The Tournament of the Golden Swan
Golden Swan is a persona development challenge for female personas. It is sponsored by the Shire of Appledore in the Kingdom of An Tir within the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), a world-wide historical recreationist group. The first Golden Swan was held in Kelowna, B.C. in 1984.
The purpose of Golden Swan is to foster knowledge of the lives of women in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Its aim is not merely to confine itself to women's history and women's issues, although these will, of necessity, form part of the research most candidates will do. A successful Golden Swan has acquired a level and depth of understanding of what a woman's life was like in a given time period that may be unequalled even in the highest academic circles.
In addition, the candidate will have a certain amount of acting ability, to stay in persona for a period of 36 hours. The judges and event organizers try to create a supportive atmosphere during the event for those undergoing the Golden Swan competition.
Golden Swan is held on the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend in south-central BC.
Applicants must submit an application to the Shire of Appledore by June 30 of the year in which they wish to compete. This will consist of a general persona introduction (name, age, date and place of birth, marital status, occupation or occupation of father or husband, social standing, and any other relevant information), and a general bibliography. Applicants should also indicate which categories they intend to compete in (see the links to the left). A more detailed application will be required by August 15 if the applicant has been accepted.
Candidates enter 10 categories. Eight are mandatory: Persona Development, Skills and Technologies, Costuming, Needlework, Correspondence, Everyday Life, Habitat and Food. The candidate must also choose 2 of the 3 following: Games and Pastimes, Performance, Survival Skills.
Personas must be historically based, not just SCA. Documentation is expected for the persona in general, as well as some minimal level for each category. Educate the judges by providing them with as much information as you can.
Entering Golden Swan requires a great deal of mental and emotional preparation. We would prefer to turn a potential candidate away early on, if it seems they will not succeed, than to have them arrive at the event and fail. The more work we can do prior to the event to ensure that the total submission is up to standards, the greater the candidate's chances are of success.
Specific information and applications are available on-line. Please use the links to the left for information about applying and to contact the Shire about the competition and the event.