Animikiig Creators 2016/17


Yolanda Bonnell is an Ojibwe/South Asian performer and playwright from Fort William First Nation in Thunder Bay, ON. Now based in Toronto, she is a graduate of Humber College’s Theatre Performance program. Her solo show bug, directed by Cole Alvis is currently set for a world premiere at the Luminato Festival in 2018, followed by a tour. Yolanda also continues the development of her play, Scanner as part of the Deep Development unit at Factory Theatre.

White Girls in Moccasins

Miskozi is an Indigenous girl who feels white on the inside.  She feels like a fraud for not understanding her culture. Waabishkizi is Miskozi’s inner white girl; an ethereal manifestation made up of all the white culture that she’s been submerged in.

White Girls in Moccasins is a journey of self-discovery and identity told through humour, movement, song, poetry and Wheel of Fortune. How do you stay connected to your culture and find your roots growing up in a white-washed world?

Creator Yolanda Bonnell
Dramaturge Clare Preuss
Outside Eye & Mentor Diana Belshaw
Special Thanks to Zita Nyarady, Keira Loughran, and the Stratford Festival


Ian Cusson is a librettist and composer of art song, opera and orchestral work. Of Métis and French Canadian descent, his work explores Canadian Indigenous experience including the history of the Métis people, and the hybridity of mixed-racial identity. He studied composition with Jake Heggie (San Francisco) and Samuel Dolin. Ian is an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre and an inaugural Carrefour Composer in Residence with the National Arts Centre Orchestra for 2017-2019. He is the Composer in Residence at the Canadian Opera Company which will begin in 2019. He lives in Toronto with his wife and four children.

Ruby Comfort

Ruby Comfort is a nineteen year-old Indigenous woman living in small town Manitoba in the early 1970’s. Hers is the story of an outsider in a hostile and unforgiving community. It is the story of a dreamer in a world where opportunity is scarce – a woman who pursues freedom at any cost.

Composer & Librettist Ian Cusson
Dramaturge & Director Marjorie Chan
Special Thanks to Marion Newman


Cathy Elliott is a proud member of the Sipekne’katik First Nation, and her career spans over 30 years across Canada. Aluasa’sit was her first Native Earth play developed at 28th Weesageechak, and her musical The Talking Stick was the first all-Indigenous musical in Charlottetown Festival’s history. She is currently book writing Starlight Tour (Grand Theatre) presented at CMTP 2017.


Lonecloud is a 90-minute musical celebrates the first Mi’kmaq Ethnographer. Jerry Lonecloud, a Mi’kmaw medicine man from Nova Scotia, who performed in the Wild West Shows, practiced his family’s Traditional Medicine, preserved a massive amount of Mi’kmaw knowledge. The passage of knowledge is paramount to the survival of culture, even if the line is broken, it can be taken up again. Can things be given away in order to be saved?

Creator & Musical Direction Cathy Elliott
Direction & Dramaturge Yvette Nolan
Support Ontario Arts Council, and gofundme
Special Thanks to Ensemble Herbie Barnes, Dillan Chiblow, Jenn Forgie, Quelemia Sparrow


Dancer and choreographer, Aria Evans draws her experiences as a woman of mixed race (Mi’kmaq/African/settler heritage) to capture meaningful social and cultural themes through her interactive art. Her works have been presented in both North American and Europe. Aria is the Artistic Director of The Go To Company, and has sat on Canada Council and Dora Award juries.


A warrior dance about the blockades we come across in life. Focusing on the idea of forging ahead link asks the question; “What is my generation fighting for or against?”.

Dancer & Choreographer Aria Evans
Artistic Collaborators Jesse Dell, Joshua DePerry, Pulga Muchochoma, Naishi Wang
Outside Eye Peggy Baker
Mentor & Set Designer Andy Moro
Set Construction Michael Murray
Music Illusion of Safety, Robert Taylor, DR


A theatre creator and teacher, Sarah Gartshore makes her home in Sudbury, Ontario. In all of Gartshore’s work, including ArmHer,   SurvivanceStreetheart and POW!, her intention is to shine a light on voices from the margins. Currently, Gartshore is serving as Pat The Dog Theatre Creation’s Playwright in Residence and developing POW!, a script that will make its home within a broad reaching project that highlights Indigenous youths’ invaluable contributions to Truth telling.


Survivance is a set at a gathering and protest for our missing and murdered Indigenous women. The central voices are three generations of women who are grappling with what roles they will play in this time of truth telling and shaping of reconciliation.

Story Tellers share their stories of worry, wonder, and deep knowing about what is needed for their Indigenous hearts to beat in a rhythm that feels right – feels forgiveness.

Creator Sarah Gartshore
Director & Dramaturge Muriel Miguel
Special Thanks to Lisa O’Connell and Matthew Heiti for their dramaturgical support
Special Thanks to Lois Apaquash, Bill Sanders, Lanna Moon, France Huot, Natalie Lalonde, Darcy Trudeau, Naomi Nebonaionoquet


Born in Winnipeg’s legendary North End, Celeste Sansregret is a graduate of the University of Winnipeg (Theatre) and The Canadian Film Centre. Writer, performer, producer, director, dramaturge and teacher, she has appeared in over 30 plays, numerous films, and two national Fringe tours with her solo shows Wonderbar! and In A Magic Kingdom. She is the recipient of a Banff Fellowship and a Harold Greenberg Award.

Ursa Majoris

On a cold dark winter night, an old woman in a tent by the river tells the story of Maggie Corvus, an antique dealing crow from Winnipeg and GG Majoris, a guitar playing ex-hockey star Spirit Bear from Haida Gwaii, who meet at an antique show in Toronto and fall in love. Their friends are rooting for the relationship to succeed, but it looks like domestic bliss is going to happen.

Ursa Majoris is a feather-flapping, fur-flying, wild and crazy love story – with music, puppets and tail enhancements!

Creator Celeste Sansregret
Dramaturge Christine Brubaker
Director Marion de Vries