Wednesday, June 5, 2019
This panel discussion brings together award-winning performers, writers, and directors to explore how their artistic process reconnects them with self, family and their cultural heritage and illuminates sometimes difficult questions. Panelists will discuss their artistry as a way to help express their identity and cultural practices, how they negotiate the inclusion of personal experiences in their projects, and how their work manifests their connections to their homelands and ancestral knowledges.
Sylvia Cloutier is from Kuujjuaq, Nunavik in Northern Quebec. She is a mother, performing artist, producer and director well known for performing Inuit throat singing and drum dancing. Ms. Cloutier is the co-founder of a performance company, Aqsarniit, producing shows that promote Inuit culture for special events such as the Nunavut Celebration at the Museum of civilization in April 1999 and Canadian North’s Nunavut Day Gala in 2007. Ms. Cloutier was the producer for the television series Inuit Piqqusingit in 2000 with Inuit Communication Systems Limited. She has also been involved as a motivational speaker for youth events and has worked extensively with creating training for youth in creative projects while addressing social issues. She was the Artistic Director of Qaggiq theatre company in Iqaluit, and in 2009 Ms. Cloutier managed a social circus program called CIRQINIQ as the Recreation advisor for Arts & Culture at the Kativik Regional Government. She joined her Excellency Governor General Michaëlle Jean on the state visit to Norway and Ukraine in 2009 and was named “Woman of the Year” by Pauktutiit, the national Inuit women’s organization, and later received an award for “Outstanding young woman of the year” by Qullit Nunavut women’s organization in 2013. Sylvia has been the producer and co-director of TULUGAK, bringing together Inuit performing artists from Canada and Greenland, since 2011. She was a television Producer at Inuit Broadcasting Corporation in Iqaluit between 2015-2018. Sylvia is currently an Indigenous artist in residency at the National Theatre School in Montreal.
Cree-Saulteaux performing artist, Margo Kane is the Founder and Artistic Managing Director of Full Circle: First Nations Performance. For over 40 years she has been active as an actor, performing artist and community cultural worker. Her desire to share artistic performance that has meaning for her people is the catalyst for her extensive work, travels and consultation within Indigenous communities across Canada and abroad. Moonlodge, her acclaimed one-woman show, an Indigenous Canadian classic, toured for over 10 years nationally and internationally. The Sydney Press (AU) during The Festival of the Dreaming praised it as being ‘in the top echelon of solo performance.’ She developed and runs the annual Talking Stick Festival and an Aboriginal Esemble Performing Arts Program in Vancouver. Recent directing and performance credits include Thanks for Giving at Arts Club Theatre in Vancouver, Artistic Director for the City of Vancouver’s Canada150+ summer Festival, The Drum is Calling and Burning Vision in Barcelona for the Grec Theatre Festival. She has received numerous awards for her work and community work including an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of the Fraser Valley and most recently the Order of Canada from the Governor-General.
Dr. Lindsay Lachance is the Artistic Associate of Indigenous Theatre at the National Arts Centre and is from an Algonquin Anishinabe and Canadian family. Lindsay’s doctoral work exists at the intersections of Indigenous Theatre and Critical Indigenous Studies, where she celebrates and supports Indigenous theatre art and artists. Lindsay works as a dramaturg, and has developed and taught courses in both First Nations & Indigenous Studies and Theatre Studies at the University of British Columbia and at Simon Fraser University. Lindsay has been working with youth for over 15 years at summer camps, community centres, The Native Youth Program at the UBC Museum of Anthropology and the Indigenous Youth Residency Program at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Corey Payette is proud of his Oji-Cree heritage from Northern Ontario and has worked as a playwright, actor, composer, and director across Canada. He is the Artistic Director of Urban Ink (Vancouver), past Artist-in-Residence with National Arts Centre [NAC] English Theatre, and founder of Raven Theatre. He was the Artistic Associate for The Indigenous Cycle at the NAC which resulted in the creation of a new department of Indigenous Theatre to begin in 2019. Credits: Children of God (Urban Ink, NAC, The Cultch, Citadel Theatre, Western Canada Theatre), Moonlodge (Urban Ink/NAC), Our Town (Caravan Farm), Les Filles du Roi (Fugue/Raven/Urban Ink), and Sedna (Caravan Farm Theatre). His original musical Children of God (book/music/lyrics & direction) toured to the Segal Centre (Montreal), York Theatre (Vancouver), then to Vernon, Nelson, Cranbrook, and Surrey in Winter 2019. His next new musical has been commissioned by Bard on the Beach (Vancouver). Awards: John Hirsch Prize (Canada Council) and Best New Musical and Outstanding Direction (Ovation Awards).