The 45th annual Labrador Creative Arts Festival will explore the theme of respect.
In Labrador the communities are largely rural, Indigenous and northern. In places such as these , survival has long been predicated on respect for the environment, for land, and for community members and neighbours This is a lifestyle that requires mutual trust. It is both independent and resilient and yet can provide rich rewards in spite of tremendous challenges.
The youth participants of the Labrador Creative Arts festival have always learned, displayed and taught each other respect for language, culture and tradition, but they have also been notable for demanding and showing respect for individual rights and freedoms. In recent years the festival has spearheaded youth conversations around gender identity, sexual and racial minorities, and differing abilities. Theatre and other art forms have led the way in asking difficult questions that have opened the way to discussion for their peers and elders.
In the 45th festival, we will invite artists who will work with youth to extend and expand their exploration of respect, including the respect we owe to the creative arts and its practitioners. Emphasis on artists' selection will be on the inclusiveness of the arts. We expect that the plays students will write on this theme will provide opportunities for new examinations of the value systems youth hold and approaches youth will take to demonstrate the enduring importance of respect as a first principle in the arts and in their lives.