedy has struck him to put him out on the streets. Others say the very literate Allen is a professor performing an elaborate social experiment. Nonetheless, he has fascinated the townsfolk for years, including me,” Matheson says.
“Since fear and social norms often forbid us to ask a stranger questions, people have made up stories to try to understand how Allen came to be. Often great big dramatic stories! In this doc, I seek out those stories, then ask Allen himself for his ‘real’ story.”