“One meaning of “Gwaandak” in the Gwich’in language is “storyteller”.
Gwaandak Theatre, the Yukon’s only Indigenous-centered theatre company, was founded in Whitehorse in 1999 by theatre artists Leonard Linklater and Patti Flather.
Gwaandak Theatre’s vision is to illuminate Indigenous and Northern stories around the world.
Our stories question, honour, and celebrate. They explore themes around decolonization, cultural identity, social justice, underrepresented voices and human rights. We tour to both tiny communities and major centres, and provide comprehensive study guides for secondary schools and colleges.
Gwaandak Theatre develops, produces and tours plays for both youth and adults. Our programming also includes new play workshops, readings and training for theatre artists.
Patti Flather co-founded Gwaandak Theatre with Leonard Linklater to empower Indigenous and northern voices in theatre. As Managing Artistic Director of Gwaandak, she remains actively involved in play creation, development, production and touring as the company celebrates our 15th Anniversary Season. She’s proud of Gwaandak’s growing repertoire of training programs and workshops, and our commitment to building relationships with artists, audiences and communities from rural Yukon all the way across our vast country. Patti is an award-winning published and produced playwright, dramaturg, educator, fiction and screenwriter. She’s an anglo-settler Canadian who grew up in North Vancouver, B.C., moved north and fell in love with the Yukon decades ago. She has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of B.C.. Her produced plays include Sixty Below, West Edmonton Mall, Where the River Meets the Sea, Paradise and others. She believes that all of us hold transformative stories, and that sharing them is essential to who we are.
Jenna is an arts administrator, producer and facilitator who fell in love with the Yukon in 2014-15. She holds a B.A. Hons. (McGill University) and an M.A. (York University) in Art History, with a Diploma in Curatorial Studies. From 2009-17, Jenna worked with Toronto-based performance company Mammalian Diving Reflex, predominantly as Managing Director and Artistic Associate. She has produced artistic projects with local communities in more than twenty cities in Canada and around the world, including in Prague, Basel, Tokyo, Frankfurt, Singapore, Vienna, Toronto and Whitehorse. Her artistic interests lie in practices of social engagement. Though she has worked in music and the visual arts, she is attracted to performance for its ability to share diverse perspectives and provoke new ways of being together. She joins Gwaandak Theatre in January 2017, and is looking forward to being part of the Gwaandak and Whitehorse communities.
PRESIDENT – Joella Hogan
VICE-PRESIDENT – Cheryl McLean
TREASURER – Gayle Corry
SECRETARY – David Neufeld
DIRECTORS – Charlene Abraham, Jacqueline Bazett, Leonard Linklater
THE OBJECTIVES OF THE COMPANY ARE:
1) to develop and produce theatre with particular focus on revealing transformative stories, perspectives, voices;
2) to provide opportunities for Aboriginal and Northern artists to gain professional experience and exposure on regional, national and international stages;
3) to foster relationships regionally, nationally and internationally with partners and communities in order to develop and share compelling stories;
4) to offer professional training and mentorship opportunities to emerging and established artists.
Gwaandak Theatre warmly invites everybody to its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday October 19, 6pm at the Centre de la francophonie’s Community Hall, 302 Strickland. We will take this opportunity to present our priorities for 2017-2018 and to celebrate our new season under the theme “Fear Not”. Refreshments will be served.
If you would like to play a more active role in Gwaandak Theatre’s team, please let us know. The Secretary and directors positions (1-year term) are open for election. We also welcome participation on board committees and with special events and projects.
We hope to see you there! Thank you!