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Highlights from PACTcon2018 in Ottawa

The past week has been an exciting one as we convene on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Nation in Ottawa for PACTcon2018. We are thrilled to announce the election of Nina Lee Aquino, Artistic Director of Factory Theatre, as PACT’s new President and Mike Payette, Artistic Director of Geordie Productions, as Vice-President. Former Vice-President Lyndee Hansen, Production Manager at Grand Theatre, returns to the Executive as Treasurer and Jay Dodge, Artistic Director of Boca Del Lupo, became Past President. We look forward to the future with their courageous and inspiring leadership.

As we come to the last year of our strategic plan 2015-2019 with its focus on openness and accessibility, PACTcon conversations were full of thoughtful and passionate ideas about equity, diversity and inclusion in our spaces and practices. From Kevin Loring’s inspiring keynote speech to the British Council’s relaxed performance training, to member-led panels on the Future of Storytelling, the theatre community came together to share stories, support each other and envision new projects and collaborations.

Over three days, the membership reviewed and discussed at length the proposed changes to the Canadian Theatre Agreement (CTA) for 2018-2021. After extensive deliberation and consideration, on the morning of May 12th, the membership voted not to ratify the proposed changes to the CTA. Our members have committed to working with Canadian Actors’ Equity Association (CAEA) toward a new partnership and understanding to broaden the diversity, scope of practice, and communities in the expanding theatre ecology.

Past President Jay Dodge says,”I continue to be inspired by the courage and vision present in Canadian theatre. As the make up of our communities grow and change, the practice of theatre must grow and change with it. As I look to the future, the youth, the artists and our indigenous colleagues, I have tremendous faith that the future of Canadian theatre is in good hands.”

The sentiment is re-affirmed by Nina Lee Aquino, PACT’s new President, who says, “I look forward to working with PACT members and I’m excited by the passionate, respectful and forward-thinking conversations about the Future of Storytelling in professional theatre.”

PACTcon is our primary professional development and networking event, which brings together theatre companies and professionals from coast to coast to coast. The four-day conference provides the best opportunity to meet and connect with colleagues from across the country, to engage in personal professional development, and to participate in important governance decisions at PACT’s Annual General Meeting.

Don’t miss next year’s PACTcon2019 in Saskatoon and Meacham, Saskatchewan!

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