This event ended on: Dec 6, 2021

All the Love: Celebrating Tomson Highway

Indigenous arts Theatre Storytelling Authors Talks
  • NAC Indigenous Theatre
  • Arts Alive

  Dec 6, 2021 - 1 PM EST   1 hour with no intermission.

All the love you put into the material comes back, and it comes back in waves. Tomson Highway

Join us online for this panel of Indigenous theatre creators as they discuss the impact and influence of Tomson Highway’s work in their lives and in the artistic community.

For this panel we are joined by:

  • Yvette Nolan, Algonquin playwright, director, dramaturg, actor, and educator
  • Margo Kane, Cree-Saulteaux actor, artistic director, and writer is founder of Full Circle: First Nations Performance
  • Joahnna Berti, Administrative director, outreach coordinator, training program lead at Debajehmujig Theatre Group

Yvette Nolan
Born in Saskatchewan to an Algonquin mother and an Irish immigrant father, Yvette Nolan graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1997. She is an accomplished playwright: her plays include BLADE, Job’s Wife, Annie Mae’s Movement, The Birds (a modern adaptation of Aristophanes’ comedy), and The Unplugging. As a director, she has staged many productions for Gwaandak Theatre, Gordon Tootoosis Nīkānīwin Theatre, Signal Theatre (where she is currently an Artistic Associate), Globe Theatre and Western Canada Theatre, and served as the artistic director of Native Earth Performing Arts from 2003 to 2011. She is the author of Medicine Shows: Indigenous Performance Culture (Playwrights Canada Press, 2015). Yvette Nolan lives in Toronto.

Margo Kane
Cree-Saulteaux performing artist, Margo Kane is the Founder and Artistic Managing Director of Full Circle: First Nations Performance. For over 40 years she has been active as an actor, performing artist and community cultural worker.  Her desire to share artistic performance that has meaning for her people is the catalyst for her extensive work, travels and consultation within Indigenous communities across Canada and abroad.

Moonlodge, her acclaimed one-woman show, an Indigenous Canadian classic, toured for over 10 years nationally and internationally. The Sydney Press (AU) during The Festival of the Dreaming praised it as being ‘in the top echelon of solo performance.’  She developed and runs the annual Talking Stick Festival and an Aboriginal Ensemble Performing Arts Program in Vancouver.  Presently she is the Artistic Director for the City of Vancouver’s Canada150+ Festival, The Drum is Calling.

Recent theatre credits include reprising her role in Marie Clement’s Burning Vision in Barcelona for the Grec Theatre Festival. In 2016, she received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of the Fraser Valley, a  Mayor’s Arts Award in Theatre in Vancouver and most recently a 2017 GVPTA Career Achievement Award at the annual Jessie Theatre Awards in Vancouver.

Joahnna Berti 
Joahnna Berti graduated from Queen’s University in honours Psychology in 1984. She started working in arts administration at The Limelight Dinner Theatre in Toronto in 1986 and joined The Second City in Toronto in 1987. In 1989, she began studies at The Georgian Bay Institute for Neuro Linguistic Programming and opened a private practice in Toronto from 1990 – 1992 specializing in NLP counselling support to sexually abused gay youth and young men. She qualified as Master Trainer in 1993 while working at The Wassa Naabin Community Youth Centre in Wikwemikong, The Wikwemikong Family Centre, Kina Gbezhgomi Child and Family Services, The Wikwemikong Health Centre and The Wikwemikong Board of Education. In each organization she offered administrative services, proposal writing and policy and procedure documents as requested by the Directors of each organization. She joined Debajehmujig Theatre Group in the fall of 1993. Her first roles were in arts administration, marketing and community outreach. She began an improvisational theatre group with young members of the company at Debajehmujig, from the summer of 1994.

The Best Medicine Troupe, became a improvisation training and art education team that worked within First Nation communities across Canada, created custom shows for First Nations organizations, at gatherings, conferences and community consultations. The program evolved throughout the north, establishing a practice in Northern hub communities, Thunder Bay, Sault Lookout, Red lake, Sault Ste Marie, Sudbury and North Bay. Interns were accepted into the Troupe in 1997, allowing the company to develop and offer a full three year program of arts education, professional community based training and original creation for emerging Aboriginal artists.

Debajehmujig Outreach has worked with Northern communities from Manitoulin Island to the Arctic, in three year cycles, advancing youth and emerging artists, supporting local arts infrastructure development and advocating for sustainable supports for local artists.

She began Baby Clown Training through the Arts Animator Training Program at Debajehmujig in 2008. She worked with John Turner to deliver the Clown training in Moosonee- Moose Factory to James Bay Coastal youth and young adults. She completed her training and proceeded to intern at MCCP, completing Boot Camp and Neo Bouffant, and finally Teaching Perspectives in 2012.

She continues to work with Debajehmujig Storytellers, supporting program development in training and land/community based performance art practices, utilizing arts animators to facilitate community cohesion and community development.

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