Women In Fish

Women in Fish

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Women in Fish (2004-2013)

Vancouver remembers fishing: A way of life lost, and the women who were a part of it

Women in Fish is based on the tragic story of the Loretta B, a fishing packer that sank in 1962, submerging five men and one woman to the dark sea. After being tied to fish crates by her husband and fellow crewmate, Eileen Lorenz emerged the sole survivor, later found and plucked from the water on the eve of her 18th birthday and eight months pregnant.

Weaving this tragedy with the larger tragedy of the world’s fishing industry, Women in Fishdocuments women’s contributions to what was once a top industry on the West Coast.

We’ve been omitted from history. The only view of fishing was that it was a man’s life and men did it all. That’s not true. Women were very involved – we ran our own boats, we did it all – we catch ‘em, clean ‘em, cook ‘em and can ‘em. They owned their own boats and they raised their children on the boats. As First Nations people, our history goes back to the beginning of time. Water connects us all. The decline of the fishing industry, and fishing stocks, has had huge impacts on us. – Rosemary Georgeson, Playwright and Actor

Women in Fish was first created in 2004 as a community production on Galiano Island. It was then produced by CBC as a radio documentary and a 4 part radio series, shortlisted for a prestigious Jack Webster Award for Best Documentary. From 2010-2013, a live performance adaption titled Women In Fish: Hours of Water toured throughout BC, sparking community sharing about women’s roles in resource industries across the country, accompanied by an installation commemorating of the contributions of women to the industry, youth programming activities, and workshops. In 2013, the documentary film We Have Stories: Women in Fish directed by Rosemary Georgeson (2013, 25 minutes) was premiered at the Carnegie Centre as part of the Heart of the City Festival.

Written by Marie Clements with Rosemary Georgeson, Eileen Lorenz and the WIF Participants.
Directed by
 Marie Clements (Governor General Nominee-Burning Vision) and Kathleen Flaherty (CBC Radio)
Dramaturgy by Paula Danckert (Playwrights Workshop Montreal)
Featuring award winning designers including: Tim Matheson, Noah Drew, John Webber, Sandy Scofield, Jonathan Ryder, Richard Wilson, Rosemary Georgeson, Mia Perry, Julie Moore and David Kerr.
Performed by Rosemary Georgeson & Mary Galloway
With Hours of Water Ensemble: Ben Cardinal, Patricia Collins, Steven Hill, Renae Morrisseau, Suzie Payne & WIF community voices
Live Performance Animated by Diane Roberts

Past Performances:

  • October 27, 2013 – Heart of the City Festival, Vancouver
  • April 27, 2013 – Katzie Longhouse presented by the Maple Ridge Arts Council
  • September 18th, 2012 FemFest, Winnipeg
  • July 7-8, 2012 – Pacific Rim Arts Festival, Euculet & Tofino
  • September 25 – October 2, 2011 – Cowichan Theatre, Duncan
  • May 20-22, 2011 – UNO Festival, Victoria
  • March 4-5, 2011 – Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, Burnaby