IETM 2015 Spring Plenary

  • Overview
  • Canada Council Delegation

IETM 2015 Spring Plenary

April 23 to 26, 2015 – Bergamo, Italy

IETM (International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts) is a membership organization which exists to stimulate the quality, development and contexts of contemporary performing arts in a global environment by facilitating professional networking. More than 500 member organizations come from about 50 countries, and from some of the world’s most significant performing arts companies, presenting theatres, producers, festivals, research and resource centres, and supporting institutions.

The Canada Council for the Arts invited Canadian artistic leaders in contemporary theatre, dance, inter-arts and contemporary circus art to apply to participate in a delegation to the IETM 2015 Spring Plenary. Ten participants were selected and received a grant to subsidize their costs.

The theme of the 2015 Spring Plenary was Regeneration: how to revive existing resources and forgotten potential.

Read Nicole Mion's blog post, "International Exchange: Top 17 Lessons Learned at IETM" and Christian Barry's "International Exchange: Making Connections at IETM".

Further Information

If you have questions or require further information, please contact: Koba Johnson at 1.800.263.5588 ext. 4216 or

    Canada Council Delegation

    The group was led by Guylaine Normandin (Head, Theatre Section, Canada Council) and Esther Charron (Consultant, Pôles magnétiques, art et culture).

    Congratulations to our selected participants!

    Esther Charron

    Esther Charron is a cultural worker and a musician, who founded Poles magnétiques, art et culture in 2006. She frequently collaborates with CINARS (Montréal), International Exchange for the Performing Arts, on the creation of professional workshops and training sessions and in hosting international networks meetings in Montreal. For many years on the Board of Directors of IETM, she took part in decisions that influenced orientations and trends in this international sector.

    In 2007, she co-produced the first ever plenary IETM (International Network for the Contemporary Performing Arts) meeting in America, in Montreal. Prior to Pôles magnétiques art et culture, she was the Executive Director for the internationally-renowned chamber ensemble Les Violons du Roy from 2002 to 2005. She worked as an international affairs counselor at the Quebec Ministry of International Relations from 1999 to 2002.

    She won praise and awards for her achievements as Cultural Attaché at the Québec Government House in New York between 1993 and 1999. 2013 marked her return on stage as a performer and musical director in NORGE, a co-production by Théâtre Le Trident and Théâtre Humain.


    Christian Barry, NS
    Christian Barry

    Christian Barry is a director and theatre-maker from Halifax, where he is artistic co-director of 2b theatre company.

    Christian has directed shows that have toured nationally and internationally. Directing credits for 2b theatre company: The God that Comes, Homage, Revisited, The Russian Play, The Story of Mr. Wright, East of Berlin, Manners of Dying, and Cherry Docs. His productions have played at prestigious venues and festivals, including the Edinburgh Fringe, Tarragon Theatre, Citadel Theatre, Magnetic North, PuSh, Pittsburgh International Fest of Firsts, Noorderzon, Aarhus Festival, Theaterformen Hanover, Luminato, and World Stage.

    Christian directed part two of The Mill, which won the 2010 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Production. He was also nominated for the Outstanding Director Dora. Other selected awards: two Theatre NS Merritt Awards for Outstanding Direction (eight nominations), one for Outstanding New Play, and one for Outstanding Lighting Design.

    Christian received the 2008 Halifax Mayor’s award for an Emerging Artist, and the 2006-07 Urjo Kareda residency grant at the Tarragon Theatre. (Photo: Alejandro Santiago)


    Franco Boni, ON
    Franco BoniFranco Boni recently led The Theatre Centre in a major capital campaign and the building of its permanent home in the former Carnegie Library on Toronto’s Queen Street West. 

    He is a recognized cultural innovator, facilitator and community builder with a demonstrated track record of restoring financial and artistic credibility for local art organizations and festivals for over two decades. 

    Franco previously served as Festival Director of the Rhubarb Festival and Artistic Producer of the SummerWorks Festival. 

    He has received the inaugural Ken McDougall Award for emerging directors, the Rita Davies Cultural Leadership Award, and the George Luscombe Award for Mentorship in Theatre. 


    Laurence Brunelle-Côté, QC
    L Brunelle Cote

    Laurence Brunelle-Côté is a poet and performer from Québec City who seeks to reinvent (a little) the language of the performing arts. Happily, her handicap has led her to develop new vocabularies and explore new paths.

    She is co-artistic director of Le Bureau de l’APA (Si ma tante avait deux roues, ce serait une bicyclette (2007), La Jeune-Fille et la Mort (2010), Les oiseaux mécaniques (2013) and she loves to work with undisciplined artists.

    LE BUREAU DE L'APA (Simon Drouin and Laurence Brunelle-Côté) is an undisciplined workshop for the performing arts that brings together artists from all artistic backgrounds to work on unusual projects. 

    ‘You mustn’t believe everything you think.’  



    Ravi Jain, ON
    Ravi Jain

    Ravi Jain is a multi-award winning actor, director, educator, and Artistic Director of Why Not Theatre. Ravi has established himself as seasoned international producer as all of his projects have toured around the world.

    He has brought numerous international artists to perform and teach in Toronto from illustrious companies such as Complicite, SITI Company, Theatre du Soleil and Peter Brook’s Bouffes du Nord.  In May 2015, he will create and direct the UK premiere of Like Mother Like Daughter with Complicite Creative Learning, and in July 2015 he will present the world premiere of his new play Gimme Shelter as part of the Pan Am Games 2015 ceremonies.

    Ravi was the inaugural Artistic Director in Residence at The Theatre Centre, is a member of the Artistic Director’s Cabinet at Soulpepper Theatre Company and was selected to be on the roster of clowns for Cirque Du Soleil. Ravi is a graduate of the 2-year program at the world-renowned École Jacques Lecoq in Paris and has trained with such notable artists as Anne Bogart and the SITI Company, Arianne Mnouchkine and Théâtre du Soleil as well as with various members of Complicite. 


    Lise McMillan, MB
    Lise McMillanLise McMillan is a dance artist based in Manitoba, Canada. Recent work includes performing for Sinha Danse, Freya Olafson, and performance artist Tanja Woloshen. She was a member of Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers for six seasons, working with nationally recognized choreographers and performing across Canada.

    Internationally, Lise has performed with C. Medina Dance (Austria) and Delfos Danza Contemporanea (Mexico). Lise independently produced and commissioned works by Serge Bennathan, Susie Burpee and Lesandra Dodson.  She is one third of Collective Corps with Freya Olafson, and James Philips. CCorps is developing a full length duet on McMillan and Philips by Olafson.

    Lise’s work Current See was presented by the Young Lungs Dance Exchange in 2014. She is the co-founder and director of The Dance Post, a new organization serving Winnipeg’s dance milieu. Lise is the founder of Culture Crossing Projects, a youth arts initiative in Shikokho, Kenya.

    She holds her B.A Honours degree in Dance, and is a graduate of the Professional Program of The School of Contemporary Dancers. (Photo: Joel Ross)



    Nicole Mion, AB
    Nicole MionArtist and curator Nicole Mion creates for the stage and screen. She is a sought-after director and contemporary choreographer specializing in contemporary performance, new media, dance, and installation.

    She is Artistic Director for Springboard Performance where she curates the Fluid Movement Arts Festival in Calgary; Interrarium interdisciplinary creation residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts; and containR, an Art Park made of retrofit shipping containers that connect communities through art. 

    Recently, Ms Mion was recognized by the Mayor's Arts Awards as the first recipient of the Placemaking Award for her ground-breaking work on containR. She has also recently been invited to speak about containR at York University’s Placemaking, Art & Policy Workshop (Toronto), CINARS (Montreal), and at CADA’s Calgary Arts Congress. Recent creation includes the contemporary food and physicality installation supported with residencies from the Dance Centre (Vancouver), Emily Carr (Vancouver) and containR (Calgary).

    Her choreography Quiver toured to Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, and Winnipeg in 2013. She sits on the board of directors for the CanDance Network for Canadian Dance Presenters, the Alberta Dance Alliance, and has spearheaded the development of the Prairie Dance Circuit tour network in the Canadian prairie region. 


    Émilie Monnet, QC
    Emilie Monnet

    Interdisciplinary artist Emilie Monnet founded Onishka Productions in 2011 to present performance-based work created from unique collaborations between artists of different cultures and disciplines. Combining theatre, performance and media arts forms, her work explores the interconnections between identity, language, memory and transformation; telling stories that weave the symbolic realms of dreams and mythology - both personal and collective. 

    Since the creation of ONISHKA, Emilie co-directed and performed Bird Messengers with Moe Clark, for which both artists were awarded the LOJIQ prize for best Art/Culture project of 2011. In May 2012, she directed Songs of Mourning, Songs of Life, in collaboration with the Aboriginal women’s drum group Odaya and the Rwandan traditional musical ensemble, Komezinganzo. More recently she presented recompose, an interdisciplinary performance on the theme of prophecies at Festival Phenomena. A new version of the performance will be presented in 2016.

    A graduate of Ondinnok’s theatre training program in partnership with the National Theatre School of Canada (Montreal, 2007), Emilie also studied media arts and holds a Masters in Peace Building and Conflict Resolution from Deusto University, Spain and from Uppsala University, Sweden. Emilie is part Anishinabe and French, and lives in Montreal. (Photo: Joni-Louka Bers)


    Corey Payette, BC
    Corey PayetteCorey Payette is proud of his Oji-Cree heritage from Northern Ontario and has worked as a playwright, actor, composer, and director across Canada. He is the Artistic Director of Urban Ink Productions, Artist-in-Residence with English Theatre at Canada’s National Arts Centre, and the founder Raven Theatre.

    Corey’s work has been developed by English Theatre at the NAC, Vancouver Playhouse, Arts Club, Firehall Arts Centre, Western Canada Theatre, Full Circle:First Nations Performance, Urban Ink, and Raven Theatre.

    Corey holds a B.F.A. from York University, composed the film score to AMIN AMIR (OMNI TV), and is on the Board of Directors of IPAA (Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance) and Vancouver Native Health Society providing mental, physical, and spiritual relief to Aboriginal people on the DTES, Vancouver, BC. (Photo: Nadya Kwandibens - Red Works Photography)


    Heather Redfern, C.-B.
    Heather RedfernHeather Redfern is the Executive Director of The Vancouver East Cultural Centre (The Cultch) where she oversaw a $14 million renovation in 2009 and where she curates a program of 18 different presentations each season.  Before coming to The Cultch, she was the Executive Director of the Greater Vancouver Alliance for Arts and Culture.

    Ms. Redfern has been the Artistic Producer for Catalyst Theatre in Edmonton, an artist driven creation-based theatre company and she was the founding Chairperson of the Magnetic North Theatre Festival. Heather has sat on numerous boards including The Koerner Foundation and The Edmonton Arts Council.

    In 2000, Ms. Redfern won the City of Edmonton, Business and the Arts Award for Excellence in Arts Management and in 2009 she won the Mallory Gilbert Leadership Award for sustained, inspired, and creative leadership in Canadian Theatre. She continues to work on innovative ways to promote Canadian artists at home and abroad.

    She has been a driving force behind the $14 million restoration of the York Theatre on Commercial Drive and is thrilled it has finally opened after 6 years of work.


    Rupal Shah, ON
    Rupla ShahRupal Shah is the producer at Nightswimming. She recently produced the world premiere Canadian tours of Anita Majumdar's The Fish Eyes Trilogy and Carmen Aguirre's Blue Box, playing Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Calgary, Banff, Vancouver, Victoria, Whitehorse and St. John’s.

    From 2008-2014, she was the Mentor/Apprentice Program coordinator at Obsidian Theatre, where she worked with organizations such as the Shaw Festival, Tarragon Theatre and Young People's Theatre to provide learning opportunities for emerging Black theatre professionals.

    In 2009, Rupal co-produced DVxT Theatre’s multi-Dora Award-winning production of The Turn of the Screw. Rupal is a member of the Creative Strategies Incubator Advisory at the George Cedric Metcalf Foundation, and sits on the Board of Directors of the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT) as the Chair of the Cultural Diversity Committee.

    In her other worlds, she is the Chair of the Board at the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention (ASAAP) and a member of the South Asian Advisory at the Reel Asian International Film Festival.