Feb 7-17, 2025 • Laurier Park
Edmonton's longest running winter festival!
By Josh Languedoc
Once there was a beautiful river flowing alongside a wonderfully magnificent tree-filled park. It was a wonderful gathering place where many would gaze at the gorgeous splendors of nature. Then, one day, a visitor arrived. Baring a strangely robotic-sounding voice and donning a large trench coat and magnificent hat, this stranger stopped all of the walkers in their tracks.
“Sorry, but you all have to leave. We are building a generator here! It’s the perfect spot to use the water to create powerful clean energy for all of your homes.”
All the crowd nodded. I guess it made sense.
Just then, another stranger arrived. With a strange-looking fin on their back and also wearing a large trench coat and a magnificent hat, this person stood in the exact spot the generator was supposed to go.
“No! We should leave the water alone. It helps us. Feeds us. If we keep taking from it, soon there will be nothing left.”
The two strangers stared each other down. Circling each other. Over and over again. They reachout their hands, yanked off the trench coats and hats. Underneath – a large robotic factory worker, and a gigantic whale slowly drying out. Suddenly it all became clear. One wants to industrialize. One wants to save the planet. And both came here to convince the crowd to hear them out.
They stared again. Their eyes almost burning like fire. Both determined to win over the crowd, both convinced they are right. Their gaze hardens, deeper and deeper, as if their eyes were trying to push the other out of the way.
With a breath and a gasp, they both stopped. Clearly this wasn’t going to be solved today. They turn to the crowd. “What do you think is the best choice?” The crowd shrugged.
Josh Languedoc is a proud member of Saugeen First Nation and lives as a guest in Treaty 6 Territory as an Anishinaabe playwright, producer, storyteller, and teacher. Since 2018, Josh has been touring his solo performance Rocko and Nakota: Tales From the Land to theatres and festivals all across Turtle Island. Some of Josh’s other plays include Feast (Gwaandak Theatre 2023, NewWorks and Fringe 2022), CIVIL BLOOD: A Treaty Story (Thou Art Here Theatre), The Eyes Of Spirits (Native Earth Performing Arts), and IN-COR-RI-GI-BLE: The Legend of Thundervoice (Blyth Festival). Josh also teaches around the Edmonton area with the Citadel’s Foote Theatre School, Edmonton Public Schools, Artstrek, Northern Alberta YMCA, and runs the teen playwriting program #WritesOfPassage at Workshop West Playwrights’ Theatre. As a producer, Josh has curated the pêhonân Series (Fringe Theatre), the Indigenous Pavilion (Silver Skate Festival), and Connections//Collisons (Mile Zero Dance). You may have also seen Josh dawn a leather jacket as Sonny Boy in the Indigenous hit Bear Grease (LightningCloud Productions). Josh recently finished his MFA Theatre Practice with a focus on Indigenous Playwriting, where he is officially the third Indigenous person to ever finish this program.
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The mission of the Silver Skate Festival Society is to provide a free family-oriented winter celebration blending sport, recreation, arts and culture, showcasing various skating disciplines and promoting outdoor activities in Alberta.