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Canadian Stage Announces Brendan Healy As Incoming Artistic Director

Canadian Stage is thrilled to announce today that following a wide-reaching candidate search, Montréal-born award-winning theatre director and actor Brendan Healy, 43, has been appointed Artistic Director of Canadian Stage. Currently Artistic Director, Performing Arts, for the City of Brampton, Healy plans to join Canadian Stage on August 7th, 2018.

"We are extremely excited to have Brendan joining the extraordinary team at Canadian Stage," says Alexandra Baillie, co-chair of Canadian Stage and a member of the Search Committee, "Brendan is widely recognized for his pronounced aesthetic and a rigorous artistic discipline and he is an inspiring arts leader with a profound commitment to both arts excellence and bringing inclusivity and diversity to the stage."

A graduate of Canada's National Theatre School (2009 to 2015), Mr. Healy was the Artistic Director of Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in Toronto, renowned for its cutting-edge performances and its dedication to the promotion of queer theatrical expression. Under Healy's leadership, Buddies experienced a sustained period of growth, including a 150 percent surge in the company's individual donors and a sixty-five percent increase in its audience numbers. In addition to this, Healy launched the Buddies Artist Residency Program, the country's only program devoted to the creation of original queer performance works and one that has transformed the Canadian canon by yielding new Canadian productions from voices that have traditionally been excluded.

As a director, Healy has created close to 50 productions across Canada-ranging from new Canadian plays to classical repertoire-that garnered multiple Dora Mavor Moore Awards and drew attention to his passionate commitment to the social, educational, and economic health of communities. An equally accomplished arts visionary and administrator, Healy is highly respected for his proven track record in arts management, marketing, and strategy.

"It is an immense honor to be invited to join the exceptional team at Canadian Stage for its next chapter," says Healy. "I look forward to building on the extraordinary legacy of my predecessor Matthew Jocelyn by furthering the conversation on what constitutes a relevant, interdisciplinary and international theatre. I believe that artists provide us with the hope, insight, and tools necessary to navigate the complexities of contemporary life and am committed to ensuring that Canadian Stage continues to bring audacious, transformational, and vitally important works to its stages. Part of that commitment includes continuing to diversify the voices within the company and to ensuring that Canadian Stage is an authentic reflection of our country."

Canadian Stage commenced an international search process last year after Matthew Jocelyn announced that he would be stepping down as Artistic and General Director after nine seasons. A 10-person search committee comprising members of the Canadian Stage Board of Directors as well as arts community stakeholders worked with Heather Ring at the recruitment firm Caldwell Partners, which specializes in the placements of arts executives.

Responsible for Canadian Stage's artistic vision, the Artistic Director role exists to produce and present a hybrid of multidisciplinary performances that push the boundaries of form and style, to integrate theatre within a wide range of practices including dance, music, and multimedia visual arts. The position calls for a collaborative leader able to create, drive, and execute on the vision of Canadian Stage to situate this country's performing art and artists within an international cultural dialogue, by acting as an incubator and exporter of leading domestic talent, while contextualizing domestic multidisciplinary theatre in a global perspective.

"Brendan joins a deeply committed and exceptionally talented team at Canadian Stage, adeptly guided through this transition period by Sherrie Johnson as Interim Artistic and Managing Director, who will continue to play a leading creative and managerial role within the organization" says Tony Baylis, co-chair of Canadian Stage, "We look forward to the creativity and conversation that this newly expanded team will inspire as they take Canadian Stage into the future."

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Healy comes to Canadian Stage from his role as Artistic Director, Performing Arts, for the City of Brampton, where he brought a sense of vibrancy and energy to the position in Canada's fastest-growing and most culturally diverse city. In this role, Healy oversaw four municipal performing arts venues as well as their management and programming (including music, theatre, dance, and comedy) and extensive educational outreach to 17,000 students annually. His position included overseeing a team that delivers 500 cultural events annually to an audience of 300,000 and managing a significant budget, while bringing theatre to a broad range of communities through diversifying and internationalizing programming and drastically increasing the city's cultural partnerships with local groups. This role also required him to participate in the development of the city's first-ever Culture Master Plan.

Prior to his tenure as Artistic Director, Performing Arts, for the City of Brampton, Healy completed a Masters in International Arts Management in a program jointly offered by the Southern Methodist University (Dallas), l'École des hautes études commerciales (Montréal), and SDA Bocconi (Milan). This degree took him to five countries in three continents to study arts and cultural administration, fundraising, marketing, accounting, and public policy with an emphasis on organizational innovation in the cultural sector.

Founded in 1987, Canadian Stage is one of the country's leading not-for-profit contemporary performing arts organizations. The company produces, presents, commissions, and collaborates with multiple partners on cross-disciplinary work with a focus on performance styles that integrate theatre, dance, film, visual arts and more. Sharing innovative and vibrant performance work from Canada and around the world, it stages performances at three Toronto venues: The Bluma Appel Theatre at Civic Theatres Toronto; The Berkeley Street Theatre; and the High Park Amphitheatre. It also supports artist development through its Companies in Residence program and its MFA in Theatre Stage Direction in collaboration with York University. Operating as a catalyst that shapes, revitalizes and animates physical and social character of the country's ever-changing cultural landscape, Canadian Stage is based in the culturally vibrant downtown east end of Toronto. It is a home for new, challenging dynamic art forms, as well as an incubator and exporter of leading edge contemporary and multidisciplinary activity.

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