Letters from Battle River

I am hoping to get in some duck-shooting. This of course is strictly against the law, out of season, and therefore can’t be indulged in anywhere the policeman is likely to come. Dr. Mary Percy Jackson

In 1929, a young British woman answered a call for British doctors, and was sent up to the remote district of Battle River Prairie (now Manning, Alberta). Dr. Jackson went on to serve Alberta’s Peace Country region for seven decades, was named to the Alberta Order of Excellence and was appointed a member of the Order of Canada. In a series of letters home during her early years in Canada and beyond, she reveals humour, courage – and a brilliant snapshot of the era.

After hearing a reading of some of Dr. Jackson’s letters at the Provincial Archives of Alberta, theatre producer David Cheoros, historian Karen Simonson, and performer Heather D Swain began the working of adapting her letters as well as over 200 images and songs from the era into Letters from Battle River: The Adventures of Dr. Mary Percy Jackson.

To read an article written by Karen Simonson for Archives Society of Alberta magazine fully describing the events and collaborations leading to Letters to Battle River, please click here.

Letters from Battle River was first performed at the Roxy Theatre in Edmonton in July 2016. It was performed by Heather D. Swain, with costume design by Geri Dittrich and sound and lighting design by Paul Bezaire.

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