The Summit April 21 – 24, 2014

Yvette Nolan and Sarah Garton Stanley (English Theatre at the National Arts Centre) have put together an initiative called The Summit that saw the National Arts Centre partner with Banff Centre for the Arts, Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance and the Canada Council for the Arts to bring 12 Indigenous artists to the Banff Centre for this preliminary discussion.

To encourage rigour and forward motion, a structure was in place welcoming eleven Indigenous artists as ‘leaders’ in the room.

The institutional representatives were similarly welcomed serving an important role as ‘listeners.’


Cole Alvis – Executive Director Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance
Herbie Barnes – NAC 14-15 Ensemble Member, Director and Playwright
Brian Calliou Banff Centre – Aboriginal Leadership & Management
Ryan Cunningham – Artistic Director Native Earth Performing Arts
Michael Greyeyes – Artistic Director Signal Theatre, Professor at YorkU
Margo Kane – Artistic Managing Director Full Circle First Nations Performance
Sandra Laronde - Artistic Director Red Sky, Banff Director – Indigenous Arts
Jani Lauzon – NAC Company (King Lear), Paper Canoe Projects
Rachael Maza –  Artistic Director Ilbijerri Theatre – Australia
Monique Mojica – Chocolate Woman Collective, playwright and actor
Daniel David Moses – Playwright, Professor at Queens University
Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory – Artist, poet, actor, mask dancer


Collette Brennan - Australia Council for the Arts – Market Development
Naomi Campbell - Luminato Festival – Director, Artistic Development
Tom Crane Bear – Banff Centre – Elder,  Teacher & Spiritual Leader 
Michael Green
- MT7 Cultural Society, Artistic Director One Yellow Rabbit
Jillian Keiley - National Arts Centre – Artistic Director
Andy Lunney - National Arts Centre – Producer
Nathan Medd - National Arts Centre – Managing Director
Guylaine Normandin - Canada Council for the Arts
Corey Payette - Raven Theatre, playwright
Brian Quirt - Banff Playwrights Colony, Nightswimming Theatre
Carolyn Warren - Banff Centre – Vice President, Arts
Jorn Weisbrodt – Luminato Festival – Artistic Director


Photo credit: Marnie Richardson

Many of the Listeners remarked about the freedom that is afforded when offered the opportunity to observe without expectation for response.

It was encouraging to hear the Listeners articulate a sense of responsibility to speak about their experience after The Summit ensuring these ideas have traction in their various communities.

A central theme for the gathering can be described as meditations on the presence and problems in the pursuit of an Aboriginal canon of performance on this land.

Reports on The Summit

IPAA-Banff-Summit-Report-finalv2.pdf (594 KB), prepared by IPAA Executive Director Cole Alvis.

Click here for reflections from Jorn Weisbrodt the Artistic Director of Luminato.

Click here for a full report from the National Arts Centre.


Coming out of The Summit is an uncomprehensive list IPAA will now refer to as a body of work rather than the colonially inspired notion of a canon.

Please add to the living list that attempts to acknowledge the perpetual breadth of Indigenous work created and performed on Turtle Island.