Debbie Patterson: Sargent and Victor

Debbie Patterson

Debbie Patterson is creating a theatre piece based on interviews she is conducting with people who live or work, or have ever lived or worked near the intersection of Sargent and Victor Streets in Winnipeg.

PRESS RELEASE: Sargent and Victor

Hear a reading of this fascinating work in progress:

Friday, February 11 - 7pm at St. Matthew’s Anglican Church (641 St. Matthew’s Avenue)
Sunday, February 13  - 7pm at First Lutheran Church (580 Victor Street)
Featuring: Joseph Aragon, Marsha Knight, Arne MacPherson and Laura Olafson

About the project

A corner of our city is still breathing, but barely.

The area around Sargent and Victor is in a critical state. The crime rate is so high that residents often feel like they're under siege. Homes are broken into repeatedly, property is vandalized, streets are routinely blocked off by yellow police tape. Teenage single moms work the streets, muggers lurk in alleyways and gang tags are spray-painted everywhere. The city was shocked by a rash of shootings in the area recently, by the tender ages of the victims and the perpetrators.

But this area wasn't always troubled. Many people remember the area as a centre of Icelandic culture and society. They talk about the First Lutheran Church and the Weevil Cafe as places where the sense of community and safety were strong and nurturing. While that aspect of this neighbourhood seems to have vanished, other aspects remain.

Morden's Chocolates has been operating out of their location on Sargent, just a few doors east of Victor since 1959. It remains a family run business. Given the current character of the area, itís difficult to imagine such a business choosing to set themselves up there now.

How does the transformation of a neighbourhood happen? How does it affect the people who live and work there? How does the land itself respond to the fear that covers it?

Debbie Patterson will share some of the stories she's collected from this area, and speak about the process she has embarked upon. Through a series of interviews she is created a verbatim theatre piece; a record of a time and place, in the words of the people, not the playwright.  She'll explore the value of drawing the stories out of the city, of giving voice to the oft-unheard.

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