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ABOUT THE PROJECT

The Paradise Project is an outdoor theatrical spectacle taking place September 23rd 2017, 6:30 pm at Cootes Paradise, Princess Point Hamilton Ontario.  This a free event and is family friendly.  A 60 minute history of the area is told through story, puppetry, theatre, aerial acts, music, stilt walking creatures and song.  It is an event to raise awareness and celebrate the ongoing restoration, revitalization and conservation of this sensitive and important ecosystem.  Our vision includes giant puppets, elaborately costumed actors, dancers and musicians.    All artists will be paid for their work on this free public event and your contribution will help ensure this happens.

Cootes Paradise has always been a home for various species of birds, animals and plants.  Indigenous people lived and fished here before and during the colonization of the area by United Empire Loyalists and European traders. Lady and Lord Simcoe visited this area in 1796 and documented their findings in diary entries and watercolour illustrations attributing to its beauty.  As the Hamilton population grew so too did the hunting and fishing in Cootes Paradise and in the 1930’s a new group of settlers built a shanty town on the edges of the marsh.  The city displaced these people during the Hamilton beautification project and the marsh became part of the Royal Botanical Gardens as well as a bird sanctuary.  Still, the sensitive ecosystem is being harmed by invasive species, local sewer run-off and toxic run-off from a nearby park that was once the city’s dump.  Raising awareness of these problems and celebrating the beauty and preservation of this oasis so close to the inner city is important to Hamilton and to Canada as this body of water is at the “head of the lake” (Lake Ontario) and was once heavily populated by Indigenous peoples as well as playing a significant part in the War of 1812.

With generous support from the following organizations: