SPOILER ALERT: Hasting Highland eventually got their bylaw, but you don’t want to miss a (Hybla) minute of the whole story.
Click the link below to read They Fought a Zoo by Joan Webber and then listen to The Doc Project’s audio documentary featuring Roy Mitchell, called Of Towns and Tigers, to get the full scoop on this incredible story.
READ They Fought a Zoo on CBC’s The Doc Project HERE.
In response to FADO’s Performance Resolution(s), at-home residency project call for submissions, Roy Mitchell’s tongue-in-cheek proposal was to go to Algonquin Big Cat Adventures, a roadside zoo about 15 kilometres from where he lives, and “take a tiger away. And then another.”
At the time, Mitchell was preoccupied with so-called ‘big cats’ because of this roadside zoo, that had set up business in his community and Mark Drysdale, the owner of the zoo, was exhibiting lions and tigers without a permit. Soon after learning of Drysdale’s plans to open this zoo in Hastings Highlands, Roy Mitchell started a group—Citizens for a Safe and Humane Hastings Highlands—with the express purpose of lobbying for an exotic animal bylaw in the municipality.
So began a very long journey for Mitchell and members of his community. Much of it is documented as a part of Mitchell’s art practice—in writing, on podcasts and as content for his journalism-cum-art talk show, the Hybla Minute. The story, and Mitchell’s part in it, even made the CBC news. Is Mark Drysdale Ontario’s own Tiger King? Not if Roy Mitchell has anything to say about it.
This incredible tale covers lions, tigers, and much much more, OH MY!
The beginning, the middle and the end. In that order! Roy’s Side of the Story. There will be guests, there will be mud flung on Instagram Live. You can ask questions. It’ll be very interactive!
Instagram Live @roybruno
When: November 2 @ 5pm
Topic: The Beginning
Content: Background and how we found out about the zoo coming to town.
Guest: Julie Woodyer, Zoocheck
When: November 3 @ 5 pm
Topic: The Middle
Content: Organizing, Drama on Council and the bylaw comes to town
Guest: Nate Smelle, local journalist
When: November 4 @ 5 pm
Topic: The End
Content: The Bylaw, the Drama, Cops and what next and can Politics be Art
Guest: Shannon Cochrane, FADO Performance Art Centre Director
BONUS MEDIA: DOWNLOAD The Lion Ate His Tiger by Grant LaFleche, Toronto Star (2022)
Performance Resolution(s) invited artists to propose performance-based research projects that engaged with the theme of ‘resolution.’ Our inspirations for Performance Resolution(s) are the hope for a better 2021 for all, and a profound performance exercise designed by Marilyn Arsem that we think about from time to time.