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Announcement (National): Department of Indigenous Theatre – National Arts Centre

Announcement (National): Department of Indigenous Theatre – National Arts Centre

National Arts Centre - Department of Indigenous TheatreStrategic Plan includes creation and development of an Indigenous Theatre Department.

With the National Arts Centre’s exciting architectural rejuvenation project well underway, the NAC today unveiled details of its strategic plan for the next five years. Entitled Canada is Our Stage: 2015−2020, the strategic plan announces the development of a new Department of Indigenous Theatre, a game-changing emphasis on Canadian creation to help artists and arts organizations across Canada create ambitious new work, and a focused effort to make the NAC a more national organization for Francophones.

“The major goals in this strategic plan, including our new focus on Canadian creation, developing an Indigenous Theatre department, and a renewed commitment to French Canada, are ambitious initiatives, but we are confident that we can make them a reality,” said NAC President and CEO Peter Herrndorf.


In 2017, the NAC will appoint its first-ever Artistic Director of Indigenous Theatre, and in the fall of 2019 – the year of the NAC’s 50th anniversary –  the NAC’s new Indigenous Theatre Department will launch its first full season of programming, reflecting a fuller story of Canada to Canadians.

“The story of Canada’s Indigenous people is the longest, most dramatic saga in our history, and it continues today,” said Sarah Garton Stanley, Associate Artistic Director of English Theatre. “Audiences need to hear that story. It is part of who we are.”

“Indigenous theatre artists have always sought to share our work,” said Michael Greyeyes, Artistic Director of Signal Theatre. “This desire to share, create, and build has led us to this present moment, and I’m gratified that other Canadian artists and administrators stand in support of the creation of this new home for Indigenous theatre.  Our work requires a national stage, and this idea will allow these many voices a place, informed by our history and traditional ways of knowing, to gather and swell.”

In February, the NAC met with leaders in the Indigenous arts community to begin planning the search process to name the first Artistic Director of Indigenous Theatre. This new programming stream will not be limited to theatre, and will also embrace music, dance and other performing arts forms.

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