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Reid to reimagine, tell old stories from the women in her life

Helen Fox Reid is performing.
Helen Fox Reid is performing.

Helen Fox Reid is a listener.

At least, that’s what she’ll tell you if you ask her who she is and what it is she does.

She also holds two degrees from Grenfell College; one in dramatic literature, and another in nursing — but that’s secondary.

Reid is currently getting ready for a spoken-word performance at Nuit 150+, where the Reidville-born, Corner Brook resident will be reimagining stories she has collected over the years.

“The project I’m working on is a number of personal histories and recollections of women I’ve known throughout my life” said Reid.

The project is fitting for Nuit 150+, as the festival strives to encompass a sample collection of what’s currently happening in the city in terms of visual and performance arts.

“My whole life I’ve been the kind of person people tell stories to. I’m just the listener,” she said. “Even as a child, adults would tell me things and talk to me. And I think about that a lot because it really is true that everyone has a story to tell … but everybody has their recollections, and their way of viewing the world.”

One of the bigger topics for Reid is resettlement.

“Resettlement really affected a lot of women I knew, for various reasons. Some of them because they had chosen, before resettlement was a forced issue, to leave with their families; some of them didn’t want to leave and had to fight with their husband, and things were never right between them after,” she said.

But, as the Nuit festival comes to Newfoundland for the first time, and at a time when Canada is both celebrating its 150th birthday and scrutinizing the cultural relationships of its people, the thing Reid said the festival has evoked most from her is thoughts on her identity.

For Reid, the stories she will tell at Nuit 150+ will be from an assortment of different voices, each with their own identity, and if they all happened to be in the same room together at any other time, they might not all get along — or agree on certain things.

But Reid said the things Nuit 150+ is teaching her is that, even rediscovering her own identity in a province that’s only been a part of Canada for 68 of those 150 years — when the stories Reid is telling may have come from people who would’ve opposed Confederation fiercely — is that it’s possible to both love something and feel unsatisfied towards it.

In addition to the storytelling, Reid’s performance at Nuit 150+ will also feature a 30-second clip of a screenplay she recently made, titled x, as well as a clothesline with a flower on it.

The flower represents a story about resettlement — of a 10-year-old Reid being hauled to the airport in Deer Lake with her nan to dig up a patch of yellow roses that her nan had previously left there, before being forced to move.

You’ll have to hear her tell it.

Helen Fox Reid performs at the Greenwood Inn, 8:30 p.m., 10 p.m., and 12:30 a.m. Saturday night into Sunday morning for Nuit 150+. Admission is free.

A list of the performers for the Nuit 150 festival going on in Corner Brook Saturday:

1. Terry Boland “3 Perfect Pyramids”

This event is ongoing at the Majestic Lawn.

2. Logan MacDonald & VART 2010 Drawing “Barkskins”

This event is ongoing at the Western Star.

3. Jeremy Brake “Observing Life”

This event is ongoing at Star Taxi.

4. Alli Johnston “Summer in a Jar”

This event is ongoing at Home Taste Brewing.

5. Alex Fallis “The Old Couple and the Wobbly Table”

This event is scheduled for 8 p.m., 10 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. behind West Street.

6. Kc&McB

This event is scheduled for 9 p.m., midnight and 1:30 a.m. at Louis Gee’s.

7. Mr. H Presents

This event is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., 9:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. at the Royal Bank parking lot.

8. Corner Brook Jazz Ensemble

This event is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. at the Crown & Moose.

9. Helen Fox Reid “To the garden, alone”

This event is scheduled for 8:30 p.m., 10 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. at the Greenwood Inn (Humber Room).

10. Sarah O’Rourke-Whelan “Swan Song #1”

This event is ongoing at the Greenwood Inn (outside wall).

11. Meghan Bush “June Carroll’s Camp”

This event is scheduled for 8:30 p.m., 9:30 p.m. and midnight at United Church greens.

12. Cortez and the Killers

This event is scheduled for 8 p.m., 10:30 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. at the United Church.

13. Brenda Kitchen “We Are Beauty”

This event is ongoing at the Rotary Arts Centre.

14. Jessica Gynp & VART 2410 Photography 1 “Camera Obscura”

This event is ongoing at the Rotary Arts Centre.

15. TNL “Dough Boy Jam”

This event is scheduled for 8 p.m., 9:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. at the Corner Brook Public Library.

16. Marc Losier “Echange (Exchange)/Post(e) - Corner Brook”

This event is ongoing at the Corner Brook Museum & Archives.

17. Jessicah Blanchard & Lloyd Bartlett “Dancing with a Guitar”

This event is scheduled for 8 p.m., 9:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. at the City Hall courtyard.

18. David Barry & Pierre Leblanc “A Process of Idiophonic Play”

This event is ongoing at St. John the Evangelist.

19. Swig Away

This event is ongoing at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 13.

20. Wonderful Fine Market

This event is ongoing at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 13.

21. Tara Manuel “The Lady Waits”

This event is scheduled for 8:30 p.m., 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. at The Orchid.

22. Candice Pike “hearTea”

This event is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., 10:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. at Cycle Solutions and Brewed Awakening.

23. Brad Randell & Jessicah Blanchard “Turning”

This event is scheduled for 8:30 p.m., 10 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. at Brooke’s Bridal.

24. Tyrone Kelly “When there is just nowhere to go, and things don’t always make sense”

This event is ongoing at Brooke’s Bridal.

25. Marcus Gosse “Mi’kmaq Moose (Tia’m) Soup”

This event is ongoing at Brooke’s Bridal.

26. Renate Pohl “Reflection/Transmission”

This event is ongoing at Picture it in a Frame.

27. Wonderbolt Circus “All Fired Up”

This event is scheduled for 9 p.m. and 1 a.m. on West Street.

28. Brittany Pack & Meaghan Collins “Harpy”

This event is scheduled for midnight and 1:30 a.m. at the Goodhouse Building parking lot.

29. Jeremy Wills

This event is ongoing at nine enigmatic locations.

30. Susy Randell

This event is ongoing at 20 locations.

A still of a flower, a central image that will be on display during Reid’s spoken word performance as part of Nuit 150+.

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