Michel Boutin, Prince Albert

Michel Boutin is an interdisciplinary artist, arts educator and cultural animateur. He is the artistic director for the Indigenous People’s Artist Collective of Prince Albert (IPAC), which he co-founded in 2005.

IPAC’s mandate is to disseminate, create and promote a diverse range of contemporary Aboriginal and urban artistic practices for the benefit of regional artists and audiences. Under Michel’s leadership, this has taken the form of numerous projects that address community needs and interests.

He has developed two annual festivals: Pitos Waskochepayis, a mini film and performance festival that celebrates two-spirit and queer culture, and the Two Story Café, a multi-day series of integrated arts events. These festivals create environments for internationally recognized Indigenous artists to present new work, giving Prince Albert a unique reputation as a key centre of contemporary Indigenous art-making.

Michel recruits artists to connect with topics that are relevant to the local social and cultural milieu, such as race, gender and LGBTQ advocacy. His programming encourages and promotes new artistic practices, audiences and knowledge about art forms and perspectives. He also brings together regional artists of First Nations and Métis backgrounds to collaborate with nationally and internationally established artists.

Michel’s cultural impact extends to his involvement for over two decades with artist-run centres in Saskatchewan. He has been a board member for the Mann Art Gallery, Neutral Ground, Red Shift Gallery and PAVED Arts and has served as the Aboriginal representative for the Artist Run Centres and Collectives Conference of Canada. He is currently a mentor and member of Sans Atelier in Saskatoon, the first Francophone artist-run collective in Saskatchewan.

 

William Brooks, Saskatoon

William Brooks is an actor, playwright, stage manager and artistic producer. Upon graduating from the University of Regina’s Theatre Department, he worked for organizations such as Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan, Persephone Theatre, several companies under the Live Five theatre banner, Quest Theatre, Dancing Sky Theatre and Station Arts Centre.

An avid community supporter, William has sat on numerous boards, including the Saskatchewan Playwrights Centre and 25th Street Theatre and was a founding member of the Saskatoon and Area Theatre Awards (SATAwards.)

In 2007, William fulfilled duties of Artistic Director for Persephone Theatre during transition, after which he took on the role of Youth Program Director. This work saw him revamp, develop and grow the theatre’s youth programs. He created the young company and co-created the literary management department, both of which are now integral to the community. The attendance, reach and quality of programs like the theatre school, provincial youth tour, youth series and young company doubled, tripled and often quadrupled over short timespans.

William had the opportunity to come “home” in 2014, to take over leadership at Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan, the company that gave him his first professional job and supported his early career. He has since brought the company into a new era of artistic vitality, fiscal health and innovative programming. Over the last three years, the organization’s productions have received 22 SATAwards nominations, receiving six of the awards. This included a special Award for Innovation for the programming William assembled for Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan’s 2016 season.

 

Joey Tremblay, Regina

Joey Tremblay is an auteur-director, playwright, theatre-maker and actor. He received a BFA in drama from the University of Regina and a diploma from the Vancouver Playhouse Acting School. After working several years as a freelance actor, Joey co-founded Noises in the Attic, a theatre company mandated to produce and create new Canadian plays on the fringe festival circuit. He went on to serve as the Artistic Co-Director of Catalyst Theatre in Edmonton and was a member of the English Theatre Ensemble at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa for four years.

Joey’s work in theatre has been predominantly in the sector of new play development. However, the process in which he tackles each project varies immensely – from non-linear, interactive, environmental installations to more linear, narrative scripts. His work has garnered more than 30 awards and nominations for direction, production, acting and writing.

In 2015, following the tragic loss of company founder Michele Sereda, Joey took on the role of Artistic Director of Regina’s Curtain Razors. He has since been guiding the company toward the creation and presentation of live Saskatchewan stories.His leadership has fostered a new vision for the company, a renewed appreciation of theatre, a network of young and vital artists who are dedicated to the company and a revitalized connection to an audience that is willing to support risky, process-driven theatre experiments. Joey’s unique practice demonstrates an outstanding commitment to the art form of theatre and to artists in Saskatchewan.

 

 

Photo of Michel Boutin courtesy of the artist

Photo of William Brooks: Kenneth T. Williams

Photo of Joey Tremblay: Mike Fly