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Civic Theatre announces artist residency program

Four Kootenay artists have been included in the inaugural year
Shayna Jones is one of the artists named to the Civic Theatre’s new residency program. Photo: Submitted

Submitted by The Civic Theatre

The Civic Theatre is pleased to announce our inaugural season of artist residencies, supporting and nurturing the work of four Kootenay artists, including Shayna Jones, Zaynab Mohammed, Sarah Kapoor and Pat Henman.

The Civic has tested the artistic residency concept in the last few years, offering short developmental opportunities to several local artists to observe how the opportunity might work.

Building on those formative experiences, the 2020-21 residency program offers up to a year of time and space to artists to develop their respective projects, complete with the support of our staff team and online resources for blog updates and other communication about the development of their projects.

“Our goal in offering this program to artists to support them in the development of their work,” says Civic Theatre executive director Eleanor Stacey. “Completing a creative work is not required. Instead we hope to facilitate the examination of a concept, or time to fully answer a creative or logistical question.”

The Civic Theatre hopes to share updates from our resident artists over the course of the coming year.

The 2020-21 Resident Artists at The Civic Theatre

Pat Henman

Pat Henman is a veteran of the Canadian theatre and the recording arts industry who has performed, directed and produced, theatre/concerts across Canada. She is the 2018 recipient of a special citation in recognition for her “considerable contribution to arts, culture and heritage in the City of Nelson, B.C.” She was nominated for the Courage to Come Back Award in 2015.

Pat has spent many years on local non-profit boards, most recently the chair of the Capitol Theatre. She is an appointed director of the Pacific Regional Victims Advisory Committee, an active volunteer for MADD Canada, and a provincial council member for the British Columbia Arts Council.

Pat’s memoir, Beyond the Legal Limit, her first non-fiction book based on her experience surviving a collision with a drunk driver in 2013, will be published in February 2021 by Caitlin Press. The manuscript is currently being adapted for the stage as a dramatic presentation with music through a Canada Council Research and Creation Grant and she is pleased to be part of the Civic Theatre Residency program as part of the development stage.

“As I age and new experiences open themselves to me, tragic as some may be, I have had to dig deep to figure out how I want to express myself,” she says.

”One way for me to share my experience is through my art. My story needs to be presented in the only way that makes sense to me: as a dramatic piece with music. I see it as more than a book story — it is a dramatic theatrical piece with all the components I know so well.”

Shayna Jones

Shayna Jones is an award-winning professional performance artist specializing in the traditional oral atorytelling of African and afro-diasporic folklore. With funding from the BC Arts Council, Shayna is embarking on a year of investigation, exploration, and contemplation of the question: What is it to be Black and rural?

As a Black woman living in Kaslo, a rural town of 800 people with less than a handful of souls who share her heritage, Shayna’s aim, fuelled by her own sense of isolation, is to seek out other Blacks in rural settings to record their stories of Belonging (or lack thereof). Further still, she aims to weave these stories together with traditional West African Folklore to create a performance piece through which, for a moment, she (and others) may feel at home.

Sarah Kapoor

Sarah Kapoor’s storied path began by selling her independent docs to the CBC. They brought Sarah in-house where she worked for the next 10 years, rising through the ranks from Toronto evening news reporter to senior producer in Factual Entertainment.

After the MotherCorp decade turned into motherhood, she spent her next decade as the co-founder of Pollinator Films, writing and producing hundreds of campaign videos for major public and private organizations, as well as her first heartfelt feature film while serving as creative director.

The passing of a parent brought her back to her hometown of Creston where she’s been working remotely well before COVID-19 forced that on so many. Her recent essay in Today’s Parent shared her view of the challenges and opportunities of rural living and is the basis of her next big pitch.

She is embracing her residency with The Civic Theatre to examine series production potential in the Kootenays.

Zaynab Mohammed

Zaynab Mohammed is a world-travelling poet, performer and musician. [She is] A voice of the heart. Love. In a world that pretends to be cold. Her fire is art. Love. Burns out the old. For we long to learn the beauty of bold truth. We long to be shaken. Rearrange reality with life force. Love. Living water longs for a new vessel. Stale containers could only hold us back for so long. Spill out, fill the space. Pour your heart and you will be full. Love.

Zaynab says, “[It is] an honour for the opportunity to be an artist in residence at The Civic Theatre for the coming year with a project to formulate a grounded theory on the art of listening.”