The Now & Then project builds on an extensive library of archival video and audio footage from our festival that includes multiple camera angles and high-resolution recording.  We have seldom used this footage because our focus is on live events where the press of bodies and the enchantment of the performer is exhilarating in the present.  A live performance is a memory stored in the body but not revisited on film because we keep our sights trained on the next festival when we will have an even better experience.  But, we do have at least 15 years of high-quality footage, and 37 years of showcasing brilliant artists, quirky personalities, and wild improvisational sets between performers from different cultures, traditions, and generations.  And the pandemic has given us a compelling reason to revisit our film archives.  For our 2020 summer festival, Hillside Homeside, we selected some of the more epic or remarkable footage from the past and then interviewed the artists in question about their view of their past performances and how their careers or lives have since changed.  Many of these performances were beloved “Hillside moments” for our audience members:  Owen Pallett’s 2009 rainstorm performance; Leonard Sumner’s 2017 standing-ovation performances; the Skydiggers’ performances with Paul Langlois and their tribute to Gord Downie; and Stuart McLean’s memorable 2008 performance.  For the latter, we interviewed Jess Milton, Stuart’s producer, and Danny Michel, who was one of the artists Stuart McLean showcased on his tours. 

An exploration of past and present spoken word performances by Shane Koyczan, including a present-day interview of Shane by Vish Khanna, footage from 2011 and 2013 performances at the Hillside Festivals, and a new piece, “Whatever Mountain,” performed especially for this Now & Then project.

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