“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.
OUTGOING ARTISTIC DIRECTOR (until end of December 2019)
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.
INCOMING ARTISTIC DIRECTOR (October 2019)
Colin Wolf is a Métis performer, theatre maker, and activist who was born and raised in the North-East of Moh’kins’tsis (Calgary), AB on Treaty 7 Territory. He is slowly reconnecting to his family’s language, Cree, and is able to speak French. He graduated with a BFA in Performance from the University of Lethbridge in 2014. His theatre work has focused on the development of new, Indigenous, and politically relevant theatre. After graduating, Colin co-founded Thumbs Up Good Work Theatre with his sister. Their most recent project, The Born Again Crow, explored themes of racism, capitalism, and violence. As an activist, Colin works towards subsistence, art, and most importantly: safety for all marginalised folx. He recognizes that there is no quick way to address colonial power structures, but as a colonially trained artist he has spent the last half decade working with Indigenous artists to de-colonize his practice. Colin is eager to start his journey in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Ta’an Kwäch’än Council as the new Artistic Director at Gwaandak Theatre. He looks forward to continuing to learn from the founding Artistic Director, Patti Flather as they move through this transition together. If Colin isn’t Theatre-Making, he is arms deep in the garden, or hard at work making breads and baking. He endeavours to always have a few loaves of bread on hand to feed those around him.
**Our current AD Patti Flather will be in position until the end of December 2019. We wish Colin and Patti a smooth transition into the Artistic Director position.**
Léa Roy Bernatchez was born on Mi’kma’ki, unceded and ancestral territory of the Mi’kmaq nation. She recognizes her french-settler education and being brought up in a position of privilege while acknowledging her French, Basque, and Mi’kmaq ancestry. She graduated in 2013 with a BFA in Contemporary Dance from Concordia University. Some of her meaningful experiences include participating in the Hemispheric Institute of Arts and Politics Encuentro in Santiago, Chile and being involved in the Ndoo Tr’eedyaa Gogwaandak (Forward Together) Vuntut Gwitchin radios plays with Gwaandak Theatre. In July 2019, she participates in The Creative Gesture – a dramaturgy for dance program at the Banff Centre. Her main passion revolves around arts creation and social justice, and she allows a special importance to LGBTQ2S+ rights and visibility in her everyday life. She has been involved with Gwaandak Theatre since 2015 as a production stage manager, assistant producer and performer. She is thrilled to join them as Artistic Producer to help share diverse voices and create empowerment through the arts. She shows her gratitude for being able to live on the territory of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Ta’an Kwäch’än Council since 2014.
Paige Galette is a Haitian settler, community organizer, activist and feminist who is passionately involved in political movements fighting for social justice, the labour movement, women’s movement, Queer movement and Black Liberation. Holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences with Minor in Political Sciences, Paige has a long history of being involved in non-profit organizations as an employee and Board member. Paige strives to assure an intersectional lens through all her work, in the hopes of continuously making space for involvement, representation and advocacy for people of equity-seeking groups. Although this is her first experience working in the Arts, Paige is looking forward to working with strong, visionary and daring creators, facilitators, writers and performers. Paige est Francophone et travail avec fierté dans la dualité des langues (français/anglais). With over 10 years’ experience in strategic organizational development, Human Resources and workshop creation, coordination and facilitation, Paige is honored to be joining the Gwaandak Theatre team.
PRESIDENT – Joella Hogan
VICE-PRESIDENT – Vacant
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