For information about getting to the show, go to our main Hydra page.

HYDRA: The Spirit of Water tells a story of how we must join together to free the spirit of water.

Before our story unfolds, we must go back to the beginning and honour the waters — the blood of Mother Earth and that which gives us life. We will learn from the grandmothers how to #singthewatersong and by joining our voices, this will call to the creatures of the great lakes below to help us find the Spirit of Water and help free her from the greed and garbage and pollution that have entrapped her. We hope with this story on water, you will explore your own connection to water as each artist has while creating their contribution to the evening’s presentation.

Song for the Waters

Norah Greatrix, Embodied Sacred Space

Discover how raising your own connection and awareness of the water is a powerful step towards change, leading to both a spiritual and environmental shift on our planet.

Nibi Wabo

Grandmother Eartha

Accompanied by Norah Greatrix, Mo Horner, Ron Shore

Written by Irene Wawatie Jerome for Grandfather William Commanda’s 2002 Circle of All Nations gathering.

This Algonquin Water Song expresses loving gratitude for the water and raises the consciousness and connection of women with Mother Nature’s greatest gift. Nibi Wabo was recorded with permission from the Wawatie and Commanda families, the Circle of All Nations Foundation and the Elders in Canada. Watch the video here.

Avian Articulation

Clelia Scala

Production/engineering: Todd Minicola

Performers: Diane Black, Simone Scala-Conley, Angus Walker

Music composed and recorded for HYDRA by Teilhard Frost and Jason Mercer

As we sing to the water, the heron appears with messages of self-determination and self-reliance. She represents a journey toward inner stillness and a greater sense of duty. A bird that looks most like a dinosaur, the Blue Heron is notable for its size, splendour, and adaptability, and for its remarkable ability to stay perfectly still while keenly watching the water for dinner. The heron reminds us of the importance of practicing patience, of maintaining balance in life, and of being aware of our surroundings.


Josh Lyon

Performers: Ezra Lyon, Josh Lyon

Music: “Roustabout” by Teilhard Frost and Jason Mercer

Nigig (Anishinaabe), Lontra canadensis (Latin), or River Otter (English) is a semiaquatic mammal that lives in the rivers and lakes of Turtle Island. The English word Otter comes from the same Proto-Indo-European root as the word water and the word HYDRA. The otters represent love for water and the way we move in and with it — these otters are rising from the depths to teach us how to move as they swim through the air, spinning the Spirit of Water outwards!

Musicalliopoat (Bike-Boat)

Teilhard Frost

Performer: Tim Lyon

Creators: Sietse Hylkema and Teilhard Frost, painted by Tim and Mialana Lyon.

Silently gliding through rain softened streets on a bicycle under your own energy or the graceful power of a boat under sail is quintessential to feeling secure. Clean water, clean air, and patience and humour — all necessary to good life.

Reminiscent of Balinese Gamelan the muiscalliopoat may not be a tranquil sound while up close, but the sound of the bells across water calms the spirit and honours the deep sea spirits. It has a touch of the ridiculous as well, to remind us that despite trying times, humour is always essential.

Fighting our Demons

Kyla Todd

Construction: Duncan Parker, Jacklyn Wright, Emily Moorhead, Earl Todd

Performers: Jacklyn Wright, Emily Moorhead

A hydra is a persistent or many-sided problem that presents new obstacles as soon as one aspect is solved. Our misuse of water has created, within the water itself, something dangerous that we now need to overcome to find the Spirit of Water. Playing on the word “Hydra”, Kyla Todd used the meaning from Greek mythology — “a many-headed serpent or monster”, and decided to create a 3- headed Sea Serpent —  a creature that is a hybrid of organic material and garbage.  The idea being that our misuse of water has created within the water itself, something dangerous and evil.

Oil Drum

Tricia Knowles, Kyoko Ogoda

Performers: Kyoko Ogoda and Stuart Paton (taiko), accompanied by North Fire Circus

Our Mother Earth is agonizing and moaning.
How long does destruction and exploitation have to happen?
Earthquakes, flooding, fire,
nature is screaming to wake us up.
We have forgotten who we are.
We have forgotten why we are here.

Outside world is filled with so much fear, anger and hate.
Let us embrace that.
Let us not blame others by looking outside the world where horrible things are happening,
but face our inner self and recognize and heal ourselves.

Thunderous Taiko drums and oil barrels surround the water and the people.
The intensity of the taiko sound tells of anger against destruction and
fierce determination to push away evil thoughts from us.
A prayer to re-connect us to the source of the universe.

Plastic Bites Back

The Department of Illumination

Performers: Krista Dalby, Nella Casson, Gordon Darrall

Music composed and recorded for HYDRA by Teilhard Frost and Jason Mercer

Made of more than 200 recycled plastic jugs as well as other reclaimed plastics, this giant fish gnashes its teeth with the force and destructiveness of consumerism. A demonstration of the pervasiveness of plastic in our waterways, Plastic Bites Back represents fighting the pollution and destruction that finally allows the Spirit of Water to emerge.

Bursting the Bubble

Tricia Knowles, Anne Marie Mortensen

Performers: Penelope Knowles, Jared MacKay

Visually, a nod to the Bosch Parade which inspired Calliope’s HYDRA project, the Spirit of Water has been found but she is still trapped behind plastic walls. Collectively we come together to honour her as she escapes her prison walls.

Spirit — Landlocked

Tracey Guptill

Performers: Jane Kirby, Kingston Stilters (Meredith Dault, Sarah Wiseman)

Music composed and recorded for HYDRA by Teilhard Frost and Jason Mercer

The Spirit of Water is freed from her prison, but struggles to find her way back to the water — ethereal beings escort her to shore where she is entwined again, but escapes the rope to be returned to the water.

The Spirit Returns/Reclamation 

Spin Starlets, Jane Kirby

Performers: Kirsten Harvey, Margaret

Producing assistance for Jane Kirby: Tracey Guptill

Music: “Water from the Same Source” by Rachel’s

Water sprites lure the Spirit back to the waters, and celebrate her presence in a show of light and hope.

—end— (but we like to think this is now our chance to go back to the beginning)


HYDRA:The Spirit of Water is a Calliope Collective production.

Lead Creator, Dramaturg, Producer: Tricia Knowles

Co-Creator, Tech Director: Josh Lyon

Community Engagement Manager: Emberly Doherty

Production/Stage Manager: Anne Marie Mortensen

Production Assistant: Wilding

Administrative Marketing Assistant: Haley Sarfeld


HYDRA is funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, Canadian Heritage, Ontario Arts Council, and Kingston Arts Council/City of Kingston Arts Fund and sponsored by Kingston Soundworks, Inner Harbour Marine, Delta Hotel by Marriott, and Syd’s Provisions Catering.

Deep thanks to our many volunteers, all our lead artists and their teams, our tech and prod crew, and to YOU for coming to enjoy the show!

If you enjoyed what you saw and feel called to support our Collective, we would be so very appreciative. You can make a contribution as a “standing ovation” here.

Original linocut artwork and design for HYDRA provided by Meredith Luce, Luce Ends Design. The artist receives money from print sales, with $10 from each print going to Calliope.