Announcing Centaur Theatre’s first Indigenous Artist-In-Residence

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This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)

Montreal, April 20, 2021 – After circulating an appeal for submissions to Indigenous artists in January 2021, Centaur Theatre is extremely proud to announce Ange Loft and the Talking Treaties Tio’tia:ke Collective as its first Indigenous Artist Residency, supported in part by the Conseil des arts de Montréal (CAM). Joining Loft as a member of the Collective is Barbara Kaneratonni Diabo, a dancer and choreographer with over 25 years’ experience, who specializes in blending traditional First Nations dance with contemporary styles and has performed throughout North America. Completing the triumvirate is Iehente Foote, an actor, stage manager, costume designer and production assistant who has worked in theatre, TV and film for 16 years. All three artists are Kanien’kehá:ka with connections in Kahnawake. The residency will be used to develop a new site-specific theatrical performance that traverses the Centaur Theatre and surrounding grounds, incorporating historic research, music, Kanien’kéha language, large scale imagery/puppetry, verbatim text, and traditional Indigenous, as well as contemporary, dance.

A three-member selection jury included: Centaur’s Artistic and Executive Director, Eda Holmes; the multi-award-winning stage actress, director/filmmaker, Juno-nominated singer/songwriter, and Gemini Award-winning puppeteer, Jani Lauzon, who is of Métis ancestry;  and the successful Kanien’kehá:ka TV and film actress from Kahnawake, Kaniehtiio Horn, well-known for her roles in the TV series Letterkenny and Hemlock Grove and the Canadian films, The Trotsky and Good Neighbours.

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When we formed the Artistic Diversity Discussion @ Centaurinitiative last fall, a core issue was to find ways to attract and support diverse artists. Indigenous stories are an essential part of Tio’tia:ke’s/Montreal’s heritage in the Kanien’kehá:ka/Quebec region, yet they have been missing throughout Centaur’s half-century history. When the Conseil des arts de Montréal allocated new funds to prioritize Indigenous voices, we were able to create this residency. We sought an artist who was knowledgeable of Indigenous cultures and plugged into local Indigenous artistic communities and Ange is that and more. Her curiosity, imagination and passion, combined with her wide range of talents and years of experience, make her ideal as our first Indigenous Artist-in-Residence. We are so lucky to have her; everyone at Centaur is excited to learn from her and her team and to see what magic they create while they’re here with us  – Eda Holmes, Artistic and Executive Director, Centaur Theatre 

The year-long residency beginning August 2021 will build on the momentum of Talking Treaties—a Jumblies Theatre multidisciplinary theatre initiative directed by Loft. The research behind that creation, which involved artist and historian-led interviews with Indigenous knowledge keepers, began in 2015. TheTalking Treaties Spectacle was performed at the historic Fort York in 2017 and 2018, alongside several educational workshops, interactive multimedia installations and film works born of that enquiry. In December 2020, work began for Talking Treaties Tio’tia:ke with a week-long intensive held at Montreal’sStudio 303, out of which emerged the Talking Treaties Tio’tia:ke Collective. Though grounded in historical Haudenosaunee (Six Nations) narratives, Talking Treaties Tio’tia:ke will also take Tio’tia:ke’s current Indigenous populations into account, drawing commonalities and shared experiences between Indigenous populations to perpetuate the region’s evolving storyline.

This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)


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