INCANTATION was a 15 minute site-specific performance art installation presented under the Gardiner Expressway & Lakeshore Blvd. overpass spanning the mouth of the Humber River as part of Art Spin on June 15, 2017.
During the First World War, a growing sentiment of Canadians against “enemy aliens" spread across the country. The British government urged Canada not to act indiscriminately against subject nationalities of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. However, Ottawa took a hard line and these "enemy aliens" were treated as social pariahs. Under the 1914 War Measures Act, over 70,000 Ukrainians suspected of being associated with Austro-Hungary were compelled to register with authorities. Over eight thousand were also interned from 1914-1920 by the Canadian Government in 24 concentration camps across the country, of which six thousand were ethnic Ukrainians, including men, women and children. Those interned in Banff were the forced labour used to build roads in the Banff National Park and dig the quarry stone for the Banff Hotel.
INCANTATION is a calling up of the spirit of these people who endured the internment in a country they helped to grow. It is one of the many chapters of Canada’s history which has been ignored because it singled out a people for having been culturally different and a suspected threat.
Stacey Yerofeyeva - leader, vocals and accordion
Stephania Woloshyn - vocals
Ewelina Ferenc - vocals and percussion
Human Fence Chorus - Jeff Bamberger, Jurij Fedyk, David Setka, Bozena Hrycyna, Rachel Bellone, Marco R. Stech & Tania Stech
Lamont Abramczyk - Production Coordinator
Magdalena Sokoloski - Costumes
Masks & Props - Thom Sokoloski
Photos - Priam Thomas & Thom Sokoloski
Special thanks to Anna Harasym
Call for Volunteers is found here.