The Lost Stories Project is designed to bring Canadians into the process of commemorating their history. Using a variety of media to connect with the public, the project seeks out little known stories about the Canadian past. These stories are then handed over to artists who have the task of transforming them into inexpensive works of public art on appropriate sites. Finally, the creative journeys of the artists are documented by a series of short films. Along the way, forgotten moments from Canadian history are brought to light, and viewers have an opportunity to see the choices that have to be made when a story is transformed into a physical object.
The project is directed by Ronald Rudin, a professor of history and co-director of the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling at Concordia University in Montreal. He has long had an interest in how stories about the past are told in public space, examining both which stories get told and how they are presented. When we see such markers of the past as monuments, memorials and murals, they appear to be natural, as if they couldn't have taken on any other shape. By documenting the process from start to finish, the Lost Stories Project is designed to show that these markers are the product of a number of choices, from the stories that are selected for display to the designs that are ultimately chosen. In most cases, this process takes place out of public view, but Lost Stories seeks to make the pertinent choices transparent and to make ordinary Canadians active participants.