ABOUT THE DOCUMENTARY
On the Money: a documentary about Leslie McCurdy’s quest to inspire new generations about the power of individuals who dream of a better world. She creates plays about her heroines: Harriet Tubman who freed hundreds from slavery and Viola Desmond who refused to leave a whites only section of a theatre in Nova Scotia. Leslie McCurdy says economic slavery still exists and education is the defence against it.
What does it take to be on the money?
In Canada, until recently, you had to be a reigning monarch or a long dead prime minister. Now, a heroine of Canada’s civil rights movement, Viola Desmond, has been chosen as the face on the new ten dollar bill.
In the United States, deceased presidents still have the monopoly on the money, though abolitionist Harriet Tubman is supposed to appear on a banknote someday.
Viola Desmond's sister at the unveiling of the new Canadian $10 bill
Leslie McCurdy performing Harriet is my Hero for students at Paul Robeson Malcolm X Academy in Detroit, Michigan
Proofs of the new $10 Canadian bill to launch later this year
Leslie McCurdy as Viola Desmond in Things My Fore-Sisters Saw
Leslie McCurdy as Harriet Tubman at Harriet Tubman Elementary in St. Catharines.
Leslie McCurdy is the star of On the Money. She is multi-talented: a dancer, singer, actor, choreographer, playwright and activist. Her one woman plays include The Spirit of Harriet Tubman, Things My Fore-Sisters Saw, Harriet is My Hero and Lady Ain’t Singing No Blues. While not on tour, Leslie, a dual citizen, spends her time in Windsor and Detroit. She has won numerous awards including “Artist of the Year” and “Outstanding Performing Artist” in Windsor. She volunteers her time as a drama and dance teacher in Windsor and is producer and co-director of SWAGGOR (Students with a Genuine Grip On Reality), a youth group she created.
On the Money producer, co-writer & editor, Pat Jeflyn helped pioneer video journalism in Canada. As the first woman at the CBC to shoot and report her own stories, Pat honed the vital skills of filmmaking: researching, interviewing, camera operation, editing and visual storytelling. She is the co-founder of Canadian Arts Productions based in Windsor, Ontario. She has received many awards for her work and is proud to have helped train the next generation of video journalists at CBC, COGECO and the first crew at the world’s first aboriginal broadcast network, APTN. Pat was the producer, writer and editor of Imagining Angels, a short film about an original opera created by Windsor & Detroit area artists.
Kim Kristy is director, co-writer and director of photography for On the Money. He spent three decades in Windsor, Ontario with the CBC as a TV reporter, current affairs producer, host for on air specials and as a TV news assignment editor. He also pioneered video journalism in Canada and is an award winning journalist. He has helped train dozens of young journalists in the challenging field of juggling a videocamera and a reporter’s notebook. He was part of the training team that helped the Aboriginal People’s Television Network (APTN) open the world’s first aboriginal broadcaster in Canada. Co-founder of Windsor based Canadian Arts Productions, Kim directed and filmed Imagining Angels. He loves taking pictures so much it’s not easy to get a camera away from him.
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GET IN TOUCH
The world has changed since Harriet Tubman escaped slavery and since Viola Desmond was jailed after sitting in a whites only section of a Nova Scotia theatre. So that’s worth celebrating and the history is worth remembering and teaching to the next generation. But the world is still unequal, unjust and unfair for many people so it is important to deal with racism and slavery in its modern manifestations.
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