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Kim Senklip Harvey and Mel Hague are inaugural residents of NTS Artistic Leadership Residencies

November 8, 2017, Montreal – The National Theatre School of Canada is pleased to announce that Vancouver-based director, playwright and actor Kim Senklip Harvey and Toronto-based curator, playwright and director of the Rhubarb Festival Mel Hague have been selected out of 72 highly qualified applicants from across Canada as the inaugural residents of its new Artistic Leadership Residencies. These one-year, part-time residencies will run from November 2017 to October 2018 and include participation in the Banff Centre Cultural Leadership Program, custom-designed professional placements, networking and governance activities and made-to-measure practicums at NTS.

A national first to expand the definition of leadership in Canada
Shifting public interest, a call for more inclusive practices and the changing role of civic institutions in society are just a few of the forces that are altering what it means to be an artistic organization today. NTS is firmly committed to expanding the definition of leadership in Canada and has devised its Artistic Leadership Residencies—a national first—to prepare emerging Canadian artistic directors to successfully helm this country’s performing arts institutions through turbulent times and to offer up new models for directorship. The program aims to be the gold-standard training program referenced by Boards, recruitment agencies and organizations looking to fill their artistic leadership vacancies.

The Birks Family Foundation was the first to support this NTS initiative and is funding Kim Senklip Harvey’s residency. Mel Hague’s residency is supported with funding from the Metcalf Foundation.

“I want to extend my deepest gratitude and appreciation for this exciting opportunity. I am an advocate for personal equity and I work towards having the voices of the historically oppressed and disenfranchised heard. My passion for theatre lives within its transformational nature and I believe that theatre is the most compelling medium to move us to a place where every community member is provided the opportunity to live peacefully,” said Kim Senklip Harvey, who hails from the Syilx, Tshilqot’in, Ktunaxa and Dakelh Nations and is described as a powerful storyteller and a tenacious leader.

“I am honoured to be embarking on this journey. Being a leader is not a glamorous position, but one of service. The work that I do is in service to the artists who I wish to hold up, who I wish to hone and honour as the most precious resource that we have as a society. They are the mirrors that we need to see ourselves clearly. I am in service to the audiences, for whom I feel an immense responsibility and whom I wish to challenge with the work of the artists in my care,” said Mel Hague, who is currently the Company Dramaturge at Obsidian Theatre, the Company Dramaturge at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, and the Director of the Rhubarb Festival.

NTS is hosting a total of nine professional artists in new residency programs
In addition to the two inaugural residents of the Artistic Leadership Residencies, NTS is hosting six, and soon seven, other professional artists in its various new residency programsCarlos Rivera is starting the second year of his two-year residency as the inaugural Indigenous Artist in Residence (IAR) and NTS is seeking another IAR artist to join the School as of January 2018. Two professional designers, Annick Lavallée-Benny and Max-Otto Fauteux (Set and Costume Design, 2010) are teaching and working at NTS as part of the Jenepher Margaret Hooper Design Residencies. NTS has also welcome several independent residents who wish to deepen their creative practice. They are Acadian actor and director Ludger Beaulieu, actor and director Suman Rayamajhi, who came to NTS from Nepal, and lighting designer Eryn Griffith, who is pursuing her training in NTS’s Production Design and Technical Arts program.

About Kim Senklip Harvey
Kim Senklip Harvey has worked all across Canada, including the national tour of Kevin Loring’s Where the Blood Mixes and the world premiere of Corey Payette’s Children of God at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. She is working on her first commissioned play, Kamloopa, which focuses on three Indigenous women’s understanding of indigeneity and the journey of reclaiming Indigenous matriarchy. Kim is extremely invested in community and youth engagement and has worked on the Mayor’s Task Force for Mental Health and Addiction, the City of Vancouver’s Urban Aboriginal Peoples Advisory Committee. As the Youth Program Manager at The Cultch,  she created and spearheaded the Indigenous Youth Initiative which focuses on increasing urban Indigenous young people’s artistic opportunities in Metro Vancouver.

About Mel Hague
Mel Hague is a Toronto-based curator and dramaturge. Mel is the Rhubarb Festival Director and Company Dramaturge at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, and the Artist Development Coordinator and Company Dramaturge at Obsidian Theatre Company. Previously, Mel has worked with Factory Theatre, Banff Centre Playwrights Colony, bcurrent performing arts, fu-Gen Asian Canadian Theatre, Eastern Front Theatre, Queer Acts Festival, The Paprika Festival, and Mulgrave Road Theatre. Other theatre credits include Litmus Theatre’s Birth of Frankenstein (Dora Nomination – Outstanding New Play Independent Category). Dramaturgy work includes Venus’ Daughter by Meghan Swaby (Obsidian Theatre Company, February 2016) and Up the Garden Path by Lisa Codrington (Obsidian Theatre Company, April 2016),Black Boys by Saga Collectif with Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (November 2016).

About the National Theatre School of Canada
Founded in 1960, in Montreal, the National Theatre School of Canada (NTS) offers incomparable training for theatre artists of all kinds, actors, directors, designers, writers, production specialists, to create work that matters. A co-lingual school, NTS includes both an English section and a French section. The School has graduated some 2000 artists who have made incalculable contributions to our collective identity. Some of this country’s most important theatre, performance, film, and television artists are among their ranks, and the School’s influence is felt from coast to coast to coast and across the globe.

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