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North End Community Renewal Corporation
App Deadline: 29 / 05 / 2017

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Royal Winnipeg Ballet
App Deadline: 29 / 05 / 2017

Sarah Ballenden tells the real-life tale of a Métis woman caught in the swirl of rumour

Maureen Hunter’s Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre play Sarah Ballenden may have a timeless quality to its theme of racial injustice, but its real-life time frame precedes Canada’s Confederation.

The main event of the play, produced in observance of Canada’s sesquicentennial, took place in the Red River Settlement in 1850. Sarah, the Métis wife of the chief corporate officer in charge of the Hudson’s Bay Company district, found herself at the centre of a scandal when she was accused of having an affair with a captain.

Her alleged lover, Capt. Christopher Vaughan Foss, sued for defamation in order to clear Sarah’s name, but the gesture backfired, as one might expect in a Victorian social environment where people were prepared to believe the worst of a mixed-blood woman.

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