Organizers are kicking into high gear in preparation for hosting the Caravan Stage Company and their touring production, Nomadic Tempest, June 28th to July 1st at the Kus-Kus-Sum site on the Courtenay River!
It is an ambitious project. The Nomadic Tempest production itself is self-contained and performed from the rigging of a 90-foot tall ship called the Amara Zee, a replica of a Thames River Sailing Barge. However, local organizers are faced with the massive task of turning an abandoned saw mill site into a functioning venue for audiences. It’s a task that takes a lot of imagination, energy and problem-solving skills.
Fortunately, that's what organizers of the upcoming Nomadic Tempest presentation have an abundance of. Project Watershed and Elevate have combined forces and talents to bring this important show to the community.
"Project Watershed is passionate about restoring the natural environment and supporting the health of our estuary. Elevate is passionate about re-imagining place and bringing community together to create new spaces through imagination and collaboration. It’s a perfect match for this exciting and challenging project" says Alyssa Bird of Elevate.
Nomadic Tempest is an intense, beautiful, gritty and timely post-apocalyptic rock opera about climate refugees in a future drowned world complete with aerials, projections and original score. Audiences gather on the shore and experience soaring vocals, aerial artistry and large scenic elements backed by spectacular lighting and sound effects combined to create the visual and auditory feast that has enthralled audiences across North America and Europe.
This provocative and unique multi-media theatrical presentation is specifically performed in areas most impacted by rising sea levels and the realities of flooding and forced migration - due to climate change.
"The Nomadic Tempest carries an important message about climate change. Something the global community, all of us, should be doing more to mitigate. This show also encourages us to see how purchasing and restoring Kus-kus-sum is a positive action we can take – an action that provides hope amidst the doom and gloom.” Says Caila Holbrook of Project Watershed.
“The audience will have the opportunity to see and feel what 8.3 acres of cement is like, how barren it is, and how nature is already trying to take it back. We hope that the experience of being on the site for the first time increases the connection between our community and Kus-kus-sum. This is where stewardship starts.”
Over the next week organizers will be busy moving industrial debris, clearing blackberries, sweeping the site, hooking up power, setting up fencing and installing seating, tenting and projection towers. They are ensuring the services, from water to power and from toilets to parking, are all in place to make the show a success. It’s a big job and will involve well over 100 volunteers.
But organizers hope the impact of the show will linger long after the Caravan Stage Company ship has set sail. The impact of spending time on the physical site, combined with sharing a unique cultural experience, has the potential to strengthen community connection to the project and the dream of returning pavement to paradise.
Tickets for the 4-night run of Nomadic Tempest are on sale now. $25 or adults and $10 for 14 and under. Gates open each night at 8 with food, drink and dessert vendors, pre-show music and time to enjoy the stunning scenery and unique experience of being on the site. The Nomadic Tempest show starts at dusk with the event wrapping up around 11 pm each night.