As part of an Animikiig special, we have Celeste Sansregret and a workshop preview of her work Ursa Majoris. Animikiig Creators Unit is two-year development program for emerging Indigenous creators to develop their work with professional support and resources.
“I took a meeting with Jessica Lea Fleming and pitched her on two projects. She like Ursa Majoris because it was different from anything else Native Earth had in development. Ursa Majoris is a large ambitious project. I knew I would need support to create something of this scale.”
The inspiration for the play came from her own personal experience. “An old boyfriend asked me to tell him a bedtime story. I started to write something for him but we broke up before I was able to finish. URSA was the story that resulted from his request. So our love story didn’t last, but this story remains.”
More from Celeste Sansregret
What makes Indigenous performing arts important to you?
Artists give voice, form and deep expression to the full range of life’s experiences – both good and bad. Indigenous artists need to speak with our own voices about the history and lived experiences of our community. We don’t need other people telling us who we are or what we have lived. We need to freely express ourselves.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
“The work is always there when you’re ready to go back to it.”
Do you have any advice for emerging Indigenous creators?
See everything you possibly can. In Toronto, I go to the theatre once a week. Take care of yourself, mentally, physically and emotionally. Don’t judge yourself for needing to have a job other than your art.
Where do you find your inspiration for your creative work?
The world gives you a story everyday, if you’re paying attention.
Who is your Indigenous role model? How do they inspire you?
My paternal grandmother: she had a career as a furrier for Holt’s before she was married and then, she was widowed with three teen-aged sons to raise. No matter her circumstances, she was elegant, kind and generous, and she instilled that kindness and generosity in her sons
What is coming up next for you?
Weesageechak! Looking very forward to sharing GG and Maggie’s love story with an audience.
To me, art is:
My life: I began performing at 3 1/2 and co-created my first show at 9. When I’m not making art, I’m thinking about art. I can’t imagine my life without art.