The Theatre Alberta Library Introduces More Ways To Read Theatre!

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Theatre Alberta members have already had free access to two incredible online resources for finding and reading plays through Drama Online with the Playwrights Canada Press and Aurora Metro Books collections. We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve added three more Drama Online databases for you to browse and enjoy!

From ground-breaking British plays to the best of international drama and plays in translation, the Oberon Books Collection is a unique and inspiring collection that features a diverse gathering of canonical and contemporary drama.

The Nick Hern Books Modern Plays collection includes over 625 plays from many of the UK and Ireland’s preeminent playwrights, as well as exciting new voices. It offers a wide and varied range of award-winning and widely studied plays, and is continually updated with new works fresh from leading theatres.

This collection features over 400 academic books from the prestigious Methuen Drama and The Arden Shakespeare imprints. Together they offer invaluable critical, contextual and pedagogic content from leading voices in theatre, performance and Shakespeare studies. The collection also includes 60 actor training videos through PATAZ: Physical Actor Training – an online A-Z.

Members can access these collections using the log-in information that was sent out earlier this year. Can’t find the info? Check in with our Librarian at [email protected] and we’ll get you set up.

Not a member? Individual Theatre Alberta memberships are pay-what-you-can! Join today and take advantage of all the member benefits. FIND OUT MORE HERE.

News (Calgary): VERTIGO THEATRE prepares to welcome artistic residencies as part of THE AGENCY program

Vertigo Theatre is excited to announce their 2021 Foreign Relations program as part of THE AGENCY initiative committed to giving a unique experience to artists at any stage of their career. Artists are given the chance to work under the umbrella of a professional theatre company and its staff, while maximising their creative process. In this time when the arts have been devastated and there are limited opportunities for artists, Vertigo is encouraging artistic growth by providing support in venue costs, technical gear, technical staff and development needs in order to build a space of creativity and accessibility. By providing these levels of support, artists can focus solely on the creation and the development of their piece.

From 40 submissions, ten projects were shortlisted and six groups were selected. These selections were based on the impact this residency opportunity would have on the artists and their work, as well as equity, diversity and inclusion. Special attention was paid to those artists who were forced to pivot in creating digital content and are expanding their artistic practice when theatres are not able to hold live in-person events. Vertigo worked in alignment with the 35//50 Initiative (an initiative that calls for a minimum of 35% BIPOC and 50% women or non-binary people in paid, professional positions) These residencies were made possible through the generous support of the RBC Emerging Artist Program.

At Vertigo Theatre, we have a responsibility to support and uplift the artists in our community,” says Artistic Associate Kathryn Smith. “We are so thrilled to bring new artists into our space who are tackling challenging themes, topics, and mediums. We cannot wait to see what they might teach us during their time at Vertigo.”

The Spring 2021 Foreign Relations Artistic Residencies are as follows:

Created by Ali DeRegt and Camille Pavlenko (Audio Experience)
March 29- April 9
USS ARTEMIS is an audio-only, sci-fi mystery about an old-model starship on route to Earth after a failed mission. DeRegt and Pavlenko will be developing their experiential audio design that will transform the listener’s home into the interior of The United Star Ship Artemis. Vertigo audiences may remember Pavlenko as the playwright for Vertigo Mystery Radio’s THE HITCHHIKER.

Written by Lara Schmitz
April 12- April 17
DELAYED DELIVERANCE is a queer, femme, sci-fi theatrical experience that begins and ends in your mailbox. A woman discovers unsent, sealed letters from someone who died over a year ago in a consciousness convergence experiment. Lara Schmitz will work with a team to further script development and dramaturgical design elements.

Written by Constantine X. Anastasakis and Johnathan F. Clark (OIL); Sarah Kerr and Samuel Jurisic (SANCTUM)
Various Dates
IDGAF Theatre will be developing two scripts over various dates. OIL is a series of ten short “live political cartoons” and is a cheeky look at the oil and gas industry. SANCTUM explores the themes of humanity and religion, following four young people, each trapped in a room alone.

Written and performed by Kris Vanessa Teo
Produced by the Chromatic Theatre Team
April 18-May 1
我的名是张欣恩 (Gimme Chance Leh) is a one-woman identity play about growing up between Calgary and Singapore. Using Mandarin, English and Singlish, Kris Vanessa Teo navigates the cultural differences of her upbringing and the stereotypes that were placed upon her in a heartfelt and humorous story. The original production of GIMME CHANCE LEH was cancelled due to COVID-19, only days before it was meant to premier.

Created by Blue Jeans Theatre
May 10-21
ELLA THE ELK is a new musical for young people told through the use of physical theatre and collaboratively created music. Audiences will follow Ella as she struggles to find her place in the herd with the arrival of her new antlers. Blue Jeans Theatre is a new company in Calgary dedicated to the creation and support of LGBTQ2IAS+ artists.

May 31-June 13
Pope Joan and Brain Bent are two punk rock bands that are collaborating to create a pre-recorded concert. Featuring musicians; Sacha Crow, Caleigh Crow (Pope Joan); Joanna Iles, Travis Midwinter, Gus Rendell and Nathan Iles (Brain Bent); the bands will incorporate original songs, spoken word, projections and other theatrical explorations in the development of a punk rock show.

THE AGENCY emphasizes Vertigo Theatre’s core values of excellence, mentorship, collaboration and accessibility and has been made possible through the RBC Emerging Artist Program. Vertigo Theatre is following all AHS guidelines and protocols to ensure the safety of residency participants and staff. For more information on our 2021 Foreign Relations Agency Residencies please visit our website at:

World Theatre Day for Children and Young People 2021


Each year on March 20th, World Theatre Day for Young Audiences is celebrated around the world. Five associations representing theatre for young audience creators, producers and presenters in Canada, ASSITEJ Canada, l’Association des théâtres francophones du Canada (ATFC), Théâtres Unis Enfance Jeunesse (TUEJ), The Professional Association of Canadian Theaters (PACT) and the Canadian Children’s Festivals Association joined forces to present the Canadian message of World Theatre Day for Young Audiences.

World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People is an ASSITEJ campaign. For 2021 Assitej has asked young theatre-makes or theatre-goers why theatre is important. Their messages can be read here.

This year, Roy Fernandes was asked to write the 2021 Canadian message for World Theatre Day for Young Audiences. In this complicated period for the practice of our art, it seemed important to us to give a voice to a teacher who shares his passion for theater to his students.

Roy is a K-8 teacher with the Toronto Catholic District School Board. Some say he’s the principal, but he prefers to think of himself as the lead teacher. His day includes literacy instruction, eco initiatives, writing and directing student plays, running a school choir and running in a school running club. He believes that holistic education is the most valuable thing we can provide for our students and that includes exposure to all curriculum subjects, extra curriculars and the development of the entire student.

Roy Fernandes est enseignant au niveau primaire, lié au Conseil scolaire du district catholique de Toronto. Certains diraient qu’il est directeur, mais il se considère plutôt comme l’enseignant-guide. C’est dans la salle de classe que ça se passe ! Ses journées comprennent des cours d’alphabétisation, des initiatives écologiques, l’écriture et la mise en scène de pièces de théâtre avec les élèves, la direction d’une chorale scolaire et même la participation active au club de course à pied de l’école. Il est convaincu que l’éducation holistique est la chose la plus bénéfique que nous puissions offrir à nos élèves, ce qui inclut l’accès à toutes les matières du curriculum, les activités parascolaires et le développement complet de l’élève.


Event (Online): Immigrant Arts Mentorship Program Information Session

The Immigrant Council for Arts Innovation (ICAI) is excited to announce the Immigrant Arts Mentorship Program (IAMP). IAMP is a program for immigrant and refugee newcomers artists and/or arts administrators to connect, learn, and grow through one-on-one mentorship with an experienced colleague in their artistic discipline. ICAI has identified a need for community building and professional development for immigrants especially newcomer creatives in Calgary and through this program, we want to provide a platform for learning and growth. All applicants seeking mentorship will be paired with a mentor with experience in the area in which they seek mentorship.

IAMP is open to individuals who are artists (any form of art), arts administrators, cultural leaders and others with similar aspirations. The information sessions for IAMP will be on Thursday, March 18th, 2021 by 5 pm and Sunday, March 21st, 2021 by 6:30 pm

CLICK HERE to register for the information session that best suits your schedule.

The Immigrant Council for Arts Innovation (ICAI) is an arts council based in Calgary, Alberta. The council was founded in January 2019 with the expressed purpose of connecting newcomer and immigrant artists with the existing arts community in Calgary, providing these artists with access to needed resources and helping them turn their passion and creativity into thriving careers or businesses. ICAI actively encourages diversity of expression and culture through the creation of a safe and welcoming community where newcomer and immigrant artists feel confident to showcase their artwork and distinct cultural identities.

This program is supported by Rozsa Foundation and Calgary Arts Development.

Click here for more information, you can also send an email to [email protected] for more information.


Announcment (Edmonton): RISER Coming to Edmonton – Common Ground Arts Society & Why Not Theatre

Common Ground Arts Society (CGAS) is thrilled to announce a partnership with Toronto’s Why Not Theatre to launch RISER Edmonton as part of the 2022 Edmonton Theatre season.

With generous support from the Government of Canada and the RBC Foundation, Why Not Theatre is embarking on a national expansion of RISER, starting in Edmonton in February 2022.

RISER Edmonton will support the development and production of four new Edmonton-based projects each year, with participants receiving enough in-kind resources to help reduce their costs of production by one third, on average. In addition, artists undergo a year-long mentorship and training program with a focus on developing producing skills.

Originally developed by Why Not Theatre in 2014, RISER was created to address challenges in producing independent theatre. RISER connects senior leadership from the theatre community with underserved artists to maximize existing infrastructures, share resources and risk, help build new audiences, and support a commitment to create and innovate.

RISER relies on a community of Senior Partners to support a new generation of artists. Senior Partners are a diverse group of established theatre organizations that contribute resources, mentorship, and support to RISER artists. By pooling these underutilized resources, RISER Edmonton will be able to support more artists with existing infrastructure. CGAS enthusiastically welcomes Azimuth Theatre, Catalyst Theatre, Citadel Theatre, and Edmonton Fringe Theatre as RISER Edmonton’s inaugural Senior Partners.

RISER brings together artists and Senior Partners who are generous, flexible, curious, and willing to share and work in new ways. The heart of RISER is building relationships to create an interdependent theatre ecosystem, where the success of one is the success of many. With RISER, we move from independent to interdependent.

“RISER Edmonton is an inspiringly collaborative approach to theatre creation that will ensure emerging artists are well supported in the development of new work, while providing meaningful connection to senior leadership in our community,” says CGAS Artistic Producer Beth Dart. “It’s a win-win for everyone: we share the risk, we resource the next generation of theatre artists, we invest in the future of Canadian theatre, and we close the mentorship gap that exists in those in-between years when artists need the most support to transition from emerging to established.”

“RISER is by design entirely collaborative,” says Why Not Theatre Founder & Co-Artistic Director Ravi Jain. “We were able to develop and refine RISER in Toronto with the help of a community of Senior Partners and a talented roster of artists. Since the model has been such a successful platform in supporting underserved artists in Toronto, we wanted to bring it to other major city centres across Canada to support more artists all across the country. We’re excited and humbled to start this journey in Edmonton, a city brimming with more theatre artists per capita than any city in Canada. We couldn’t be more grateful to both the RBC Foundation and the Government of Canada in helping us to share this vision and impact change on a national level.”

“Now that I’m producing on my own, I feel upheld. I feel way more confident with the simple tasks. I gained a lot of those skills with my time in RISER,” says RISER 18 artist daniel jelani ellis. “RISER gave me a platform to take more risks as a director, in terms of working in a form that is unconventional and working with artists from different disciplines,” says RISER 17 artist Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu. “Producing on your own is a lot harder,” says RISER 17 artist Justin Miller.

RISER Edmonton
A Collaborative Producing Model Created by Why Not Theatre
Applications Now Open!
Deadline to Apply: April 16, 2021

About Common Ground Arts Society:

Common Ground Arts Society is a tiny but mighty arts org getting it done on passion and grit. We radically invite artists of all disciplines at all stages of their career to wildly experiment with process and craft. We believe in people and process over product: come as you are; create from where you’re at; learn, fail, try again, fail better; tend to your whole self; share art, share kindness, share in community. Mentorship and learning are at the core of everything we do: we’re still learning, we’ll never stop learning, and we want to share in this learning with you.

As the producers of Found Festival, Edmonton’s only found space arts festival, CGAS brings art out of galleries, theatres, and concert halls and directly into the community. We curate creative collisions between audiences and artists. We instigate curious happenings. We foster dialogue about space, place, sense of belonging, and all the meaningful moments between.

For more information, visit: ||

About Why Not Theatre:

Good isn’t good enough. At Why Not Theatre, we’re out for better.

We shake up the status quo to make the world we want to see. A world where everyone can achieve their full potential. We question everything. Rethink how stories are told. And who gets to tell them. We believe in art. It’s how we make change.

We MAKE great work that takes chances, and tours all over the world. We SHARE everything we have, because more artists mean more stories. We PROVOKE change because we believe art should be for everyone.

We push boundaries, build community, and find new ways. We represent Toronto, at home and on the world stage.

Founded in 2007, we are growing rapidly, led by Ravi Jain, Kelly Read, and Miriam Fernandes.

Since 2014, RISER has since engaged 300 artists, in support of 30 new Canadian productions which have gone on to 100 international engagements, reach 25,000+ audiences, and receive 50+ awards and nominations. Two-thirds of all RISER shows (including Quote Unquote Collective’s Mouthpiece, Motion’s Oraltorio: A Theatrical Mixtape, and Pearle Harbour’s Chautauqua) have gone on to have a future life after their RISER debuts.

RISER is made possible through the generous support of RBC Foundation, TD Bank Group, the Government of Canada, and a network of Senior Partners. RISER Toronto Senior Partners include: Aluna Theatre, bluemouth inc., Factory Theatre, fu-GEN Theatre, Luminato Festival, Modern Times Stage Company, Necessary Angel Theatre Company, Nightwood Theatre, Roseneath Theatre, Shaw Festival, The Theatre Centre, and Theatre Passe Muraille. The first three years of RISER were made possible by Toronto Arts Council’s Open Door program.

For more information, visit:||

News (Calgary): Alberta Theatre Projects Announces Interim Artistic Director

Alberta Theatre Projects is thrilled to announce the appointment of Haysam Kadri as Interim Artistic Director. As a long-time friend and collaborator with Alberta Theatre Projects, Kadri is stepping into this role to support the company during this transitional period.

Kadri is also Artistic Producer at The Shakespeare Company and will remain in that role while he assists Alberta Theatre Projects in the interim. As Interim Artistic Director, Kadri will oversee all artistic activities, including programming decisions, while staying true to the late Executive and Artistic Director Darcy Evans’ artistic vision for Alberta Theatre Projects. Kadri will also help the company navigate the uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic.

A native Calgarian, Kadri spent six seasons with the Stratford Festival before returning home to Calgary. He has led The Shakespeare Company since 2012 and worked as a theatre instructor with Red Deer College, Mount Royal University, Ambrose University, and the University of Calgary. He has a long history with Alberta Theatre Projects and has collaborated in many capacities, most recently directing the livestream presentation of The Wizard of Oz. Kadri is a well-known director and is engaged to direct Bang Bang in the upcoming 50th anniversary season as well as partner with Alberta Theatre Projects on Teenage Dick, which is a co-production with The Shakespeare Company and Hit and Myth.

“I am thrilled and humbled to be trusted with the interim artistic leadership of Alberta Theatre Projects, a company which has been a trailblazer for collaborative and cutting-edge work for 50 years. I look forward to supporting that continued legacy and building off the great momentum that Darcy established.” ~ Haysam Kadri, Interim Artistic Director

Adding to the executive leadership team, Kyle Russell has been appointed Interim Executive Director and has been fulfilling those duties since November 2020. In his previous role as the General Manager of Alberta Theatre Projects, Russell has been leading Alberta Theatre Projects’ business operations since 2019. He brings years of experience in tourism and arts marketing to the leadership team, having worked with companies like Tourism Calgary, AudienceView and Alberta Ballet. He is also a Member of the Board for two local arts organizations, and volunteers extensively in the community.

Together, Russell and Kadri are looking forward to building on the current financial, artistic and operational stability of the company while the Board of Directors engages in executive recruitment for the permanent leadership of Alberta Theatre Projects.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, we are very pleased to have Kyle and Haysam, who are both highly accomplished and respected within our community, to provide continuity and leadership amidst these uncertain times for performing arts. We, along with our audience and supporters, look forward to Kyle’s and Haysam’s dynamic collaboration and energy to ensure we can safely return to the Martha Cohen Theatre stage for our many exciting planned performances.” ~ Vishal Saini, President of the Board of Directors


Announcment (Alberta): Business / Arts Launches artsvest 2021

Business / Arts is pleased to announce the 2021 artsvest Alberta program. Funding for this phase of the artsvest program is provided by the Government of Alberta through the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Edmonton Arts Council, and Calgary Arts Development, along with Canadian Heritage.

artsvest, a national matching incentive and mentorship training program for small and medium arts and cultural organizations across Canada, uses a unique funding model that leverages federal and local government funding to generate direct, private sector contributions. Participants benefit from group, peer-to-peer and individual mentorship sessions that provide comprehensive training, resources, and expertise in sponsorship, marketing and board governance. artsvest also provides matching funds that give organizations added incentive to maximize business support in the cultural sector and establish long-term successful business and arts partnerships.

Regional information sessions in Alberta will take place in February online. In order to participate in artsvest, an organizational representative must attend one of the information sessions.

View session dates and & registration

View eligibility guidelines.

To learn more about artsvest and your organization’s eligibility please email [email protected].

Announcement (National): Why Not Theatre Launches ThisGen 2021 Fellowship

Why Not Theatre Launches
ThisGen 2021 Fellowship
A National Training & Mentorship Program
Supporting BIPOC Female, Non-Binary, and Trans Artists

The 2021 Cohort Includes 15 Fellows From Across Canada

This February, innovative Canadian theatre company Why Not Theatre will launch ThisGen 2021 Fellowship, the second annual national initiative that supports BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour) Female, Trans, and Non-Binary artists get to the next stage in their careers through training, mentorship, guided self-study, and peer-to-peer connection. Today Why Not Theatre is proud to announce the 2021 cohort of Fellows, and the 2021 Faculty and Mentors. Calgary-based Fellow Michelle Thrush will participate in the Directing Stream.

Run entirely online from February-June, the 2021 cohort will consist of fifteen Fellows from across Canada who will receive training and mentorship from an internationally renowned faculty.

Fellows will either develop their skills in stage direction as part of the Directing Stream, or in arts leadership as part of the Cultural Leadership Stream. Directing Fellows will embark on a fifteen-week director-training program taught by a faculty of award-winning directors from around the world, while Cultural Leadership Fellows will be paired with a personalized mentor with experience running an arts organization. Each Fellow, Faculty Member, and Mentor is provided with a fee for their participation in the program.

The 2021 cohort of Fellows was selected from across Canada, and applications were accepted in English and ASL. The fifteen ThisGen 2021 Fellows are:

Why Not will connect these Fellows with top-level international Faculty and Mentors who are creating some of the most ground-breaking, innovative work in the world and changing the sector through their leadership. Hailing from Australia, Canada, England, Scotland, Sweden, and the United States, the ThisGen 2021 Faculty and Mentors include:

  • Nicole Brewer – Acting faculty, Yale School of Drama, USA
  • Josette Bushell-Mingo – Head of the Theatre, Stockholm University, Sweden
  • Rachel Chavkin – Tony Award winning director, USA
  • Ty Defoe – Core Member of Indigenous Directions, USA
  • Wesley Enoch – Festival Director, Sydney Festival, Australia
  • Nataki Garrett – Artistic Director, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, USA
  • Mr. Antoine Hunter – Founder, Urban Jazz Dance Company, USA
  • Leslie Ishii – Artistic Director, Perseverance Theatre, USA
  • Akram Khan – Olivier Award winning choreographer, England
  • Pitseolak Kilabuk – Director of Operations, Inuit Broadcasting Corp, Canada
  • Rachael Maza – Artistic Director, Ilbijerri Theatre Company, Australia
  • Weyni Mengesha – Artistic Director, Soulpepper Theatre, Canada
  • Ramesh Meyyappan – Multi-award winning theatre artist, Scotland
  • Julie Nagam – Artistic Director, Nuit Blanche Toronto, Canada
  • Yvette Nolan – Multi-award winning playwright & director, Canada
  • Crystal Pite – Olivier Award winning Choreographer, Canada
  • Madeline Sayet – Executive Director, Yale Indigenous Performing Arts, USA
  • Lily Shearer – Artistic Director, Moogahlin Performing Arts Inc, Australia
  • Dawn Walton – Founder, Eclipse Theatre, England
  • Syrus Marcus Ware – Visual artist and political activist, Canada
  • Marcus Youssef – Siminovitch Prize winning playwright, Canada

Why Not Theatre is passionate about creating a future where BIPOC Female, Trans, and Non-Binary people are supported, celebrated, and have the resources and networks they need to thrive in the arts sector. By making connections to institutional leadership, enhancing valuable skill sets, and building a network of peers, ThisGen Fellowship is a launchpad for Canadian directors and cultural leaders.

COVID-19 has exacerbated and highlighted the many inequities that are present in the theatre sector and the wider world. By using this period of theatre closures to address systemic barriers to access, Why Not is actively working to shape what theatre will look like when it returns, equipping a new group of artists with the tools to be leaders in their fields. In building relationships with diverse artists, and engaging in complex conversations around art and the industry, ThisGen 2021 Fellowship is reimagining the future of leadership across disciplines in Canadian performing arts.

Why Not Theatre’s ThisGen 2021 Fellowship is made possible by the Government of Canada.

About Why Not Theatre:

Good isn’t good enough.
At Why Not Theatre, we’re out for better.

We shake up the status quo to make the world we want to see.
A world where everyone can achieve their full potential. We question everything. Rethink how stories are told. And who gets to tell them. We believe in art. It’s how we make change.

We MAKE great work that takes chances, and tours all over the world. We SHARE everything we have, because more artists mean more stories. We PROVOKE change because we believe art should be for everyone.

We push boundaries, build community, and find new ways. We represent Toronto, at home and on the world stage.

Founded in 2007, we are growing rapidly, led by Ravi Jain, Kelly Read, and Miriam Fernandes.

For more information about ThisGen 2021 Fellowship:

News (Alberta): Alberta Government Introduces the Stablize Program

Alberta’s government is investing $17 million to ensure the stabilization of performing arts, sports and rodeo organizations.

Alberta’s live experience organizations have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. They have lost a full season of programming and revenue but still have ongoing overhead costs. The Stabilize Program will provide one-time grant funding to support live experience presenting and performing arts, sport and rodeo organizations. The funding will help these organizations continue to operate and reopen when it is safe to do so.

This funding is critical to supporting venues and events that build and sustain vibrant communities and our cultural heritage and our mental well-being. Reinvigorating our live experience sector will also bring back jobs and foster tourism to support our economic recovery. When arts, culture, sport and heritage thrive, Alberta thrives.” ~ Leela Sharon Aheer, Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women

The live music and experience sector is a critical part of the culture, well-being and economy of Albertans. Ensuring the sustainability of this sector is vital to accelerating the recovery of our province after the pandemic is over.” ~ Andrew Mosker, president and CEO, National Music Centre

We are thrilled to see Alberta’s government continuing to support non-profits in Alberta that have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. This program will allow organizations like the EE Football Team to continue supporting our city and our province by providing both high-quality entertainment and community programming.” ~ Chris Presson, president and CEO, Edmonton Football Team

Live events and the performing arts are not only key to quality of life in a community, they are also an important part of the economic engine. They employ thousands of Albertans in a variety of capacities, and they are part of attracting and retaining talent and driving tourism.” ~ Chantelle Ghosh, executive director, Citadel Theatre

Non-profits that host rodeos, professional and elite amateur sports organizations, and non-profits that own and/or operate dedicated presenting and performing arts venues can apply for operational funding through the Stabilize Program to offset financial losses. Qualifying organizations will be eligible for a one-time grant of up to 25 per cent of eligible expenses based on 2018 and 2019 financials. Organizations may use funds for ongoing operational costs, such as utilities, rent, insurance and programming, to support their reopening. The Stabilize Program allocates $12 million, and applications will be accepted until midnight Feb.18.

The Stabilize Donation Matching stream will allocate $5 million to match private donations (from a minimum $250,000 to a maximum $1 million) dollar-for-dollar to eligible non-profit organizations that host rodeos and professional and elite amateur sports. Non-profit organizations that own and/or operate dedicated presenting and performing arts venues or live experience venues are also eligible.

Quick facts

  • In 2018, Alberta’s live experience sector contributed $662.7 million to GDP and supported 14,580 jobs in Alberta.
  • Between 2014 and 2018, the live experience sector grew by 17 per cent.
  • Live experience events generate economic activity through out-of-town tourism, at an average of $10 million in economic impact for larger events.
  • According to Statistics Canada, every $1 million in output from live performance businesses generates about 17 direct and indirect jobs in the province


Resource (Alberta): Additional Information About Restrictions on Performance Activities

New public health measures were announced by the Governent of Alberta on December 8. The new measures include a ban on both indoor and outdoor social gatherings and mandatory mask use in public indoor settings across the province. Working from home is also mandatory except in cases where physical presence is required to maintain ‘operational effectiveness.’

The restrictions on performing arts activities announced on November 24 remain in place. Here’s a brief summary of those restrictions:

  • Live performances for an audience are prohibited
  • Indoor group rehearsals are not allowed
  • An individual may rehearse indoors
  • Outdoor rehearsals with a maximum of 10 people are allowed provided that physical distancing and other relevant guidelines are followed.

The process for applying for exemptions outlined below is still applicable. Exemptions that have already been granted remain valid.

Alberta Health has provided additional information, via Alberta Culture, Multiculturalism, and Status of Women’s Arts Branch, about mandatory restrictions on performance activities announced by Premier Jason Kenney on November 24, 2020. Information for all mandatory restrictions is published at

Alberta Health defines performance activities to include dancing, singing, theatre and playing wind instruments. Mandatory restrictions are currently in effect for group performance activities in all enhanced (purple) areas of Alberta. You may view a map of all communities under enhanced status at


Under no circumstances will live performance for an audience be permitted in enhanced (purple) areas during this period.

Rehearsals and practices in outdoor settings are permitted up to a maximum of 10 participants. Physical distancing and other relevant guidelines must be followed.

Within indoor settings rehearsals, practices, and performances involving two or more people are not permitted. (Individual practice is permitted indoors.)


Alberta Health may provide exemptions for the following:

  • Group rehearsals or practice, or
  • Group performance for the purpose of live-stream broadcast or recordings.

How to apply for an exemption

Certain requirements must be demonstrated to be considered for an exemption. Detailed descriptions of performance activities are not required. An organization or ensemble must provide:

  • Evidence that they planned a performance to occur prior to January 15, 2021, and that they either:
  1. pre-sold tickets for this event, or
  2. prepared and publicized a performance.
  • Evidence that not proceeding with the activity will result in a significant negative economic impact to the artists or arts organization.
  • Information about type of activities that will be conducted and precautions being taken to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission.
  • The total number of people participating during the activity, both performers and other workers.
  • The venue required for the activity, and information about its protocols to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission.

Requests for exemption may be submitted to Alberta Health via Biz Connect at [email protected].

Theatre Alberta Announces A Change In The Artstrek Leadership Team

Theatre Alberta is excited to announce an important change in the Artstrek leadership team–we welcome Jenna Rodgers to the Artstrek Director role, as we thank Marie Gynane-Willis for her leadership and stewardship over the years.
Artstrek is Theatre Alberta’s annual summer theatre school that offers an integrated theatre arts curriculum for Albertan teens. Since its inception in 1960, thousands of students from across the province have attended to learn performance and creativity skills in a safe and inclusive environment. We’re proud of Artstrek’s legacy, and of these two incredible people who have and will contribute to its continued success.

First to thank Marie:

We are humbled by the contributions Marie has made to both Artstrek and Theatre Alberta. Her connection to Artstrek goes back decades, beginning as an instructor in 1983. Before becoming Artstrek Director, Marie served as Theatre Alberta’s Executive Director from 2003 to 2010. Her extraordinary abilities in that role, as well as her continuing support of the arts community as a whole, were recognized in 2004 with an Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award for Arts Administration and an Alberta Centennial Medal for Contribution to the Arts in 2006. In 2016, under Marie’s leadership, Arstrek was awarded an Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award for Outstanding Contribution to Theatre in Edmonton.

Marie’s impact on Artstrek is indelible. Her knowledge of the program’s long history, her deep connections to the arts community in Alberta, and her gift for diplomacy are all great strengths that have enriched Artstrek during her tenure. Perhaps her greatest strength, however, is her heart. Her deep love of Artstrek, its staff, and every single student that attended is an enduring legacy that will undoubtedly resonate long into the school’s future.
“Each summer hundreds of teenagers from across Alberta tell us they come “home” to Artstrek. It’s no coincidence that Marie Gynane-Willis comes from a home building family. Marie has seen Artstrek from blueprints through renovations and additions, always focussed on what makes a home so special, a safe space to live your fullest life with room to grow. On behalf of all of us who’ve had the opportunity to watch thousands of young Albertans discover their potential and passion for theatre during Marie’s tenure, thank you, Marie. It has been an immeasurable honour.”
~ Keri Mitchell, Executive Director, and Kelly Reay, Board President

And to welcome Jenna:

Jenna Rodgers is well known throughout the Alberta theatre community. She is respected as a director, dramaturg, and passionate arts equity advocate. Jenna is the founding Artistic Director of Chromatic Theatre, and the Dramaturg at the Banff Playwright’s Lab at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. She is also a founding member of the Consent and Respect in Theatre Collective, a co-contributor to The 35//50 Initiative, and recent Board President of Theatre Alberta. We’re proud to say that Jenna is an Artstrek alumnus and a former “Super Super.”
“Jenna’s contributions to Theatre Alberta—first as an Artstrek Supervisor and more recently as a volunteer on our New Pathways for the Arts team and our Board of Directors—have strengthened the organization in many exciting ways. And so many more artists and theatre companies across Alberta and Canada (and further!) would say the same! Jenna’s clear vision for a more just, equitable, and inclusive future for all of us, but especially for Artstrek students, is offered with infectious generosity and accountability. We are beyond thrilled to continue working with Jenna in this new capacity.”
~ Keri Mitchell, Executive Director, and Kelly Reay, Board President
We are excited for Jenna to share her experience, vision, and leadership skills with Artstrek. We’re also certain that the characteristic Artstrek values – inclusivity, camaraderie, creativity, fun – that have made it a defining experience for so many students over the program’s 60 year history will continue to thrive under her leadership.
We offer our most profound gratitude to Marie for sharing her wisdom and guidance with us over the last 17+ years, and we know that we will continue to work with her in new and exciting ways in the future. To Jenna, we offer an enthusiastic welcome. We look forward to working together with her to continue offering exceptional learning opportunities to the next generation of theatre artists through the Artstrek program.
We are making plans for Artstrek 2021 with a heartfelt hope that we will be able to gather again next summer, but we do so with the conviction that we will not risk or compromise the health and safety of staff and students. Watch for more Artstrek announcements in the near future. In the meantime please stay safe, and stay healthy.

The 9th Annual Theatre Alberta Gift-A-Play is On Now!

purple christmas background with images of various plays
Do you love to read plays? To have the scene on the page take shape in your imagination? Or to find inspiration in a technical tome that you know will make an audience gasp? To find the story you need to share with your community, right now? Us too!
Over the last eight holiday seasons Theatre Alberta’s amazing donors have helped us provide these experiences for the theatre community by contributing hundreds of new titles to the Theatre Alberta Library through our annual Gift-A-Play Campaign. You can make even more discoveries possible by participating in this year’s 9th Annual Gift-A-Play.


Theatre Alberta works hard to ensure that our Library is up-to-date and relevant for members of the theatre community. We keep track of requests from our members, make note of recently published titles, and put together a ‘wish list’ of items that we want to add to the collection. We purchase many of the titles, but it’s simply not possible to buy *everything* we want! 
You can help us fulfill our wish list by contributing to our annual Gift-A-Play campaign. Help us purchase scripts and other theatre books that we can then share with theatre people across Alberta! This year, our wish list includes 34 titles, including:
  • Acha Bacha by Bilal Baig
  • The Breathing Hole by Colleen Murphy, Siobhan Arnatsiaq-Murphy, and Janet Tamalik McGrath
  • Kung Fu by David Henry Hwang
  • Little Red Warrior and His Lawyer: A Satirical Land Claim Fable by Kevin Loring
  • Sound of the Beast by Donna-Michel St. Bernard
  • Winning Monologs For Young Actors by Peg Kehret 


In the past, we’ve asked you to purchase items from our wish list directly from retailers and publishers. This year, we’re asking that you donate the cost of each item through the Canada Helps fundraising platform, and we’ll take care of purchasing and shipping the item(s) of your choice.
We’re using Canada Helps’ event platform for the campaign, so each item on our wish-list appears as a ‘ticket.’ The ‘tickets’ simply represent the item you wish to donate to the Theatre Alberta Library – there’s no event! For each donation you will receive a tax receipt for the full amount that you’ve given as well as a souvenir ‘digital ticket’ to the ‘event’ that doesn’t exist!
Once we’ve received your donation for a Library book, we’ll purchase it on your behalf. It will then become part of the Theatre Alberta Library and will be available for all of our members to read and enjoy! To acknowledge your donation, each item that was purchased will bear your name on the inside cover.

If you’d like to know more about the titles on our list, you can browse through the items on our wish list details page. Once you’ve decided on an item that you’d like to donate to the Library, head over to the Canada Helps page and find the corresponding title, purchase your ‘ticket’, and we’ll take care of the rest.
Now with more than 23,000 titles in the collection, the Theatre Alberta Library remains the largest fully-circulating theatre library in the country. Help us ensure it stays that way by donating to the 9th Annual Gift-A-Play donation campaign!

News (Edmonton): Mieko Ouchi Named TD Associate Artistic Director For Citadel Theatre

Citadel Theatre logo

The Citadel Theatre is proud to announce the appointment of Mieko Ouchi, one of Edmonton’s most prolific theatre professionals, to the position of TD Associate Artistic Director. This position is funded through the TD Ready Commitment, the Bank’s global corporate citizenship program. Mieko has been at the forefront of advocacy for Albertan artists as a founder and Artistic Director of Concrete Theatre, alongside a brilliant body of artistic work as an actor, playwright, dramaturg, director and producer.
Mieko Ouchi headshotA graduate of the University of Alberta’s BFA Acting Program, Mieko Ouchi has been a finalist for, or recipient of, dozens of theatre awards and prizes, including Sterling and Betty Awards, the Carol Bolt Prize, the Enbridge Award for Established Canadian Playwright, the City of Edmonton Book Prize, and the Governor General’s Literary Award. Recently, she helped found an Edmonton (and now Alberta-wide) chapter of the 3.7% Initiative, an artistic leadership program for BIPOC women and non-binary people originally created in Vancouver by Boca del Lupo’s Sherry D. Yoon. In June, Mieko joined the Citadel’s team as an Associate Artist alongside fellow theatre-makers Tai Amy Grauman and Helen Belay.
Albertan and nationwide audiences will remember her groundbreaking plays The Red Priest (Eight Ways to Say Goodbye), The Blue Light, and Nisei Blue as well as her plays for youth I Am For You and Consent, which debuted in Alberta and have since been translated to six different languages and been produced across the country and internationally. Her new play Burning Mom was set to premiere with the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre this spring, She made her Mainstage playwriting debut at the Citadel in April 2018 alongside composer Hawksley Workman and director Daryl Cloran with The Silver Arrow: The Untold Story of Robin Hood, a diverse and inclusive twist on the classic tale.
As the incoming TD Associate Artistic Director, Mieko Ouchi will oversee the development of new work and commissions; as well as training opportunities for emerging Artists such as the Citadel’s Assistant Director training and the RBC Emerging Artist Program; and more to be announced in the coming months. We are incredibly grateful to learn from her expertise as part of the Citadel family and offer a new platform for her to continue supporting our community’s theatre-makers. As well, we extend our deepest thanks to our friends at TD for making it possible to bring such an excellent leader to our team while we continue efforts to recover from the extended hiatus of the ongoing pandemic.
Mieko begins her role as TD Associate Artistic Director this month. Helen Belay and Tai Amy Grauman will continue in their roles as Associate Artists, and we’re excited to continue our relationship with all three of these outstanding artists.
I am so honored to be joining Daryl, Chantell, the board and the entire Citadel team in this new role, and look forward to continuing to support new play development, and building new opportunities, training and safe spaces for the amazing and diverse community of artists we have in our city and province whom I admire so much,” says Mieko. “I am truly grateful for the incredible support I’ve received and continue to receive as an artist from Daryl and the Citadel, and excited to have a position that will allow me to continue to foster, shepherd and pass that on to many others.
The TD Ready Commitment is proud to support the Citadel Theatre as part of our focus on amplifying diverse voices in the arts“, says Farah Kurji, TD’s Senior Manager, Philanthropy. “Congratulations, Mieko Ouchi, on being the first TD Associate Artistic Director. We look forward to your leadership that will elevate artists from different backgrounds and mentor them through their careers in the dramatic arts.” 

Announcement (Alberta): APAC Response to the Government of Alberta’s 2021 Budget Consultation


The Government of Alberta is hosting public consultation as they prepare Budget 2021. Submissions can be made until December 4, 2020. Information is online at
The Alberta Partners for Arts and Culture has submitted a response and information as of November 17, 2020. An excerpt of the response is below. To read the full submission visit:
APAC is an informal coalition of Alberta’s eight Provincial Arts Service Organizations and four Cultural Industry Service Organizations. APAC advocates for a strong, sustainable arts and cultural sector in Alberta and speaks collectively on priorities and opportunities that impact our members. APAC member organizations understand that a strong, sustainable and vibrant arts and cultural sector plays an important role in Alberta’s success, reputation, future growth and the vitality of our communities.
We are mindful of the realities facing our province as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. While all parts of our economy have been impacted, Alberta’s arts and cultural sector has been one of the hardest hit industries in the province.
The Canadian Association for the Performing Arts, responding to the Statistics Canada Labour Force survey said, “in proportion to its size, the arts, entertainment and recreation sector is the furthest away from recovery… the sub-sector runs the risk of facing a major shortage of skilled workers when live performance activities (finally) resume.”
A September 2020 survey conducted by Calgary Arts Development found 47 per cent of the 140 organizations responding said they would have to cease operations in the next six to 12 months if current conditions persist. Lost revenue in the current fiscal year, just from the 140 organizational respondents, is anticipated to be more than $20.6 million. Further, these same organizations anticipate losing additional $16 million revenue going forward.
If you extrapolate that to the more than 450 non-profit arts organizations supported by the Alberta Foundation for the Arts (AFA), that loss balloons to more than $117 million, about four times the amount of AFA funding in 2019-2020.

News (Calgary): Making Treaty 7 Announces New Artistic Director

Image of Michelle Thrush on grey and yellow background. Michelle Thrush has worked in film, television, and theatre for more than 35 years, with more than fifty professional credits.

Making Treaty 7 is pleased to announce New Leadership! We are excited to share with you all our Artistic Director, Michelle Thrush.

Michelle Thrush, local to Calgary, AB, is among the founding members, actors, and directors of MAKING TREATY 7. She is best known for her leading role as Gail Stoney in BLACKSTONE, for which she won the Gemini Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role. Michelle believes as a founding member of MT7, she has seen the earliest visions of what this unique collective of artists looks like, and it only gets better. She is invested in how the arts can build bridges and bring voices together.

It is hugely important, as the Artistic Director, to create a safe place for artists to be vulnerable and to become a community to each other. Using an Indigenous-led process will always be the strength of what makes MT7 so successful.” – Michelle Thrush

Michelle is a mother to two amazing daughters and they are everything to her. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, finding new places to walk and hike in southern Alberta. Prior to Covid, she worked in communities across Canada with Indigenous children and families using imagination and play to strengthen family bonds. Her work with youth and children is her greatest passion with characters such as “Majica”, the Aboriginal Healing Clown, and “Kookum Martha”, a sprite old Indian Elder. Michelle explains laughter is a natural part of her culture. She continues to write, direct, and produce theatre, and has played many leading roles across Canada.