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

This garbage bin behind a strip mall in Skaha Lake Road was set alight on Friday night at 11 p.m. The foam from firefighters can be seen on the ground. (Facebook)
Dumpster fire comes too close to Penticton seniors’ complex

One resident worries Penticton might have a fire bug

Theo's now delivering to Summerland
Penticton Greek restaurant now delivering to Summerland

Theo’s restaurant is the first to deliver food to Summerland in their ‘Squidmobile’

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen will speed up the process for hospitality businesses looking to set up patios during the latest COVID-19 restrictions. Under the most recent restrictions, indoor dining is prohibited, but patio dining is allowed. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen speeds up patio permit approval

Initiative to help hospitality businesses affected by latest COVID-19 restrictions

Firefighters responded to a house fire on Banks Crescent in Summerland on Friday afternoon. The fire began as a stovetop fire but resulted in significant damages. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Fire results in damage to Summerland home

Crews called on Friday, April 9 following stovetop fire

B.C's COVID-19 dashboard shows the peaks and valleys of cases prior to the record daily report of 132 on April 9, 2021. (Dashboard image)
Interior Health has record day of COVID-19 cases

132 cases reported Friday, April 9, more deaths in Vernon hospital outbreak

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.[CDC]
More COVID-19 exposures reported at schools in Kelowna

Interior Health added additional schools and dates to their list of exposures

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Sun Peaks is tracking rising COVID-19 cases. (Kamloops This Week Photo)
Sun Peaks sees spike in COVID-19 cases at end of ski season

On April 9, there were 15 positive cases confirmed.

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

Winter driving conditions returned to the Coquihalla Highway on April 10. (ICBC image)
Coquihalla motorists warned of fresh snow

Five to 10 cm of snow is expected today for the mountain highway.

Most Read