Nightwood Theatre is proud to be a partnering organization of Open Door, and our Managing Director, Naz Afsahi, is a member of its Leadership Advisory Council.

Open Door is an initiative to build connections, awareness, and learning exchange within the IBPOC arts administration community, through informal and regularly occurring virtual gatherings for IBPOC arts administrators and managers.

Created by a collective of arts leaders IBPOC from across Canada, Open Door is an opportunity for aspiring, emerging, and established IBPOC administrators to come together to share ideas, concerns, challenges, support and solidarity. Participation is free and open to all interested and aspiring IBPOC administrators. Virtual meetings will provide a safe and encouraging space for skill development exchange, networking, and expanding social capital. While Open Door is an initiative focused on IBPOC arts administrators, other self-identifying equity seeking arts administrators are also welcome to attend.

Open Door is a pilot initiative that launched in February 2022 and will inform the framework for a collaborative learning exchange initiative, Rising Tides, which begins July 2022.

The Open Door virtual meetings will provide a safe and encouraging space for skill development exchange, networking, and expanding social capital. In alignment with our Open Door Community Agreement and value of inclusion, while Open Door centers IBPOC administrators, other self identifying equity-seeking administrators are also welcome to attend.

Open Door was created by a working group partnership of experienced IBPOC arts leaders and organizations from across Canada, with the support of Native Earth Performing Arts, Obsidian Theatre Company, Urban Ink, Green Thumb Theatre, Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT), Pacific Theatre, The Theatre Centre, and Nightwood Theatre. 

We look forward to posting upcoming Open Door events here and on our social media platforms. We hope to connect with you when the next session comes up on May 18, 2022!

ABOUT THE PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS

Native Earth Performing Arts is Canada’s oldest professional Indigenous performing arts company. Currently in our 39th year, we are  dedicated to developing, producing and presenting professional artistic expressions of the Indigenous experience in Canada. Through  stage productions (theatre, dance and multi-disciplinary art), new script development, apprenticeships and internships, Native Earth seeks to fulfill a community of artistic visions. It is a vision that is inclusive and reflective of the artistic directions of members of the  Indigenous community who actively participate in the arts. 

Obsidian Theatre Company is Canada’s leading culturally specific theatre company. Our threefold mission is to produce plays, to develop  playwrights and to train emerging theatre professionals. Obsidian is passionately dedicated to the exploration, development, and  production of the Black voice. Obsidian produces plays from a world-wide canon focusing primarily, but not exclusively, on the works of highly acclaimed Black playwrights. Obsidian provides artistic support, promoting the development of work by Black theatre makers and  offering training opportunities through mentoring and apprenticeship programs for emerging Black artists. 

Urban Ink is guided by our mission to uplift Indigenous and diverse voices through storytelling and performance. Based on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səl’ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples, we aim to empower artists and encourage collaboration, inclusivity, and social change through inspiring, thought provoking, and groundbreaking productions. For over 20 years, Urban Ink, and its circle of artists have broken barriers, through stimulating story, performance, and media. As we look ahead to the next 20 years to come, we strive to continue an Indigenized practice that centres Indigenous and diverse voices, making space for our communities across Turtle Island. 

Green Thumb Theatre creates and produces plays that explore social issues relevant to the lives of children, youth and young adults. We  provide theatre that celebrates the language and stories of today’s generation and culture to stimulate empathy, debate and critical  thinking. Founded in 1975, Green Thumb Theatre is a force within the field of theatre for young audiences, not only in British Columbia,  but across the country and throughout the world. In our more than 45-year history, Green Thumb has performed for over 4 million  people and has toured to every province and two territories in Canada, 36 US States, and 11 countries overseas. Committed to producing  excellent material that is rewarding for artists and audiences alike, Green Thumb remains in high demand because we place youth  engagement and artistic integrity on an even plane. In the 2020-2021 season, Green Thumb Theatre underwent organization-specific  staff and board Racial Equity Training and from this has developed their Anti-Oppression & Anti-Harassment Policy and Anti-Racism  Action Items https://www.greenthumb.bc.ca/resources/action-items 

Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT) is a member driven organization that promotes and supports the practice of  theatre in Canada. 

We believe: 
∙ People that work in theatre deserve supportive and equitable working environments
∙ Theatre practice should encourage creativity, afford risk and accommodate change
∙ Theatre makes an essential contribution to the quality of life in Canada
∙ The experience of theatre should be accessible to all
∙ Theatre companies should be as diverse as the communities they serve 

Who we are:
∙ We strive to be cognizant of the needs of our members by offering programs and services that benefit them and Canadian theatre ∙ We are a proactive and responsive organization making prudent use of our resources
∙ We foster opportunities where theatre practitioners can come together
∙ We are a leader in the national performing arts community and an advocate for live performance
∙ We aspire to be an organization that is representative of the breadth of Canadian theatre 
∙ We are led by the principles of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility and strive to incorporate these principles in everything  we do 

Pacific Theatre aspires to delight, provoke and stimulate dialogue by producing theatre that rigorously explores the spiritual aspects of  human experience. In over 35 seasons, Pacific Theatre has produced more than 150 professional mainstage productions ranging from  established works to original world premieres featuring some of the top theatre artists from Vancouver and across the continent. Practitioners at Pacific Theatre work on the traditional and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm  (Musqueam), Skxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. Alongside its professional productions, Pacific Theatre is  committed to the development of emerging artists, fostering new work, creating an artistic home for established practitioners, and  engaging the community at large. 

The Theatre Centre is a nationally recognized live-arts incubator and community hub. Our mission is to offer a home for creative, cultural  and social interactions to invent the future. 

We make work that spans disciplines and genres; work that pushes the boundaries of what is considered “art”. Our programming and our  role as a community space are inextricably linked. Art is not made in a silo: it is connected to the world around it. We believe art is political. 

We believe resources go further when you share them. 

We believe cultural spaces are public spaces. 

We believe in offering artists time—time to try, time to fail, time to discover all of the things their ideas will not become. 

Nightwood Theatre is Canada’ foremost intersectional feminist theatre, driven by artistic excellence, advocacy, and the successful training and development of artists that self-identify as having lived experience touched by womanhood – this includes but is not limited to trans, cis, Two-Spirit and non-binary folks. Founded in 1979, Nightwood Theatre has created and produced award-winning plays, which have won Dora Mavor Moore, Chalmers, Trillium and Governor General’s Awards.

CORE LEADERSHIP ADVISORY CIRLE BIOS

Isaac Thomas is Managing Director of Native Earth Performing Arts; board member of Cahoots Theatre and the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts where he sits on the indie caucus. He has worked extensively as a stage-manager, occasionally as a director and instructor; and now moonlights as a performer and dramaturg. He has been the drama school director at Young People’s Theatre and the general manager of Theatre Kingston. He holds a slew of underutilized degrees, including an MFA Acting and an MA English. 

Michael Sinclair is the General Manager of Obsidian Theatre Company, Canada’s largest culturally specific theatre company and a Stage Manager for over. In his role as stage manager which has taken him across the country from PEI to Vancouver and internationally to Barbados, working in all types of Theatre. A Concordia Graduate with a BCom. (Accounting), he has worked for a Chartered Accounting, Investment Management and an Automotive Parts firms before devoting his career to the Theatre. He is currently on the boards of Toronto Arts Council (TAC), Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA) and Stage Managing the Arts (SMArts).

Melissa Tsang is the Managing Director and co-leader of Urban Ink and brings 15 years of experience as an arts manager and producer, having worked with organizations from across performing arts disciplines, including Vancouver Opera, Arts Club Theatre Company, Music on Main, and Ballet BC. She holds an MBA from Durham University and a BFA in Theatre Production/Design and Music from the University of British Columbia. Melissa is also the co-chair of the City of Vancouver Arts and Culture Advisory Committee. A daughter of Chinese settlers, Melissa humbly acknowledges the traditional and ancestral territories of the Anishinaabeg, Ininew, Dakota, Dene, and Metis peoples and their homeland where she was born and raised, and the territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples, where she currently resides. 

Breanne Harmon (she/her) – General Manager | Green Thumb Theatre, Vancouver, BC on the traditional, unceded, ancestral territories of the xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlí̓ lwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. Breanne is a mother of two and a proud member of the Jewish community. Breanne has worked in Canadian Theatre for more than a decade, first as a stage manager for countless companies across the country, and now as the General Manager at Green Thumb Theatre. She has sat on a number of negotiations teams and advisory committees with PACT. Breanne holds her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Production & Design from the University of British Columbia, where she was the recipient of the Norman Young Scholarship for Theatre and Dean of Arts Award. Breanne is the PACT TYA Caucus Co-Rep and sits on the ASITEEJ Communications & Membership Committee. 

Boomer Stacey (he/him) a mixed blood settler with Sri Lankan, Dutch, Cornish, British roots, has served as PACT’s Executive Director since 2019 after having worked with the organization since 2010 in a variety of positions. Aside from work in international partnerships and collaboration, organizational leadership, event production, learning and networking, and festival curation, Boomer also has a wide range of experience in international performing arts for young audiences. Prior work includes Executive Director of International Performing Arts for Youth (IPAY) as well as the Artistic Director of the renowned Milk International Children’s Festival of the Arts at Harbourfront Centre. Boomer holds a BFA, visual arts, specializing in photography. He splits living locations between the ‘burbs just outside T’karanto, cabin in the woods by the lake in Algonquin territory, and on the road attending many national and international theatre events and festivities.

Linnea Perry is a queer, disabled, mixed-race interdisciplinary theatre artist currently living and working on the stolen lands of the Coast Salish Peoples. She attended SFU School for the Contemporary Arts, where she began practicing design-led devised work and interdisciplinary collaborations. Currently, she works at Pacific Theatre as the company manager and is using her voice to create a decolonized space for marginalized performers. Ensuring that marginalized and queer bodies have the space and support they need will always be at the front of both her artistic practices but also her admin support as well.

Mimi Mok is the Business & Development Director at The Theatre Centre, a nationally recognized live- arts incubator and community hub in Toronto. Mimi holds an MBA from the Schulich School of Business, with a specialization in Arts, Media and Entertainment Management. Mimi serves on the board of the Toronto Alliance for Performing Arts and sits on the finance committee and the indie caucus. Mimi grew up in Hong Kong and has worked in the cultural sector in Hong Kong and Toronto. She is fluent in English, Cantonese, and Mandarin.

Naz Afsahi (she/they) is the Managing Director at Nightwood Theatre, Canada’s foremost intersectional feminist theatre located in Tkaronto on Treaty 13 land. Naz is a 1.5 Generation West Asian settler arts manager with over a decade of experience in the theatre sector, supporting artistic creation and operations. Naz holds a Masters of Arts in Media Studies from the University of Western Ontario, and an Honours B.A. (double major) from Queen’s University. She is the acting Board Chair of Paprika Theatre Festival and sits on the PACT Finance Committee. Their personal and professional work in the world is grounded in principles of social justice and anti-oppression. Naz is particularly interested in how power operates, who is afforded the privilege to speak from a place of authority – often in contrast to those with lived experiences – and how we can shift and dismantle systems to create more liberated futures. Naz’s goal is to challenge the underlying assumptions and systems that feed into and foster oppressions faced by those from equity-seeking groups in order to better support artists and arts workers, and challenge how work is created in the sector. 

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