Thursday, July 8, 2021 | 11:30 - 13:30
Supported by the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada
KEVIN LORING, INDIGENOUS THEATRE NATIONAL ARTS CENTRE
CHAIR: SELENA COUTURE
Live keynote on Zoom; spoken in English and in French. Live ASL interpretation will be offered for this event. During the Q & A portion of the keynote, live translation from both languages will be available in the chat. Access papers are also available for download on the event page in both languages.
Given the announcements of unmarked graves of children of residential schools, and the fire which has affected Lytton, BC, we invite those who can to donate to Savage Society’s fundraiser for Lytton.
The phone number for the National Residential School Crisis Line is 1-866-925-4419.
For those wishing to learn more about the history of colonialism in Canada, here are links to the Summary of the Final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the National Center for Truth and Reconciliation and the final report of the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
Re-turning the Page: How theatre practice must bravely return into a post-pandemic, de-colonial, anti-racist world.
My keynote will speak about the importance of the theatre as an essential component of discourse and reflection about the society in which we live, and also how theatre practices must also reflect our new social realities. I will address the importance of theatres to be diligent in their efforts to dismantle systems of oppression within their organizations and the sector broadly in relation to racism and to settler colonialism. And as we begin to re-emerge out of isolation back into community, I will speak about the need to return to the communities theatres serve, rather than relying on those communities to return to the theatre.
Kevin Loring is N'lakap’amux from the Lytton First Nation in British Columbia. He is an accomplished Actor, Playwright, Director and founding Artistic Director of Savage Society, a non-profit charity dedicated to telling Indigenous stories. He is currently the Artistic Director of Indigenous Theatre at the National Arts Centre of Canada. A versatile artist and leader Loring has served as the co-curator of the Talking Stick Festival, as Artist in Residence at the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre, as Artistic Director of the Savage Society in Vancouver, as a Documentary Producer/Writer and co-host of Canyon War: The Untold Story, and as the Project Leader/Creator, and Director of the Songs of the Land project in his home community of Lytton First Nation.
Loring created the Songs of the Land project in 2012 in partnership with five separate community organizations. The project explores 100-year-old audio recordings and the creation stories of the N’lakap’amux. Loring has written several new plays based on this work with an ensemble of professional Indigenous Artists and community members, these include: Battle of the Birds, about domestic violence and power abuse, The Council of Spider Ant and Fly about the introduction of death into the universe, and The Boy Who Was Abandoned, about youth abandonment and elder neglect.
Kevin has a long history at the National Arts Centre. As well as performing in numerous productions there he was a company member of the National Arts Centre English Theatre Acting Company and was the Playwright in Residence there in 2010.
Kevin is the recipient of many awards and accolades, most notably the 2009 Governor Generals Literary Award for his play Where the Blood Mixes, a Governor General's Performing Arts Mentorship Award, and he was a GG Literary Award finalist for his play Thanks for Giving in 2018.