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Paula Jardine

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 5 months ago

Paula Jardine


Paula Jardine's retrospective show is featured in the Islands Institute online gallery

photo: Robi Smith


The focus of Paula Jardine’s work over the past two decades has been to revive and redefine community arts and the artist’s role in the community. The founding artistic director of the Public Dreams Society, Paula’s most visible achievement is the introduction of Lantern Processions as a community art form in Canada. She is best known for her initiation of the Illuminares Evening Lantern Procession, and the Parade of the Lost Souls, both popular annual events held in East Vancouver, involving hundreds of volunteers and artists, and attended by thousands.


In 1980 Paula wrote a one woman show (The Girl from Alberta) so she could meet and work with John Fox of Welfare State International (The Tempest on Snake Island, Toronto Theatre Festival). The next year she toured with the company, and learned the building skills that informed her later work. In her job as Parade Boss for the World University Games in Edmonton (1983) she created six parades in eight days, with performers from Sri Lank,the Divine Drummers of Ghana, and Ralph Lee’s Meta wee River Company (NY), among others. This sparked a tradition of spectacle processions that lives on in Edmonton’s First Night celebration. A self proclaimed spark plug, she pioneered work in outdoor spectacle theatre, (The Snow Queen, downtown Edmonton, 1983; Journey to the New World, Vancouver 1986), torch choreography and fire sculpture (Edmonton Folk Festival, 1981-1983, Burn Your Regrets ritual bonfire and torch choreography, First Night, Edmonton 1993).


While living in Vancouver she was active on a number of public art committees, initiating the purchase of a vacant lot for a neighborhood park, introducing pebble mosaics as a public art form for parks, and creating the Trout Lake Restoration Project.


Since leaving Public Dreams in 1995, she has continued as a free lance artist and consultant, most recently as the artistic director of the Esquimalt Lantern Festival, which she helped them start 8 years ago. In the summers she works as front of house manager for the Caravan Farm Theatre. She lives in Victoria and is the artist-in-residence at the Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver(see Memorial). Since 2001 she has worked on Funeralia (research into funeral art and rituals), the Wild Salmon Guild, and other projects. She is artistic director of the Victoria Dance Series’ Community Dance Project.

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