Canoe: Program

Welcome to the digital show program for Canoe

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Libretto/Story by Dr. Spy Dénommé-Welch,
Co-Composed by Dr. Spy Dénommé-Welch & Catherine Magowan

An Unsettled Scores production in collaboration with
Native Earth Performing Arts,
The Toronto Consort and Theatre Passe Muraille

two women, one in orange one in purple are in a canoe in the water there is a fish on either side of the canoe.

Visual Art by Mishiikenh Kwe


Dr. Spy Dénommé-Welch


Dr. Spy Dénommé-Welch & Catherine Magowan


Dr. Spy Dénommé-Welch & Dr. Moynan King

Musical Director

Catherine Magowan


Montana Summers

Producer for Unsettled Scores

Ulla Laidlaw

Assistant Music Director / Lute

Ben Stein

Lighting Designer

Siobhan Sleath

Set Designer

Lindy Kinoshameg

Costume Designer

Sherri Hay

Wardrobe Assistant

Aurora Judge

Surtitle Creator/Operator

Camille Rogers

Audio Describers

Janis Mayers & James McKenzie

Production Manager

Aden Calvin

Technical Director

David Fisher

Stage Manager

Megan Speakman

Assistant Stage Manager

Angela Mae Bago

Knowledge Holders

Dr. Catherine Longboat

Morris Lessard

Hair & Makeup Artist 

Deandra Wells


Michelle Lafferty 
Conlin Delbaere-Sawchuk 
Nicole Joy-Fraser 
Kristine Dandavino


Benjamin Stein | Lute & Theorbo
Alison Melville | Recorders
Kathleen Kajioka | Violin
Margaret Jordan-Gay | Cello
Paul Jenkins | Harpsicord

Accessibility Team 

Maeve – Production Support Dog
Katey Wattam – Community Support Person

Unsettled Scores Team:

Managing Director/Producer | Catherine Magowan 
Artistic Director/Producer | Dr. Spy Dénommé-Welch 
Producer Ulla Laidlaw
Accessibility Initiatives | Maeve

Native Earth Performing Arts Team:
Interim Artistic Director | Joelle Peters
Managing Director | Himanshu Sitlani 
Producer | Lucy Coren
Marketing Coordinator | Andi Canales
Venue Coordinator | Julia Howman
Patron Services Coordinator | Alex Franks
Administrator | Kristen Francis
Animikiig Creators Unit Director | Irma Villafuerte
Assistant Producer | Yago Mesquita

The Theatre Consort Team:

Artistic Associate | Alison Melville
Executive Director | Andrew Adridge
Managing Director of Early Music TV & Senior Director Engagement and Education | Addie Smith
Production Manager | Ainsley Naylor

Theatre Passe Muraille Team:

Artistic DirectorMarjorie Chan

Artistic Producer | Indrit Kasapi
Managing Director, Revenue & StrategyMichelle Knight
Producer | Jenn Sartor
Artistic Associate | April Leung
Financial Manager | Petra Chevrier
Community Engagement Coordinator | Angela Sun
Marketing and Outreach Manager | Shanae Sodhi
Patron Services Manager | Ceridwen Kingstone
Fundraising & Development Coordinator | Faizah Syeda
Technical Director | David Fisher

Production DriverLandon Altamirano
Production DriverJosiah Galloway
Production Driver | Deanna Di Vito
CrewMitchell Ayres
CrewKim Schaedlich
CrewZev Shoag
CrewAinsley Naylor
CrewChris Herbert
CrewAnthony Allan

Visual Story

To access the visual story, please click the button below. A Visual Story is a package that aims to support people with communication difficulties, learning disabilities, English as a second language and Autistic People. It can be used to help anyone access and understand the play. The package may include spoilers.

Note from the Librettist/Storyteller

It’s taken thirteen years to bring this opera to the stage, a long time to carry a work of art. When I first conceived of this opera back in 2009-2010, I imagined telling the story about the creation of the first birch canoe. From there the voices of Tree Spirit, Debaajimod, Gladys and Constance emerged, and so too the complicated and messy worlds they inhabit (both human and non-human).

It’s these elements that make the story of CANOE so compelling and heart wrenching. I wanted to give the work a sense of minimalism, wonder, magic, and imagination while combining new and old forms of artmaking to help tell difficult, relatable human stories, and allow space for the Land to be heard. Ultimately, the story is shaped by a sequence of actions propelled by each of the characters at different points of the opera, all of which collectively activates their transformation.


Dr. Spy Dénommé-Welch Librettist/Storyteller, Unsettled Scores

Note from the Co-Composers

As co-composers our first task is to put words and notes on a page. But for us the most magical part of the creation process is what happens when we work with musicians and discover the space that exists between the page and the stage. It’s for that reason we chose the collaborators that we did. Each musician brings with them a collaborative spirit, artistic curiosity, and a willingness to experiment and play with us. Together we’ve been able to explore many textures, colours, and styles to bring the story to life. We appreciate moving between musical whimsy and serious content and we enjoy transforming motifs from one context to the other. The way music content can feel different when passed between instruments was exciting to experiment with; for example, what sounds like a paddle on the water when played by the violin can sound like a loon on the recorder.

Some of the first music content that we created for CANOE is now over a decade old, but this slow development has served the work well, as this passage of time has provided us with a cohesiveness and fluidity in the musical trajectory of CANOE. It has also provided us with the space to determine what material and musical content best serves the storytelling, and many of the musical sections have had several versions and explorations. We also knew early on that we wanted all the sounds and music for CANOE to be acoustic and live, including sound effects and soundscaping elements. As a result, instruments are sometimes utilized in different ways, and this has worked well with the abstraction in the storytelling and stage direction. 

Dr. Spy Dénommé-Welch & Catherine Magowan | Co-Composers, Unsettled Scores


Note from Unsettled Scores

We are excited to share CANOE after all these years of experimentation and development! Foremost, this work is about our relationships with the land, the environment, and all the non-human beings we can so easily overlook in our day-to-day lives. 

In this production we worked towards minimizing our environmental footprint as much as possible, because although the work is premiering in a major urban centre, our decisions have effects beyond these walls, municipal borders, etc. For that reason, we have worked to reuse or repurpose, where possible, existing materials and objects, keeping sustainability in mind. Of course, with all experimentation there are successes, as well as room for reflection and improvement, but we are proud of our entire team for their willingness to approach their work with these concepts in mind. 

We also approached this opera considering where it can go beyond this production. Our dream for this work is for it to travel to spaces where opera, music, or theatre is not readily available, and have experimented in a variety of spaces, including this beautifully designed concert hall, Native Earth Performing Arts’ Aki Studio, a private home, and even a school classroom. We were proud to discover that this work can scale up and down easily, and all of the set and lighting pieces are easily portable. By working in this way, we have placed great responsibilities and expectations on the actors/singers to express their characters not just with their voices and actions, but their whole bodies through embodiment. 

Included in our concepts of sustainability is the resource sharing that we have been able to do with all our production partners, for which we are eternally grateful. We appreciate everyone’s willingness, openness, and generosity, without which today’s performance would not have been possible.

Chi miigwetch!

Unsettled Scores team

Note from Native Earth Performing Arts

CANOE is a beautiful story years in the making. We are honoured to finally present this timely and exciting work with our partners Unsettled Scores, Theatre Passe Muraille, and Toronto Consort.

In the second iteration of our Mskomini Giizis summer residency, we were thrilled to host Spy and Catherine as they developed CANOE. In understanding the need for late-stage development, our residency was a place for Indigenous productions to continue working beyond first steps in initial creation with support from Native Earth. Following the residency, we began conversations about how to move forward in presenting the piece- however, those conversations were paused due to the pandemic. Familiar faces returning to the piece from the residency include Nicole Joy Fraser, Conlin Delbaere-Sawchuk, Moynan King, Ben Stein, and Alison Melville.

We have long supported the innovative and talented minds of Spy and Catherine, from workshops to playwright residencies- Unsettled Scores plays an important part in the Indigenous music community and we are overjoyed to have arrived at the world premiere of CANOE. We would like to thank the Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, our partners, our staff, and the countless others involved in the production.

Miigwetch for being here.

All our relations.

Joelle Peters and Himanshu Sitlani

Note from The Toronto Consort

The Toronto Consort is very excited to be a co-presenter of what is sure to be a monumental work in Canoe. 

Canoe is one of those pieces that does not come around very often. Opera has taken its time finding social and contemporary relevance and often has fallen short of achieving that in an accurate way. In comes Canoe, a work that prioritizes authenticity over anything else, searching for connection and impact before conventional understandings of musical success, and reminding all of us that the path forward for this art is one that prioritizes relatability and accountability to those we portray over established standards of performance practice. 

Over several years, members of the Consort have participated in the development of this work, exploring the role of historical instruments in the storytelling and musical nuance of the piece. Those years spent have not only been beneficial to the work’s impact but have been beneficial to us as an organization as we recontextualize our own purpose and organizational output. It gives us great pride to play a small role in this work and having it serve as the launching point for the next 50 years of our existence. 

We are very proud that the co-production team decided to feature our home at Trinty-St.-Paul’s as the setting for this most auspicious premiere and are thankful to the whole TSP team for their commitment to this works presentation and impact.”

Andrew Adridge, Executive Director

Note from Theatre Passe Muraille

The crisp of autumn has begun to creep into our evenings and some leaves are even starting to change. It is hard not to think of the inevitability of transformation when watching the embodiment of a Tree Spirit onstage as with the new opera CANOE. 

This moving new work is brought to you by the wonderful team of Spy Dénommé-Welch and Catherine Magowan of Unsettled Scores who have imagined a journey that is both expansive and moving. Co-directed by Spy and Moynan King, the opera asks us all to consider the potential and possibilities of healing in the acoustically rewarding space at Trinity-St. Paul’s Jeanne Lamon Hall. 

Over a decade ago, Spy and Catherine presented their opera GIIWEDIN, in a co-production with Native Earth Performing Arts at Theatre Passe Muraille. The mainstage was filled with the dulcet tones of the harpsichord, and the representation of a forest with light. Its story spanned centuries, and rooted its approach with a musical style from the time of the first European settlers as the catalyst. Spy and Catherine continue to defy convention and explore a unique musical style, still influenced by early music but also offering an emotional clarity that feels utterly fresh and contemporary. 

Opera is a special art form. It can articulate the indescribable and enlighten the seemingly everyday. Contemporary opera is even more unique and profound in its possibilities. It is also very challenging in this climate to develop and produce an opera, even on this relatively small scale. CANOE would not have been possible without the development and producing energies of all of the partners: Native Earth Performing Arts, The Toronto Consort, and of course, Unsettled Scores. At Theatre Passe Muraille, we are so humbled to be invited into this journey of CANOE. 

From the day-to-day of the two sisters, the music and text take them, and us, on a journey to remember, reflect, and a way forward. 


Marjorie Chan, Indrit Kasapi, and Michelle Knight

Scene Breakdown


Tłichó Nation Mezzo-soprano Michelle Lafferty from Northwest Territories and now resides in Calgary Alberta.  She is continually involved in The Banff Centre for the Performing Arts program for “Indigenous Classical Musicians Gathering” and the continued work on Indigenous Musical Sovereignty. She is currently part of a team of musicians and composers with Calgary Opera that is curating the opera lab “Namwayut”with dramaturge Marion Newman. She has also received a Dora Award for best ensemble in the Opera category for Sound streams production of Two Odysseys Pimooteewin/Gállábártnit in 2020.

 In 2021 she was part of an improvisation project led by Parmela Attariwala, Germaine Liua and Nicole Ramperaud named “Understory”. In 2022 she was a performer in “Kisaageetin” a concert of Tomson Highway’s with the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. She is also part of a new emerging group of illustrious Indigenous women “The Indigidivas” production and financial support is by Allegra Chamber Orchestra with founder Janna Sailor. The Indigidivas include Melody Courage, Rebecca Cuddy and herself. January 2023 her  American debut of Mother from Brian Current and Marie Clements opera “Missing” with Anchorage Opera Alaska. 

Conlin is Métis originating from the Red River settlement region. He is a professional folk and classical musician with a Bachelors of classical singing performance from the University of Ottawa. Conlin has a JD from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and is a member of the Ontario Bar.

Conlin draws artistic inspiration from his passion for music and his Métis heritage: fusing Métis folk traditions with an eclectic mix of musical genres and styles. He is renowned for his evocative delivery of classical, folk and original songs. He also performs with his three siblings in the Métis Fiddler Quartet.

Nicole Joy-Fraser (Tsa’tinée, Nehiyaw, Métis, Euro-Settler) is a Niagara based, Indigi-queer performing artist. For over 20 years she has been storytelling for stage and screen, across Turtle Island and beyond, and has worked with many celebrated companies such as The Stratford Festival, The Shaw, Mirvish, Tarragon, Soulpepper, Factory, Theatre Aquarius, The Blyth Festival, Nightwood, The Charlottetown Festival, Talk is Free Theatre, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, CBC, CBS, BBC and Telefilm. As a proud Bear clan member, Hand drum carrier and 60’s scoop witness, supporting each other through healing and the arts continues to be a passion of hers and she is grateful to the Anishnaabe and Haudenosaunee communities that have been guiding her urban Indigenous journey. Nicole is deeply honoured to be telling this story-recognizing the impact of collaboration with Unsettled Scores and Native Earth and the medicine that this artistic expression offers. Her continued personal decolonization and reclamation would not have been possible without the many opportunities that they all have have granted her. Kinânaskomitin~All My Relations

Indigenous Mezzo-Soprano Kristine Dandavino has established herself in Verdi and Wagner’s dramatic repertoire. Most recently, she performed in The Museum of the Lost and Found (Shortt) and Verdi’s Requiem with Southern Ontario Lyric Opera. An award-wining vocal coach, Miss Dandavino’s extensive experience has given her the opportunity to share her musical gifts as a director, pianist, judge, and composer for various organizations across Turtle Island. Her voice is featured in Lois Alba’s book Vocal Freedom. A resident of Oshawa, she shares her life with her daughter Zoe and Tim, The World’s Crankiest Yorkie. Since 2021, she has been working on a memorial garden to bring awareness for Missing Indigenous Children and Women. Lastly, her continuous work as an educator, guest speaker, and activist has been recognized in her community. A graduate of the University of Ottawa, she dedicates this performance to survivors of domestic abuse.

Toronto-born Alison Melville began her musical life in a school classroom in London (UK). Her subsequent career as a player of recorders and historical flutes has taken her across Turtle Island and to New Zealand, Iceland, Japan and Europe. She is a member of Toronto Consort and Ensemble Polaris, Artistic Co-Director of North Wind Concerts, plays often with the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, and collaborates in other artistic endeavours at home and beyond.

A few favourite memories include live-to-film performances of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azbakan with the Toronto Symphony and London Symphonia; an improvised duet for Baroque flute and acrobat in northern Finland; and, oh yes, a summer of concerts in Ontario prisons. Her television/film/radio credits include soundtracks for The Tudors, CBC-TV’s beloved The Friendly Giant, films by Malcolm Sutherland, Atom Egoyan, Ang Lee and others, and she can be heard on over 65 CDs.

Praised for her “fire and chamber music smarts” (Globe and Mail), Toronto-born Kathleen Kajioka maintains a varied career, moving easily between the concert stage and the broadcast booth. She is violist with the acclaimed Baroque chamber group Ensemble Masques, with whom she has performed across the globe from New York to St. Petersburg to London’s Wigmore Hall. Masques’ recordings for ALPHA have won the Diapason d’Or and the Gramophone Award. Closer to home, she has performed with nearly all of Toronto’s venerable classical music institutions, including Tafelmusik and the TSO, and in Montreal with Arion Baroque.

Kathleen studied at the Eastman School of Music under Martha Strongin-Katz. She later pursued studies in Middle Eastern music in New York with Simon Shaheen and in Cairo with Alfred Gamil, and Baroque Performance Practice in California with Elizabeth Blumenstock.
A passionate communicator, Kathleen shares her insider’s knowledge on The New Classical FM where she is nightly host of A Little Night Music She has been a featured speaker at Moses Znaimer’s ideacity Conference, and is host of  The Concert Series, airing across Canada on Vision TV. Her long-time love of storytelling was recently engaged for readings of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (St. Andrew’s Church), Edgar Allan Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death (Trio Arkel) and The Von Meck Letters (Toronto Summer Music). She is on faculty at the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Glenn Gould School where she teaches Historical Performance.

Toronto-based cellist Margaret Gay leads a very active freelance career performing on both modern and period instruments. Margaret performs regularly with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony, Opera Atelier, the Eybler Quartet and Ensemble Polaris (a group exploring the traditional music of various Nordic countries). She is the artistic director of the Gallery Players of Niagara, an organization presenting chamber music. She performs on cellos made by Andrea Castagnieri (1730) and can be heard on numerous CD recordings with Ensemble Polaris, the Eybler Quartet and the Gallery Players of Niagara. Her most recent Eybler CD release features the wonderfully charming Op. 2 string quartet music of Franz Asplmayr.

Paul Jenkins cultivates an eclectic musical career as a keyboardist and tenor. An artistic associate with the Toronto Consort, he has appeared with some of Canada’s leading baroque and early music groups, including Tafelmusik, Opera Atelier, La Nef, Aradia, and Theatre of Early Music. Other guest appearances include the Kitchener-Waterloo, Windsor, and Toronto Symphony Orchestras, London Symphonia, Hamilton Philharmonic, the Canadian Opera Company, Opera in Concert, Esprit Orchestra, Soundstreams, Apollo’s Fire, I Furiosi, Toronto Masque Theatre, Nota Bene Baroque Players, North Wind Concerts, and the Mozart Project. These days he’s most active musically as an organist at Blessed Sacrament Church and St. Michael’s Cathedral.

Creative Team

Dr. Spy Dénommé-Welch (Algonquin-Anishnaabe) is an interdisciplinary composer, librettist/playwright, producer, and scholar. He wrote and co-composed the Dora-nominated opera Giiwedin (Native Earth Performing Arts/Unsettled Scores co-production, 2010), and Canoe is his second full-length opera. Other select composing and writing credits include: Transpositions (2022), RADAR (2019), Rouge Winter (2019), Contraries: a chamber requiem (2018), Sojourn (2017, commissioned by Signal Theatre), Bottlenecked (2017).

He is co-founder and Artistic Director of Unsettled Scores, and an Associate Composer with the Canadian Music Centre, a member of the Canadian League of Composers and the Playwrights Guild of Canada.

Dr. Dénommé-Welch is an Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts, Knowledge Systems and Education at Western University.

Catherine Magowan is a composer, conductor, wind musician, and producer. She is first-generation Canadian of Jewish-Hungarian ancestry. Catherine was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore award for her first opera, Giiwedin (Native Earth Performing Arts/Unsettled Scores, 2010) which she co-composed with her collaborator, Dr. Spy Dénommé-Welch. Recent composing credits (also with Dénommé-Welch) include Transpositions (featured composer, 2022), RADAR (2019), Rouge Winter (2019), Contraries: a chamber requiem (2018), and Sojourn (2017, commissioned by Signal Theatre). As a bassoonist and flautist, Catherine freelances throughout Ontario, and is co-founder of the world’s first electric bassoon band. Catherine is the Managing Director of Unsettled Scores, associate composer with the Canadian Music Centre, and sits on the executive council for the Canadian League of Composers.


Moynan is a performer, director, curator, writer, and scholar. She is the recipient of a Canadian Screen Award for her writing on CBC’s Baroness von Sketch Show and was recently nominated for a Dora Award for her work on Trace at Theatre Passe Muraille with Tristan Whiston. Look for her in John Greyson’s upcoming feature film, Door Prize (which also has an operatic element!). Moynan holds a PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies from York University and is currently a Postdoctoral Associate at Western University working on a project entitled Queer Resonance.

Moynan has been a part of the directorial team of Canoe since 2013 and is honoured to be working alongside Spy and Catherine once again.

Catherine is a busy mother of 3, grandmother of 12 and great grandmother of 6. She is part Ojibwa on her mother’s side (Mississauga of the New Credit) and Walker Mohawk on my father’s side (Six Nations of the Grand). She is an independent educator, Brock University alumni, retired assistant professor, a Knowledge and Star Lodge Holder. She served on Brock University Senate, Two Row Wampum – Dish with One Spoon Committee, Aboriginal Education Committee, etc. She has written in many journals and contributed to chapters with various university colleagues. She works tirelessly to keep her family clothed in traditional outfits and encourages all to be mindful of their Indigenous identity while working to be successful in their life long learning as academics and socially responsible, co-existing beings.

Morris Lessard is Anishinabe on his mother’s side Mississauga First Nation and Thessalon First Nation and French on his father’s side. He is a traditional drummer and holder of medicine songs but due to health problems is now retired from his role as Firekeeper. However, he can be found quietly passing on his knowledge to help young people find their way towards truth and reconciliation around the kitchen table or outside. He enjoys gardening, beading, and sharing stories.

Morris and Catherine were traditionally married on the Mississauga of the Credit after a year of learning how to be in a traditional relationship. They have been together for 30 years since and now live in the Six Nations of the Grand River territory.

Ulla Laidlaw is thrilled to be working once again with a collection of companies close to her heart in the incredible collaboration. She was part of the administrative team at Native Earth Performing Arts for Dr. Spy Dénommé-Welch and Catherine Magowan’s ‘Giiwedin’ in 2010. She has collaborated with Theatre Passe Muraille on several digital works including 11:11, TOKA, and One Step at at Time. She works primarily as a producer for theatre and film, and as a filmmaker (Theatre Conspiracy, Radix Theatre, CBC’s Exhibitionists and others). She is currently developing a film installation Extinction with Margaret Krawecka.

Lutenist, pianist, guitarist, composer and singer Dr. Benjamin Stein has performed with Tafelmusik Baroque Chamber Choir, Opera Atelier, Rezonance Baroque Ensemble, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Elora Festival Singers, Toronto Masque Theatre and Soundstreams Canada. He recently completed a PhD at York University on the re-emerging art of improvisation in classical music. An associate music director at Metropolitan United Church of Toronto, he has written articles on music and culture for the Toronto Star and Wholenote Magazine. He is very happy to be part of the Unsettled Scores team, for the premiere of Canoe.

Meghan is honoured to be a part of bringing this exciting new work to life. Though based in Toronto, Meghan has worked with theatre companies as both a stage manager and assistant stage across North America. Recent credits include: Where You Are (Lighthouse Festival Theatre), Macbeth (COC), Behind the Moon (Tarragon), The Ex-Boyfriend Yardsale (Soulpepper), The Trojan Girls and the Outhouse of Atreus (Outside the March), Sweeney Todd (Talk is Free), Making Spirits Bright (Globe Theatre), The Ministry of Grace (Belfry Theatre). Meghan is a graduate of Toronto Metropolitan University, and a member of the CAEA Council’s Stage Management Committee.

Angela Mae Bago is a first generation Filipino-Canadian woman and is an emerging artist to the Toronto theatre arts scene. This is her first true opera experience and is thankful for everyone on the team that contributed to this incredible production. She has been fortunate enough to receive an abundance of work and gained a plethora of experience from everyone she has crossed paths with. She would like to dedicate this show to Rob, Alysse and Rebecca for developing her skills and guidance in her stage management journey.

OTHER THEATRE (selected credits): Alice In Wonderland Remount, Salt Water-Moon (Guild Festival Theatre); Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery (Thousand Islands Playhouse); The Seagull, Draw Me Close (Soulpepper); 15 Dogs (Crow’s Theatre); Carmen (COC); Little Women (Stratford Festival); Letters to my Grandma (Paprika Festival), Tales from the Flipside (Carlos Bulosan Theatre); As You Like It, A (Musical) Midsummer Night’s Dream (Driftwood Theatre).

Montana Summers is from Oneida Nation of the Thames. Montana is an emerging choreographer who personally studied and trained in contemporary indigenous dance at the Banff Centre for the Arts and KTD Summer Intensives. Montana has begun development on his first performance project in 2022 named Conditions to Strike, which he plans to continue to develop in the coming years. Montana has been working in theatre professionally since 2015, preforming choreography by Santee Smith, the renowned artistic director of Kaha:wi Dance Theatre. Noteworthy works Montana has performed in are The Honouring (2015-2017), The Mush Hole (2016-2022), and most recent Sken:nen (2021). Montana has collaborated with different performance collectives over the years like Blue bird Theatre collective and as well Sweet Labour Art collective. Additionally, to extending his practice to multi-media, Montana has previously acted on stage in plays such as The Other Side of the River (2019) and Love Song for the Thunderbirds (2021). Montana continues to build on his talents and interweave his own creativity and culture into his work.

Siobhán is very happy to be Lighting Designer for Canoe. Siobhán is a Toronto-based Lighting Designer who works in both Canada and the USA. She has credits in Theatre, Opera and Dance.Over the past few years, her work has been seen in Canada, The United States, India, Sweden, Australia and the Czech Republic. Her recent credits include: Homes: A Refugee Story (Grand Theatre); Anahita’s Republic (Bustle and Beast); Flight (RCM); Snow White (YPT); Come From Away: The Concert (Marquis Productions); Ring of Fire, Steel City Gangster and On a First Name Basis (Theatre Aquarius); The Hobbit (Adirondack Theater Festival); Ephemeral Artifacts: Travis Knights (Anandam Dancetheatre);The Great Divide (Harold Green Jewish Theatre); Ann (Arkansas Rep Theatre); The Horse and His Boy, Wilde Tales (Shaw Festival); Figaro’s Wedding (Against the Grain); Miracle on 34th Street, A Year with Frog and Toad, Shrek and The Addams Family (Neptune Theatre)

For more information:

Lindy is proud to have grown up learning and surrounded by his culture and community on beautiful Wiikwemkoong Unceeded First Nation, located on Manitoulin Island in Ontario canada.

Lindy has been an artist as long as he can remember, from sketching, painting, wood-working, and dancing. This has led to exhibitions, commissions, and performances for many Toronto schools, organizations, and events.

Lindy works hard to be a role model for Indigenous youth, and a strong supporter for the Indigenous arts community. Most recently working with the T’karonto Music Festival, Summer Soltice Indigenous Music Awards, Indigenous Fashion Arts, Outside Looking In, and Young People’s Theatre.

Sherri Hay is a visual artist and an occasional enthusiastic collaborator in theatre, dance (and now opera) Liveness and presence, being in time are an important part of her practice.

Aurora Judge is an artist and designer currently based out of St Catharines, Ontario. Her recent work has taken her from theatre to film and back again, including several seasons at the Shaw Festival in a variety of roles.
She’s a Certified Arts Weirdo and has the BFA to prove it, but won’t, because that would mean digging it out from under the project pile. When not dreaming up big new worlds for the stage, you can find her curled up in a blanket nest, making small cardboard worlds for her pet rats.

Aden is a Toronto based creative, and a graduate of Toronto Metropolitan University’s Performance Production Program. Aden is super grateful to all of the producing partners for Canoe for having him on the show! In the fall, Aden will be starting full time as the production manager at Toronto Dance Theatre! When he’s not production managing you can find him playing music and writing songs, or playing a borderline unhealthy amount of video games. Much love to Aden’s friends, family and trusted colleagues, he couldn’t do any of this without them.

Selected credits: Production Manager, Richard III (Shakespeare in the Ruff); Assistant Production Manager, Treemonisha (Volcano Theatre/Luminato Festival) Production Manager, A Grimm Night (TranscenDance Project); Props Assistant, Niizh (Native Earth Performing Arts); Production Manager, La Bete (Talk is Free Theatre); Stage Manager/Production Consultant, Narnia (Bad Hats Theatre); Assistant Production Manager, Margarita (Holla Jazz/Fall For Dance North).

Deandra is from the Blackfoot Confederacy, she is a proud tribal member of Kainai and Siksika. She received her cosmetology license from Avalon Board of Cosmetology of the state of Arizona. Once she graduated from cosmetology school she became an assistant and excelled to a level 4 stylist at the elite Dolce Salon & spa in Scottsdale Arizona. During that time, she received education from master stylists, won numerous in-salon competitions. One particular contest she had the highest retail sales in her salon which flew her to LA to get certified in Wella essentials course. Deandra entered the License to Create awards, which made her top 10 in the country for her textured category, also being the first indigenous woman to win this award.

Deandra’s work has been featured in professional beauty Instagram profiles like Beauty Launchpad, Hairstylist Tribe and Master of Braids. Deandra has now changed her career from being behind the chair salon stylist to being behind the chair stylist in the film world. Deandra has been the key hairstylist on films like The Coroner, Slash/Back and Acting Good that have received successful news write ups & honorable accreditation. Deandra has worked on trailblazing campaigns with Sephora, Canada Goose as well as a creative stylist on Indigenous Fashion Arts runway show. Deandra is a very creative person when it comes to beauty, she believes her career has transformed her into one of the top hairstylists. Deandra is one of the Key Hairstylists for Fashion Art Toronto under the creative direction of Lisa Tuff. Her passion in this industry takes her to new heights and new paths. Deandra has added a new skill to her career as a makeup artist receiving her certification from Julia Dantas Makeup Academy. At this moment Deandra is working on her online business but you can follow her work @deandralovesbeauty on Instagram or Facebook.

Maeve the dog (Plott Hound) comes from the south, and was rescued from a shelter by Catahoula Rescue Ontario in 2012. She enjoys fish and fish treats, cuddles and long naps. Maeve and her brother, Samson (Catahoula X), were adopted by Dr. Spy Dénommé-Welch and Catherine Magowan, and she worked at the very first CANOE development workshop in 2013. Since then she has been involved in every Unsettled Scores workshop in a therapeutic capacity, and is pleased to come out of retirement to officially serve as Production Support Dog for the premiere of CANOE.

Development History

December 16 – 18, 2019: Canoe workshopped (Brock University)

  • Director: Dr. Spy Dénommé-Welch
  • Music Director: Catherine Magowan
  • Knowledge Carrier: Jean Becker
  • Voices: Elisabeth Saint-Gelais, Conlin Delbaere-Sawchuk, Michele Lafferty, Deantha Edmunds-Ramsay
  • Instruments: Benjamin Stein, Alyssa Delbaere-Sawchuk, Alison Melville, Mary-Katherine Finch, Christopher Dawes

June 10 – 14, 2019: Canoe workshopped and excerpts presented (Native Earth Performing Arts, Aki Studio)

  • Directors: Dr. Moynan King & Dr. Spy Dénommé-Welch
  • Music Director: Catherine Magowan
  • Knowledge Carrier: Jean Becker
  • Voices: Nicole Joy-Fraser, Conlin Delbaere-Sawchuk, Michele Lafferty, Christa Couture
  • Instruments: Benjamin Stein, Sharon Lee, Alison Melville, Colin Savage, Mary-Katherine Finch, Christopher Dawes
  • Assistant: Pesch Nepoose

November 7, 2018: excerpts of Canoe presented at Weesageechak XXXI (Aki Studio)

  • Music Director: Catherine Magowan
  • Directors: Dr. Moynan King & Dr. Spy Dénommé-Welch
  • Performers: Nicole-Joy Fraser, Conlin Delbaere-Sawchuk, Cecilia Lee
  • Technical: B.C. Batty (Native Earth)

July 9 – August 1, 2018: Canoe workshopped and excerpts presented at Mskomini Giizis Residency (Native Earth Performing Arts, Aki Studio, funded by the Metcalf Foundation’s 2016 Creative Strategies Incubator)

  • Directors: Dr. Moynan King & Dr. Spy Dénommé-Welch
  • Music Director: Catherine Magowan
  • Knowledge Carrier: Jean Becker
  • Voices: Nicole-Joy Fraser, Joanna Burt, Alejandra Nuñez, Conlin Delbaere-Sawchuk
  • Instruments: Alison Melville, Rona Goldensher, Mary-Katherine Finch, Benjamin Stein, Christopher Dawes
  • Répétiteur: Benjamin Stein
  • Set Designer: Jay Havens
  • Projections: Samay Arcentales Cajas
  • Costume Designer: Kinoo Arcentales
  • Production Manager: Ulla Laidlaw
  • Stage Manager: Heather Kilner
  • Assistant Stage Manager: Milena Fera
  • Technical: B.C. Batty (Native Earth)

February 13 – 20, 2015Canoe workshopped and excerpts presented (Private residence, Toronto)

  • Directors: Dr. Moynan King & Dr. Spy Dénommé-Welch
  • Music Director: Catherine Magowan
  • Voices: Nicole-Joy Fraser, Monique Mojica, Catherine Carew, Lawrence Cotton
  • Instruments: Alison Melville, Michelle Odorico, Mary-Katherine Finch, Laura Jones, Ben Stein, Sara-Anne Churchill
  • Production Manager: Ulla Laidlaw

February 14 – 23, 2013Canoe workshopped and excerpts presented (Private residence, Toronto)

  • Directors: Dr. Moynan King & Dr. Spy Dénommé-Welch
  • Music Director: Catherine Magowan
  • Voices: Nicole-Joy Fraser, Monique Mojica, Rose Stella, Lawrence Cotton
  • Instruments: Alison Melville, Rezan Onen‐Lapointe, Edwin Huizinga, Mary-Katherine Finch, Ben Stein, Sara-Anne Churchill
  • Production Manager: Ulla Laidlaw

Unsettled Scores Thank You/Acknowledgements

Paul Jenkins
Jean Becker
Native Earth Performing Arts
Maeve & Samson
Dr. Ben Stein
Dr. Moynan King
Alison Melville
Leslie McCue
Ulla Laidlaw, Ian Fleming, and Nalea

Ontario Arts Council
Toronto Arts Council
Canada Council for the Arts
We acknowledge traditional knowledge support in part through CRC funding.

Native Earth Performing Arts Sponsors

Deepest gratitude to our Sponsors

Support Resources


Tkaronto/ Toronto-based Mental Health Resources


Resources with a focus on Indigenous communities:


The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line is available 24-hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their Residential School experience. The number is: 1-866-925-4419. You can find out more about the work of the Indian Residential School Survivors Society at


Talk4Healing is a help line that offers 24/7 help, support, and resources for Indigenous women by Indigenous women, all across Ontario with services in 14 different languages. You can call or text them at 1-855-554-HEAL. They also offer a toll-free crisis line at  1-888-200-9997 as well as a live online chat service at


Anishnawbe Health Toronto is a fully accredited health centre that cares for Indigenous clients with both western and traditional approaches to health care. They provide a variety of psychological and counselling services in Toronto, including walk-in counselling. You can arrange for an in-take appointment at 416-360-0486 or visit their website at for more information.


Métis Nation of Ontario’s (MNO) Healing and Wellness Branch facilitates and coordinates programs, services, and activities to address the holistic needs of Métis people in Ontario. They offer a wide range of services that can be accessed at this toll-free number: 1-800-263-4889. These include a 24-hour mental health and addictions crisis line at 1-877-767-7572. You can also find more information about the organization at  


Native Child and Family Services of Toronto provides a number of clinical services that combine Aboriginal approaches to healing and clinical practices such as individual and family counselling, group work, and case management. You can contact them during business hours at 416-969-8510 or after hours at 416-924-4646. You can also email them at or visit their website at  


Native Canadian Centre of Toronto has a Community Health Navigator to assist Indigenous adults (25-58 years) with access to health services including one-on-one with Elders, talking circles, art therapy, and navigating various other health services. Please contact Mandy Mack

at 416-964-9087 x273 or via email at


Resources with a focus on Racialized and LGBTQ+ communities:


Across Boundaries provides a dynamic range of mental health support and services and works within Anti-Racism/Anti-Black racism and Anti-Oppression frameworks. The Fall 2020 season of their Inhale/ Exhale program for QTBIPOC folx features 12 webisodes and virtual meet-ups centred on art, body, and spirit, and creating opportunities for self and collective care. You can contact them at 416-787-3007 or or visit their website for more information:


LGBT YouthLine is a Queer, Trans, Two-Spirit* youth-led organization that affirms and supports the experiences of youth (29 and under) across Ontario. Youth Line offers confidential and non-judgmental peer support through our telephone, text and chat services. Get in touch with a peer support volunteer from Sunday to Friday, 4:00PM to 9:30 PM.

You can text them at 647-694-4275 or chat via their website:


Friends of Ruby supports lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and two-spirit youth (aged 16-29) through counselling, housing, practical assistance, and multiple activities. Their mental health team works from an integrative, trauma-informed, anti-oppressive and collaborative framework and the counselling team at Friends of Ruby reflects the diversity of the LGBTQI2S community. You can call them at 416-359-0237 or register through their website


The 519 is committed to the health, happiness and full participation of the LGBTQ2S communities. They provide a number of trans-specific support groups and initiatives. You can call their front desk at 416-392-6874 or email


Healing in Colour is a directory of BIPOC therapists across Canada who have signed on to an Anti-Oppressive statement of values. You can access the directory here:


General Mental Health Resources:


Gerstein Centre provides crisis intervention, wellness and recovery activities, and training and education. Crisis Workers are available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week at 416-929-5200. You can also visit their website at for information on their wellness and educational programs.


Family Services Ontario offers a virtual counselling program weekdays from 9 AM to 6 PM by calling 416-595-9618. Their counsellors offer a single telephone session of about 50 minutes and is open to all persons 18 years of age and older. You can also leave a message and, as available, a counsellor will return the call between 11:30 AM and 6:30 PM daily. You can find more information on their issue-specific groups and programs on their website here:


The Griffin Centre is an accredited, charitable, multi-service mental health agency providing flexible and accessible services to children, youth, transitional-aged youth, adults and their families. You can call 416-222-1153, or email, or visit their website at for appointments or referrals.


Stella’s Place provides peer support, clinical, online, employment, wellness, and recovery services for young adults in Toronto, aged 16 to 29, who are experiencing mental health challenges. You can book an online appointment with them to explore what programs may be helpful for you by calling 416-461-2345 x0, emailing, or visiting their website



This list was compiled by Theatre Passe Muraille’s Community Engagement Coordinator, Angela Sun. We welcome and appreciate any comments or suggestions at


Katey Wattam (she/they) is a queer helper and artist, grounded in the rich tapestry of her mixed English, Irish, Franco-Ontarian, and Anishinaabe ancestry. With familial ties to the Lake Nipissing region in Ontario, she was born and raised in Tkaronto and currently has roots in both Tkaronto and Tio’tiá:ke/Mooniyaang. 

Katey offers trauma-informed, wholistic, human-centered care. She employs a diverse range of therapeutic orientations, including: attachment theory, arts-based and body-based techniques, Indigenous methodologies and anti-oppressive practices. She is committed to the reclamation and decolonization of bodies, minds, and spirits and centres culturally safe care at the heart of her practice. Katey serves as a compassionate guide for those on their healing journeys. She offers a safe and supportive space, leveraging her unique blend of narrative and body-based healing techniques to help clients navigate the complexities of identity, trauma, and reclamation Katey has dedicated her practice to serving a diverse range of individuals, including those living with intergenerational trauma, grief and loss, substance use concerns, and mood issues. She has a deep commitment to supporting Indigenous and 2SLGBTQQIA+ adults and youth, as well as those grappling with complex and developmental trauma. Passionate about the intersection of art and mental health, she is a strong advocate for artist wellness and specializes in trauma-informed creation practices, and provides specialized support for artists navigating their unique challenges.

Katey holds a Master’s in Social Work (MSW), specializing in Indigenous Trauma and Resiliency, from the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, at the University of Toronto. She is also a certified yoga teacher with specialized training in trauma-informed and accessible yoga. Her passion for empowering Indigenous communities has led her to work on projects that focus on self-determination, health, and holistic well-being across Turtle Island.

Co-Artistic Director of Toronto’s queer opera collective OperaQ, Camille Rogers is currently pursuing a doctorate in music and sexual diversity studies at U of T. Camille is also the Program Manager of Tapestry Opera’s Women in Musical Leadership program, and remains active as a performer of opera and early music. Performance credits include Narrator in Considering Matthew Shepard with Pax Christi Chorale, Suli/Suzie in Buddies in Bad Times’s world premiere of Pomegranate, Aeneas with OperaQ (Dido and Aeneas), Young Girl with Opera Atelier (Marriage of Figaro), and the title role in L’Italiana in Algeri with MYOpera.

Janis Mayers is a Toronto born mixed race artist.  A graduate of Seneca College’s corporate media production program she has worked behind the scenes in live event production transitioning to theatre in 2018 performing in “Derives” – Naomie LaFrance at the Bentway and co-creating/ performing in “The Solitudes” produced by Aluna Theatre.  Janis produced a short documentary “A Pile of Dirt” that premiered at the Regent Park Film Festival.  She began training with Superior Description in 2022, most recent projects have been audio describing for the Indigenous Curatorial Collective short film festival, Thompson Highways’s “The Cave” and Yolanda Bonnell’s “My Sister’s Rage”.

James McKenzie is originally from Trinidad and Tobago but has lived in Canada for the past ten years. He graduated with an MA Degree at the University of Guelph in 2013. He has been an audio describer for almost three years and has described film, television as well as live theatre.

Some of the works include “Morbius”, “Treemonisha” and “Alvin Ailey”. He is also interested in science fiction and has written a few short stories and one full length novel.

Venue Sponsor:

TPM Thank you!

You make it possible! Thank you so much for coming out to watch the world premiere of Canoe as part of our 23.24 season.

We are so grateful for all of our sponsors, funders, and donors for believing in Theatre Passe Muraille’s mission and supporting our artistic programs— allowing our team to plan ahead with confidence.

You can also support us by following us on social media & giving us a shoutout! Follow the social media icons below to find us online.

Thank you again for visiting our theatre, digitally or in-person! For more information about our theatre/company, stay a bit and check out our website, or our blog.