Global Savages at CCI Spring Retreat: A Powerful Moment in Time

by Warren Garrett, Executive Director, CCI

Dear CCI Colleagues and Invited Guests:

I want to give you some background and insight into what is being planned for the CCI Members Spring Retreat 2013 in Brantford, June 5-7.

The Back Story

This past February, a small group of CCI presenters gathered in Stratford to work on their organizational plans using a process of strategic thinking and business modelling.  From the conversations, an awareness about a new presenting practice emerged. The members gave it a name, Presenting 3.0: Community Engagement -  and noted that it was occurring simultaneously with existing Presenting 1.0 and 2.0 practices. The conversation then shifted to how, when and where we might explore this emergent form.

The Power of A Powerful Pitch

Just a few weeks earlier, several of us had heard a powerful pitch by  Debajehmujig Theatre Group’s Ron Berti about a new Storytellers program called Global Savages.  It was agreed that this would be the perfect Community Engagement piece to showcase at our retreat. In short order, CCI Program Manager, Judy Harquail, connected Ron with Glenn Brown, our retreat host who then created a very productive partnership with Woodlands Cultural Centre’s Janis Montour and Brantford Arts Block’s Josh Bean.  Over the past ten weeks, Ron, Glenn, Janis, and Josh have worked seamlessly to craft a beautiful program - one that we will be privileged to experience first-hand when we arrive in Brantford on June 5th.

Global Savages: A World View

In their Statement of Introduction, the Storytellers provide the following world-view context: 

“We all recognize the world is changing, and often in ways that we feel we have no control over.  Whether it is a global economic crisis, or peak oil, or climate change, or terrorism – we have created an environment of fear and we relentlessly try and protect ourselves from everything and everyone. … But it doesn’t have to be like this. We are not hopeless. There is something we can do – a great deal in fact. It is entirely within our power and our resources and our abilities to do it. And there is a growing number of communities around the world that have come to realize it and actualize it. It is still possible for us to create a world for our descendants that is better than the one we inherited. 

The Global Savages believe this, and believe that we all have a responsibility to move forward and begin to build it now. For our children. For our grandchildren. And for the preservation of humanity. So how do we build community resilience? In a word – engage. That is all we have to do, is engage. Engage locally. Engage with each other. Attend the meetings. Join the discussions. Be a part of the circle. 

And so if we can motivate people to get more engaged in community life, if we can create an actual movement or momentum to participate, …  people will start gathering around the local expertise that has already thought things through, already compiled the information, already has a local game plan. 

It is in the realization that the traditional teachings of Indigenous People, the philosophy of the transition movement, the logic of economic self-reliance and the objective of quality of life are all not only compatible with one another, they are all partners in one thing - the preservation of humanity!”

The Global Savages-Brantford Experience

The Global Savages-Brantford program will quietly and respectfully begin at sunrise on Monday June 3rd with a walk into Brantford by the Storytellers, Jessica Wilde Peltier, Joe Osawabine, and Josh Peltier and musician, Bruce Naokwegijig. They will  be carrying their packs and gifts and gently singing The Humble Song.  Over the next few days, the Storytellers will conduct a 3-day walk-about of Brantford-Six Nations, meeting as many people whom are working for the betterment of their community.  On Wednesday evening we will join them and the community for Creating A Hullabaloo at Brantford Arts Block for Pot-Luck, Entertainment, and Dialogue. Thursday evening, we will join with the community as it gathers to hear The Global Savages share their story in performance around a fire on the grounds of the Woodlands Cultural Centre.

This year’s retreat experience will be a Powerful Moment in Time - one that will move you and awaken you.

To obtain more information about the program, to watch the video on Global Savages, and to register for the retreat, please visit:


Warren Garrett

Executive Director

CCI-Ontario Presenting Network