Creation: bringing new Canadian works to the stage

In a scene from the play I Forgive You, a boy with curly ginger hair rides on the back of a smiling, beared man wearing a plaid shirt. Five actors sit on chairs in the background.
I Forgive You © Ritche Perez

Donor support of the National Creation Fund provide the time, space and resources for performing artists to bring new works to their full potential.  

I Forgive You was created in response to a violent homophobic attack that left choral director Scott Jones paralyzed from the waist down in 2013. At the sentencing hearing, Scott read a victim impact statement in the Nova Scotia courtroom that forgave his assailant, making headlines across the country and began his complex journey of healing through storytelling.  

Directed by Jillian Keiley and written by Robert Chafe of Newfoundland’s Artistic Fraud, I Forgive You tells the story of Scott’s path to forgiveness in his own words. The compelling and emotional storytelling is accompanied by a live children’s choir who performed music by the internationally-renowned Icelandic rock group Sigur Rós – the same music that helped Scott during his healing and recovery following the attack.    

Sarah Garton Stanley, the National Creation Fund’s Artistic Producer, says: “Scott Jones’ life was forever changed by hate. That he, along with Artistic Fraud, were able to transform this horrible event into a stunning disability-led meditation on the nature of forgiveness is in part because of the support provided by the National Creation Fund. It was one of the best things many, many audience members said they had ever seen. The Fund, and our incredible donors, helped make this happen.”   

Support of creation provided the creative team the resources needed to conduct meaningful creative exploration, host additional workshops to refine the music, text, chorus and choreography, and to collaborate with Sigur Ros and their arranger Ingi Garðar Erlendsson. Pat Foran, Artistic Fraud’s Managing Producer emphasized: “It’s changed how we work and how we think about theatre.”   

I Forgive You premiered at the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre in August 2022 before touring to the NAC in March 2023. The audience response in both communities was passionate: “This is a show that will transport you to places you hadn’t thought of before.”     

“...the most astonishing piece of theatre I’ve seen.... Remarkable. Simply remarkable.”   

Read about other National Creation Fund projects.

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