The 2024 RBC Emerging Artist Award goes to Nehiyaw actor, writer, and improviser Todd Houseman

RBC continues to shine a light on new artistic talent with award part of the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards


May 28, 2024 – OTTAWA (Canada) – As Presenting Sponsor of the 2024 Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards, RBC is once again showing its commitment to Canada’s emerging artists.

Todd Houseman (aka Kaskitew Asiniy) was chosen as the 2024 recipient of the RBC Emerging Artist Award in a selection process conducted by a committee of artistic leaders based on merit and impact on the community.

Todd is a graduate and current teacher at the National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal. A player and instructor with Edmonton’s Rapid Fire Theatre improv company for over a decade, he was awarded Alberta’s Best Actor at the Alberta film and Television Awards (Rosies) in 2020. The following year, in 2021, he was awarded a position on the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation’s Top 30 Under 30 list in recognition of both his artistic and cultural facilitation work. 

He is currently working with Toronto’s Outside the March on his new play The Children of the Bear, which has been in development as a large-scale immersive play. 

“Winning this prize makes me feel grateful, humbled, and complex. Throughout my career, I have felt a lot of imposter syndrome so it's sometimes difficult to accept a compliment. Also, with everything happening in the world right now I feel extremely privileged to be in this position; to be recognized for my artistic practice. I'm grateful for this recognition and I give thanks to all the people who came before me who forged this path that I am following. I only hope to make the most of this moment and this prize by continuing to make work that I think would make my ancestors proud. Kinanâskomitin ekwa hiy hiy.”


- Todd Houseman, RBC Emerging Artist Award recipient


Todd was nominated by the NAC’s Artistic Director of Indigenous Theatre, Kevin Loring.

“Todd Houseman is an innovative artist whose work blends traditional and contemporary Indigenous narratives. Todd's exceptional talent, professionalism, dedication to his craft and commitment to using his platform to highlight Indigenous issues and inspire the next generation of artists makes him an exemplary choice for this prestigious award.”

- Kevin Loring, Artistic Director, NAC Indigenous Theatre


Todd Houseman will be celebrated with all the 2024 Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards on June 8, 2024, at the National Arts Centre.

"RBC’s commitment to emerging artists is extraordinary. We are deeply grateful that, as the Presenting Sponsor for the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards, RBC is awarding this significant prize for a second year. Their unwavering support for emerging artists helps nurture the next generation of Canadian talent, ensuring a vibrant and dynamic future for the arts in our country. RBC's dedication to supporting emerging artists is truly commendable and plays a crucial role in fostering creative excellence and innovation."

- Juniper Locilento, CEO, NAC Foundation


The inaugural RBC Emerging Artist Award was presented last year, in 2023. It recognized Ralph Escamillan, a queer, Canadian-Filipinx performance artist, teacher and community leader based in Vancouver, British Columbia.



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 Anishinabe Algonquin Nation.  



Mireille Allaire
Director of Communications, Programming

National Arts Centre

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