NAC Aboriginal Theater: Eclectic and Multilingual

For its very first season, the National Arts Center Aboriginal Theater (NAC) will celebrate the resilience of women. Eleven productions, nine of which are signed by women, will be presented in an eclectic range of artistic disciplines and in a dozen languages ​​mixed with French and English.

A NNOUNCEMENT in 2016, the first national Aboriginal theater in the world has launched its program Tuesday.

From September 11 to 29, the Mòshkamo Festival : The Awakening of Aboriginal Arts will occupy all NAC spaces. Off the stage, the event features a series of talks, visual arts exhibitions and activities. Tasteful experience on the menu: NAC chef Kenton Leier and Gwich’in-origin chef and Mohawk Rich Francis will prepare an Aboriginal dining experience at a gala dinner (September 12).

On stage, for Francophone audiences, Kevin Loring’s Where the Blood Melts, will be a humorous and frank testimony to the grief that residential schools have caused to generations of Aboriginal people (September 13-15, and Sept. 16-18). English). For children, the Mokatek Puppet Theater and the Missing Star , written by Dave Jenniss, will tell the story of a boy’s quest to find the North Star (September 13 and 14).

Anglophones meet with the missing and murdered women and girls as portrayed by Marie Clements in The Unnatural and Accidental Women (11-21 September), as well as visual artist and playwright Samaqani Cocahq, who fuses dance and Theater in Finding Wolastoq Voice (21 to 23 September). In music and dance, Buffy Sainte-Marie (September 15), Susan Aglukark and the NAC Orchestra (September 20) and the world premiere of Minowin (September 26-28), dancers of Damelahamid, will close Moshkamo .

The programming will begin again in 2020 with Unikkaaqtuat , which tells the story of Inuit founding myths in circus, theater and video (January 9-12), then with Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools , in which the queer artist Evalyn Parry and the Inuit Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory will engage in dialogue about their personal stories after meeting on an Arctic trip (January 22 to February 9).

In Inner Elder , play in English and Cree, Michelle Thrush will recreate alone on stage the wanderings of a girl in search of her “inner elder” (7 to 10 April).

A colorful Australian production will conclude the season. Worn by six women from the South Pacific, Hot Brown Honey is both a hip-hop concert, a burlesque show and a pep rally against colonialism and stereotypes (May 5-9).

Information on the Aboriginal Theater Season 2019-2020 can be found at

Federal absent

This initial programming is untouched by the NAC’s expectations, but the lack of funding from Canadian Heritage raises questions about the next few years, says Aboriginal Art Director Kevin Loring.

The NAC asked for $ 3.5 million, a request that remained a dead letter in the last federal budget. “The explanation we were given was about the money we received for our renovations,” for which the Canadian government had allocated $ 225.4 million, says Loring.

The $ 2 million budget for the 2019-2020 season comes mainly from philanthropic donations. “Right now, our model will be redoing campaigns every year. ”

The Aboriginal Theater is and will be an integral part of the NAC on a permanent basis, says Loring. Subsequent seasons will take place, but “we need to re-imagine the breadth and reach of our department,” he adds. We hoped that the Theater could stimulate Aboriginal arts and make them shine worldwide. But at what level of capacity, we will have to rethink it. “

Alan Carter
Alan Carter
Alan Carter has been a reporter on the news desk since 2015. Before that she wrote about young adolescents and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Koz Post, Alan Carter worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella.