Train of Thought

May 12 - June 10, 2015

Create, Discuss, Travel, Feast, Learn, Change Tracks

totTrain of Thought is an evolving community arts journey from west to east coast, with on-board activities and at least 15 stops along the way. At each stop, a travelling company will get off and stay until the next train comes through. Local arts organizations and communities will host interactive events, and add to cumulative creative tasks. Additional travellers will hop aboard in overlapping and growing numbers, with conversations, art-making and special guests en route. Train of Thought was hatched by a group of Canadian community play producers who wanted to share practices and projects. As the idea percolated, we asked ourselves what theme merited such a huge cross-country undertaking. The answer we came to is: collaborations and alliances between First Nations and settler/immigrant artists and communities. We believe this is the most challenging and urgent matter that all of us are grappling with and learning about, as community-engaged art-makers from our different regional and cultural perspectives. Train of Thought will take an intentionally counter-colonial route to collect and share stories, buried histories and imagined landscapes of the land where we live: as it might have been, as it is, as it could be: drawing on perception, memory, history and imagination; merging whimsy and serious intent, bringing together artists and community members, the land’s first people and all those who have found refuge here over the years and generations. Train of Thought will ask many questions and perhaps find some answers: What's not on the map? What other forms of mapping are there? How can we see the places where we live through new eyes? What protocols are there of arrival, gathering and departure for the territories we pass through? What other place names are there to learn and imagine? What stories are important to pass across the country? How can we both grieve and celebrate together in the shadow of colonialism? How can community-engaged arts help us enter into these questions? Train of Thought is less about trains than about the relationships and discoveries that the journey will enable. When the train can't take us where we want to go, we'll defect for a while to buses and cars, and rejoin the VIA train route when we can. Train of Thought is an imperfect and incomplete adventure - part of a longer and unending imperative to learn, connect and help to change tracks. Train of Thought will be launched in Vancouver by VMT’s The Big House and the 7th Canadian Community Play and Arts Symposium. The train will have its send-off at 8:30 pm on Tuesday May 12, 2015. Victoria BC is also hosting a Train of Thought Prelude May 6-7, 2015. For more on the Victoria event, contact Will Weigler at train_map Draft itinerary (to be adapted and likely expanded, especially from Ontario on):
Vancouver- National Community Arts Symposium May 10-12, 2015
Depart Vancouver May 12
Enderby B.C. May 13-15
Edmonton, Alberta May 16-18
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan May 19-20
Winnipeg, Manitoba May 22-24
Sioux Lookout, Ontario May 25-26
Northern Ontario May 27-31
Toronto, Ontario June 1- 4
Ottawa, Ontario June 5
Kingston, Ontario June 6
Montréal, Québec June 6-7
Moncton, New Brunswick partner(s) to be confirmed): June 8?
Halifax, Nova Scotia - Finale June 10
Train of Thought is produced by Toronto's Jumblies Theatre with partners all across Canada. Vancouver Moving Theatre, Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation and the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre are the main Vancouver partners. For details on Train of Thought events across the country visit
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