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We Will Rebuild

Rebuilding what was lost in the 2016 Wildfire will take time, but the #FortMcMurrayStrong spirit is propelling the efforts forward. In this section we’re featuring stories that speak to the challenges, the opportunities, and the plans of action; highlighting the resiliency and strength of Fort McMurray and the surrounding areas.



The Healing Power of Theatre and the Arts

Hanna Fridhed
BY Hanna Fridhed
(1 Vote)

As I watched the fire roll over the hills of Abasand and realized it had jumped the Athabasca River, closing in on our home in Wood Buffalo, a level-headed calmness came over me. I left work and went to our two-story townhouse for what turned out to be the last time. The cat was unceremoniously stuffed into his carrier, important papers and a few mementos made their way into the trunk before I closed and locked the door – never to see our cluttered hallway again.

Since then, my calmness has disappeared and been replaced by distress, anxiety and internal turmoil. My emotions bounce all over the place, like a pinball in an arcade game. I’ve been depressed and lonely, feeling home-sick for a place that no longer exists.

And then I remembered one of the greatest healers: art.

As simple as engaging in the arts, both as a regional representative of the ADFA during the Provincial One Act Play Festival, and as a participant in a workshop at the Foote Theatre School, has kept me sane. During a time when everything in my life has been upside down, the theatre has helped me refocus and recuperate.

Being able to express myself creatively, engage with other artists, explore my emotions in a safe environment and allowing my mind and ragged heart to relax into another reality, one happening on stage, has been crucial to recovering from the difficult months following the evacuation.

We must never underestimate the healing power of the theatre and the arts. To explore ourselves and our emotions in a safe and encouraging environment. A place where you are allowed to create; where you can breathe. The arts have a tremendous healing power that should not be forgotten, especially during times like these.