A Statement from the Board on the Departure of Co-Artistic Directors Corben Kushneryk and Tracy Carroll:
On behalf of the entire Concrete community: staff, artists, Artistic Associates, and our partners and collaborators – the Board of Directors wishes to thank Co-Artistic Directors Tracy Carroll and Corben Kushneryk for their leadership, passion and diligence in challenging times, guiding the company since 2020 through pandemic uncertainty, in-person school shutdowns and organizational change. We wish them all the best in their future endeavors, knowing they will continue to be committed artists and leaders who have a meaningful impact in our community and beyond. With Artistic Director contracts having come to term, Concrete Theatre will begin a search for new artistic leadership in the coming months.
This is a time of transition and opportunity at Concrete. We have hired Edmonton-based consultant Denise Roy to lead an organizational review, to help us build on our rich history and prepare the company for future success as we approach our 35th year.
We are also happy to report that our Anti-Racism and Change (ARC) in-school program that Tracy and Corben developed is fully subscribed for the year, and Dave Clarke’s “Songs My Mother Never Sung Me,” which premiered in 2019 as a part of the SOUND OFF Deaf Theatre Festival, will tour Alberta and Saskatchewan early in 2024, under the creative leadership of Mieko Ouchi and Caroline Howarth.
Many thanks to our staff and community partners, as our activities gather momentum in a new school year.
The Board of Concrete Theatre
Community Garden Post
In Recognition of Orange Shirt Day (September 30)
Concrete Theatre is located in ward papastew in amiskwacîywâskahikan, colonially known as Edmonton, Alberta.
In recognition of Truth and Reconciliation Week, we at Concrete Theatre will join our friends and colleagues from across the country in observing Orange Shirt Day on September 30 and we would like to shine a light on the many important discussions and events taking place throughout this week.
So many of us work, learn and create in places where systemic racism and injustice continue to exist. We actively stand in solidarity with those seeking meaningful change by making every effort to de-colonize and indigenize our hearts, practices and spaces.
Our theatre is passionate about and invested in the youth of our community, and we support having the challenging conversations that affect us all. Every child matters.
“What Can I Do Now?”
If you have an orange shirt, please join us by wearing it on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Please share, discuss, ask questions and remember on this day of reflection.
“Where Can I Start?”
Here are some excellent links for educators and students:
- National Centre of Truth & Reconciliation (Schedule for Truth & Reconciliation Week)
- CBC Kids – “What is Orange Shirt Day?” (Learn the story of Phyllis Webstad)
On May 27, 2021, news from Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation confirmed the discovery of 215 Indigenous children buried at the former Residential School in Kamloops, BC.
As a company with both Indigenous leadership and an interest in supporting youth, this news hits us particularly close to home. We at Concrete Theatre feel this painful loss, and acknowledge that these children represent only a portion of the lives taken by Canada’s Residential School system. The damage that this system has caused lives on in its descendents and weighs heavily on survivors and their families. Change must happen, as this continues to be a part of our lives. Indigenous communities alone cannot undo the harm caused by this system; the full scope of which is still coming into focus for many people across Turtle Island.
At Concrete, we are deeply invested in the young people in our community, and support having difficult conversations that impact us all. As a starting point for these crucial conversations , please consider the following non-exhaustive list of resources:
I Am Not A Number by Jenny Kay Dupuis and Kathy Kacer, Illustrated by Gillian Newland
When We Were Alone by David A. Robertson and Julie Flett
When I Was Eight by Christy Jordan-Fenton & Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, Art by Gabrielle Grimard
Not My Girl by Christy Jordan-Fenton & Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, Art by Gabrielle Grimard
Stolen Words by Melanie Florence, Illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard
Shi-shi-etko by Nicola I. Campbell, Pictures by Kim LaFave
Shin-chi’s Canoe by Nicola I. Campbell, Pictures by Kim LaFave
Fatty Legs by Christy Jordan-Fenton & Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, Artwork by Liz Amini-Holmes
Secret Path by Gord Downie & Jeff Lemire (secretpath.ca)
Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese (High School)
They Know Not What They Do by Tara Beagan (High School – PDF available at tarabeagan.com)
Indian Residential School Survivors and Family 24 Hour Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419
Government of Canada- Mental health supports available:
Former Residential School students can call 1-866-925-4419 for emotional crisis referral services and information on other health supports from the Government of Canada.
Indigenous peoples across Canada can also go to The Hope for Wellness Help Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for counselling and crisis intervention.
Call the toll-free Help Line at 1-855-242-3310 or connect to the online chat at hopeforwellness.ca.
Learn more about the reports and findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission:
Read through the list of the 94 calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission:
From The Discourse – Here’s What Non-Indigenous People Can do Right Now:
The Transformations Project
This is a national project in which live performance companies from across Canada are asking some of their favourite artists to approach David Yee’s question in whatever way they see fit.
Commissioned by Concrete Theatre for the national Transformations project, hosted by the National Arts Centre.
These are responses to a provocation by Canadian playwright David Yee: “What would it take to
transform our society for the betterment of all?”
Please visit here to see more works like this:
TRANSFORMATIONS: Like This – Written and Performed by Helen Belay
Side Shave – Text, choreography, performance, and editing by: Richard Lee Thanks to Miranda Allen and Carisa Hendrix
Bullying Stops Here
BULLYING 24 HR HELP LINE: 1-888-456-2323
Get help anonymously 24/7 in over 170 languages
Chat available daily 8 am – 8 pm at alberta.ca/BullyingChat
Call 911 in emergencies
Pink Shirt Day Feb 2021 Transcript
[Video/ Image Description: A solid pink fabric background with a blue Concrete Theatre logo take up the frame. The fabric is then drawn away revealing two people. Corben sits in the centre of a Zoom window on the left side of the screen and Tracy sits in the centre of her Zoom window on the right. They each are wearing pink shirts with blue text reading “Respect.” Corben’s background is made of many colourful squares and Tracy has a blue wall behind her patterned with blue vertical stripes.]
Tracy: Hello, my name is Tracy Carroll (she/her).
Corben: And I’m Corben Kushneryk (he/him).
Tracy: And we are the Co-Artistic Directors of Concrete Theatre.
Corben: At Concrete, we are incredibly passionate about bullying prevention. And if you didn’t already know, February 24th is Pink Shirt Day, a day where we all can all rally against bullying.
Tracy: Bullying can of course happen in person, but during the pandemic, incidents of cyber bullying have increased. At Concrete we feel it’s important to help one another and to treat each other with respect.
(They point at their shirts)
Corben: If you or someone you know is in a bullying situation, you can always call the Bullying Help Line. The number is on the screen. (1-888-456-2323)
Tracy: Getting involved on Pink Shirt Day is easy. On February 24th, go grab your pink shirt, put it on, take a photo of yourself and post it on social media. And don’t forget to tag Concrete Theatre. (@ConcreteYEG)
Corben: Thanks for watching, everyone.
Tracy: Stay well.
Connect with helplines if you or someone you know is experiencing bullying or abuse.
Welcome to Our New Artistic Leadership Team
Two wonderful and multi-talented Edmonton based artists: Tracy Carroll and Corben Kushneryk
A Fond Farewell to AD Mieko Ouchi
After 31 years, as co-founder and current Artistic Director, Mieko will be transitioning away from full time involvement with the company.