Atikokan’s Rite of Passage since 1965 debuted to a big crowd at Grayson Hall May 30, the cap of an AHS Showcase evening.
The forty-minute video was a late addition to the schedule for the fiftieth anniversary two years ago, and filmmaker Patricia Lambkin was able to rush a first draft of the production to screen in time for that celebration. This final version includes an extensive re-edit, as well as several new interviews.
While the fortieth anniversary video focussed on the experience of a modern Outer in the program, the fiftieth aims for a broader, historical perspective on the program.
Interviewees included five members of the fiftieth group of Outers (Jesse Morden, Dawson Paulson, Grant Legaree, Marla Larson, Ashley Nash) as well as Sally Burns (1966-67), David Williams (1984-85, later an Outers director), Betty Armstrong (1972-73), Shane Fiore (Outers director), Bleddyn Williams (Outers director), Dave Kerr (1973-74, later an Outers director), Bud Dickson (1965-66), Dayna Chambers (2012-13), and Wayne Docking (Outers director).
The video is available on the Outers You Tube channel [ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWRWD76AZ7qUijjjxD_frXg ] it had already passed the thousand view mark Friday, two days after going up. The site also includes the fortieth video, as well as slide shows of recent vintage.
Tuesday’s Showcase also included excerpts from two CBC television pieces on the Outers. In 1967, This Land is Ours, a news magazine show, came to Atikokan to report on The Outers’ Way, and in 2005, The National featured a segment on Coming of Age in a Canoe. (When Peter Mansbridge intoned the “community is dying”, it drew a big laugh at Grayson.)
The evening started with a little volleyball, in a special mixed match featuring AHS’s two NWOSSAA champions. This year was the first time Atikokan sent both the boys and girls volleyball teams to OFSSA.
Next up were the AHS Bands – the guitar version and the instrumental assembly. The guitarists – eight of them counting teaching Eric Arner – played Hey, Joe (Jimi Hendix) and Smoke on the Water (Deep Purple).
The 13-member instrumental contingent took over from there, with When the Saints Go Marching In (original dirge version), Old MacDonald, the Ode to Joy from Beethoven’s Ninth, Hard Rock Blues, Morning, the Star Wars theme, and Crabbuckit (featuring a sax solo by Arner). They closed with a piece from Mozart that gave the students – many of whom had not picked up their instrument until February – fits in those first few days in class.