Train of Thought was an evolving journey of art-making and (re)conciliation, by train and other means of transportation, taking a counter-colonial route from west to east coast, with 25 stops, 75 travellers, 95 partners and hundreds of participants. Through an eclectic program of interactive events, the tour explored buried histories, imagined landscapes and possible futures, focusing on artful collaborations between settler/immigrant and Indigenous artists and communities. The journey lasted 7 weeks from the beginning of May to the end of June 2015.
At each stop, we staged ceremonies of arrival and departure (typically including the Train of Thought song, commissioned for the journey and created by Lil’wat composer Russell Wallace) and shared food and hospitality. Different stops also included: tours and talks with local elders and knowledge keepers, participatory performances, Indigenous language lessons, public workshops, round dances, conferences and more. Even while in transit the tour included creative activities engaging our travellers and our fellow passengers.
Train of Thought was an imperfect and incomplete adventure – part of a longer and unending imperative to learn, connect and help to change tracks.
Train of Thought was supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Ontario Trillium Foundation, The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, Metcalf Foundation, Citizenship and Immigration Canada and VIA Rail.