The Circle of Artists is an advisory body that, since 2018, has been sparking conversation around institutional change at the COC and speaking directly to decision-makers to shape commitments that will support Indigenous communities with relationships based on reciprocity, caring and mutual respect.
In celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day, we are taking time to acknowledge the historic and ongoing presence of Indigenous people on these lands and their meaningful contributions to the social and cultural fabric of our communities.
As the Circle of Artists at the Canadian Opera Company, we celebrate the work of Indigenous people in all areas of the opera sector—from performers and musicians, to designers, directors, stage managers, librettists, composers and administrators. Too often, our presence and contribution to the flourishing of this art form go unnoticed and unrecognized. Today we pause to remember these contributions, to support and bear witness to the excellent work of Indigenous creatives in this field. We encourage you to join us in this.
We also acknowledge that the opera world is seldom a safe or welcome place for Indigenous people as either patrons or creatives. In addition, stories reflecting our lived experiences, told from our voices, have not found home on the mainstages of major opera companies. As the COC’s Circle of Artists, we commit to elevating Indigenous voices in all areas of the opera sector, crafting new systems of working in and creating opera, and bringing our stories to the mainstages of major opera houses like the COC.
Opera’s continued relevance requires it to remain a living, breathing art form that reflects, onstage and off, the dynamism and diverse viewpoints of the world in which we live. We are committed to being an active part of the furthering and flourishing of the art form by envisioning new ways to work and create.
In the spirit of reciprocity and unity,
The Circle of Artists
The Circle of Artists comprises Cole AlvisRebecca CuddyIan CussonJeremy DutcherRobyn Grant-MoranJani LauzonMarion NewmanRena-Marie RoussinOlivia ShorttTo learn more about the Circle of Artists, click here.