PACT is pleased to present the annual Mallory Gilbert Leadership Award to long-time PACT supporter and Managing Director of the Indigenous Theatre at the National Arts Centre, Lori Marchand. The award was presented at PACT's virtual AGM which was held earlier today. Central to the MGLA is a component of mentorship and the passing of knowledge and skills and so Marchand has chosen Cheyenne Scott, actor, playwright and creative producer, as her protégé.
Says, Nina Lee Aquino, PACT's President, on the process of the selection committee "Following a review of 22 candidates [from across Canada], the committee was unanimous in awarding the 2021 Mallory Gilbert Leadership Award to Lori Marchand. In the Committee’s words: "Lori’s tenure in Canadian theatre spans decades and her contributions are immeasurable - as both a valued colleague and leader, and as a volunteer whose time and talent has advanced the sector. She is fondly regarded as a caring leader who puts people first, nurtures the Indigenous creative community, and is an active champion of theatre in all its facets. She is a mentor to many, friend to all, and unquestionably one of the most generous people in our community. Nominated independently by three people, her incredible legacy, positive impact on generations of artists and administrators, and brilliant spirit shone through support letters from coast to coast. Congratulations, Lori!”
Lori Marchand took up her role as the first Managing Director of Indigenous Theatre at the National Arts Centre (NAC) in April 2018, where she is ensuring First Nations, Métis and Inuit stories are brought to the national stage. Ms. Marchand is a nationally recognized leader within the professional theatre community who made a significant impact as Executive Director of Western Canada Theatre (WCT) in Kamloops, BC, for 19 seasons. A member of the Syilx First Nation, she has played a key role in the encouragement, development and production of Indigenous work.
Ms. Marchand graduated from UBC in 1985 with a degree in English literature. After experience with the BC Native Women’s Society, as Executive Director of the Ontario Native Women’s Association and then as a human rights officer with the Ontario Human Rights Commission, she returned to her love of theatre in 1989.
After a decade of theatre roles in Alberta and Saskatchewan, she returned to Kamloops in 1999 to join Western Canada Theatre. Her leadership in making live theatre accessible, innovative, powerful and financially sustainable has helped make WCT the southern Interior’s largest professional theatre company; a company recognized for developing new work and new talent, producing work of exceptional caliber and, through partnerships and touring, impacting the national stage.
Her contributions in BC and nationally also include serving in many capacities for the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres, helping to drive policy relevant to all theatre practitioners in Canada. She was an active member of the BC Arts Council from 2010 to 2017, chairing the strategic planning and program committees and serving as vice-chair.
Ms. Marchand was recognized for her commitment to live theatre and the production of Indigenous work that has contributed to the arts and to Reconciliation with a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, from Thompson Rivers University in June 2018.
Says Marchand on receiving this award, “I am honoured and humbled to have received the Mallory Gilbert Leadership Award, particularly having had the joy and privilege of collaborating and working with outstanding past recipients and with Mallory herself. Much as Mallory welcomed me as a young leader, I hope to encourage and create opportunities for other young leaders; leaders such as Cheyenne Scott. I am grateful for the opportunity this award provides to shine the light on Cheyenne’s many talents and the brilliant career ahead of her. My thanks to everyone at PACT!"