Na­tive theatre com­pany re­ceives fund­ing from Cana­dian Her­itage

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - Local -

Saskatchewan Na­tive Theatre Com­pany (SNTC) has re­ceived a $45,000 boost to its new Ensem­ble Theatre Arts Pro­gram (ETAP) from Cana­dian Her­itage.

The fed­eral funds flow through the Ur­ban Mul­ti­pur­pose Abo­rig­i­nal Youth Cen­tres Ini­tia­tive (UMAYC), in­tended to sup­port young abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple aged 15 to 24 liv­ing in ur­ban set­tings.

SNTC, which opened in 1999, started de­vel­op­ing ETAP last year. It is a two-year pro­gram, but also of­fers a third year of ad­vanced skill de­vel­op­ment. It in­cludes theatre arts skill de­vel­op­ment, skill ap­pli­ca­tion, cul­tural de­vel­op­ment and ca­reer man­age­ment — all with an added fo­cus on abo­rig­i­nal perspectives and his­tory.

Work­shops and men­tor­ship from arts pro­fes­sion­als and cul­tural lead­ers are parts of the pro­gram that help young abo­rig­i­nal artists de­velop their skills.

“It’s a nice piece of money,” said SNTC project man­ager De­neen Gud­jon­son. “The pro­gram it­self costs us about $200,000 to run . . . but it is a fairly unique pro­gram, so it was good to get the money through UMAYC. Ev­ery penny helps in putting a new pro­gram like this to­gether.”

The pro­gram, which also re­ceives fund­ing from Na­tional Arts Train­ing, was op­er­at­ing last year, but it was in de­vel­op­ment, said Gud­jon­son. “This is our first of­fi­cial pilot year.”

ETAP ac­cepted 11 stu­dents this year, but there are more who would like to par­tic­i­pate and on a wait­ing list for next year.

“It’s re­ally quite a unique pro­gram, a pro­fes­sional arts train­ing pro­gram,” said Gud­jon­son. “The pro­gram shows we’re re­ally more than just a theatre.”

It’s ex­cit­ing, she added, “when you see what th­ese youth are pro­duc­ing (and) they don’t have to go to Toronto to get th­ese kinds of skills.”

ETAP pro­vides the next step up from the Cir­cle of Voices pro­gram, which was started in 1999.


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