John K. Samson drew inspiration from Manitoba Archives for songs on his CD "Provincial".
On archival photos used for "Provincial"...the way the places were framed by someone's eye back then. When I visited the sites they were different but unchanged. It gave me a richer idea of places.
—John K. Samson, Winnipeg Singer-songwriter
What do John K Samson's CD Provincial, Bev Friesen's oil paintings from the series Mennonite Women Evolving, and Andrew Wall's documentary, The Paper Nazis, have in common?
All these works drew inspiration from Manitoba archives . The sixth annual Manitoba Awards, presented by the Association for Manitoba Archives, takes place at 5:00 p.m., Thursday, May 10. It's all about recognizing excellence in the use of archives.
Here are just a few examples of how the archives have contributed to the richness of our arts scene here in Manitoba this past year.
John K. Samson spent hours at the Manitoba Archives gathering fodder of the songs that landed on his latest CD, Provincial. "The staff at the Manitoba Archives were extremely helpful. They suggested sites I might want to explore, and found many photos and documents that enriched my understanding of the areas I wrote about", said Samson.
Samson owes the songs "Highway 1 East" and "Highway 1 West" to archival photographs of places, towns and roads in Manitoba. He was fascinated by "the way the places were framed by someone's eye back then. When I visited the sites they were different but unchanged. It gave me a richer idea of places".
"They also helped when I met with dead ends. For example", Samson continued, "when I discovered that the Lung Association had pulled its entire archive on the Ninette Sanatorium, one of my primary research interests, the archivists pointed me towards other sources and had wise suggestions on how to proceed." The result is "Letter in Icelandic from the Ninette San".
Samson may be getting the award today, but he awarded the archives the special honour of immortalizing the organization in the lyrics of "When I Write My Master's Thesis."