Marie-Anne Gagnon, Co-Founder

Marie-Anne Gagnon PhotoBorn and raised in Montreal, I met Arpita and Sinead in Ottawa while studying at Carleton University in the Public History M.A. programme. There I studied the role of national cuisine in bridging (or excluding) cultures in Canada, the power of cooking and eating certain foods, and the performance of identity in the kitchen.

My current professional work as an oral history archivist and researcher has reinforced my belief in the value of local history and multiple voices. Everyday, we create and tell stories about our families and communities, through our food, our music, and the theatre of everyday life, but we rarely are recognized as keepers and makers of history.

For me, Staging our Histories is an opportunity for academics to break away from their familiar papers through performance, and for artists to be recognized as interpreters of history. I hope that this event will foster dialogue between people who rarely encounter each other, but have much to share about the ways we believe in and feel related to our past.

In my mother tongue, story and history are the same word, histoire. I am looking forward to the many ways our histoires will be told on stage, beyond date and fact, accessing the meanings of place and past for each performer.