Next Phase of the Saskatchewan Doukhobor Prayer Service Project

We are excited to be moving into the next phase of this project, and happy to be able to provide an update on our progress as we launch our new crowdfunding campaign to support this work. For those who have been following our work on this project since last year, you will know that the goal of the Prayer Service Preservation Project has been to preserve the spiritual traditions of my ancestors, the Saskatchewan Doukhobors, for future generations through the creation of a documentary film and immersive audio/visual exhibit that will tell the story of how the Doukhobors in Saskatchewan practice their faith and how the community has evolved over the years.

Over the past year we have spent significant time and effort professionally capturing over 80 hours of unique audio and video recordings of the Doukhobor community in Saskatchewan that will be used for both the documentary film and multimedia exhibit. This has included:

  • Recording session at the Blaine Lake Doukhobor Prayer Home last October where we professionally recorded both audio and video of a prayer service as it is practiced by Saskatchewan Doukhobors today
  • Interviews with 25 individuals from across the generations of our Saskatchewan Doukhobor community in late 2016 and early 2017
  • Video and audio recording this past July at the Heritage Days celebration at the National Doukhobor Heritage Village in Veregin, Saskatchewan including the history tours, molenya (“prayer service”), and choir performances that were held

This summer we also began work on reviewing archival footage and other historical materials from the Saskatchewan archives as well as those that have been generously shared with us by Doukhobor societies and individuals from the community in Saskatchewan. We have also been working with our audio and video experts to start to the process of preparing our recordings for editing and production.

We also had some media coverage on the project last year as it was kicking off:

What’s next? By the end of the year we will be launching a website for the project which will include the full professional-quality recording of the prayer service that was recorded in Blaine Lake last October. We will be devoting significant time in the coming months to the editing and production of the documentary film portion of the project which we plan to release sometime in 2018. Currently we are also in talks with a number of organizations about finding a home for the immersive audio/visual exhibit portion of the project.

As this project has been conducted on a volunteer, non-profit basis, the financial support of everyone who has donated has been incredibly important. Our fundraising efforts to date have raised $14,140 from over 90 individuals across Canada, the United States, and Europe, as well as including donations from the Blaine Lake Doukhobor Ladies’ Club, the Doukhobor Society of Saskatoon, the Calgary Doukhobor Society, and the Doukhobor Cultural Society of Saskatchewan. We have also received contributions of $4370 in research funding from our partnership with the University of Saskatchewan for this project.

The total of $18,510 in financial support raised is against just over $20,000 in expenses to date. These expenses have included $17,255 for professional video and audio recording services for the recording session in Blaine Lake, interviews with community members, and recordings in Veregin this summer, as well as $1950 for data storage equipment (physical and online), and $900 for administrative and service charges related to the project.

With further expenses to come related to the editing and production of the various film products, we are launching another round of fundraising. Our goal is to raise $5000 by the end of this year which will cover all of our expenses to date and should provide the additional resources needed to complete this phase of the project. We are re-launching our crowdfunding campaign, and if you are inspired to do so, we would gladly accept donations of any amount to help us achieve our goal. As with any good crowdfunding campaign there are perks! For example, for donations of $50 you will receive a complimentary copy of the film on DVD, and for donations of $100 you will receive the DVDs along with a ticket to the grande premiere of the project. Full details on the project and how to make a donation online are available via Indiegogo: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/phase-ii-doukhobor-prayer-service-project

(for those who prefer to donate by cash or cheque, happy to accept donations made payable to: “Spirit Wrestler Productions” – contact me for details).

Thank you for your continued support of this project and stay tuned for future updates!

One thought on “Next Phase of the Saskatchewan Doukhobor Prayer Service Project

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *