Friday, May 27, 2022

The View Forward: Covid Visions Live

Online Event

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The View Forward: Covid Visions Live

An Online Event from the the Saskatchewan Arts Alliance

June 9th | 1:30 pm – 3 pm | Zoom

Its into the pandemic’s third year and Saskatchewan artists and arts organizations continue to cope, shift, and renew despite working in an uncertain field. With flexible planning, new platforms, and a tentative dash of hope - they continue to move forward. 

Poet and arts writer Steven Ross Smith will moderate a discussion around the COVID-19 impact on the arts in province and how artists and arts organizations are emerging. Featuring three Saskatchewan artists who will speak about living with and adapting to life in a pandemic, and how they are now looking ahead.

Louise Bernice Halfe, living near Saskatoon, is the Canadian poet laureate appointed by Parliament to profile and initiate poetry projects nationally; Angus Ferguson is Dancing Sky Theatre co-founder, director, dramaturg, and teacher, based in Meacham; Laureen Marchand is a Val Marie visual artist and online gallery owner at Grassland Gallery Online. Their distinct personal narratives will also echo the experiences of many Saskatchewan artists and organizations through the past twenty-seven months and beyond.

There are two ways to register: email or go online at

*This event is based off our online series Covid Visions. Each story highlights Saskatchewan artists or arts organizations facing the strange reality of Covid-19. Check out the Covid Visions Stories here.


Angus Ferguson is a theatre director, designer, dramaturge and teacher who is dedicated to creating art and developing artists in Saskatchewan.

He is the founding Artistic Director of Dancing Sky Theatre in Meacham, where he develops and produces new plays. He teaches at the U of S Drama Department and at St. Peters College in Humboldt, just to see if he can preach what he tries to practice.

Louise Bernice Halfe – Sky Dancer was raised on Saddle Lake Reserve and attended Blue Quills Residential School. Louise is married, has two adult children and three grandsons. She graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Regina. She also completed two years of Addictions Counselor Training at St. Albert’s Nechi Institute where she also facilitated the program. She served as Saskatchewan’s Poet Laureate for two years and has traveled extensively for her poetics and to present at numerous conferences. Her books include, Bear Bones and Feathers, Blue Marrow, The Crooked Good, Burning In This Midnight Dream, Sohkeyihta, and awasis-kinky and dishevelled. She has received numerous accolades and awards including honorary doctorates from Wilfred Laurier University, the University of Saskatchewan, and Mount Royal University. She currently serves as the national Parliamentary Library Poet Laureate.

Louise also serves as an elder or knowledge keeper at the University of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Health Authority, Virtual Hospice, Opik, and others. She actively participates in cultural and ceremonial activities relevant to her Plains Cree culture.

Laureen Marchand lives in Val Marie, Saskatchewan, just north of the Montana border at the gateway to Grasslands National Park. Inspired by this region's subtlety and remoteness, her paintings reflect on our ideas about and perception of beauty. These artworks invite us to see not just the painted object, but ourselves in it.

Laureen Marchand has exhibited regionally, nationally, and internationally in more than 30 solo and two-person exhibitions as well as over 50 group shows. Her paintings have been recognized by the Saskatchewan Arts Board and the Canada Council and are held in many public and private collections. Laureen Marchand is represented by galleries in Canada and Ireland, with work in public and private collections in Canada and internationally, and has been artist in residence at the Leighton Artist Studios/Banff Centre for the Arts, the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Ireland, and the Ragdale Foundation in Illinois, among others. As well as having an active painting career, Laureen mentors other artists, leads workshops and retreats, and is the owner of Grasslands Gallery Online. She is the recipient of numerous grants and other honours.

Steven Ross Smith has published poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. He is known for his seven-book poetic exploration fluttertongue. He is also an arts journalist specializing in literary and visual arts. Over many decades he’s been effective too as a literary activist, on behalf of writers—speaking, teaching, organizing, blogging, editing, and presenting. He has lived and written in Toronto, Saskatoon, Banff, Winnipeg, on Galiano Island, and now in Victoria. Two chapbooks featuring his work were recently published with Saskatoon’s JackPine Press: Table for Four, was created with Winnipeggers Ted Landrum, Jennifer Still, and Colin Smith in 2020, and Steven’s final book in his fluttertongue series—coda: fluttertongue 7, appeared in 2021, designed by Brian Kachur. Smith served as Banff Poet Laureate 2019-2021. He was the founding Director of Sage Hill Writing Experience and Director of Literary Arts at the Banff Centre. Glimmer: Short Fictions with Radiant Press is his fourteenth book.