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Announcement (Alberta): RBC Continues Support of Theatre Alberta Programs

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Announcement (Alberta): RBC Continues Support of Theatre Alberta Programs

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As we congratulate the graduates of Alberta’s post-secondary theatre training programs on their recent success at RBC Emerge, and prepare to welcome junior and senior high school drama students from across Alberta to Artstrek, we are thrilled to share some exciting news with our community…

RBC is continuing to support ARTSTREK, which is celebrating 26 years at Red Deer Polytechnic this summer, and the 4th year of our MENTORSHIP PROGRAM for Indigenous, Black, and Emerging Artists of Colour, as well as sponsor RBC EMERGE!

“At RBC, we invest in and value the arts as one way to help encourage creativity, innovation and vibrancy locally. We are especially proud to support Theatre Alberta and offer programs to help artists bridge the gap from emerging to established, and advance their career.” ~ Jerilynn Daniels, Director, Community Marketing & Citizenship, RBC

RBC EMERGE is Theatre Alberta’s general audition showcase of graduates from post-secondary acting training programs from across the province. The event helps to foster relationships between emerging artists and the professional theatre community. More than 1,200 Albertan actors have marked their transition from theatre students to theatre artists at Emerge since 2004. 

RBC Emerge 2024 was held in Calgary at Vertigo Theatre on April 15 and in Edmonton at Fringe Theatre on April 22. This year we showcased the work of 62 emerging artists from the Universities of Alberta, Calgary, and Lethbridge, Concordia University of Edmonton, MacEwan University, Rosebud School of the Arts, and Company of Rogues Actors’ Studio. Graduating design, production, and stage management students also showcased their work at the events. 68 professional directors and casting agents representing 63 companies attended to welcome these artists into the professional theatre community.

“RBC Emerge definitely helped with career development and feeling ready, as I was able to make connections with theatre professionals and now feel less intimidated should I approach them in the future. I have also made connections for future projects, which is very helpful. Most importantly, I am going to take away that we are all working with the same goal of making theatre, and there is generally a lot of kindness and understanding, it’s all less intimidating than it can often feel. AKA, really helped with confidence entering the professional world.” – Jordan Empson, Edmonton-based emerging actor

This experience has helped with my career development and gave me the opportunity to present and work on my skills as an actor and audition. It has given me the chance to meet industry professionals and has made me feel a lot more welcome as I begin to join this community. I will definitely take this experience forward with me, including the skills it helped to refine and the connections I made.” – Kailey Leong, Calgary-based emerging actor

For the past three years, with the support of RBC, we have paired ten IBPOC emerging artists from Emerge with ten IBPOC mentors–creating meaningful connections that were specific to the artists’ current needs and interests. A huge thank you to all of our mentors from this past year–Josh Capulong, Janelle Cooper, Chantelle Han, Reamonn Joshee, Haysam Kadri, Val Planche, Cherissa Richards, Mike Tan, Javier Vilalta, and Morgan Yamada. We are looking forward to another successful year ahead with new artists and new mentors!

“Working with Doriane Irakoze was a sheer delight! She is an inspiring young artist and I am so honoured to have had the opportunity to connect with her and this will be a relationship that will continue to forge on! I really enjoyed the one on one sessions we had and connecting Doriane to Black professional artists in the field was exhilarating and exciting to see her make those connections. Having Doriane in the room during my rehearsals for Sleuth [by Antony Shaffer that was produced by Vertigo Theatre in Calgary] and debriefing with her was really rewarding for both of us! Doriane and I will continue our mentorship ‘in real life’ and I am so excited to see her shine and grow as an artist!” – Cherissa Richards, award winning director and 2023 Mentor

“I was able to develop a beautiful, eye-opening, professional relationship with my mentor over the course of the program. I believe I’ll carry the knowledge and expertise shared with me throughout the rest of my career. Having a mentor as well versed as Val [Planche] was fantastic; I was so surprised with how closely our interests aligned. I was thrilled to get the chance to shadow Val at ATP (Alberta Theatre Projects)! I got more out of this mentorship than I could have imagined. I truly have nothing but great things to say about the program, and Val.” – Benjamin Beston-Will, Calgary-based emerging actor and 2023 Mentee

ARTSTREK 2024 will take place July 7-20 at Red Deer Polytechnic! This summer Artstrek students, alongside their instructors and supervisors, will study Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice’s The Addams Family. RBC helps Theatre Alberta ensure our Artstrek Supervisors, emerging leaders who recently attended Artstrek as students, are ready to support our students with all of their needs during camp.

RBC recognizes the vital role the arts play in our communities, and they understand the need to ensure our future artists are given the chance to develop and thrive. With the support of RBC, Theatre Alberta will continue to provide exceptional leadership, mentorship, and networking opportunities to emerging artists from across the province. We are honoured to work together with RBC to foster the next generation of Albertan theatre artists.

For more information on RBC’s commitment to community, please visit: https://www.rbc.com/community-social-impact/emerging-artists.html

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