The National Arts Centre (NAC) is sharing the spotlight with Canada’s longest-running Black theatre company as part of the Ottawa institution’s new commitment to evenly split its English programming resources with Black arts organizations.
NAC English Theatre announced Wednesday that it’s partnering with Montreal’s Black Theatre Workshop to launch a collaborative curation model aimed at bringing Black perspectives to the national stage.
As the inaugural co-curating company in residence, the Black Theatre Workshop will have access to half of NAC English Theatre’s resources to program its 2021-22 slate, including funds and staffing.
The 50-year-old organization will also have a say in choosing another Black-run theatre company as its successor for the following season.
Black Theatre Workshop artistic director Quincy Armorer said he sees the NAC collaboration as a chance to elevate Black artists across Canada, and a chance to address some of the systemic inequities culturally specific theatres face in accessing funding.
NAC English Theatre artistic director Jillian Keiley said under the shared curation structure, her team will work to produce shows that have been selected and developed by the Black Theatre Workshop.
For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.