Hi. Thanks for spending some of your expensive time here! My name is Sarah Garton Stanley, but you can call me SGS; and I hope you will. I am the new Artistic Producer for the National Creation Fund (NCF), I am a white queer settler of European heritage, born and raised in Montreal (Tiohtià:ke/), I will soon see 60. I am comfortable with that and with she/her/they but not "hey, lady", and I want to connect with you. I think it's important. So… who are you? I would love to know. If you are reading this, please drop me a line at email@example.com and tell me why.
As a theatre maker, artistic director, producer, presenter, student and performer, I have worked and lived in many parts of this phenomenal place we call Canada. It is a beautiful, complicated, unresolved and unresolveable place. It is also a place living in community with other places, and each of their people(s), every four-legged, the many warring factions, and all the glorious sunrises of this fragile planet's turning. This world that I love is struggling. Now breathe, now release. Nice. It was something my mother said. Helpful.
Scott Jones, co-writer of I Forgive You, an NCF investment that just had a triumphant opening in St. John's, Newfoundland, told Tom Power on Q that, "Art is the way to heal the world, individually and on a broader scope". During my tenure at the NCF I hope we can point towards this with all our decisions and all our relationships. That's a risk worth taking. Working to heal ourselves and the world is about as risky as it gets. Because, as Jiv Parasram, a member of our curatorial team pointed out, to do any of this work well requires sacrifice, and to me sacrifice means giving things up. To be in a position to lend support means we have resources that others don't. How can we, at the NCF, transform what we do to reflect reciprocity in all our endeavours? What kinds of structures does a more relational model, a working-together model, a team model designed to heal require? We are coming out of COVID, this country has been facing hard truths about the damage that white supremacy has wrought, and we are seeing institutions crumble. We - the installation I call Canada - we are struggling. Now breathe, now release. Nice.
Things to do: Inspire the National Creation Fund to lead with vulnerability and creativity. The Fund asks for risk from the artists who apply to us. How can we risk alongside them?
More things to do: With the resources of the Fund, and its home at the NAC, envision a space for reflection, idea generation, and connection: a space for deep listening. And yes, a space for financial investment. A think-space that concerns itself with the challenges of NOW.
More things to do: Celebrate the successes. On August 29, TAPA announced the nominations for the 2022 Dora Awards. The National Creation Fund is thrilled to share that five of our recent investments were part of the nominees announced: R.U.R. A Torrent of Light (Opera), In My Body and Crypto (Dance), Draw Me Close (Theatre), and Sky Dancers (Touring Production).
Shows are back. It's all happening. So. If you are in Toronto, I encourage you to book your tickets for Nova Bhattacharya's Svāhā! at TO Live and Donna-Michelle St. Bernard's The First Stone at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. And in several places you can see Mani Soleymanlou's Un. Deux. Trois. and Kid Koala's The Storyville Mosquito. Each of these shows have been made possible because of Fund investments. I am new to this gig, but in my opinion these works have been made to reach out across the incomprehensible spaces that divide us, and to try, for a moment to sync hearts. Breathe together. So. Nice.
I really loved getting to introduce myself and I am looking forward to hearing from you. All of us at the NCF are. In the meantime, check out the five new investments we are thrilled to share.
Five New Investments
Patrick Blenkarn and Milton Lim
Sick + Twisted Theatre
Identity: A Song Cycle
Against the Grain Theatre