Reneltta Arluk appointed new Director of Indigenous Arts at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
Reneltta Arluk

BANFF, AB, June 1, 2017 – Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity is excited to welcome Reneltta Arluk as Director of Indigenous Arts, effective November 1, 2017. Arluk’s appointment meets a key pillar of Banff Centre’s strategic plan, The Creative Voice, by ensuring relevant and contemporary Indigenous Arts programming year-round.  

“I am thrilled to join Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity,” says Arluk, who has performed in and initiated the creation of Indigenous theatre nationally and internationally for over a decade. “I look forward to creating the spaces needed to engage our Indigenous artists locally, nationally, and internationally. Together we will enrich and celebrate our living culture.”

Originally from the Northwest Territories, Arluk, who is of Inuvialuit, Dene, and Cree descent, is the first Indigenous woman to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts Acting degree from the University of Alberta. She is an actor, playwright, poet, director and producer, and has performed globally. Recently, Arluk made her Stratford debut as the first Inuit  person and first Indigenous woman to direct at the Stratford Festival with the world premiere of The Breathing Hole by Governor General Award winning playwright, Colleen Murphy. Some of her many additional credits include: Marie Clement’s Copper Thunderbird at the National Arts Centre; touring with Human Cargo’s Night; the world premiere of Chantel Bilodeau’s Sila (Underground Theatre; Cambridge, MA); and, Hardline Productions’ RedPatch (Vancouver, BC).

Arluk is committed to stories inspired by Indigenous language and has worked in depth with Indigenous and minority youth through her theatre advocacy work. She has also written, produced, and performed various works under her company, Akpik Theatre, focusing on decolonization and using art as a tool for reconciliation. Together with Theatre Prospero, Akpik Theatre will soon premiere a Plains Cree adaptation of Macbeth called Pawâkan Macbeth, written by Arluk, on Treaty 6 territory. 

“As a champion of Indigenous arts in Canada and beyond, Reneltta’s experience and dedication to creative expression of Indigenous voices make her an ideal guide for the creation of year-round Indigenous Arts programs at Banff Centre,” says Janice Price, President and CEO, Banff Centre. “I look forward to working with her as we fulfill our commitment as a centre of excellence for Indigenous programs.” 

As the Director of Indigenous Arts, Arluk will be responsible for ensuring the programs meet the needs of Canadian Indigenous artists, providing them with a creative environment to facilitate growth and development. 
 

Indigenous Arts programs at Banff Centre are generously supported by RBC and The Slaight Family Foundation. 

To learn more about Indigenous Arts programs at Banff Centre, visit banffcentre.ca 

About Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity: Founded in 1933, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity is a learning organization built upon an extraordinary legacy of excellence in artistic and creative development. What started as a single course in drama has grown to become the global organization leading in arts, culture, and creativity across dozens of disciplines. From our home in the stunning Canadian Rocky Mountains, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity aims to inspire everyone who attends our campus – artists, leaders, and thinkers – to unleash their creative potential and realize their unique contribution to society through cross-disciplinary learning opportunities, world-class performances, and public outreach. banffcentre.ca

About Reneltta Arluk: Reneltta, of Inuvialuit, Dene, and Cree descent, originates from the Northwest Territories.  Raised by her grandparents on the trap-line until school age, these teachings provided  Reneltta with the tools to become the actor, playwright, poet, director and producer she is now. 

From Marie Clement’s Copper Thunderbird at the National Arts Centre, touring with Human Cargo’s Night, the world premiere of Chantel Bilodeau’s Sila (Underground Theatre; Cambridge, MA), and Hardline Productions’ RedPatch (Vancouver, BC), Reneltta has performed in and initiated the creation of Indigenous theatre nationally and internationally for over a decade. She is committed to the development of Indigenous language inspired stories. Reneltta has worked in depth with Indigenous and minority youth on both sides of the border, which began in the North through her theatre advocacy work as a producer and facilitator.

Reneltta, under her company, Akpik Theatre, wrote, produced, and performed her first play, TUMIT. Akpik Theatre has translated and produced TUMIT in French. Productions under Akpik Theatre include a radio adaptation of Richard Van Camp’s short story, I Count Myself Among Them, and performance art piece, Anticipation. Reneltta’s book of poetry, Thoughts and Other Human Tendencies, published by Bookland Press have been translated into Cree and French. In cooperation with Theatre Prospero, with encouragement from the Stratford Festival’s Playwright Retreat, and support from Canada Council for the Arts, Akpik Theatre will premier a production of Reneltta's Pawâkan Macbeth in Edmonton, AB. Pawâkan Macbeth is a Plains Cree adaptation of MacBeth inspired from working with youth at the Chief Napaeweaw Comprehensive School in Frog Lake, AB.

Reneltta’s focus on decolonization pushes boundaries using art as a tool for reconciliation. Her work provokes new interactions across all lines while remaining true to her Indigenous roots. She is the first Indigenous woman to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts – Acting degree from the University of Alberta and is an alumni of the Centre for Indigenous Theatre. She has been nominated for both a META (Montreal English Theatre Award) for Pig Girl and a Jessie (Vancouver Theatre Award) for RedPatch as an actress. Reneltta is also the first Indigenous person to direct at the Stratford Festival with the world premiere of The Breathing Hole by Governor General Award winning playwright, Colleen Murphy.