Friday, May 9, 2014

News: Yvette Nolan wins Mallory Gilbert Leadership Award (press release)

Mallory Gilbert Leadership Award presented to Yvette Nolan
and protégé Kristen Holfeuer

Toronto (May 8, 2014) - The Professional Association of Canadian Theatres is pleased to present the eighth annual Mallory Gilbert Leadership Award to Yvette Nolan. The award was presented at the annual PACT Conference in Fredericton, NB. Ms. Nolan was chosen from a list of 16 nominees from across Canada.

Yvette Nolan is a playwright, director and dramaturg. Her plays include The Unplugging(Jessie Richardson Award outstanding original script 2013) and The Birds (a modern adaptation of Aristophanes' comedy). From 2003-2011 she served as Artistic Director of Native Earth Performing Arts where she directed Tombs of the Vanishing Indian, The Unnatural and Accidental Women, and Annie Mae's Movement, instituted the Young Voices Program (now Animikiig) and laid the groundwork for Native Earth's stewardship of Aki Studio. In 2007, she received the Maggie Bassett Award for service to the theatre community, and in 2011, the George Luscombe Award for mentorship in professional theatre. She is currently President of the Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance, serves on the board of the Saskatchewan Arts Alliance, and is currently completing work onMedicine Shows, a book about Native theatre in Canada.

In choosing the 2014 recipient, the selection panel highlighted Yvette's national impact and honest and driven nature. Yvette is well-regarded for her passionate and uncompromising leadership as well as her extensive experience not only as a leader and a manager but also as a playwright and artist.

Says Yvette, on receiving the award: "Needless to say, it is an honour to be recognized with the Mallory Gilbert Leadership Award. Mallory is a legend, and has taught so many of us by example. She shows us how to lead by leading, how to be gracious and generous, by being gracious and generous. She has served us all for so long, it is an honour to serve after her, in her footsteps."

The $5000 award includes a $1000 portion presented to a protégé chosen by the winner, underlining the importance of skills and knowledge transmission in leadership building. The deserving protégé selected by Yvette is Kristen Holfeuer, an actor and director and founder of Kamikaze Archive Theatre which creates and produces inventive, movement-based, performative theatre. She is an original member of SKIT SKIT: a live and filmed sketch comedy ensemble and a graduate of the One Yellow Rabbit Summer Intensive, Globe Theatre Conservatory Actor Training Program, and the University of Saskatchewan's Bachelor of Fine Arts acting program. Holfeuer said that she is "surprised and thrilled to be named Yvette's Mallory Gilbert Leadership Award protégé. I received a message from Yvette and all it said was 'Where are you now?' - I thought something was on fire! She marched into my office, dropped the news on my desk and I've been smiling ever since. My time working with Yvette has been an education. To me she represents intelligence, generosity, grace under pressure, and a real commitment to community. I am grateful to be under the mentorship of such an exceptional artist and woman".

Yvette is proud to select Holfeuer as her protégé: "I was really fortunate to meet Kristen early in my time here in Saskatoon. She is a theatre rat, popping up here and there, making theatre, facilitating the making of theatre, challenging everyone in this community to make better theatre. She is already so important to the Saskatoon theatre community, even if it sometimes fails to recognize it. She spearheaded an Un-Conference to bring us together to talk about theatre in Saskatoon, she stepped in to run the Saskatchewan Playwrights Centre to make sure that playwrights could keep writing plays. She wants us all to be better, and she is willing to work towards that, with you, beside you, just because she believes. Kristen reminds me about why I do theatre, about being true to my reasons, about keeping the faith."

About the Mallory Gilbert Leadership AwardThe award, named in honour of Mallory Gilbert - Tarragon Theatre's General Manager for 34 years and former President of the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT) - celebrates and recognizes significant and valuable leadership within the Canadian Theatre community.

In an exceptional collaboration based on their deep appreciation for Mallory Gilbert's contribution to both organizations and their shared commitment to leadership in the theatre community, Tarragon Theatre and PACT Communications Centre initiated the Mallory Gilbert Leadership Award in 2007.

The Metcalf Foundation supports this award both in recognition of Mallory Gilbert's long contribution to the sector and as part of their longstanding commitment to supporting the people who work in the professional performing arts sector, both onstage and off, throughout the course of their career.

The award ceremony took place on May 8 in Fredericton, NB during the annual PACT conference, a highly regarded event that brings together theatre professionals from across the country.


Individuals and organizations are invited to contribute to the award through a charitable donation to the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres. Donations can be made online at, by contacting PACT at the contact details below or by visiting our Canada Helps donation page.

Nomination forms for the 2015 Mallory Gilbert Leadership Award will be available on the PACT website in early 2015.

The Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT) is a member-driven organization that serves as the collective voice of professional Canadian theatres. For the betterment of Canadian theatre, PACT provides leadership, national representation and a variety of programs and practical assistance to member companies, enabling members to do their own creative work.

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