Sunday, May 16, 2010

DARC - June 12 Presentation : Press Release

Release date: Immediate
Dateline : Wareham, Ontario

the Viking Age comes to LIFE on June 12!

Nothing can bring the past to life like costumed historic interpreters surrounded with the personal goods and tools of an earlier age. Artefacts that seem puzzling when seen in a museum exhibit or book suddenly become clear when seen in actual use, or in placed directly in your hand. Your questions are answered when you can speak directly with someone acting as a 'voice from the past'.

Some 1000 years ago, the first Europeans to explore North America would travel from Greenland to what they called Vinland, modern day Newfoundland. These Norse of the Viking Age were not the raiders of legend, but instead farmers, fishermen and bold sailors. At today's L'Anse aux Meadows, at the tip of the Northern Peninsula, they built sturdy turf walled houses to over winter, and most certainly explored further into the Gulf of St Lawrence region.

The Dark Ages Recreation Company (DARC) is inviting those interested in history to come visit us as we illustrate daily life during the Viking Age. You are most welcome to join us on Saturday June 12, from 10 am to 4 pm. The location is at the small Hamlet of Wareham, located about 15 km from Dundalk, Ontario.*

There are no fees to attend this special event!

Over the course of the day, a wide range of domestic and crafts skills will be demonstrated, including:
Food preparation
Textiles - dyeing, spinning & weaving
Carving - in wood, soapstone, bone & antler
Woodworking - both 'green' and using a spring pole lathe
Games & Music

A truly unique feature of this presentation will be the operation of a Norse type iron smelting furnace, a process which will be ongoing over the day. Expect the white hot mass of bloom iron to be extracted near the end of afternoon. DARC is the only group in Canada smelting iron using Viking Age techniques!

* Wareham is located about 2 1/2 hours north west of Toronto, just off highway 10 (45 minutes north of Orangeville). The Civic Address is : 307377 Centre Line A, Grey Highlands, ON N0C 1L0 (for those using MapQuest ) A simple map is available at :

Living History - What does it look like?

DARC focuses on daily life in the Viking Age. The presentation will centre on a 'camp', with costumed interpreters surrounded by a collection of replica objects consisting of domestic goods, tools, and storage. At the rehearsal, simple overhead covers and tents will mimic the buildings which we will use at L'Anse aux Meadows. Individuals will be outfitted with the tools of their various trades and arts, all representing our real interests and skills. (We really are weavers and cooks, blacksmiths and carvers.) All of the objects seen, from clothing to tents, are based on specific artifact prototypes.
To the public, the members of DARC present themselves as actual voices from the past, with shared experiences as a group and direct personal histories. Individual members of DARC have prepared detailed characterizations based on their personal research into the Viking Age, developing considerable expertise in specialized areas. These characters are the 'common man': artisans, merchants or farmers typical of the Norse of the North Atlantic circa 1000 AD. Any conversation is likely to begin at this 'role playing' level of historic interpretation. The interpretive level used is then shifted to suit the needs of individual visitors. Some people delight in talking to a character from 1000 years ago, others are more comfortable with more of a modern commentary. These experienced interpreters are able to handle a wide range of topics and level of detail.

A team with proven experience!

Members of DARC are drawn from throughout Central Ontario, and are serious amateur living history enthusiasts, most with decades of experience. DARC has provided skilled and well equipped interpreters for special programs for all of the major events and exhibitions that marked the 'Viking Millennium' in Canada. No other group of Canadian re-enactors has as much accumulated museum experience. As a group and as individuals, members have worked both throughout Canada and the USA. Personal research has taken members to museums and archaeological sites across Iceland, the United Kingdom and Scandinavia. DARC has once again been invited by Parks Canada to come and demonstrate at L'Anse aux Meadows NHSC in Newfoundland. The June 12th event is part of our preparation for this full scale presentation in August (from the 16th to the 25th).

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For More Information: Turn to our extensive web sites:
The DARC Web Site -
The DARC Blog -
The 'Norse Encampment' -
Experimental Iron Smelting -

Interested in Discussing Details?

Darrell Markewitz - organizes DARC's museum presentations and serves as the museum contact. Not only one of the original founders of DARC, he brings extensive museum experience as a consultant on educational programing and staff trainer for Parks Canada and other major institutions.


Darrell Markewitz
- Interpretive Program Designer
Hamlet of Wareham
- RR # 2 - Proton Station, Ontario
(519) 923-9219

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February 15 - May 15, 2012 : Supported by a Crafts Projects - Creation and Development Grant

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