the ridge A visceral musical storytelling production centered around the Battle of Vimy Ridge. It explores difficult but necessary questions about how and why we grieve while examining misconceptions and different perspectives surrounding the infamous war.
the ridge Draws parallels to other formative events in our country’s past. Brendan McLeod and The Fugitives bring history to life through vivid storytelling, literal theater and live music.
This Remembrance Day, the ridge Performing live at the Key City Theater in Cranbrook. The performance allows the audience to consider an alternative view of the war and the sacrifices of those who did not have the freedom to participate in the war.
Many historians and writers have said that the victory at Vimy Ridge in April 1917 helped define, shape and unite a nation. For Canada, the war has been described as the one that gave birth to our country. It was the first time the four divisions of the Canadian Corps fought together and showed strength, allowing us to step out of Britain’s shadow and feel the greatness.
“Through the playing of trench songs written by the soldiers, through the narratives and monologues, through the band’s historical readings, we feel the emotion of war,” says McLeod. “But to say that a war defines a nation may not be accurate. It’s more concise than that.”
McLeod investigates why the Battle of Vimy Ridge and the loss of over 10,000 Canadian soldiers have been misrepresented. Reese reveals how the war has been misinterpreted for more than 100 years, underestimating large sections of our Canadian population.
Although McLeod believes that war has played an important role in shaping our collective identity, he identifies why the interpretation of war needs to be re-examined. Ridge exposes the missing parts of our population that were not included in that collective identity but who fought bravely in the war – like our indigenous peoples who were relegated to second-class citizens when they returned from war.
McLeod is an award-winning writer, theater artist and musician. He is the author of a novel, a poetry collection, five theater shows, and the founder of the Canadian folk music group The Fugitives. A former Canadian SLAM Poetry Champ, she was the Honored Poet at the 2012 Canadian Festival of Spoken Word.
The Fugitives have been nominated for a Juno and multiple Canadian Folk Music Awards and won Best Folk Album 0f 2019 from the German Music Critics Association. World War I Soldier Songs was recognized with a 2022 Juno nomination for Best Traditional Roots Album.
“Through innovative musical interpretations of World War I soldiers’ songs, we look at war and the historical wrongs of war,” says McLeod. “During World War I, there were 20,000 soldiers under the age of 18. We passionately bring this to life to our audience.”
the ridge A vivid experience that examines our connection to the past and argues passionately against the exploitation of young life.
“the ridge An opportunity to put victory back in the hands of those who fought,” McLeod said. “the ridge Brings the details of that life to life and provides a different way of remembering.”
watch the ridge Friday, November 11 at 7:30pm at Key City Theatre, 20 14th Ave North, Cranbrook
For more information on Brendan McLeod and the fugitives, visit: brendanmcleod.ca/ridge
Entertainment Remembrance Day