Mayworks: A Festival of Working People and the Arts

April 28, 2011, 2:00 PM EST


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Who's art? Our art! So say the Mayworks Festivals across the country that are only a few weeks away. 

With the Day of Mourning on April 28 and May Day (May 1) around the corner, a number of festivals will be showcasing and celebrating workers culture, history, struggle and art. 

Mayworks Halifax is a celebration of the arts and artists, of the workers and their work, that are building a culture and society that celebrates and recognizes the history and struggle of the working people of Nova Scotia. The program runs from April 29-May 5 and includes film, theatre, talk and music performances by Faith Nolan, and "Workers Take The Mic" with Deedee Slye. www.mayworkshalifax.ca

Mayworks Toronto the Festival of Working People and the Arts celebrates its 26th year with programming on the Day of Mourning, a special poetry marathon on May Day and a festival from May 7-15. At the festival you can find Juno nominated musicians Maria Dunn and John Wort Hannam performing songs about working people, CBC Poetry Face-off winners Motion and Michelle Muir explore what's becoming of our city, plus works by emerging Indigenous playwrights, provocative dance, a labour walking tour, evocative video, storytelling, mural making for kids, visual arts exploring labour histories and stories, a writing workshop and much more. www.mayworks.ca and on facebook.

Mayworks Windsor is a celebration of labour, arts and community that runs from April 28 through the month of May. The issues and themes coming from this year's participants - youth and solidarity, alternative economies, health, safety and environment - are expressed through MayWorks Windsor programming of film, visual art, theatre, music, gardening and more.  A highlight is on April 29 with the event Abilene Paradox, by Vancouver-New York City based artist collective RTST, (Maria Hupfield and Jason Lujan), who create a multi-room environment at ARTCITE INC., Windsor's artist run centre for the contemporary arts, that examining the common ground of cultural workers and trade unions. www.artcite.ca

Mayworks Winnipeg celebrates its 17th MayWorks Festival of labour and the arts with a month long program of films, concerts and even a working class cabaret. For filmgoers there are several films that look at the struggle for justice and rights and a film about the life of legendary musician Phil Ochs. For those who love song, dance and concerts there is a fundraising cabaret dedicated to protecting Winnipeg's labour history, a concert of working class songs and a concert commemorating the Holocaust with the music of that time. www.mayworks.org and on facebook.

Vancouver Island Mayworks runs April 28 through the month of May and features film, music, visual arts, poetry, the Empty Bowl Soup Kitchen fundraiser and even a kart derby!  Performers include Rebel Voices, a duo from Seattle who sing a wide range of socially conscious songs with beautiful harmonies, David Rovics who performs "songs of social significance," poets Carol Neufeld,  Kate Braid, Kim Goldberg, Wendy Morton, David Fraser, Tracy Myers, and more.  http://www.tidechange.ca/show2115a27s/Mayworks_2011_

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