Seaton Secondary's 27th Street Theatre Company presents Seeds of Hope: A Story of Ukrainian Internment in Canada, streaming Feb. 12-15 through ticketseller.ca. (27th Street Theatre photo)

Spotlight put on dark internment camp history at Vernon school

Drama class presents Seeds of Hope, tales from Vernon’s own Ukrainian and European camps

Students at a local high school had no idea what horror took place on the very land their classrooms rest on more than 100 years ago.

W. L. Seaton is located on property that was one of 24 Ukrainian/Eastern European Internment camps during the First World War.

“It’s really horrible and absolutely devastating what these people had to go through,” Grade 11 student Mais Cesario said. “And one of the saddest parts is that very few people actually know about the internment camps.”

But after learning the history of what is now known as MacDonald Park and the secondary school, 12 of Seaton’s drama students created a play to share the history of the land. Called Seeds of Hope: A Story of Ukrainian Internment in Canada, the show is streaming Feb. 12-15 through ticketseller.ca.

This is the second showing, following a quietly announced first-show in January put on by the school drama class, better known as 27th Street Theatre Company.

“I think it’s important for people to know what happened here in our town. Especially when a high school is now situated on the property of where it stood,” said Grade 12 student Emma Beadman, who plays the Observer. “The history was forgotten and now it’s time for us to bring it back to light.”

Seeds of Hope tells the story of this little known history from three perspectives: those imprisoned, those responsible for the camps from local authorities to the Canadian Government, and the citizens of Vernon with their varying points of view.

“It is of the utmost importance, now more than ever, that we reflect on our past and realize that change needs to happen,” said Madison Irwin, Grade 12, who plays an interned woman in the Vernon camp, and was a lead scriptwriter for the show. “These events were despicable and continue to happen around the world every single day.”

Under the direction of teacher Lana O’Brien, recreating the stories of the camps which were in place from 1914-1920 took several weeks.

“I had no idea about the internment camps in Vernon until I was apart of the show. It shocked me to learn about the true horror that had occurred over 100 years ago, and how they are still happening around the world to this day,” Grade 12 lighting operator Fraser O’Brien said.

Grade 12 student Delaney O’Brien, who played a citizen of Vernon who was in favour of the camps hopes that the play will spark some change in at least furthering the education of the hushed historic events.

“I was quite upset to learn that there was an internment camp on the property where I go to school. The fact that this isn’t a historical event that is acknowledged in social (studies) class is unacceptable. We need to know where we come from. I hope that after seeing this play, Vernon schools will teach their students such an impactful part of Vernon’s history.”

READ MORE: Vernon internment camp part of family history society film screening

READ MORE: Book offers glimpse into internment camp


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Theatre

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Seaton Secondary's 27th Street Theatre Company presents Seeds of Hope: A Story of Ukrainian Internment in Canada, streaming Feb. 12-15 through ticketseller.ca. (27th Street Theatre photo)

Seaton Secondary's 27th Street Theatre Company presents Seeds of Hope: A Story of Ukrainian Internment in Canada, streaming Feb. 12-15 through ticketseller.ca. (27th Street Theatre photo)

Seaton Secondary’s 27th Street Theatre Company presents Seeds of Hope: A Story of Ukrainian Internment in Canada, streaming Feb. 12-15 through ticketseller.ca. (27th Street Theatre photo)

Seaton Secondary’s 27th Street Theatre Company presents Seeds of Hope: A Story of Ukrainian Internment in Canada, streaming Feb. 12-15 through ticketseller.ca. (27th Street Theatre photo)

Seaton Secondary's 27th Street Theatre Company presents Seeds of Hope: A Story of Ukrainian Internment in Canada, streaming Feb. 12-15 through ticketseller.ca. (27th Street Theatre photo)

Seaton Secondary's 27th Street Theatre Company presents Seeds of Hope: A Story of Ukrainian Internment in Canada, streaming Feb. 12-15 through ticketseller.ca. (27th Street Theatre photo)

Seaton Secondary's 27th Street Theatre Company presents Seeds of Hope: A Story of Ukrainian Internment in Canada, streaming Feb. 12-15 through ticketseller.ca. (27th Street Theatre photo)

Seaton Secondary's 27th Street Theatre Company presents Seeds of Hope: A Story of Ukrainian Internment in Canada, streaming Feb. 12-15 through ticketseller.ca. (27th Street Theatre photo)

Seaton Secondary's 27th Street Theatre Company presents Seeds of Hope: A Story of Ukrainian Internment in Canada, streaming Feb. 12-15 through ticketseller.ca. (27th Street Theatre photo)

Seaton Secondary's 27th Street Theatre Company presents Seeds of Hope: A Story of Ukrainian Internment in Canada, streaming Feb. 12-15 through ticketseller.ca. (27th Street Theatre photo)

Just Posted

The Great Bear Snowshed on the Coquihalla Highway (Highway 5) in British Columbia. Truck driver Roy McCormack testified in BC Supreme Court in Chilliwack on Feb. 25, 2021 that his brakes started smoking in about this location, and soon after he lost all braking, which led to a multi-vehicle crash further down the road on Aug. 5, 2016. (GoogleMaps)
Truck driver charged in Coquihalla crash showed ‘wanton and reckless disregard for other people’s lives’: Crown

Despite already having brake issues, Roy McCormack tackled the steepest hill on the infamous highway

Approximate location of the vehicle incident. (Google Maps)
Vehicle incident blocking Coquihalla traffic in both directions

Both directions of traffic stopped due to vehicle incident

(HelloKelowna - Twitter)
West Kelowna billboard bearing anti-vaccine messaging deemed misleading

Ad Standards investigated the billboard, noting a lack of evidence to support the messaging

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Christina Camilleri: Making holistic health care accessible

Christina Camilleri founded and operates Healthy Essentials Clinic

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Chase RCMP held two men involved in drunken disturbances overnight in their detachment’s cells on Feb. 6. (File Photo)
Chase RCMP hold two men involved in drunken disturbances overnight

The two seperate incidents took place less than an hour apart.

Kamloops Fire Rescue battled a landfill fire which belched toxic smoke into the air on Feb. 27. (City of Kamloops Photo)
Fire at Kamloops landfill sends thick black smoke into the air

Firefighters made slow progress on the fire throughout the morning.

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Baldy Mountain Resort is temporarily closed following the death of a resort family member. Pictured above is a sunrise at the resort, Feb. 19, 2021. (Baldy Mountain Resort/Facebook)
Baldy Mountain ski hill closed following death of resort family member

Authorities currently investigating, resort set to reopen Sunday, Feb. 27

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Chase RCMP arrest intoxicated man running into highway traffic

The man was wanted on several warrents in Alberta; was held overnight but released

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Most Read