These days, I hear a lot of “How’s the Knowledge Documentary going?” as I get around town. Well, glad you’ve asked. The project is coming along nicely as we are now into the post-production of 11 unique historical shorts that will comprise the final half-hour documentary to air on the Knowledge Network. Ben Euerby is busy composing music for each piece as John Tucker looks to design the sound. Daryl Jolly has been hard at work in the heat of the summer piecing together photos in his editing bay and bringing them to life with the magic of After Effects. We’ve worked with over 30 regional archives and a pile of family photo albums to pull together hundreds of images, as this documentary is comprised only of archival photos and documents. Laura Fortier of Touchstones has been instrumental in helping us get many of the photos for the a handful of the stories.

One of the big pieces to report is that title has changed. Whereas, it was originally called “If These Mountains Could Talk”, it was becoming clear that the strongest stories that emerged for the series all centred around people and their experience of living and moving to the Kootenays. The mountains and landscape certainly play a role in the stories, but as Murray Battle, Director of Independent Production at the Knowledge Network, pointed out, “Amy, the mountains aren’t the ones talking anymore.” So, we reluctantly let go of the original title and looked for one to more directly frame the stories. This lead to the name “Dreamers and Dissidents: A History of Nelson and the Kootenays.” From a fierce Sinixt Chief to an emigre princess from Russia to the Draft dodgers and Doukhobors, the stories lead us to what shaped the character of the place we call Nelson and the Kootenays today.

The Knowledge Network has tentatively planned a World Premiere at our very own Civic Theatre in the spring of 2015. We hope to wrap the production this Winter after we get our last pieces in place. History takes a long time to create and we are learning that historical documentaries take even longer! We’re looking forward to sharing it wide and far, but locally most of all.