“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 is an anglo-settler theatre artist and writer who grew up in North Vancouver, B.C. on unceded territory of the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. She moved in 1988 to the Whitehorse, Yukon, territory of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Ta’an Kwäch’än Council. She co-founded Gwaandak Theatre, with Leonard Linklater in 1999, to empower Indigenous and northern voices in theatre. She’s proud of Gwaandak’s history of developing, producing and touring plays across the North and nationally. Patti believes that all of us hold transformative stories, and that sharing them is essential to who we are. Patti also is a dramaturg, playwright and educator. She has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of B.C. and is a proud member of Playwrights Guild of Canada and The Writers’ Union of Canada. Selected plays include Sixty Below (with Leonard Linklater) and Paradise, published with Playwrights Canada Press in 2017. Patti is a recipient of the Yukon Arts Builder Award and past winner of Theatre B.C.’s national playwriting competition.
Siku Allooloo is an Inuk/Haitian Taino writer, facilitator, and land-based educator from Denendeh (Northwest Territories). She also belongs to a Dene family and comes from strong lines of storytellers and leaders on all three sides. She loves working with elders, youth, and artists, and especially loves spending time on the land. Siku has spent the past several years leading resurgence-based work on the land in Denendeh, as well as collaborating on artistic projects with Indigenous artists across the country. She is a passionate advocate for Indigenous stories, leadership and transformative power in building communities. This winter, Siku is a guest faculty member on the Banff Centre’s Indigenous visual arts residency, The Space Between Us, as well as a guest artist on Mirrored in Stone. You can find her writing in Briarpatch Magazine, The Malahat Review, and Surrey Art Gallery Presents, among others. Siku is thrilled to join the Gwaandak Theatre team and to help bring more northern stories and voices to life!
Jenna Winter is an arts administrator, producer and facilitator who fell in love with the Yukon in 2014 and moved north in January 2018. She has produced and co-led artistic projects with local communities (children, teenagers, refugees and senior citizens) in more than 20 cities in Canada and around the world, including the UK, US, Asia, Australia and across Europe. From 2009-17, she worked with performance company Mammalian Diving Reflex, where she served as Managing Director and Artistic Associate. With a background in music and degrees in art history (B.A. Honours McGill; M.A. York University), she has worked in theatre, music and the visual arts, including for the 2009 Canada Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. In 2018, she was selected as a Canadian Delegate for the Salzburg Young Cultural Innovator’s Forum. She currently works as Managing Producer of Nakai Theatre, in addition to being Gwaandak’s GM. Jenna is of settler origin (Italian/British) and is humbled to live and work on the beautiful territory of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Ta’an Kwäch’än Council.
PRESIDENT – Joella Hogan
VICE-PRESIDENT – Cheryl McLean
TREASURER – Gayle Corry
SECRETARY – David Neufeld
DIRECTORS – Leonard Linklater, Lianne Charlie
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.
- Annual Report 2013-2014
- Annual Report 2014-2015
- Annual Report 2015-2016
- Annual Report 2016-2017
- Annual Report 2017-2018