Thanks to the generous support of Canada Council for the Arts and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, along with support from the Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance and the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective, Students on Ice welcomed two performing artists onboard the #SOIArctic2016 as Artists in Residence. Their role is to engage youth through performing arts workshops and artistic support.
Jimmy Blais is a member of the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation. Born and raised in Montreal, he attended the Theatre Performance program at Concordia University and has been performing since 2005. Jimmy is a founding member and Co-Artistic Director of Montreal’s hottest new theatre company PlayShed, whose mandate is to create inclusive and relevant theatre for younger generation of theatre goers. Jimmy plays Watio, a lead role in APTN’s hit series Mohawk Girls. In this first instalment of Jimmy’s #SOIArctic2016 vlog series, he speaks to his role on expedition and what he is looking forward to on this educational journey.
The second Aboriginal Artist in Residence to join #SOIArctic2016 is performing artist Justin Manyfingers. Justin is an international artist who studied in performing arts and choreographer, producer, and creator from Kainai Blackfoot reserve in southern Alberta. He is a graduate of the Centre for Indigenous Theatre, three-year acting conservatory and he has trained in numerous dance styles with Jock Sotto, Neil Leremia , Frances Rings, Santee Smith, as well as Bill Coleman, Penny Couchie, Alejandro Ronceria and Troy Twigg. Justin is currently in the proses of starting his company Niitsitapi Dance Theatre.