Fellows in the national training and mentorship program for BIPOC women and non-binary performing arts practitioners come from across the country

MAY 4, 2022, TORONTO – Why Not Theatre, in partnership with the National Arts Centre, are proud to announce the 2022 cohort of ThisGen Fellowship, a national initiative that supports BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) women and non-binary* performing arts practitioners getting to the next stage in their careers through training, mentorship, hands-on work placements, and peer-to-peer connection. *ThisGen Fellowship is a Trans-inclusive program.

This week, the Fellows, who participate in either the directing or producing program, begin 17 weeks of paid online training, led by a faculty of internationally renowned arts leaders. In October, the cohort will gather for an in-person residency at the National Arts Centre. This is followed by one-on-one mentorship, in which each Fellow is paired with a leading industry professional. Finally — and new this year — the Fellowship will culminate with a paid work placement.

Thanks to the initial support of the Department of Canadian Heritage, ThisGen Fellowship has supported 34 artists since 2019, connecting them with a network of over 40 international faculty and mentors.


ThisGen 2022 Fellows were selected from more than 65 applicants from across the country.

2022 Directing Fellows             

Caleigh Crow - Mohkínstsis / Calgary, AB

Katie German - Treaty One Territory / Winnipeg, MB

Tsholo Khalema - Tkaronto / Toronto, ON

Natércia Napoleão  - Amiskwaciwâskahikan / Edmonton, AB

Vanessa Sears - Tkaronto / Toronto, ON

2022 Producing Fellows            

Carmelle Cachero - Unceded Algonquin Territory / Ottawa, ON

Najla Nubyanluv - Tkaronto / Toronto, ON

Monica Ogden - Lekwungen Territory / Victoria, BC

Tyler J Sloane - Tkaronto / Toronto, ON

Kris Vanessa Teo - Mohkínstsis / Calgary, AB



ThisGen 2022 Fellowship faculty are top-level, internationally renowned arts professionals who are creating ground-breaking work around the world, and changing the sector through their leadership. Faculty for the 2022 edition of ThisGen Fellowship include:

Denise Bolduc                        
Director of Indigenous Arts, Harbourfront Centre - Canada

Josette Bushell-Mingo            
Principal, Central School of Speech and Drama - UK

Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway         
Executive Producer, Black Lives, Black Works - USA

Tobi Kyeremateng                   
Award-winning producer and writer - UK

Kate McGrath                          
Director, Fuel Theatre - UK

Ronee Penoi                           
Director of Artistic Programming, ArtsEmerson - USA

Stephanie Rolland                  
Lecturer in Theatre Management at Yale, New York - USA

Madeline Sayet                       
Executive Director, Yale Indigenous Performing Arts - USA

Alyssa Simmons                    
Associate General Manager, The Public Theatre - USA

Dawn Walton                           
Founder, Eclipse Theatre – UK

Maiko Yamamoto                    
Co-Artistic Director, Theatre Replacement - Canada

“I am excited and energized by the incredible cohort we have brought together for ThisGen 2022,” said Miriam Fernandes, Co-Artistic Director of Why Not Theatre. “Both Directing and Producing Fellows will have the unique opportunity to learn from our faculty of internationally recognized artists and cultural leaders. We are particularly pleased to be expanding and deepening the program this year. The addition of a paid work placement opportunity for each Fellow will help to further break down the historical and institutional barriers and showcase these talented artists on the national stage.”

“The National Arts Centre is committed to supporting exceptional professional development opportunities for BIPOC arts professionals as part of a larger effort to renew the Canadian performing arts sector,” said National Arts Centre President and CEO Christopher Deacon. “We are thrilled to be partnering with Why Not Theatre on ThisGen Fellowship, which offers an extraordinary opportunity for BIPOC directors and producers to receive outstanding mentorship, and take their careers to the next level.  My NAC colleagues and I are looking forward to engaging with, and learning from, this fantastic group of participants and faculty.”

“When I started ThisGen Fellowship, I felt very much isolated,” said Gabrielle Martin, ThisGen 2021 Fellow in the Producing program. “Now I not only have that authentic intergenerational support that is a lasting relationship with my mentor, but a network of peer support that spans the country.”


ThisGen Fellowship is supported by Kingfisher Foundation, RBC Foundation, and the ThisGen Leadership Circle. The 2020 and 2021 ThisGen Fellowship were supported by the Government of Canada.


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 MAKE great work that takes chances, and tours the world. We SHARE everything we have, because more artists mean more stories. We PROVOKE change because 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 led by Ravi Jain, Kelly Read, and Miriam Fernandes.  For more information on ThisGen Fellowship, please visit whynot.theatre/thisgen. Follow Why Not Theatre on  Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 


The National Arts Centre (NAC) is Canada’s bilingual, multi-disciplinary home for the performing arts. The NAC presents, creates, produces, and co-produces performing arts programming in various streams—the NAC Orchestra, Dance, English Theatre, French Theatre, Indigenous Theatre, and Popular Music and Variety—and nurtures the next generation of audiences and artists from across Canada. The NAC is located in the National Capital Region on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation. Follow the NAC on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.




Tom Arthur Davis
Why Not Theatre
Managing Producer, PROVOKE Platform
(647) 701-0939


Mary Gordon
Senior Advisor, Corporate Communications
National Arts Centre
(613) 601-3877