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Canada’s Magnetic North Theatre Festival: Bringing together Canadian artists one festival at a time

Mercury Opera, <em>Fiamma! An Operascape</em> | Magnetic North Theatre Festival, le 4-13 juin

Mercury Opera, Fiamma! An Operascape | Magnetic North Theatre Festival, June 4-13

Canada’s Magnetic North Theatre Festival has the distinction of being Canada’s only national theatre festival. Co-presented by the National Art Centre’s English Theatre, Magnetic North travels to a new host community in Canada every second year from their base in Ottawa, helping to support the NAC’s mandate of creating new audiences for theatre across the country.  

Since their first festival in 2003, Magnetic North has created a place for Canadian theatre artists to work and grow. By showcasing the best contemporary theatre from across the country, Magnetic North aims to move the art form forward. While at the Festival, Canadian artists are encouraged to see each other’s work, collaborate, and be inspired.   

Now in its thirteenth year, Magnetic North has travelled from Ottawa to six other Canadian cities, presenting hundreds of original Canadian works. It’s grown far beyond what its creators could have imagined.

It’s become a festival fundamental to the Canadian theatre industry. Not just a gathering place, Magnetic North also provides Canadian artists with unprecedented access to national and international theatre presenters. Hundreds of talented artists and companies have been booked to tour their work throughout Canada and beyond as a result of being featured at Magnetic North.

For 2015, Magnetic North returns to Ottawa from June 4-13 with the thought-provoking theme "Radical Lessons for a Meaningful Life." 

This year, Artistic Executive Director Brenda Leadlay will continue to innovate with a new initiative aimed at making live theatre as welcoming as possible. For the first time in the Festival’s history, it will feature two sensational, outdoor Pay-What-You-Can performances.  

“Our goal is to raise the profile of Canada’s Magnetic North Theatre Festival here in Ottawa, and at the same time, make sure the Festival is accessible to everyone.”

Those performances include Fiamma! An Operascape, a thrilling combination of opera and live performance from Edmonton’s Mercury Opera. The second outdoor Pay-What-You-Can, The Global Savages by Manitoulin Island’s Debajehmujig Storytellers, shares the untold 18 000 year history of a small Anishnaabeg family from Turtle Island in an honest and inspiring experience.

For tickets and full details on all programming of Canada’s Magnetic North Theatre Festival, go to www.magneticnorthfestival.ca.

Jackie Young

Director of Marketing & Communications, Canada’s Magnetic North Theatre Festival